Joe’s Weather Blog: Repeated arctic blasts coming through (MON-1/21)

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Well that was a bummer last night for sure…I just looked at the ratings for the game and I don’t remember ever seeing higher ratings while in the KC area for any TV program in my almost 25 years of being here. So many devoted fans for the Chiefs. So it’s sort of a sad day for the Kingdom and it was a bummer too last night that we missed out on the Lunar Eclipse too. Low clouds quickly formed early in the evening and they weren’t going anywhere. I knew for days we’d have an issue with clouds but I thought they would be higher up and not as thick…another bummer for sure.

  • Forecast:

Today: Clouds with some thin spots every so often and highs in the 32° range. Windy too with gusts to 25 MPH possible

Tonight: Windy and steady to rising temperatures. Daybreak near 35°

Tuesday: Cloudy with periods of drizzle/mist and fog. Temperatures warming to 40-45° before falling into the 20s towards evening as a cold front moves through the region. Windy with south winds switching towards the NW later in the afternoon as the colder air rushes into the area again from the northwest.

Wednesday: Cold in the morning then some moderation in the afternoon with lows in the teens and highs near 32°

  • Discussion:

I’m going to say right off the bad the forecast from a temperature standpoint is going to change…and change almost on a daily basis. Why? Because we are going to be affected by various shots of arctic air from Tuesday evening through next weekend. The timing of those shots of air will vary and its critical to what happens during the day and night. The model data will not be able to play catch-up with this. The indications will be there BUT the timing will be off…typically by at least 12-24 hours or so.

Why is that important, well for some of the arctic shots…they come in fast…like later tomorrow afternoon and relax and move out fast…like Wednesday afternoon. About a 18 hour period where we’e in “it” then the air mass moves away and we go into quick westerly winds which help to moderate the air above us very quicly.

This will make temperature forecasting tough because as we get farther away from the day of the initial forecast…this timing will change. Let me show you why this is critical. Let’s start with Wednesday morning and to do this best…let’s go up a few thousand feet in the atmosphere.

This map is for 12AM Wednesday. Our temperatures at the 925 mb level or about 3,000 feet up are down to -11°C or around 12°F

You can clearly see the cold dump of air coming into the area.

Then by the end of the day…around 6PM that cold core is zipping away and stronger westerly (downsloping) winds are moving into the region…

So our temperatures may well go up overnight Wednesday (or at least hold steady) before the next blast comes our way sometime on Thursday.

Here is the map for 9AM Thursday…here we go again.

Those maps are from the overnight NAM model…this mornings runs are similar except a bit colder for the plunges.

This is a repetitive pattern that goes on for about a week or so…and you can see how IF there is a 12 hour speed-up of the fronts or slow-down of the fronts that we may be in a milder bubble of air at a different time. For example IF that milder bubble of air is with us during the day then we’ll warm-up nicely…if the reverse then we’ll be colder. IF the bubble of warm air is with us overnight…then temperatures don’t drop off and may even go up…IF the cold air is here overnight…we can tank to near 0°

What does this all mean for temperatures…well we’re on a roller-coaster for the next 10 day or so…look at the EURO forecast for highs and lows…and this will change.

Now the GFS data…

See the HUGE difference in FRI and next Tuesday? Good luck with that!

The overall pattern favors these fast moving hits of arctic air because of a familiar set-up…a big ridge develops in the western US and up into western Canada…and a big dip develops in the eastern US and eastern Canada. This forces cold air to drive southwards from the northern latitudes.

If we go up higher…to about 18,000 feet or so…you an get an idea of the pattern. The following map is valid for Sunday evening and you can see the flow going up from western Canada and Alaska and dumping down in the northern latitudes through central Canada and into the northern US.

That’s a cold pattern. It may relax for a day or two every so often…but overall that’s cold for awhile.

As far as snow chances go…yes there will be a few chances with the right placed arctic wave dropping southwards…but, like yesterday, it will take the right combination of placement, saturating a usually dry cold air mass, and enough moisture to get things going…possible but not enough to go hog wild. I am wondering though IF we get in the right spot…these would be the dusting to 3″ type disturbances that can make things a mess depending on timing. Just something to remember down the road.

Our feature photo comes from ‎Savannah Whitesell‎


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