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Joe’s Weather Blog: KC Metro “upgraded” to Winter Storm Warning (FRI-1/11)

Good late Friday afternoon. The KC Metro area has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. I was having a twitter discussion with my colleagues out at the NWS in Kansas City about an hour ago regarding what I felt was an over-reliance on meeting this silly 6″ of snow in 12 hours criteria that warrants the upgrade. My thought process with the was what I’ve been relaying in the weather blog for the last two days. How much moisture do we get from 6PM tonight to 9AM tomorrow…then convert that to snow with a lower than typical snow ratio since the snow is still wet and convert that to inches. We’re probably going to be straddling 6″ give or take a couple inches anyway and since…oh I don’t know…is there something big happening in KC tomorrow :)…this will be a higher impact type storm, especially for morning travelers. This cooperation between the media and the NWS is why the system works so well (most of the time). We had a similar conversation before the Blizzard Warning came out and it’s great that they at least listen to my thoughts. We may disagree on some things but at least can get my thoughts to them!

  • Forecast:

Tonight: Snow continues…at times heavy. Accumulations will be 5-8″ in the KC Metro area. There may be a few areas with less and more. That would be a decent average. It will be a heavy wet snow and most of the accumulation should come before 8AM tomorrow.

Saturday: Snow continues at times…mostly light. There may be a few heavier patches in there though and an additional 1″ is not out of the question in spots. The snow really winds down later tomorrow. Highs in the low 30s

Sunday: Cloudy and dreary. Highs near 30°

  • Discussion:

Well this whole thing has been a matter of timing the sticking snow. As I wrote about earlier and yesterday too…earlier switchover and sticking snow (like what I’m seeing out there now) means more total snow. So I’m adding 2″ to my previous forecast.

Let’s start with radar…

The vast majority of this is now snow as of 4:30 PM.

Temperatures have now cooled down to around 32° so the snow that is sticking more and more will really start sticking after sunset.

As I mentioned the NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning…there was some consternation about whether or not we would get upgraded by some of our viewers who contacted me personally. I mentioned that the NWS has criteria about what actually constitutes a “warning” level issuance and I sent out that information in a tweet earlier today.

Most of my colleagues at the NWS agree that sometimes these criteria levels don’t take into account “impacts”. I don’t want to get into a whole discussion on this now…but they do sometimes have a bit of “wiggle room” to adjust things and they decided to do that this afternoon. Does it really matter if one part of town gets 5″ and other gets 8″? Not in my book.

So these are the latest advisories and warnings…

Wont bother this time with model data…we’re down to nowcasting right now so check in with MB tonight on the news for any updates. I may not be able to get a blog update out before I go to bed tonight. IF I do it will be around 9PM though.

About the accumulations. Would I be surprised if someone comes in with a 10″ total, especially on the MO side…nope. again I think 5-8″ represents a good Metro average but as there is with any snowstorm…there are places that will get an extra 1-2″ or so. My biggest concern is areas a couple of counties east of KC where amounts may be closer to 10-12+” especially along I-70 from east of KC towards Columbia.

I just received this from Richmond…seems to be a solid 2-3″ already…that may be one of the areas that gets close to 10+” from this.

Amounts should trail off the farther north you get towards 36 highway…perhaps more in the 3-6″ range up there especially towards NW MO and NE KS.

OK that’s it for now…snow lovers…enjoy this one…it’s going to stick to everything.

Feature photo is a pretty one this afternoon…from Terri Bruntmyer



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