Joe’s Weather Blog: A “Super” Cold Air Mass (And Some Snow) (SUN-2/7)

Weather

I think there was some frustration yesterday with the forecast to some extent. Things happened…but there was about a 2-3 hour delay in things happening. On the news on Friday night I mentioned a 2 hour delay in the arrival of the snow…more towards late morning. For parts of the Metro though, especially southeast of I-35…it was even longer than that.

Trust me when I look at the clouds at 12:30 in the afternoon from my house…and I can see more that casual sunshine…I too am wondering what the heck is going on. Well the snow that was incoming was running into dry air…which was slowing it’s progress through KC. It was snowing pretty good on the NW side of the Metro but struggling to move through.

In time though it did, and when it got going it got going. Dusting to 2″ amounts were common as was the crashes that were associated with that snow too. So things happened…just a 2-4 hours later than thought. We probably lost 1/2″ or so because of evaporation. Yet it took small amounts of actual moisture to produce decent snows. Most areas only had about .05″ of moisture from this…but the snow ratios were almost 20:1.

Now we focus on the cold and some minor snows for the next week.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy with periods of light snow possible this afternoon. Highs near 10°. Dusting to 1″ totals possible in spots.

Tonight: Cloudy with steady temperatures. Lows 5-10°.

Tomorrow: Cloudy with some more patches of light snow. Accumulations of a dusting to 1″ possible. Highs near 10°

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Maybe a flurry. Highs 10-15°.

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Discussion:

Well the arctic air has arrived and with it the battle of temperature forecasting. Last night we cleared out for awhile. That allowed temperatures to plummet to 10-15° BELOW in parts of northern MO. Once the clouds came back in before sunrise temperatures started to rise about 10°. Really interesting stuff. You can see the change up towards St Joseph.

KC was heading sub-zero before the clouds returned which immediately steadied the temperatures and allowed them to rise a bit.

The snow yesterday was impressive for some. When it snowed it was almost like a snow squall. It didn’t necessarily last for that long…but the snow amounts were decent. I ended up with about 1.1″…others close to 2″.

Roeland Park was the high total of 2″.

Northern MO fared a bit more…towards 2-4″ or so, Some areas in NE KS had close to 6″!

This has left a broad area of snow on the ground…and combined with clear skies and an arctic origin air mass with dry air and lighter winds means plunging tempertures.

St Joe dropped to -7°. Chillicothe down to -5° and east of Spickard…-11°! The coldest was Princeton, MO although near Maryville, MO…not too shabby.

This scenario will be an ongoing issue for most of the week. Clouds will determine the overnight lows around this region. Tough to go sub-zero with a thick bank of clouds…much easier, as we saw last night, when skies are clear. There chances of more widespread clearer skies comes later in the week and next weekend when the mothererload of cold air comes into the region. 5-10 BELOW may be on the table for even the KC Metro area next weekend IF we are clear.

The snow systems that come through for the week are going to be mostly. Tomorrow looks minor overall. Another dusting to 1″ type event for most. Some areas may be able to do a bit better but while the air is really cold…it’s also pretty dry overall…so it sometimes takes a bit of time to saturate.

There might be a tick up in the snow production Thursday. We’ll deal with that as the week moves along though.

If you’re wondering where the arctic air is coming from…take a look at this trace of a bubble of air and it’s journey towards the KC area over the last week or so. Fascinating.

With origins in northeastern AK…it took a tour through the central part of Alaska…got colder and colder…then moved through NW Canada and through the Canadian Prairies and into the northern US. Cool!

You can see the bitterly cold air this morning…going all the way up through northern Canada.

It gets colder later in the week.

This is for later Friday

and into next week.

NEXT Monday morning

So it’s going to be awhile.

The models are spewing out snow BUT the GFS is way to saturated with the arctic air…so I think it’s way overdone…the EURO seemed to be in the same camp but last night’s run was a bit more realistic at least over the next 10 days.

We may be seeing 2-6″ totals with various little systems…as we wait to see if there will be a bigger true storm at any point. This week there is no big storm showing up and next weekend there is something but where it goes remains to be seen. Far northern MO and IA are going to be in more snow shape than the KC area is. They seem to be in a more favorable area for better snow totals…perhaps over the next 10 days 6-10″ overall.

This coming Wednesday and Thursday will need to be watched a bit more for perhaps some extra snow locally. It appears the atmosphere overall will be a bit more saturated with the arctic air yielding higher snow ratios.

Joe

Kansas City Weather News

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