Joe’s Weather Blog: Milder interludes between storms (SUN-12/9)

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Good afternoon…another cold day out there with temperatures struggling to get to 32° early this afternoon. Th eskies are sunny though but without any wind to speak of (good thing and bad thing) there is nothing to really stir the air up all that much. As a result we are left to a weakening December sun to warm things up from our cold lows this morning. Hence the reason why we’re struggling today. Tomorrow will be a bit closer to average and then finally on Tuesday we’ll pop into the 50s. There are storms out there to track…one Wednesday…one Thursday…maybe something later next weekend…and more beyond that. The pattern is an active one and that means some temperature swings coming BUT there are no arctic air intrusions on the way for quite some time…perhaps even till Christmas week…but we will be on borrowed time I think for the last 10 days of December.

  • Forecast

Tonight: Fair skies and seasonable with lows in the teens to near 20°

Monday: Mostly sunny and seasonable with highs in the 30s to near 40°

Tuesday: Windy and warmer with highs in the 50-55° range. Winds may gust to 35 MPH

  • Discussion

Well there have been some big snows in parts of the country over the past 24 hours or so. Lubbock, TX had close to 10″ of snow…their average for an entire winter is 8.2″. Their December record is 10.5″ and there may be another snowmaker for them this week.

That was a BIG storm for them…

The snow is showing up on the satellite picture this afternoon in TX…the cyan color represents the snow on the ground.

Today the focus of the heaviest snow is into the state of NC and VA. It’s really coming down there although starting to wind down. 100s of thousands are without power and the western parts of NC which are rather mountainous are really getting clobbered.

Here are some totals over the last few hours…

Some 18″+ totals are in that mess!


Back home…or close to it…there is still a lot of snow on the ground…up in Nebraska!

With the exception of the clouds in eastern SD…that is mostly snow up there into IA…you can actually see the rivers carved out in the snowfield and also the Black Hills area of SD

Our weather is sort of interesting. There is another upper level storm dropping southwards through NE and into the state of KS tonight and tomorrow AM. IF the air wasn’t so dry..we might have some flurries or patches of snow…but that’s going to be tough to generate. Whatever slight chunk of cold air comes down with this will already be exiting the area in the afternoon so it’s possible we’re not as cold later Monday compared to today.

Then on Tuesday milder air will stream this way…thanks to SW there should be enough wind to sort of stir the air up a bit…this should allow a nice temperature pop…hopefully in the 50s

Wednesday another potent upper level storm will zip through the I-80 corridor…that will tug down some slightly cooler air into the area…and there could be some scattered showers in the area as well.

Then on Thursday another storm will get into the flow and zip by…probably to the south of the area. The system to watch is actually way out towards the western Aleutian Islands and is forecast to undergo various transformations over the next few days. The end game though is some sort of splitting trough (“U” in the flow aloft) where the bottom part of the “U” creates a new upper level storm. Where this split happens will determine our rain or snow risk on Thursday. I’m not convinced a this point that this is an impact event for KC but it needs to be monitored.

The EURO model has a high impact rain event for AR on THU with us getting much of anything.  Let’s go up to about 18,000 feet and see the differences between the 2 main models for 6AM Thursday…

Slide the slider to the right for the GFS and the left for the EURO.

Notice how the GFS is deeper with the developing system…and the EURO isn’t as deep at that time.

Then the models catch up with each other by 6AM Friday…

The problem is by the time the models are catching up to each other…the effects of the storm are moving away. The key for us is what happens on Thursday.

For a system 3000 miles away…I just can’t get myself revved up about dissecting it for too long on a Sunday afternoon.

I typically will refer to the ensembles at this point…and let me show you the forecast precip type for 6PM Thursday evening.

Remember the ensembles are multiple computer runs with different physics and initializations. The idea is to see if they converge on anything and by looking above many of the ensembles are saying this is not a lot for KC whatever it is but it’s close and worth watching for now.

There isn’t any cold air behind the storm of significance so I like the potential warm-up again heading into next weekend (50s for Saturday maybe).

Our feature photo comes from Jason Heimer‎ who is a construction worker at one of the developing hotels downtown. He took this picture at 4AM in the morning.



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