KANSAS CITY, Mo, — We’re starting the day with lots of clouds in the region and those clouds may tend to hang on for awhile today with perhaps some occasional breaks.

A very weak disturbance may trigger a few very fleeting showers somewhere in the region this afternoon, but they should only produce a few hundredths of an inch or so of rain, if that, as they zip towards the northeast.

Warmer air is starting to move back into the region. Last night temperatures initially fell, but leveled out with the clouds in the region. The warmest day will likely be tomorrow, although clouds may temper the expected highs at this point.

The cold front is scheduled to move into the area in the early afternoon Thursday. While starting warm, temperatures will start falling in the mid-to-late afternoon from Kansas City northwest. So begins the mostly cold forecast for about 10-plus days as temperatures will be more December like than November-ish.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Mostly cloudy with a small chance that any one spot sees some rain in the afternoon. Highs in the low-to-mid-60s, breezy as well.

Tonight: Cloudy and breezy. Steady temperatures near 60 degrees.

Tomorrow: Hopefully we can crack open some holes in the clouds. If so, highs should pop well into the 70s. The record is 78 degrees. Gusts 30-40 mph possible.

Thursday: High chance of rain developing. After highs in the 70s, it’ll turn colder with temperatures dropping later in the afternoon into the 50s then 40s. Windy too.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Discussion:

I’ve gotten a few shots of the lunar eclipse this morning. For some, it worked out, for others, too many clouds. So it goes with gulf moisture streaming northwards.

This morning, there are a couple of small disturbances caught in the moisture feed down towards Oklahoma, moving towards the east-northeast. It’s not out of the question that one of these could create a couple of showers locally later today. Again, don’t cancel plan based on this small chance for any one spot.

Here’s radar from Pleasant Hill.

We’ll see how much sunshine we can end up getting today, if any. There are some thin spots in the clouds this morning, but there is a lot of moisture streaming northwards this morning as well.

This morning the 8 a.m. surface map shows much higher dew point south of the region. Dew point in the 50s and 60s are down towards Oklahoma and Texas. They’re not really coming northwards up the State Line at this point because our winds are persistent from the east-southeast direction. That is actually circulating some low-level dry air into the region this morning.

Dew points may increase later today, perhaps into the upper 40s, but we won’t get the juicier dew points here until later tomorrow morning. We should see dewpoints between 60-65 degrees or so tomorrow afternoon. That will help to make it feel like a bit of spring in the area with strong winds as well.

Temperatures tomorrow will be connected to breaks in the clouds. For some, it’s possible highs are only near 70 degrees. For others, temperatures may be well into the 70s. The record is 78 degrees in 1999. We’ll see. It could be close… the clouds though may make that record a bit harder to come by.

The average high for tomorrow is 56 degrees, so we’ll be well above that, not only tomorrow but Thursday as well.

Weather around the U.S.

Then the bigger change. Our strong cold front will be slicing into the Plains. This morning, the front is across the northern Rockies.

Temperatures behind that front are pretty darn cold by early November standards, 10 to almost 20 below zero across the U.S.-Canada border.

8AM temperatures

That cold air is gradually oozing southeastwards. You can see the anomalies nationwide here. They’re pretty impressive.

Reds and oranges are milder than average…greens/blues/purples are way colder than average.

This contrast at the surface helps to set up a likely big snowstorm, if not blizzard over the next couple of days as a strong area of low pressure, a surface storm, feeds off these two different air masses.

By Thursday morning, the surface map looks like this:

The blue is snow, heavy too. The orange and pink northwest of the low is mixed precipitation or ice potential.

The black lines on the map above are called isobars, or lines of equal pressure. The more isobars packed into a relatively small region, the stronger the winds are. Notice South Dakota/North Dakota: tightly packed isobars with areas of heavy snow. That is a setup for blizzard conditions.

This morning, Winter Storm Watches are up for the northern Plains area. We’ll see if there are any upgrades tomorrow.

Graphic via Pivotal Weather

Next cold front in Kansas City

So the front will be zipping through the region around lunchtime on Thursday. A small skinny line of rain and storms will likely be connected to the front as it pushes through the area between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. or so. Instability isn’t that great, but there is a lot of wind above us as this happens, so a rogue strong wind gust isn’t out of the question. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a large part of the region in a slight risk of severe weather. A brief wind gust to 60 mph is the main threat.

Areas farther east of the metro perhaps have a slightly higher risk. We’ll see how this plays out. I’m not convinced right now.

After the front passes, we should see a 20-degree drop in temperatures over the course of an hour or so, with strong winds behind the front as well. This should happen during the afternoon on Thursday as the colder air spills into the region.

Tropical Storm Nicole

Also of note is Tropical Storm Nicole, with tropical storm warnings in effect for all of the eastern Florida coastline.

Nicole has made the conversion to tropical characteristics today with deep convection now around the center of the storm. There should be some decent strengthening as it comes farther west with rather warm waters on its approach towards Florida.

A prolonged easterly wind fetch, some storm surge, and seasonal high tides means flooding issues for eastern parts of Florida. And with the shape of the northeast Florida coastline, it will likely be pretty rough. With the structure of the storm as well, the wind effects will be felt farther north than usual. That is an issue for northeast Florida into Georgia as well.

Here is some information from the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida:

From Jacksonville, Florida:

And down the coast from the Miami region.

The feature photo comes from Connie Jean Ward.

Joe