Joe’s Weather Blog: A bitterly cold start to March (MON-2/25)

So the month of February isn’t exactly going to go down as a pleasant one. Temperatures are running almost 4.5° below average and it’s been overall cold. We actually started off mild…those first few days were pretty good. Remember the 3rd…64°! Alas it’s been pretty much down hill ever since. March won’t start well either. I’ve been banging the cold weather drums for awhile about that…and that banging just gets louder and louder with every passing day. Amplifying this is the fact that the average highs towards the 1st few days of March are close to 50°…so when I look a the maps/data for the 1st weekend of March…and I see us struggling to hit 20° or so…we’re talking some 30° below average. That’s impressive.

  • Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy and chilly. There will be a spread of highs today from the 20s north to near 50 south. A warm front will be draped near the I-70 corridor…perhaps a couple of counties south of KC…and that will help to separate the two air masses. Also of note…the snow that is still on the ground in N MO.

Tonight: Increasing clouds and cold with lows in the teens

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and cold with high in the 30s

Wednesday: A chance of some morning freezing mist or drizzle then cloudy. Cold with highs in the 30s

  • Discussion:

I want to let you know that I think tomorrow I’m going to take a blog day off…these comprehensive and detailed write-ups have come for weeks on end it feels like. There has always been something to write about…and it’s time for a one or two day break. So let’s start with a day tomorrow…and we’ll take it from there. Also of note is that the blog will not get updated for about 5-10 days next week either…consider this a shot across the bow…I’ll be taking some time off and getting in an early vacation. I’ve chosen a good time to get out of town…because…

Oh My The Cold.

If there is nothing else to remember…it’s the cold. It will be relentless and nasty…especially for March.

The next issue is the possibility of snow with all this at some point. Right now there is nothing that heavy showing up…but as I mentioned I always get nervous when I see an atypical cold air mass of this extent dropping into the Plains, especially as the atmosphere is starting to warm up farther southwards..and the moisture is starting to get a bit more prominent.

So that will be the focus of the blog today.

It’s no secret that this cold has been a pain in the $#^&@ for weeks now. There have been small interludes of a break but compared to the past winters…it seems the reverse. Interludes of cold with mildness predominating. Perhaps that is just perception.

Let’s look and see…December through February…2015





So sort of up and down…

As we look at some additional data…not only for the month so far but also over the past several months…

The data shows…the average highs…lows…average overall…and precip totals and the rankings of that over the course of over 100 years of weather record history.

There is a lot of blue (colder) rankings and green (wetter) values in that whole mess.

Not a great combination. There is some good news though at least for farmers from one perspective…their retaining ponds/lakes should be full and ready to go for what surely will come at some point this year…dry periods. One of many issues though is that it may be a delayed spring planting season at the current rate. The water in the fields whether apparent or not…is just there…perhaps frozen in the soil…and with all the cold coming…that soil will either refreeze or freeze up preventing as much evaporation as what would be more typical. That means when the soils do thaw out…that moisture is still there in the form of mud…so it will take some real prolonged dryness and some wind to start to dry things out. I’m sure there are other ramifications that I’m not thinking of.

So let me show you the data…these are surface temperatures anomalies (usually I show you these air masses fro about 5,000 feet up).

Let’s start with Saturday…

Now Sunday…

Now Monday next week…

Tuesday next week…

In all the maps above…note the numbers in the upper right side…the extremes from one way to the other…note the lowest number compared to average…almost 50° BELOW average in the core of that air mass. That’s crazy right there. The EURO does have a tendency to overdo these values somewhat…so let’s say it’s off by 10°…that’s still 40° below average. All the maps above are snapshots in time for 6PM on the specific days above.

You get the point.

It’s not as if the GFS thinks the opposite either…

No good…not at all.

This is the set-up for essentially the first 10 days of the month…there may be a brief break later on in that time frame…but the pattern is just loaded for cold.

I can’t help but think there is still a snowstorm coming…or two down the road…I just don’t think were done with the snow scenarios at this point. The GFS and the Canadian are still cranking up an accumulating snow on Friday as this transition comes through the region. There would be precip type issues at first…some sort of rain>snow switch…and in reality the GFS has the accumulating snow mostly north of I-70 at this point as the cold air dumps into the region. Even it’s own ensembles are farther north too with accumulating snow…

That will be figured out as the week moves along. Our feature photo comes from Sandra Cox…out towards Leeton, MO. She’s on a role with these pictures

I’ll see you on the news tonight on FOX 4 at 5/6/9/10!




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