Joe’s Weather World: The week ahead and your perceptions on severe weather (SUN-3/31)

Happy Sunday…a cold start out there this morning with the expected hard freeze hitting. This isn’t unusual for late March or early April for that matter. The snow of yesterday is over with…leaving a brief coating in a few spots for a couple of minutes…overall though the weekend forecast has worked out perfectly and while today will be about 10° below average…there are some more seasonable days coming.

You may, or may not remember that one of my pet projects that I like to talk about to whomever will listen…is revisiting how and why severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. In my opinion, as well as most others, this process is broken. It’s not the fault of the NWS for the issuance of them (mostly) it’s the fault of the criteria in the 1st place. In my opinion that criteria is set too low…1″ hail or apprx. 60 MPH winds. I would like to see it strengthened to something more vigorous so that we could see some of the “chum” of these minimal criteria storms that rarely do anything very impactful eliminated.

A student who I’ve know for a few years (Gaby Gomez from KU)  is intrigued by this process as well and is researching it a bit more in depth. I love this. She has put together a pretty quick survey to see what you think of all this. It’s about 17 questions and it takes only a few minutes to complete. You can help her out…and me to a certain extent by taking her survey for me! The survey just sort of asks where you get your information about severe weather and your perceptions of the risk etc.

Severe weather survey

  • Forecast:

Today: Sunny and cool with highs near 45°

Tonight: Clear with another hard freeze and lows in the 25-30° and another hard freeze for many.

Monday: Mostly sunny and seasonable with highs near 60°

Tuesday: Increasing clouds with a few spotty showers possible and highs in the 60s

  • Discussion:

It’s possible yesterday was the last snow of the season. Maybe…maybe not. We officially had a “trace” up at KCI yesterday and some might have had a bit more than that. It was coming down pretty good for awhile in some areas but with temperatures near 35° and this being late March…it was tough for anything to really stick for any length of time. Just basically a reminder that it can still snow even though we’re in April. The 2.8″ of snow we’ve seen this month is .8″ above the “average” of 2″ for the month of March.

Remember last April it snowed for 3 straight Sunday’s…that would be tough to replicate I think.

Data this morning shows a series of somewhat weaker waves coming through the Plains but without any strong wave to tap into some colder air up towards Canada…they look to be all rain systems…and that will take us through the 1st 7-10 days of April or so. It won’t be perfectly dry though…but in terms of larger types of storms…there don’t appear to be any significant ones for awhile. No complaints.

There will be a few things to track this week…and we’re sort of coming back to the time of the year where we need to watch specific systems to see IF they can generate little pockets of cold air to change rain to snow locally….that gets a bit tougher to do the farther into April we go. Not impossible…again remember last April. Just somewhat tougher. We average 6/10″ of snow in April…so again it’s not impossible to get snow.

We’re going to close out the month with 3.29″ of moisture…2.8″ of snow is involved in that. We’re going to finish the snow season at least 10″ above average…in the graph below the brown line shows the average snow trace through a snow season in KC. The green line shows 2018/19

This will be at least the most snow we’ve seen since the winter of 2012-13 (31.3″).

In the end…November…January…February…and March were all above average for snow up at KCI.

It will be the wettest period from 10/1 to the end of March that we’ve seen in over 130 years of weather records in KC.

Almost 2″ better than the previous record in 1942.


The week ahead will mostly be typical of Spring around these parts. It’s pretty muddy out there for sure after the 3 day storm moved away leaving some areas with quite a bit of moisture…mostly rain.

Here is a look at the approximate 7 day moisture totals…

Some 2-3″ totals in there.

The next 7 days will not be perfectly dry though…there will be other opportunities for moisture and the next 2 weeks overall look to see above average amounts of moisture…probably rain, around the region.

The 1st opportunity comes on Wednesday. A weak front will slide into the area Tuesday then stall and retreat northwards on Wednesday. There may be a few scattered shower in N MO early Tuesday with the front…but for KC it doesn’t do much for us until it bellies up and starts going back north as a warm front. It’s NOT the greatest set-up for us to get a lot of rain…but for N MO the set-up is better for at least some rain from this. Depending on where the front bellies up…south of KC…KC…north of KC (doubtful) will dictate the better rain chances. IF the front is still well south of KC Wednesday…there may be a better chance of some rain in the Metro…

IF the front is well south of KC…it may NOT be able to go up to the north of the Metro at all. This is what the EURO shows…and IF that occurs…possible…then rain chances are on the uptick again on Thursday as a storm moves along that front towards Arkansas. IF that happens perhaps a better chance of some heavier rains developing towards the Ozarks and the I-44 corridor.

Again let’s watch the progress of the front on Tuesday and how far south it gets of KC.

So some rain…but maybe the better chances of 1″+ totals would be north and south of the KC Metro area.

At this point I don’t see too much of a risk of severe weather and with April starting tomorrow (oh my) severe weather threats will be talked/written about quite a bit over the next few months I’m sure. The bigger severe weather risks for next week (WED/THU) appear to be down towards OK/AR and the deep south more so than this far north.

Speaking of which…take a look at this. This was shot in CO the other day…then after all this…there was snow in the same area the nexxt day I think. Shows you what can happen in the early Spring.

Our feature photo comes from Lucinda Crenshaw of the snow that fell yesterday that stuck for a few minutes where she was.


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