KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yesterday I had to make a decision, and it concerned the progress of a warm front and how far north it was going to get towards the KC metro area. My hope had been that it would get to the north side of the area and allow ALL of the metro to really see a dramatic warm up today. I wasn’t confident in that forecast, but at the time yesterday afternoon I wasn’t quite ready to “rip the band aid” off what we have previously been forecasting.

One thing that is always present in my mind is that warm fronts in March can struggle to move north. During the later spring months, these fronts typically lurch north, but during March they can struggle. And as I was looking at the data last night, I got a stronger feeling that this front would struggle. Hence I ripped the band aid off the warmer forecast for the later shows and knocked KCI down into the mid-50s and mentioned that the southern metro area would be 10-20 degrees warmer depending on the progress of the front.

Data this morning seems to indicate that was a correct decision. We’ll see.


Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Cloudy and misty/drizzly this morning, with generally cloudy skies this afternoon. Northside temperatures in the low to mid-50s and southside temperatures into the 60s.

Tonight: Cloudy with a few showers possible and trending down temperatures with daybreak lows in the lower 40s.

Tomorrow: Clouds with some scattered showers possible east of Interstate 35 in the afternoon. Cold with highs only in the mid-40s.

Friday: Rain again developing in the afternoon with highs near 50 degrees.



What a mess and it’s not going to get a lot better for the next few days.

Warm fronts are always a pain in the spring. Sometimes they can be the focus for the potential of severe storms, especially in the spring season. Today that won’t be the case because a variety of things, including a cap that should prevent convection and a lack of a trigger really.

Instead, we have a firming warm front to the south of the KC metro this morning. Tonight though, with the front moving south and warmer air overriding the front towards the east of the metro, there could be a few stronger storms east of KC. The risk may include some hail. Data shows this potential more towards central Missouri, from 65 highway east.

This warm front is showing up on the 8 a.m. surface map this morning. To the south of that front, temperatures are already into the 60s with juicy dew points near 60 degrees.

That front will nudge into the south side of the metro and then likely stall this afternoon. HRRR model data shows the potential temperatures at 1 p.m. today.

Then at 7 p.m.

You can see how the far south side of the metro touches the milder air, while from I-70 northwards not so much. Yesterday, I ended up forecasting 56 degrees as the official high Wednesday at KCI which was wayyyy cooler than other forecasts… and I’m not sure we’re going to even get that warm today. Again, sometimes you have to rip the band aid off.

The problem with this is that today that same northward moving warm front will convert to a stationary front (essentially just stalled or waffling around the south part of the metro). Then tonight, it’ll convert to a cold front and start moving south again as the heavier and denser chillier air to the north of the front starts oozing southwards.

The hope from a couple of days ago was that surface low on the surface map would track towards the 36 highway corridor today, dragging the warm front through the metro. But instead, that surface low will move south of 50 highway instead. That means the warm front can’t come far enough north, and instead the warmest air stays south of the metro today. Then when the surface low passes to the south, the circulation around the system (clockwise) will help give the chillier air mass from I-70 northwards another push south.

So we get deeper into the chilly air tomorrow. Yuck!

Weather around the U.S.

Meanwhile out west, a very potent storm hit California yesterday. It was unusual because it brought very low air pressure readings into central California around San Francisco as it came ashore. This set a March record for the lowest air pressure reading on record out there. It actually developed an eye-like feature as it was coming towards the coast. It wasn’t a “tropical” system, but it was fascinating to watch.


You can see the small vortices spinning around. Winds that were calm in places all of a sudden jumped to 60 mph with the storm moving onshore. There were dozens of reports of wind damage and flooding etc. with the system.

Farther south, more rain too.

This system will waffle around out there today then start heading east. It will affect our region on Friday afternoon and night. It bears watching for our next rain chance. As a matter of fact, there is a non-zero chance of some snowflakes mixing in Friday night or early Saturday in northern Missouri, with this depending on its strength as it comes through the region.

The funny thing is (and this is so typical of the winters around here) between that system and the one on Sunday, the tracks aren’t terrible for snow locally. Now there may not be enough cold air to tap into to convert things to accumulating snow. So it goes.

Spring overall continues to have a sluggish start to sustained warmth. A day here or there is about as good as we can do for awhile. The 6-10 day forecast shows this:

Spring is buffering.

The feature photo is of a pretty cardinal.