Stay Weather Aware Tuesday

Joe’s Weather Blog: Pesky rains Friday…headaches on Sunday? (WED-11/21)

Good morning…it’s going to be a delightful next couple of days in the KC region with milder weather through Thursday and another warm day on Saturday. We’ve had a tough go of trying to get above average temperatures in the area…but we’re going to have 3 days in the next 4 (maybe even 4 in the next 5) with above average temperatures. The two very iffy days are Friday and Sunday. Both days may not be too nice to be out and about. More on that on in the discussion.

Also please pay attention to the forecast on Sunday, whether you in the KC area or anywhere in the Plains region. There is an increasing likelihood of blizzard type conditions developing somewhere…and you may need to leave or remain at whatever travel spot you go to earlier or longer to get back here without added stress.


Today: Mostly sunny and milder with highs 55-60°

Tonight: Fair and cool with lows in the 30s

Thursday: Increasing clouds later in the day and at night but dry for the day and night. Highs should be near 60°. Great for working on the lights outside and for the lighting ceremony…but it will be windy with 20-30 MPH winds developing

Friday: Rain with cooler weather and highs 45-50

Saturday: Nice again and milder again with highs near 60° if things work out. Clouds and a lack of wind stirring things up will need to be monitored in case that high is a bit too optimistic.

Sunday: Initially mild then falling temperatures…some rain is likely then a changeover to snow is possible in the afternoon. Accumulations are possible…strong winds developing depending on the placement of the future storm in question. 25-45 MPH winds are possible depending on the storm track. Very iffy situation at this point. Please pay attention to the changeable forecast.


So want to listen to a podcast in one of your computer windows and read my weather blog in another? Well here you go then. This is a podcast that was created a few weeks ago that they just now got to publishing..and this will be a biweekly thing that I will create. I did another one this past Sunday that hopefully will be published soon.

The podcast is called “Joe’s Weather World” and is a look at our weather and the weather elsewhere in the country (or wherever)…weather geeks…here you go. The first one is a bit longer I think…the 2nd one coming soon is a bit shorter. You can find the podcasts on all the main places you find podcasts It’s the only podcast dedicated to weather in the KC area…so I hope you enjoy it…feel free to give me feedback or FB me with ideas/questions.

My thanks to the city of Gladstone, MO for having me out last night for their lighting ceremony. I’ve been out there when it was a lot colder…and last night wasn’t too bad.

We’re finally going to have some nicer weather around these parts for the next couple of days…warmer afternoons and increasing winds will be noted, winds especially Thursday…but it should be nice.

Friday a fast moving rain maker will streak through the Plains during the day. This is a disturbance that will be coming out of the Rockies and spreading rain through eastern KS and western MO during the morning hours…that rain may linger into the mid afternoon or so before moving away. Tough to see how we warm up in the rain on Friday…there is a chance we can pop a few degrees behind the rain IF it moves away fast enough since we’ll have south winds all day long.

Saturday right now looks rather nice…there is upside to the temperatures BUT I’m concerned about the amount of high clouds that will be developing and also the lack of any real wind stirring up the atmosphere. That cloud cover will be coming in ahead of the next major storm to affect the Plains. This one will create a variety of weather conditions…the snow aspect obviously is the one that folks will be keying on…but this may be a big wind generator on the northwestern side on Sunday.

Our placement here in KC in relation to what can happen on Sunday is critical as usual. I’ll be showing you some model guidance shortly…but basically (and I know it’s been a few years) if you want typically want to see surface low pressure areas go south of the KC area…and more towards or just north of the I-44 corridor. That is NOT a set in stone thing…I’ve seen different things in my decades here in KC…but let’s just use that as a general rule.

It’s not that it can’t snow…a lot…during this time of the year…it can. Doesn’t happen often but there have been a few big storms during the last week of the month. The last decent late November snow we had was 14 years ago…in 2004. I remember working that storm. Here is a look at all the snows during the last week of November. That’s 7 days of data over about 130 years…more than 900 possible days(!) and we’ve only had 1″ or more of snow 22 times.

The storm back in 2004 that cranked out some good snow in the region…some 4-7″…was from an upper level storm that dug through the western Rockies and then curled into the 4 Corners region before coming out into the Plains and taking a perfect path towards the south (just barely) of KC.

So it can happen…it’s treading a needle but it can happen.

There are still many issues with this Sunday potential…but it’s on the table for sure, at least as anything can be on the table from 5 days out. The EURO model has been the most consistent (doesn’t mean it’s right) with the storm as most of the runs are suggesting a rain>snow (potentially heavy) scenario. Again where the storm tracks will dictate whether we have mild weather at the start of the day….and then see a drop (fast) in temperatures with rain>snow set-up. Then the issue is how fast will the storm be moving and how solidified will the “wrap-around” aspect of the storm be…because that will help to determine the rate of snow falling and go a long way in determining the amount of snow we end up with.

There will be issues withe how much melting occurs…when the transition actually happens…earlier means more snow for us…later and it gets tougher because the storm will be accelerating during the afternoon especially. Also of note, depending on which side of the storm that KC is positioned…will be the wind factor. There may be a near blizzard with this storm…but it could be anywhere from IA to NE to KS to MO…or some sort of combination of these states.

So IF you want snow…you want the EURO model to be nails on this…

By November standards…that’s a humdinger of a blizzard. The map above is for 6AM Sunday. We’d have some sort of 12AM high that day in the 40s with crashing temperatures and heavy snow developing 1st thing in the morning. Winds would be increasing to 20-45 MPH in gusts…a true blizzard potential.

It’s only a model though…the  GFS model has a different solution. Notice the placement of the surface storm especially…

Farther north..and significantly so…even though roughly 100+ miles may NOT seem like a lot in the world of weather…it really is. Why? Well the colder air isn’t wrapping as quickly into the storm. The map above is for the same time frame…6AM Sunday…we’re still well into the 40s…and while we would see a transition to snow at some point…it would be later in the morning as the storm is pulling away and whatever we’d get probably would be on the lighter side.

The soon to be new GFS model that will be coming online in a couple of months…has this solution…

Note the I-70 connection. Farther south and farther south with the colder air wrapping into the storm. On this model…in looking deeper the rain>snow line would be near the I-70 corridor at daybreak Sunday. It’s wraparound snow though would be fleeting and wouldn’t last too long.

There is a concern though about wet roads turning icy as the cold air dumps in during the day…if they don’t dry out fast enough…so you can see the potential travel issues that could develop as the day moves into the afternoon.


So when something is that far away…instead of looking at clickbait snow total FB posts that I’m sure some are going to be seeing in their newsfeed (assuming FB is working ;) ) … as Karli would say…let’s just pump the brakes a bit.

Remember those fancy but often VERY inaccurate snow maps are based on factors that many don’t even know about…even weather people who just see a model and see a snow total and then equate the 2 together. Those maps don’t mean what you may think they mean. In most cases they are strictly a 10:1 ratio. 1″ of rain equals 10″ of snow. Well the atmosphere doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes there is a mixed precipitation period…the model though doesn’t factor that into the maps that are clickbait. The clickbait maps don’t take into account melting of snow…the maps don’t take into account when the atmosphere is mode conducive to higher snow ratios (when it’s colder above us)…so again USE those maps with caution and have the weather knowledge to be skeptical about what you see online. Even TV people will show maps that are mostly based on 10:1 ratios from too far out.

Rant over…

One way to see the variety of model solutions and/or to gain confidence in what could happen (or won’t) is by looking at the ensembles…I won’t get into all the details…but in a simple nutshell the more clustered the variety of runs on a model are (with different physics and initializations) the more of a clue the model is trying to reveal. The next model is the ensembles of the EURO…NOTE the WIDE disparity of surface low locations…

The EURO operational model solution is actually more on the SW side of the envelope of possibilities…for what it’s worth from 5 days out…the EURO ensembles are more clustered towards the soon to be new GFS model…that model has us just in a fleeting wraparound scenario that would last a few hours tops in KC.

Again all the maps above are valid for 6AM Sunday.

The storm that hit back in 2004 was more of a upper level influence…the surface low was wayyyy farther south…and the upper level part of this will be delved more into over the next 2 days.

For snow lovers though…it’s just nice to have a few players on the field for a change…it seems the last few winters the players were always playing “away” games and not home games.

Our feature photo comes from Austin Hamilton up in Chariton, IA…of a nice serene scene..


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