Stay weather aware Thursday

Joe’s Weather Blog: Winter storm coming tonight into KC region (FRI-1/11)

Good morning…some rain out there…maybe a bit of sleet as well but the temperatures to start the morning are running in the upper 30s so if you need to be out and about today, aside from wet roads…you should be fine to do what you need to do. Tonight though things will be a different story. The rain will change over to snow…and it will come down hard for awhile tonight. The biggest snow since the blizzard is expected except we won’t have those crazy 40-50 MPH winds like we had in the blizzard. Travel overnight will not be good, and the roads won’t be much better tomorrow morning either. Please be aware of this…

  • Forecast: (Update coming out sometime near 4PM)

Today: Rain/sleet at times…increasing in the afternoon then mixing with or changing over to snow during rush hour. Roads will remain wet for rush-hour. Temperatures will slowly come down from the upper 30s to the mid 30s later today.

Tonight: Winter weather advisory in KC with winter storm warnings in effect east of the Metro towards and east of 65 highway. Snow, heavy at times will start accumulating. Temperatures will fall from the mid 30s to the lower 30s. The heavy snow will be the key to accumulations as lighter snows may not accumulate as quickly. My forecast is an upgraded 3-6″ total in the KC area with heavier amounts towards central MO and the Lakes region of 6-10″ possible.

Saturday: Snow tapers but may not totally end until later tomorrow afternoon. Additional accumulations after 9AM or so should be pretty light BUT there may be a few heavier bands swinging through that could give some an additional 1″ of sloppy snow in the afternoon. Highs only in the 32-35° range.

Sunday: Cloudy and cold with highs only near 30°

  • Discussion:

A winter storm will be developing in the region overnight. This is still a bit of a weird system, if only because of the current temperatures…well into the 30s. I’d be much more inclined to pull a 6-10″ forecast for the KC area IF the temperatures were 5° cooler. They’re not…nor will they drop fast today either it appears. They will slowly come down…and it won’t really rain steadily till the afternoon hours…and that’s when the temperatures will gradually come down.

Tough to get accumulating snow when the temperatures are over 36°…especially on the roads.

Let’s start with the surface map…

Temperatures are in RED.

Now the dew points (in green) are lower…so there is some room now for some evaporational cooling but notice the temperatures in SE KS where the rain is steadier…still in the upper 30s too. So this will be a SLOW temperature drop this afternoon.

Radar shows more rain coming in from the SW…

There are some heavier echoes this morning towards the I-70 corridor. Looking at the upper air sounding…there is some room for cooling aloft and that’s why we’re getting some sleet reports right now.

The atmosphere will continue to cool down as the day goes along…and we should be set up for heavier snow, at times, later in the rush hour and towards 10PM.

Then the issue is when the snow starts sticking. I thought yesterday I sort of had the right explanation. IF we have sticking snow by 3PM (I doubt it)…that means we’re set up for a big snowstorm. Accumulations could be 6-10″. IF we have sticking snow at 6PM…some areas may easily see 4-8″. IF the snow starts sticking towards 9PM…I think 3-6″ is a reasonable forecast (my current thinking) and IF the snow doesn’t really start sticking till 12AM…then this may be ore of a 2-4″ snow.

Again at this point 3-6″ is what I’m thinking for the KC area. For areas farther east…there will be more…here are the current advisories/warnings. As of this morning the KC area is under a Winter Weather Advisory

This aggravating government shutdown is preventing me from posting some model maps that auto update for you…so I don’t want to post the current for this morning short range model data because it will be outdated this afternoon.

I continue to be more focused on the moisture  that should be cranked out between 6PM tonight and 6AM tomorrow. That should be the heart of the sticking snow part of the storm. Right now I’m thinking that amount should be in the 1/3″ to 3/4″ range in the KC region. MOre towards the SE and E of KC.

Now the snow may not immediately stick at 6PM…there may still be some “residual” warmth (unless it’s pouring down snow) so we may wait another 1-2+ hours for the snow to stick (again unless it’s pouring down snow to overwhelm any melting).

So with that thought process…here is the morning run of the NAM model…and this map shows the forecast snow totals from 6PM>6AM tomorrow. Again IF we have sticking snow before 6PM tonight…these numbers are too low.

Now we still may have some sticking snow after 9AM tomorrow…so let’s expand that time frame above to show the 24 hour totals from 6PM tonight to 6PM tomorrow.

That seems to be a roughly 3-6″ event for KC…with 6-10+” off towards central and eastern MO and that goes with my thinking mostly. Also the heavier totals south of US 50 as well…Sedalia and the Lakes region take notice.

The hi-res NAM model sort of follows suit…


There are some strong signals for heavy snow tonight…a heavy wet accumulating snow. The upper level features and circulations are taking some nice tracks for good snows in the KC region…the moisture that is loading up in the atmosphere will be good so it’s just a matter of how much of that moisture is snow and how fast it starts accumulating.

So at this point I’ll go with the most common numbers in the KC Metro area to be in the 3-6″ range and IF the snow is sticking earlier than 6PM…I think 4-8″ is the reasonable forecast. 

I’ll try and get another blog out this afternoon towards 3-4PM or so.

Molly gets the feature photo today…


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