KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a dreary start to the day around the region with areas of mist/drizzle and some locally dense fog out there. Seems fitting that today we’re revealing the winter weather forecast. The crew this morning shared theirs and we’ll get more out there this afternoon and tonight.

There isn’t much nasty winter weather coming our way for awhile, but the longer-term trend is colder. There still isn’t a big snowstorm for Kansas City showing up yet, but the air will be cold enough for snow later next week, into at least early Christmas week it appears. So I’ll be watching for something more significant to show up. Model data has been waffling on that aspect, not really the cold part, the storm part.

We do know there will be a powerful storm moving through the Plains next week though. We’re going to be far to warm for snow risks into next Wednesday however. Behind the storm is the beginning of a stretch of colder weather though.

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Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Clouds/drizzle/fog and some later day showers into the evening. Temperatures will just sort of wobble around the mid-40s or so.

Tonight: Drier after 10 p.m. or so from west to east. Lows in the mid-30s.

Tomorrow: Gradual clearing and colder with highs in the 40-45 degree range.

Saturday: There may be some areas of light rain/drizzle in the morning for a few hours, especially from Kansas City southeastwards. Highs back into the upper 40s.

Sunday: Not too bad with highs in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees.

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Discussion:

The system affecting the region today isn’t really going to do a lot for us in terms of appreciable rains. The lift to the system is more focused where the disturbance is tracking, and it’s not really a strong disturbance. The wave is tracking more through Nebraska.

We should see at least more showers developing this afternoon towards the west of the region and move through into the early evening. Rain fall amounts are likely to be under 1/4 inch or so for most of the region. I had somewhat higher hopes a couple of days ago.

This system will speed by this evening and while it may leave a trail of clouds in the area overnight, there isn’t a lot of cold air behind it to dump into the region so overall the temperatures will remain rather seasonable heading through the weekend. Maybe even a bit above average with enough sunshine.

Another unorganized system will move through the Plains tomorrow night into Saturday and that too may create some rain, but the better emphasis may be more towards the Lake of the Ozarks region rather than the I-70 corridor. That too will zip through by Saturday morning and hopefully we start to clear out afterwards.

The bigger system, one that should create heavy snows and potentially severe weather towards the south and southeast of the region, is coming Tuesday. That system will be moving towards the southwest Aleutian Islands in southern Alaska later today and then move down towards the western U.S. coast later in the weekend.

Sunday afternoon up at 18,000 feet or so. You can see the storm in northern California.

That system will track towards the Rockies and then along the I-80 corridor, slowing down early next week.

Let’s track it into Wednesday:

We’ll remain on the warm side of the storm until it passes by. At the surface, the setup is this by later Tuesday.

That’s a significant snowstorm across the northern Plains.

Farther south towards southern Missouri and southwards, a severe weather setup may develop, depending on how this times out and the dynamics involved. Both Monday and Tuesday have the risk of something happening in the southern Plains and the Deep South.

Here is the severe weather risk for Tuesday from the Storm Prediction Center.

These scenarios are not unusual for that part of the country.

The storm will start bring down a shot of some chilly air for mid-to-late next week, and that should start a step down for colder weather heading into Christmas week I think. Ensemble trends continue to be cold in the longer range.

Take a look at the forecast anomalies from about 5,000 feet from the 15th through the 22nd.

So the cold is likely. We’ll see how much staying power it has into Christmas week, but when I see all those above-average anomalies (still cold, but not as cold as it could be) up in northern Canada, that means it almost always has to be cold in the U.S.

Can it snow in that cold air? Yes, but it’s a delicate balance locally because if the cold air overwhelms the pattern (in the Plains at least), it will just be cold and not snowy. We’ll be wasting the colder regime. The GFS ensembles do show a risk of at least 3 inches of snow to fall. This would be more towards the later few days of the run, which is always suspect. The EURO ensembles are sort of similar.

About a 40% chance of “something” by the 23rd. Not exactly a tremendously bullish signal.

A White Christmas in KC?

As you know, I’ve been banging the drum on our White Christmas chances around Kansas City for over two months now. Climatologically speaking, the chances year in and year out are pretty small (roughly 10-25%). The last one was back in 2017.

I still think this year our chances are better than that… perhaps much better.

The feature photo comes from Sean Chalk down towards Gardner, Kansas.

Joe