KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a pretty darn cold morning out there thanks to a cold front that pushed through the region late yesterday. Temperatures peaked at 52 degrees and tanked from there, all the way down to 9 degrees this morning. We will struggle to get above 32 degrees today.
No worries though, because the colder air that has moved in will be on the retreat tonight aided by increasing south winds that will get gusty towards daybreak and tomorrow. This will allow highs to surge well into the 50s over the weekend.
The next cold front is weak and due later Monday and there may actually be a storm next week, perhaps sometime Wednesday into Thursday. That may bring us some decent rain. We could use it.
Kansas City Forecast:
Today: Sunny and cold highs near 33 degrees.
Tonight: Clear with an initial drop in temperatures into the low to mid-20s before temperatures start rising before midnight. And when you wake up, we should already be in the 30s.
Saturday: Windy and milder. Gusts over 30 mph possible. Some clouds as well filtering out the sunshine. Highs in the mid-50s.
Sunday: More sunshine with less wind. Highs in the mid-to-upper 50s.
The colder air that has flowed into the region is impressive aided by snow cover that’s up towards the north of the region. The colder air has come over that snow cover and become a bit colder, or didn’t modify as it raced through the area last night. You can see that snow cover in the chart below:
That’s a good deal of snow from roughly Interstate 80 northwards.
The 9 a.m. surface map showing the temperatures in red is cold.
Meanwhile the area of high pressure that has moved into the region will start moving away tonight.
Weather around the U.S.
Meanwhile the arctic blast back east is very impressive. Here are the 9 a.m. temperatures with readings falling:
This air mass back east will be impressive.
The tropopause is the top layer of the troposphere and marks the line between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
Once in the stratosphere, the temperatures start to increase.
These bitterly cold air masses actually “sink” the atmosphere, so air that is typically up 20,000 feet or so is actually MUCH closer to the ground. For example, the tropopause this morning is roughly 6.6 miles above KC on the balloon launch from Topeka.
So when you have mountains, for example Mt Washington in New Hampshire, and its elevation is more than 6,000 feet, these brutally cold air masses can bring the tropopause down to the summit. So let’s see how that is going this morning:
Yup… pretty darn cold. That wind chill is minus 81 degrees and dropping.
This is what that looks like.
Rain chance in KC
The next potential change coming is rain. There will be a front coming into the area later Monday night with a rain chance, especially for areas south and east of I-35.
There will also be a storm coming: the one that’s off the coast of Alaska and towards the northern Pacific Ocean.
That will come into the northwestern U.S. on Sunday and drop towards the Four Corners region on Monday, before potentially breaking into a couple of pieces. The southern piece cuts off in Texas and then drifts northwards into Kansas and Missouri. The air will be warm ahead of this feature, and in a normal winter, this could be a snow maker for us locally.
That isn’t out of the question on the backside of things, but it’s really a needle in the haystack scenario with the storm chilling the atmosphere down enough to allow that to happen. It may not be able to totally do it near the State Line because the atmosphere is so mild overall as the system is coming into it.
Something to watch at least. Perhaps better chances towards central Kansas.
Hopefully though we get a good rain from this. We average 1.5 inches of precipitation in February.
The feature photo is from Terri Bruntmyer at the Excelsior Springs Community Center.