Joe’s Weather Blog: I feel like the whole week was a waste of time (THU-1/6)

Joes Weather Blog Email Alerts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You sit there, you analyze radar data, satellites, model data that updates every hour in some cases… You look at the surface observations (which in the end were the way to get things more accurate for the later newscasts) and 9 other things to try to come up with a forecast for snow amounts… And in the end, I feel that for this event at least, I wasted a lot of time and effort for essentially a dusting of snow for some in the Metro and a bit more than that just south of the metro or on the southside.

It will drive you crazy sometimes. So many words were written about what could happen, how things could work out for snow totals, where things may not work out for snow lovers, what could help the snow situation, what will hurt it (dry air anyone).

In the end, a weak disturbance. Too much dry air between 5,000 and 10,000 feet and a couple of other things all conspired to give Kansas City not much at all from this latest snow “event.” It did give us a lot of cold air though, and we’ll come out of that to some degree tomorrow.

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Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with some afternoon sunshine. Cold and breezy too with wind chills near zero in the afternoon. Highs in the low to mid teens. We likely already had our high today at midnight of 15 degrees.

Tonight: Turning cloudy with steady temperatures. After initially dropping this evening to around 5 degrees, we may wake up closer to 8 degrees.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and not as cold, but chilly with highs in the mid-to-upper 20s.

Saturday: Rapidly increasing clouds in the morning with a small chance of some freezing drizzle in the AM. Then cloudy and breezy in the afternoon with a few showers possible, especially on the Missouri side. Highs in the low-to-mid-40s. Breezy as well.

Sunday: More sunshine and cooler with highs around 30 degrees.

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Discussion:

For a system that earlier in the week had the potential for a couple of inches, to turn into a dusting to 1 inch for most (not even that on the north side really), this has been a pain in the you-know-what. The trends were getting worse and worse for snow lovers yesterday afternoon. If you watched the shows, you knew this wasn’t going to be too bad today but alas, many didn’t hear about the updates and were expecting a winter wonderland this morning and are disappointed.

Yesterday in the blog, I wondered about how long into the evening I would be talking about dry air “chewing” on the falling flakes despite what radar was showing. That was a thing for more than a couple of hours last night. We knew the wave coming in was not a strong one. We knew the main track was going to be more south of the metro. So here we were trying to forecast the “liquid equivalent” of 1/10 inch or so and convert that over to snow.

I told the team last night on the news that if this was a regular rain event, no one would really care because it was such a minor event (unless you washed your car I guess). In the end, it wasn’t even 1/10 inch I don’t think around Kansas City at least. It was a few hundredths and that little amount is tough to get much accumulation. I don’t care how cold it is in the atmosphere.

The shorter-range models were showing this southwards shift, and to be fair some of the data for a few days was favoring more south than north. The forecasts kept adjusting things south… and south some more. In the end, it sort of worked out actually, but many don’t look “in the end.” They hear and see one thing 2-3 days out and hold on dearly to that. Even here on the blog, I sort of had thoughts that if we could just get something to fall, it would stick, and if it fell for long enough, we could sneak in 1-2 inches or so south of Interstate 70.

In reality, it was that but about 30-plus miles south of I-70.

Overnight, KCI reported a couple of hours of lighter snows and Olathe had about 3-4 hours worth. Hence the dustings to coatings on the south side. There were some 1-2-inch totals towards Anderson County southwest of the metro.

I sort of got my hopes somewhat up when I saw at 6 p.m. there were flakes making it through the dry air layer towards Topeka and flurries developing around the metro on the Kansas side. But they were false hopes. The persistent winds were bringing in dry air and during the early evening it was just too much.

I mentioned to the gang last night that snow forecast I made for the winter of 13 inches might have some legs to it, because we’re at around 2 inches now, and I’m not overly hopeful of much more for awhile around these parts. Here is a look for what it’s worth of the GFS and EURO ensembles for the next 15 days or so.

Here is the EURO:

I’m NOT excited about the above. There are two of the 50 members that are spewing out number-skewing totals, even when averaged out.

Here is the GFS:

Again, northing too thrilling there either in my opinion.

The operational GFS has this idea for the next 16 days or so:

Those snows around us are what the model portrayed for last night and this morning.

So NOT a lot to get excited about really.

I actually think we may get back into the 50s next week for a day or two.

So it goes… Snow lovers around these parts are used to disappointment, and we may be in for more over the next 10 days or so unless something breaks through and alters things.

I think I’m going to take a few days off from the blog. I want to recap 2021 for you on Monday if the weather cooperates. You know, before it’s 2023.

The feature photo comes from Vicki Anderson Dolt.

Joe

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