Joe’s Weather Blog #2-Now back to regular snow programming (FRI-3/1)

First of all thanks for all the well wishes regarding my future at FOX 4. In case you didn’t read the morning blog…here is the link so you can get caught up with what I’m referring to. I’m looking forward to the change but will miss my weekends with you! Thanks again for all the comments/emails/tweets etc.

  • Forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy and cold with lows near 20°

Saturday: Variable clouds with colder air filtering into the region. Highs near 30

Saturday night: Snow arrives but probably VERY late at night into Sunday morning. Lows will start dropping to the teens towards daybreak.

Sunday: The morning wind blown snow quickly ends before lunch, if not earlier, then turning mostly sunny and bitterly cold for March…for winter too. Highs in the teens with sub-zero wind chills. Accumulations may range from 2″ across areas of the far northern part of KC to 5-6″ towards the far south part of the KC metro. I’ll have a map for you in the discussion.

  • Discussion:

So nothing really has changed too much. We’re faced with the same situation…initially dry air to overcome…a wave(s) coming through the fast moving flow from the west to the east. Some interestingly placed jet stream winds, north and south of the KC area…and bitterly cold air. The issue is that we’re not dealing with a real “storm” locally.

I want to take you back to the blizzard in November…remember this surface map?

It was classic…35 MPH winds for hours…heavy snow…low visibility..the whole 9 yards.

Now here is where we are for Sunday.

Notice the change in the surface low…

The surface low is way far to the south…

Now lets go farther up…to about 18,000 feet or so…see the sharp look to the storm? Again this was as the storm was moving away from KC in November.

Now Sunday afternoon…after the snow ends…

Do you notice the small dip in central MO…that is the wave…so you can really see a compare/contrast between the two features. The more powerful blizzard…and the weaker, whatever it is, sliding through the region.

Now that doesn’t mean it won’t snow…very likely it will…and accumulate. Temperatures will be crashing into the single digits later in the day. This cold air will be very efficient in creating accumulating snow.

The “wave” though is a hot mess…and while I think the EURO is overdoing the moisture totals…I still think we can get 1/4″ out of this broad general lift.

So with 15:1 ratios…perhaps 20:1…that should give us a pretty even 2-4″. Now some can do better. The most favored areas to do this is towards the south side of KC and points southwards…the new NAM just came out with this “liquid” equivalent…

The hi-res data which actually may do better in this scenario especially has this for liquid.

That is some 1/2″+ totals 3 counties south of the Metro…now that would equate to 6-8″ of snow with the fluff factor.

So where did that leave me this morning when I created my snow map…

That heavier swath towards the south doesn’t mean that entire area will get over 6″…it means that area especially may be more vulnerable to some of those higher totals. The data above suggests I may be 1″ or so to high around KC and maybe need to shove that highest potential another county to the south.

On the negative side of this…the dry air is going to be an issue I think…at least through 12AM Sunday. Let’s see IF that is a bigger issue than what I think…and you can see how I’ve painted northern MO with getting less. Obviously things can shift north or south…and that too is a complication.

What I think the hi-res NAM is pointing out…is that this system will have small (width-wise) west to east bands of some heavier totals…where they sets up though is an issue and really won’t be deciphered fully until we see them start setting up.

The latest concerning watches/advisories is below…and this should auto-update.

The blue counties are under a Winter Storm Watch…if any counties go pink…that’s a warning and if some counties go purple…that’s an advisory.

I’m less in love with this set-up…again this is basically a fast moving wave broken into pieces that will give us several hours of decent snow rates…before things lighten up…and speed away. See the map below…that’s up there at around 18,000 feet…note the 3-5 different areas of red colors…or where there is more “vorticity” and “lift” ahead of those little features and sinking air behind them. Lots of pockets of lift but just an overall mess really.

That thing is flying by before 9AM…so this snow window is short too.

So let’s go about this again…for the KC Metro

Dusting to 2″: 100%

2-4″: 85%

4-8″: 40%

Over 8″: 0%

If the air wasn’t as cold as it was…I’d be cutting these numbers but I just don’t want to discount the snow ratios at this point. Light fluffy snow accumulates rather nicely. With the wind blowing it might be tough to measure anyway as gusts may exceed 25 MPH.

Our feature photo come from Mary Jo Seever up towards Warnock Lake in Atchison.

Again thanks for all the kind words today from the previous blog.


We’ve all taken shots at a local TV meteorologist at one point or another, and we’ve certainly seen your comments on social media.

Just why is it so difficult to figure out how much snow is actually going to fall? Pouring rain, days of snow, temperatures swings that make your head spin. Why won’t Mother Nature just play along?

Take it from five experienced forecasters, including me, who know all to well: Predicting the weather isn’t as easy as it might seem. They dive into the complexities that make up Midwestern forecasting in a new podcast, “Why We Love to Hate Our Meteorologists.”

Check out the new podcast below.

I also have my own weather podcast, “Joe’s Weather World.” Listen to my latest episode here.

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