We’re 3/4 of the way through the month or so…and after a cold stretch for a couple of days with morning lows at KCI down to around 3° or so (colder in the outlying areas…got a report of -9° this morning near Spickard, MO) things are going to start to moderate today into Monday before another shot of cold air comes back for a couple of days on Tuesday.

Our winter has certainly been characterized two ways…one with incredible mildness in December and two with significant ups and downs in January. That will start to level off a bit in February (at least early February) as there are signs that the pattern will be going through a reorganization of sorts.

The constant seems to be a lack of moisture in the area. Granted last weekend was beneficial but we’re seeing a slow expansion west of the “abnormally dry” area in MO and a creep east of developing drought in central and western KS. That needs to be watched because I’m not encouraged today for much, if any, moisture in the region for the rest of the month.

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Forecast:

Today: Sunshine this morning with some clouds this afternoon. Highs in the upper 20s

Tonight: Not as cold with developing clouds. Lows near 20°

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and seasonable with highs near 40°

Sunday: Not too bad with highs again around 40°. For the game we should be in the 30s mostly without a lot of wind and not a big drop during the game or anything.

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Discussion:

January, at least through today has been noted for some extreme temperatures…not so much extreme actual temperatures…we’ve been down into the single digits for lows 6 times…our coldest being 1° to start the month, but more along the lines of how temperatures have compared to average.

There are a lot of +/1 10° departures from average this month. In December there were a ton on the + side…this month there are a lot, but both +/-.

This January…5 days strong negative…5 days strong positive…today we’ll add a strong negative. So let’s fall it 6 to 5. 11 out of 21 days

and December…17 days all positive…out of 31.

So IF you add things together…we’ve had 22 days strongly positive and 6 days strongly negative. 28 days overall out of 52 days for the 2 months through today. 54% of the days so far this winter have been on the “extreme” side when it comes to temperature anomalies.

These next few days won’t be after today…Monday though has a chance on the warm side.

There is actually an “index” that measures the severity or lack thereof of the winter season. It was created a few years ago and it looks like this, through yesterday’s data

The red dots mean a milder overall winter season

What does the AWSSI mean? It’s the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index. See what they did there?

Here is what it is…from the website via the Midwest Regional Climate Center

“Winter seasons have significant societal impacts across all sectors ranging from direct human health and mortality to commerce, transportation, and education. The question “How severe was this winter?” does not have a simple answer. At the very least, the severity of a winter is related to the intensity and persistence of cold weather, the amount of snow, and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground. The Accumulated Winter Season Index (AWSSI) was developed to objectively quantify and describe the relative severity of the winter season.”

Oh I have more charts for you! Here is a nice close-up.

Notice northern MO is in the “moderate” category

Here is a chart specifically for KC…showing the range of data.

So we’re on the low end of winter “severity”

Just to show you the alternate look…let’s go back to the infamous winter of 2009-10. One of our last true great winters around these parts. Look at the red line for that winter…well into the “extreme” category.

We’re going to be living in the “mild” category for awhile…perhaps at least another 10 days…maybe longer than that…heading into early February it appears.

Moisture “wanters” are going to be disappointed in what’s ahead it looks like. There could be surprises but right now nothing is really showing up in the data…so here is the grim data for moisture.

The Euro into early February

and the GFS…

Yeah…not good there.

Both models show “something” after that though…light stuff…but something.

If you want to dive into the ensemble data…the news isn’t that much better really. This shows the probability of at least 1/10″ of an inch of moisture…

All the red means it will do something…but look where it disappears…in the Plains and southwest…through CA too (not good)

So it’s probably worthwhile to show this again…hopefully I don’t have to use this map too many times over the coming months…but it’s a concerning trend.

Now to be fair…this is the driest month and the driest, on average, time of the year.

February is just a bit better on average…

The latest 3 month forecast that came out yesterday has this idea…

Likely more precip east and less west…we’re in no mans land. Per this…could go either way

That central and western KS situation isn’t good looking at all. Moderate drought conditions are already there and worsening severe drought conditions are spreading northwards from the southern Plains. It’s something to watch out for as that spread likely continues over the coming 2 months or so.

Let’s hope for a bit of a change come February from a moisture standpoint.

That’s it for today…have a great weekend!

The feature photo comes from Vicki Anderson Dolt

Joe