Joe’s Weather Blog: Someone is going to get a blizzard Sunday (THU-11/22)

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Happy Thanksgiving…it’s not going to be record breaking warm…but it will be VERY nice but breezy out there today. The warmest Thanksgiving (remember the dates vary) was 70° back in 1998/1966 and 1896. The record high for today’s date (November 22nd) is 76 (!) back in 1966. Hey it could be worse…on Thanksgiving in 1923 we have over 9″ of snow!

We have rain in the forecast for Friday…and rain>snow expected on Sunday. As part of the weather “sandwich” though Saturday looks pretty darn good. The 2nd aspect of that forecast will be the challenge and my confidence continues to grow that somebody from the KC area northwards to the I-80 corridor region and eastwards to NW IL is going to get a blizzard. That does NOT mean we’re going to have a blizzard in KC…it means though that we’re on the somewhat southern fringe of this potential. Data continues to point towards the northern parts of MO…maybe northeast KS…SE NE and a good part of the southern half of IA as being in a more favorable spot for a travel headache. The issue is for any trend southwards…and IF that trend in the data develops…watch out…even in KC!

This doesn’t mean KC won’t have travel issues on Sunday…we may and with a combination of falling temperatures…wet to icy road conditions and the potential of falling heavy snow for at least a few hours…it may get very messy here to…oh and add in the increasing chance of 35-near 50 MPH winds into the equation as well. It doesn’t look pretty.

So with all that said…


Today: Great with highs in the 60s

Tonight: Not bad for late November with lows near 40°

Friday: Rain moving through the area…temperatures struggle with highs only in the 40s

Saturday: Nicer again with highs in the 60s

Sunday: Some rain (probably not a lot) transitioning to snow…potentially heavy snow in spots, especially from KC northwards. Temperatures in the 40s>30s with increasing 25-45 MPH winds later in the morning or in the afternoon. Road conditions may get very poor in parts of the area. Areas farther towards the SE of the Metro may not have as bad a travel impact as areas from KC northwards. This will be a changeable forecast as we get closer. Please pay attention to the changes here on the blog and on the air.


One of my goals every year…some years with more success than other years…is to put the Christmas lights out when I’m wearing shorts…this year the chances of that happening look pretty good I think…IF I can wait till the afternoon to get them out there.

Temperatures yesterday popped into the 60s…not too bad at all. we finished the day with temperatures about 5° above average…a rarity for this November for sure. We have another likely above average day on Saturday so IF you don’t get those lights out today…that is going to be a great day for doing that!

Rain is likely on Friday…won’t spend anymore time on that…aside from saying it’s going to be tough to get out of the 40s and the rain will be winding down later in the afternoon.



Oh boy.

What I’m confident in:

  • A significant winter storm with near>blizzard conditions will develop and move through the Plains. Travel impacts including the potential of closed interstates and major routes will exist. Where this all happens is obviously an unknown at this point BUT odds would favor the I-29 corridor…I-35…US 36…US 136 (northern MO) and the main roads into southern IA and potentially NE MO and NW IL.
  • Winds with this storm will rapidly increase…we’re looking at the potential of near 50 MPH winds from this rapidly developing storm as it moves through MO…these winds will rapidly increase in the KC area after sunrise on Sunday but probably before noon unless the storm slows down a few hours…which is possible. This is factor #1 in the road mess equation
  • Some rain (not a huge factor) but a huge factor for road treatments will occur before the cold air rushes…then there will be a flip to heavy wet snow…and then then snow (as the atmosphere gets colder) will start to become a drier and somewhat more fluffy snow. This is factor #2 in the road mess equation
  • Falling temperatures: We’re going to start the day with temperatures well into the 40s (we’ll probably have a 12AM high). Then when the colder air starts rushing in…combined with the 25-45 MPH developing winds…the temperatures will crasy…proably some 10-15 degrees in a matter of 1 hour or so (perhaps even faster). This is factor #3 in the road mess equation.
  • The roads may initially put up a fight because of the warm weather Saturday and the OK temperatures Sunday morning (for a few hours) but it won’t take long for those pavement temperatures to start tanking…obviously bridges and overpasses have issues first. The rain set-up leading into the snow set-up though may prevent a lot of pre-treating. This is factor #4 to a road mess developing.
  • There is going to be another sharp cutoff from the north to the south with snow amounts it appears. Why do I get a feeling a 0-8+” forecast won’t be crazy through the entire(!!!) viewing area! Does this mean 8″ for KC…no not yet…it means our area of responsibility goes up to the IA border and almost to the Lakes region to the south of KC.
  • There are also favorable jet dynamics revealing themselves to me…VERY favorable.

So those are items we’re confident in…

The issues that I’m NOT confident fully at this point the track of the storm…especially where the surface low goes. Farther north…towards or near the I-70 corridor and we may get a few of the items involved above…but the snow would be shorter in duration and as a result lighter in totals. We could still get accumulating snow from that scenario though.

The model data overnight is still showing a favorable track for snow in KC…the EURO model is looking rather tasty for snow lovers…the is 6AM Sunday…

I wanted to show you the winds in the above map as well…not much in the morning…but by Noon we’re cranking away with 30-40 MPH gusts…or higher.

The NEW run of the NAM model this morning is also favorable…it actually has the low about 50+ miles a bit farther south…this would create more snow in the KC region…

Notice the slight shift south…this is concerning. That would place the area in a heavy part of the wrap-around (comma head) of a developing blizzard…again it’s just a model…and a 100 mile shift here or there would reduce that potential significantly…but IF you want a snowstorm…it’s a pretty good look.

I still won’t post snow maps though…it’s far too soon to get into that.

Note the differences in the AM run of the NAM and the overnight GFS model…these maps are valid at 6AM Sunday…the slider will show you the difference.

Note the southern and slower solution to things…troubling. IF you don’t want the heavy snow in KC…you want a farther north solution…

So how much liquid is this translating to…again this type of map guidance will change significantly…but here are ONLY the 12 hour totals from 6AM Sunday>6PM Sunday…this WOULD NOT be all sticking snow in the KC area…notice how the NAM model is picking out the heavy comma-head aspect of the developing blizzard from southern IA to the 36 highway corridor.

One aspect of this that I wonder about though…is the farther south solution of the surface low from the NAM model that just came out a result of the cooler weather (that I think is wrong at this point) that it is forecasting for Saturday? Look at the map below…these are strictly raw model guidance temperatures…IF we’re in the 60s Saturday would that allow whatever surface low to be farther north on Sunday. In other words will Saturday determine Sunday’s weather. IF it’s cooler Saturday than what I’m thinking…near 50° or so instead of 60s…could that be a indicator for Sunday? The EURO has us in the mid 50s…and has the surface low farther north than the latest NAM model.

My initial thought on the NAM model is that this is indeed happening…that it’s not warm enough on Saturday and as a result it’s forcing the surface low farther south on Sunday but there is a way that both can still happen…warm Saturday then heavy snow on Sunday…

And the GFS data has near>blizzard conditions in the KC Metro area on the new run…it also manages to keep Saturday warm and still has us in a blizzard on Sunday based on today’s run. It’s also more generous in terms of the “widespreadness” of the snow and the fact that the worst would be essentially on the I-35 corridor.

I thought though I’d finish with this…the model the EURO model…for KCI.

You can see the ups and downs of the snow forecast…this is strictly a 10:1 snow ratio and doesn’t reflect melting or time periods of wintry mix adding up to little accumulation. So the above isn’t a perfect type of snow forecast either but it is interesting to see the changes from one run to the other.

Our feature photo comes from Matt Starr…


I’ll see you later tonight on FOX 4 News at 9/10 PM!


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