Joe’s Weather Blog: A bit of rain and more temperature gyrations (TUE-11/23)

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You can see the models wayyyyy down the road trying to switch to a rather wintry pattern…whether that means snow or not remains to be seen but you can see them trying to figure out things. They’re doing a miserable job with it but at some point into the 1st 10 days of December we should see a more pronounced winter shot of weather. The precise timing of this though is not clear, nor will it be for awhile…but there are signs at least.

Today though will feel more like early spring…increasing winds…abundant sunshine and rapidly warming temperatures in the afternoon. The air above us in in the low to mid 50s this morning…just about 2,000 feet up…and once the sunshine and the wind “mixes” up the lower levels of the atmosphere we should get to the mid 60s or so later today.

Colder weather moves back in later tomorrow night…and Thanksgiving is cold again…but there will be another rapid warm-up heading to the weekend for about 48 hours before we drop again on Sunday.



Today: Sunny and mild with gusty south winds to 25 MPH+. Highs in the mid 60s

Tonight: Fair and milder with breezy conditions developing. Lows near 50

Tomorrow: Increasing clouds with developing lighter rain chances later in the day. Highs in the low to mid 60s. Windy as well

Thursday: Sunny and chilly with highs closer to the lower 40s



These ups and downs aren’t too surprising really in such a fast flow of the atmosphere. We’re sort of struggling to tap into any real cold air at this point too so whatever cool to cold air masses move into the region…they are quickly tempered and we start to warm back up again. Another issue is a lack of snow cover in most of the country.

One look to the north of here…where the colder air masses come from show a lot of bare ground real estate.

So the chilly air comes southwards…but goes over that bare ground…it then has an easier way of moderating so the “chill” is sort of modified and when the air isn’t being sourced from the arctic…it lacks the punch of the true cold weather.

Again though it’s not that unusual for that to be happening. It will change…and the change will come into December I’m sure. Typically these types of changes are not handled well by model data and we’re seeing that. Yesterday there was some consensus that we could see a decent amount (with perspective) of late November and early December warmth…the overnight data isn’t as convincing on that prospect. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen though…again the models struggle with these rapid fire changes.

Over the next 48 hours though we will see a colder change. Nothing unusual but another decently strong cold front will be arriving into the Plains later tomorrow and moving through. As I wrote in detail yesterday this front will create some rain but odds favor most of the rain to remain south of KC. There may be some out there…light stuff…a few hundredths of an inch in the Metro…but the better chances are towards the Lakes region and southwards towards the I-44 corridor.

This isn’t an exciting look from this mornings NAM model data.

Through Thursday 6AM

Here is the higher res version…again not too exciting.

Maybe a few hundredths of an inch along and south and east of I-35.

The main thing though is the arrival of the colder weather. You can see that clearly when going up a few thousand feet into the atmosphere. These temperatures are in °C. +5 is around 42°F +10 is close to 50°F whereas 0° is 32°F and -10 is close to 18°F at that level.

Wednesday afternoon at around 3,000 feet
Thursday at 9AM at 3,000 feet

That is a nice shot of colder air with some real chilly air towards IA and northwards.

Don’t get used to that though because about 30 hours later…look at where we go later Friday afternoon. Right back into downslope warming.

That’s +11C air here…around 52° a few thousand feet up…mix that to the ground and we get near 60° temperatures at the surface.

I call these “downslope specials”. Meteorologists have a tendency to underestimate the potential warmth of these set-ups…and sometimes it doesn’t happen at the surface IF we have an issue with a lack of wind…or too many clouds. Neither I think is an issue for Friday…because look at the winds at 3,000 feet in the afternoon with quite a bit of sunshine expected.

Those are 20-30 knot winds…that should get the surface winds going

So I think on Friday, despite the colder start…mid 20s…we pop well into the 50s in the afternoon…with some upside.

This warm bubble of air stays with us mostly on Saturday before another cold front moves through and we dip back into seasonable air again on Sunday.

Downslope warming, especially in the fall can really pop the temperatures. The elevation in the Plains (while you may think it’s pretty flat) actually increases as you go into western KS> Our elevation here is about 1000 feet above sea level. The elevation out towards Goodland is around 3700 feet and in North Platte, NE around 2800 feet.


So the air comes “down the slope” of the Plains towards KC IF the winds have some sort of westerly component. A lack of snow cover helps this as well as a lot of sunshine. As an air bubble comes towards us it sinks and compresses as it comes into increasing air pressure near the surface as opposed to a few thousand feet up. That act warms the air bubble up some 5.5°F per 1000 feet of dropping elevation.

Again with the right set-up you can really overachieve with these patterns from a temperature set-up.

Aside from whatever moisture we get on Wednesday evening (of any)…not much else is expected for a while it appears.

OK that’s it for today…oh some folks are asking about our winter predictions…we think we may get those out on Saturday the 4th in a weather special…IF so then if you miss that I’ll get those out to you the following Monday on the air depending on the weather situation.

Great sunset pictures last night! This one from Sheila Jackson


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