Joe’s Weather Blog: A look back and forward into early 2021 (MON-1/4)

Countdown to the Big Game! #RUNITBACK
February 07 2021 05:30 pm

Happy New Year. With everything that was happening last week…ice…snow…wind and just about everything else…things got shuffled around a little bit.

Now with the first full week of the New Year at hand, thought it would be good to go look back and see how 2020 did. We know how it did from a “life” standpoint but what about from a “weather” standpoint?

Also, there is another system to watch for a low-impact event, if even that, on Wednesday into Thursday, then something perhaps over the weekend. This will be an active time through the third week of January, with numerous opportunities for some rain or snow.



Today: Fog dissipates then a front comes through. Turning windy behind the front but we should start seeing more sunshine today. Temperatures aren’t too bad this afternoon with highs rising into the 30s and maybe even 40s too. There might be a few sprinkles before lunch, but overall we should get more PM sunshine as well.

Tonight: Fair skies and chilly with lows down into the 20s.

Tomorrow: Actually a pretty decent day as we really try to chew away the snow on the ground. Highs well into the 40s.

Wednesday: A chance of some rain developing. It may mix in with some snow, at this point any accumulations look to be minor. Highs in the 30s.

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Let’s start by going backwards…

About 2020.

The average temperature was 55.7°. This ties the 48th-warmest year in Kansas City weather history going back to the 1880s. It was a warmer overall year as recently as 2005, 2017, 2016, 2006, and 2012.

For reference, the coolest overall year in the database is 51.3° back in 1985 and the warmest is 59° in 1954. It was 34th-warmest for breaking down just the high temperatures for the month and tied for 69th for low temperature averages. So the daytime (mostly) highs were the “pusher” to get us to 48th overall.

For precipitation...this turned into the 52nd-driest year in the books. The record driest was 20.93″ in 1953 and the record wettest was 60.25″ in 1961. The immediate years were drier in 2007, 2006, 2003, 2002 and 2012.

The eastern seaboard was very warm overall., likewise through the southern U.S. and the southwestern U.S. into the west coast. The Midwest wasn’t that bad although the Rockies were warm overall through Colorado.

Now for moisture…

The southeast was wet for sure, especially towards the Appalachians. While from the Rockies into the western U.S. the drought was fierce.

Here is a bit more color to some of the maps above.

Temperatures/precipitation compared to average:

So now you know…


The winter storm overall last week was pretty well predicted I thought. No one was surprised by any situation. Personally I thought is was well handled. I’ve got my quibbles about the faster changeover to snow…but overall it worked out well.

Amounts were in the 2-5″ range. It seemed that KCI had about 2.2″ which sounds low compared to other amounts around that part of the Metro.

Two-inch totals in Blue Springs and Grandview were reported as well. There was a bit of a bullseye of 4-5+” in a few areas…the highest I saw was towards Savannah with around 4-6″.

It certainly was a mess out there for most of the day, but since it was a holiday, things were somewhat doable.

Over the weekend, we were affected by freezing fog. This created some rime ice on the trees and landscape. It wasn’t a hoar frost though. Hoar frosts and rime ice are different. The end result may look the same, but the key is formation. Hoar frosts don’t form in fog scenarios like what we saw on Saturday morning.

The pictures though were amazing. This one from Derek VanSchmus (@kansasisnotoz) on Twitter is pretty neat.

The overall pattern is sort of interesting going forward. IF we didn’t have snow on the ground, we’d be in the 50s today and tomorrow. The pattern wants to be mild BUT there are these systems that are trying to knock down the warmth to some extent. They don’t have a lot of cold weather with them but they have enough seasonable weather with them to hold things back to some extent.

There may be some lighter precipitation events as well this week. The coming Wednesday/Thursday thing doesn’t look too terrible really. The weekend system may be a bit too far south. Then next week could be a bit more interesting, but it just doesn’t seem to me right now that we’re in the “right place” for the next 10 days for winter weather enthusiasts.

Certainly things to watch though. The EURO for snow lovers into mid month isn’t the greatest.

Then again, I don’t think the data had much happening 10 days ago regarding the New Years Day storm so…


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