Joe’s Weather Blog: Arctic cold alert for KC (MON-2/1)

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Picture of snow and birds at a feeder

Well we’re now coming to about the six-weeks-to-go-for-snow part of the winter around here and the data today isn’t overly exciting for more appreciable snows around here. This is in the context that the northeast US will be getting hit with a massive near-blizzard today and perhaps another one over the Super Bowl weekend too.

For the KC area…after an up and down week…temperatures will be tumbling over the weekend as the season’s first arctic air mass comes in about one month overdue as well. Sometimes these air masses come in with a snowstorm but it doesn’t look like that will be the case this time. The models were throwing out some eye candy for a few runs over the weekend for a snow love but that eye candy is mostly gone now.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy and cold with highs struggling to get to the mid 30s.

Tonight: Hopefully some clearing, lows down in the 20s.

Tomorrow: Nicer with highs in the upper 40s.

Wednesday: Best day of the week with highs well into the 50s and a bit breezy.

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Discussion:

Well December was 5.1° above average and January was 5.3° above average, so unless things really take a turn this month (and it would have to be a brutal turn) this winter is going to be well above average for temperatures when things are done.

That doesn’t mean it can’t get cold this month. While the averages are now slowly starting to trend upwards (today for example the average high is 39°), it can still be very cold obviously.

This morning we have clouds, just like yesterday and I don’t think the clouds are going anywhere today. There might be a few breaks at the end of the late afternoon, but with the combination of lots of snow in Nebraska/Iowa and winds blowing over that snow keeping to cold air cold, it’s a tough recipe to break up the cloud deck.

This morning that deck is about 3,000 feet thick. I think there are going to be some breaks farther west of the Metro, but we need to get some breaks towards the north of the KC region to flow this way. Very iffy and hopefully tonight we see some breaks, but I have questions about that.

Tomorrow though, we should start seeing some breaks but I think with a light southeast wind…it’s not going to be as warm as some forecasts out there…so let’s say 40s for tomorrow.

Wednesday is the day that we really warm-up. Mid 50s seem attainable with upside to that too…although the winds will be going pretty good to take the edge off things a bit. This mild air will linger through Wednesday night before a cold front comes through on Thursday. This front will not have any arctic air with it…basically aside from maybe some showers it will usher in more seasonable weather.

The day of the bigger change comes on Saturday.

There is some pretty darn cold air building up towards Alaska and northwest Canada. That arctic air mass will build for a few days before being released southeastwards towards the upper USA. Take a look at the 8 a.m. temperatures up there. It’s not crazy cold (for them) but it’s cold.

This air mass will build…and as we take a look at surface temperature anomalies for mid day today…

Then Thursday…

Then Saturday

Finally Sunday…

Notice the angle of the most serious cold…from northern Illinois to Iowa to Minnesota…we’re in it and it will be the coldest air mass of the season by far BUT there are still questions if we’ll get the brunt of this or sort of be a bit more on the western side of this.

Being on the western side though is still cold…likely teens for highs with this for the Super Bowl…and the potential of near 0° morning(s) is there depending on winds and clouds. Chicago though could see lows 15-25 below(!) (before the wind).

You can see the movement of the cold air coming down from the northern Canada region at 5,000 feet or so. Here is an animation from later this week into the middle of next week.

This is going to be a cold period. Next week overall may not be as cold as Sunday is but it will be below average most days.

Well at least we can watch a near blizzard from afar back east…

This will be a whooper up there…already close to 5″ has been reported and the main part of this slow moving nor’easter hasn’t even started yet.

The snow jackpot areas may be from northwest New Jersey through southeast New York where over 2 FEET are possible in those higher elevation areas.

Hi-res NAM model for the storm…wow!

If you wonder why they have more of a chance than us of getting these types of storms…it all revolves around the Atlantic Ocean. That is a huge moisture source for these storms. The higher totals will be realized because of 1) favorable storm track, 2) slow moving system, 3) pivoting heavy snow bands including the potential of convective snows, and 4) questionable mix issues

Pretty impressive to watch from afar. There may be another close call over the weekend too.

For KC…sure there may be some snow showers over the weekend but at this point there isn’t a strong signal for a storm as the cold air will overwhelm the pattern over the weekend and essentially dry things out. IF there is anything it would be light and fluffy type snows but at this point it appears we’ll be “wasting” the cold weather locally for snow-lovers.

And so it goes this winter where snowstorms are just not seemingly in the cards for us.

This strong arctic push coming for the weekend may not be the only one of the month…we’ll be vulnerable to others it appears with moderation in between. Odds are this month will NOT be some 5° above average!

Our feature photo comes from Kristi Novak down towards the Clinton/Tightwad area.

Joe

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