Stay Weather Aware Tuesday

Joe’s Weather Blog: White Christmas chances (MON-12/17)

Good morning…another great day is lining up for the KC region as temperatures will again pop well into the 50s after after a weekend of mid 50s in the KC area after some pretty chilly mid 20s in the morning. I’m hoping this isn’t our January thaw now because you can see the set-up to a more active weather pattern showing up next week and beyond. Whether that means more snow or not remains to be seen but the flow will be fast and wavy and that means at least some more players will be on the ball field to get something going.

  • Forecast:

Today: Sunny and mild with highs well into the 50s again

Tonight: Clear skies and cool with lows near 30°

Tuesday: Increasing clouds and breezy with highs in the 50s

Wednesday: Some light rain is possible at times (not a lot for totals though) with highs near 50°

  • Discussion:

What if this is our winter thaw? Seriously. Bear with me for a second. We started with the cold weather back in October and November…the early snows…over 8″ worth…and now for the last couple of weeks the lack of cold and snow. Seems like this is what would typically happen in January of a typical” winter right…you’d start winter in early DEC…then there would be a break of a couple of weeks or so in January followed by more cold and snow threats.

It’s something that I started thinking about over the weekend as the weather was so nice outside. Except this time there is a lack of snow in many areas of the Plains so our “thaw” is more pronounced than what happens in January.

That in and of itself is sort of weird too because when over the last 5 years or so have we had a “typical” winter around here.

Anyway…you can’t deny the nicer weather since early December at least over the last 10 days…below are the temperatures in relation to average. These are in °C so you can almost double those numbers on the far right side for anomalies.


Specifically for KC…we’re on a roll over the last week+. I’ve highlighted the anomalies and since the 11th we’re on a roll which will continue for the next couple of days.

So this week will get colder in time…especially later in the week. Nothing dramatic but THU/FRI will be cooler.

Then we start getting into a more active weather pattern next week…and this means a series of systems coming through the Pacific and into the Plains.

Usually you need some sort of combination of cold air (to support snow)…moisture to get the snow…and a storm system to create the snow…and that’s how you get accumulating snow around these parts.

The issue for us heading into Christmas is getting all 3 of these things to come together. That will be the trick..and while the EURO especially shows some interesting waves coming through…temperatures are at best marginal at this point (but could become more favorable) and the moisture situation isn’t the greatest at this point it appears.

As I started with almost a week ago…and am still keeping. In my mind right now the chance of a White Christmas in KC is about 5%. I’ve been tempted for the last few days to double that scant chance…and remember we’re talking about 1″ of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Last year we pulled a rabbit out of our hat with snow before Christmas to give us our 1″ criteria. This year we’re going to need to work even harder.

There will be a system coming through on the 23rd it appears…and actually something sort of interesting. It could produce some snow…then there is a system on Christmas Day itself that could create some snow…at least on the EURO data.

The 23rd system and the Christmas system is also there on the GFS data. There are better snow chances on the 23rd on the GFS (not a lot) than on the Christmas system because the Christmas system on the GFS brings in too much “warm” air ahead of it and gives us better rain chances.

So just off the GFS…here is the snow depth forecast from the GFS for Christmas Day…not encouraging.

Let’s look at the EURO potential…and the next map is a look at the ensembles and the probability of 1″ of snow over a 24 hour period from midnight on the 24th to midnight on the 25th.

That won’t do it either…but…

The EURO operational model does try and cook something up…and that’s why I’m leery about totally discounting any threat at all.

There’s something in there…

That something is a weak and fading wave that is lifting quickly through the Plains…see that dip?

That is a ray of hope…now the model still has the temperatures a pinch too warm below 5,000 feet…but that could easily trend colder. Note as well the bigger storm across the western US…that will dive into the SW pat of the country. It’s going to probably bring in milder air after Christmas with perhaps a bigger rain before the New Year…but that storm could be a big storm for the Plains before the end of the year.

Finally the Canadian model which never met a snow forecast in the long term it didn’t like…especially in the winter. That’s not encouraging.

Oh and for the record…now 4 days away!

Finally…did you miss this yesterday…it was the 6th annual Lighting of the Joe…

It was gloriously dopey.

Our feature photo comes from ‎Tracey Sunderhuse-Shearer‎ down in Linn valley, KS

Have a great day!



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