Joe’s Weather Blog: 40s to 20s…and that’s a problem (TUE-1/22)
Good Tuesday morning…I may try and get an update out later this afternoon or this evening as time permits because from 7PM to 12AM or so things may start happening…the temperatures will be crashing and whatever moisture we have out there will start switching to some sort of freezing rain/drizzle/sleet/snow thing…and it may get messy on the roads tonight.
You should be fine for the evening rush hour in my opinion but we’ll watch that carefully for you. Roads will tend to retain some warmth for awhile but some exposed surfaces…deck/windshields may see a glaze develop before 7PM or so, especially on the west side of the Metro
Tonight: Temperatures continue to fall…down into the teens by daybreak with wind chills close to 0°. Ice will eventually change over to some light snow. Accums in KC should be 1″ or less mostly at his point…a bit more towards the NW of the Metro and north of KC as well. Less towards the SE of KC.
Wednesday: Cold in the morning with lows 10-15° to chilly in the afternoon with highs rebounding into the 28-33° range. Skies should be clearing out so it will be a brighter day (finally)
- Update at 10PM
The issue is the ice with some tail end snow it appears. There’s been a persistent small layer of above freezing air in the region up at about 4-5000′ or so. this means the snowflakes melt…then refreeze as either sleet or freezing rain on contact with the ground. This persistent area has kept the snow from coming together and will cut the 2″ potential down drastically I think…plus all should be moving away towards 2-3AM or so.
That small layer of air is keeping us from having a 1-4″ snow in KC.
It’s a complicated forecast for sure. Last night some model data, not all of it, jumped aboard the NAM solution which was to drop the developing surface low to the west of the region…and take it considerably farther south. It was a solution that I didn’t have a ton of confidence with because we were at the time, and still this morning, seeing a lot of warm air getting pulled northwards. This would keep the surface low from tracking as far south as the NAM though. The NAM model also had temperatures today in the mid 30s…essentially keeping the cold air in place. That too probably won’t work. IF you jumped on that outcome and jerked the forecast, today you would’ve predicted 35° for a high. As I start typing this…we’re into the upper 30s. That won’t work. I didn’t jump on that outcome. The thing is the surface low will be tracking towards the south of KC in the end it appears…which is a favorable snow track, BUT I’m still seeing something not coming together fast enough for a big snow in KC. It’s something to monitor though for the rest of the day.
With all that said you can see the changes coming…here is the 8AM surface map…the low itself should come towards the ENE…and allow the 40s to the south of KC early this morning to creep north of I-70 early this afternoon.
The thin colored lines are the isotherms…lines of equal temperatures…you can see the drop off from the 50° temperature in Wichita (red numbers) to the 15° temperature in far NW KS.
Here is a close up of KS…via the KS Mesonet…and you can see the change in temperatures at 8AM from the southeast to the northwest.
52° in Sedan to 14° in Sherman and Cheyenne.
Here is the 11AM map I just sent out to twitter.
So when it moves through…the temperatures will start crashing.
We should be in the upper 30s-45° range early this afternoon…there will be quite the variation from northern Platte County to Cass/Franklin County it appears.
Here is the HRRR forecast for 2PM today.
Now the same thing for temperatures at 6PM tonight.
See the drop that’s occurring…
Teens coming after 12AM.
In terms of the wintry set-up for precipitation. We will be liquid for awhile today…probably into rush hour.
Then we’ll see a switchover from the west to the east. Here is the HRRR model for 6PM…
Then for 9PM…
We may see some decent snow rates for awhile…so that’s why last night I mentioned the potential for a dusting to 2″ for tonight combined with the flash freeze scenario.
The NAM models are both somewhat more aggressive with the snow overnight. Cranking out 2-4″ worth. I see that option on the table more towards the NW part of the region…up towards NE KS and NW MO. Areas off towards the east of KC will have a tough time getting a lot of snow I think. Why? Well look at the temperatures a bit higher than the surface…towards 5,000 feet or so. Those values in are °C…but the freeze line at that level is still near the I-35 corridor. So you can see how complicated this is, especially from the State Line eastwards. Oh the map below is for 10PM tonight!
That’s why I don’t want to go too crazy with snow amounts in KC just yet…because the wintry mix of whatever…sleet/ice/snow…may complicate snow totals.
Regardless don’t discount the flash freeze potential from this scenario…especially on untreated surfaces.
The NAM model is much more aggressive with this..cranking out about 3″ for KC and close to 8″ towards the IA border…even as I time the switch more towards 7PM for the accumulating snow potential. However that is an issue because it too has above 32° above us through 7-8PM or so…at least from I-35 eastwards
Boy there is a lot of cold air getting into the pattern over the next 10+ days. There will be all sorts of gyrations coming…and we may be seeing some near 0° mornings too depending on a few things.
So let’s go with dusting to 2″ potential for this at this point.
Our feature photo is from Sarah Holloway towards the NW of Trenton, MO of the Super Blood Wolf Moon. At least someone saw it! I thought they were stuck in the clouds too…I guess not.