KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Colder air is spilling into parts of the region this morning. The cold front in question is slowly advancing towards the south and southeast. Temperatures have dropped more than 20 degrees from their highs. Officially, KCI was at 70 degrees before the front arrived and has tanked into the upper 40s as of 9 a.m.

Rain has developed, mostly behind the front, and that will be around and increase as the day moves along.

Areas southeast of Kansas City though are still dry and warm with 70s likely ahead of the front for most of the day.

Needless to say, a very changeable day in KC.

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Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Steadying temperatures for many areas in the mid-40s and for areas southeast of the metro. Much warmer into the afternoon. Increasing rains and thunderstorms are possible with locally heavy rains. Blustery winds as well.

Tonight: We should see a wind-down of the rain this evening. Colder and blustery. Temperatures drop into the 30s. There may be a wrap-around part of the storm clipping areas, mainly north of Kansas City early in the morning. This could have some mixed in snow flakes up north of the metro.

Tomorrow: Rapid clearing as the morning progresses. Blustery and cooler with highs in the upper 50s.

Sunday: Nice with highs closer to 65 degrees.

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Discussion:

Well let’s start with the surface map. It starts the weather story today.

The blue line is the cold front. Ahead of the front south winds continue to keep temperatures warm. Behind the front, temperatures drop to near 10 degrees in the western Plains.

Temperatures in the above map are in RED

These types of fronts in November and into the winter months are always fun to track. We ended up into the upper 70s yesterday, so there was a lot of warm air in advance of the colder air dropping into the region this morning.

You can see the effects of the front on the observations taken at KCI.

From 70 degrees to 52 degrees in less than an hour.

This is due to a cold front slicing through the region. The rains are due to lift behind the front thanks to warm moist air over-riding the surface front. That lift is being helped by our storm system down towards Texas this morning.

The temperature changes in the six hours ending at 9 a.m. are impressive with the boundary.

The morning upper-air analysis shows the upper-level storm in New Mexico.

Strong winds at around 18,000 feet, and the atmosphere is helping bring little disturbances from the southwest to the northeast into and through the region. This also help to enhance the rains.

As I type this, the better rains are northwest of Kansas City, but as the front sags farther south over the day, that area will sag south as well.

Weather around the U.S.

Severe storms are possible towards the southern U.S.

There is a strong tornado risk as well down there, but there are some factors that have to come together.

That hatched area is what’s being watched carefully

There is a tremendous amount of wind shear with this in terms of changes of velocity and direction of the winds from the ground upwards. This allows storms to rotate and with the shear present in the lower part of the atmosphere as well, this can create some big tornadoes.

As the upper-level system lifts through the Plains over the next 18-24 hours or so, we will at some point this evening go into the dry slot of the storm. This is common when storms are lifting towards the northwest of the metro. Drier air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere strip away the rain. I expect this to happen this evening after about 8 p.m. from southwest to the northeast.

Then the next issue is where does the “core” of the storm overnight end up going. Some data has this core a bit closer to the metro and spreads snowflakes into at least part of the metro north of Interstate 70. Other data has any flakes north of St. Joseph. We’ll be monitoring this as the day unfolds.

For areas towards northwest Missouri, if temperatures could drop down to 35 degrees or so, it’s not out of the question that there could be minor accumulations on the grassy surfaces by daybreak.

The cold sore of the storm has allowed some good snows to fall in the western U.S.: Over 12 inches for some of the mountains of Colorado, and decent snows into northern Arizona as well.

Here are some of the totals around Denver, Colorado.

After this storm passes by tomorrow AM, we rapidly clear out. While blustery, tomorrow should be good for raking leaves. Either tomorrow or Sunday at least.

We should still see 1-2-inch totals in the region, some perhaps a bit more.

Next rain chance may be on Tuesday morning as moisture returns from the south. Then next Thursday another cold front will come into the region, meaning another significant warmup ahead of that front and then a chill behind the front. Rain should again be around the region.

Couple of final tidbits… This one is fascinating:

Then there’s this:

And this:

Might add more to that today.

The feature photo comes from Robin Rahardja down towards Hillsdale Lake.

Joe