Joe's Weather Blog: Everything but the kitchen sink of weather (WED-1/8)


So let’s start with some good news…the mild weather continues for about 2 more days…today and tomorrow temperatures will again be well above average continuing the streak of above average days here in KC> Today will be the 21st straight day and tomorrow will be day 22. Heck with a midnight high on Friday we may have 23 straight days…then things change…at least for a couple of days.

The price of that change will be a variety of winter weather including a potential snowstorm for some of our viewing area…data is still conflicted on exactly where…and KC is still very much in the game on this one. I can’t over analyze a storm track deviation of 50-75 miles at this point…but that’s what we’re dealing with right now. I see where the model that doesn’t give KC a snowstorm (GFS) may be making an error in the dumping of the cold air and the forcing of everything farther east and southeast of the Metro. Other models do indeed have KC in the cross hairs of a decent snow developing on Saturday afternoon.

Everything is on the table right now…and model fluctuations of less than 100 miles are expected…unfortunately this will continue through Friday…and maybe even Friday night…it may be a close shave on Saturday…for KC one way or the other.

  • Forecast:

Today: Sunny and mild but with a chilly “feel” as the winds increase from the east and southeast. Highs near 50°

Tonight: Steady temperatures with increasing winds…gusts to 20-30 MPH possible. Lows in the 40s

Tomorrow: Cloudy with some drizzle possible…and showers later in the evening. Highs in the mid>upper 50s. Windy…gusts to 30+ mph possible

Friday: Slowly turning colder in the afternoon…we may be near 40° in the morning but gradually dropping to near freezing later in the evening. Rain may mix with some sleet or freezing rain at night. NE winds will add to the chill.

  • Discussion:

Lot’s happening…but again the main story for the last few weeks is the mild weather overall in the region…2nd warmest start to winter.

We’re not far from #1 and we should get there by the end of the day tomorrow perhaps.

So with all that said…there is going to be creeping cold and some very cold air entering the weather pattern over the next 7 days…with a dump of the coldest air of the winter so far coming towards the middle of next week.

Before we get there though…it’s complicated.

Really tomorrow and most of Friday is pretty straight forward. Gulf moisture comes northbound tomorrow…aided by strong south winds. Some mist/drizzle or a few fast moving showers are possible…whatever we get tomorrow won’t be much. Sort of knocks down the dust type of rain. Dew points will increase well into the 40s…so perhaps even a bit of a “spring” feel tomorrow with temperatures well into the 50s.

Tomorrow night it stays mild as well till 12AM or so…then the cold air to the north starts to ooze a bit farther south into the area. Whatever we are at 12AM Friday will likely be the high for that day…40-45° or so.

Then things get a bit more complicated on Friday.

Cold air will started pushing farther south into the Metro…undercutting the mild air above us…that’s a recipe for at least some light rain…and certainly colder trends with NE winds helping to bring temperatures down into the 30s as the day moves along. This is part one of the change.

Really though for most of the day we’re sort of in no mans land regarding much rain…that changes after lunch though…rain will be expanding towards SE KS and moving up the I-35 corridor…so increasing rain chances later in the afternoon through the evening.

That is part 2 of the change.

Part 3 is tied to part 1…the cold air oozing southbound. The colder air will be located more towards the ground and NOT above us…at least into the evening hours. So that means snow CAN’T form above us (or it melts as it falls…since the air above us will be above freezing…like 40-45°)…so that brings the winter mix into play later Friday night. That means some rain…changing to sleet or some freezing rain will be more likely sometime after 8-9PM or so Friday night.

Then a lull moves in. The issue before the lull though is assuming we get that mix of wintry weather…the roads will certainly be wet…and IF they don’t dry out in time as the temperatures Saturday AM tank into the mid 20s…we could see a flash freeze happen. Especially on exposed surfaces…sidewalks…bridges and overpasses. That would be my concern to start Saturday off. The roads won’t be treated because the rain on Friday will wash off the treatments. So it could be a catch-up type situation on Saturday morning.

Then on Saturday the main storm comes out into the Plains. That is the snowstorm potential for us. The issue with that it the track of the “deformation” part of the storm..the snow producing part of the storm. This is what we refer to as the “commahead” part of the storm.

This will be either through the Metro or just to the SE of KC. Far to early though to rule out a snowstorm with any definiteness or be highly confident that a snowstorm will happen in KC on Saturday.

Here are two models…the GFS model…

A pass just towards the SE of the Metro…that would be a snowstorm for areas SE of Metro…

and the EURO model…

We get more into things with this outcome…something in the 2-5″ (with upside) range on this…and with the cold temperatures…the snow ratios would be higher…although there might be some mix issues happening at the onset SE of KC depending on how quickly things come together on Saturday.

Those are just two models…I like to use the ensembles for this situation from 3 days out…see what another 90 model outputs show. Of those outputs…including the Canadian model which is also more bullish for snow in the overnight data…let’s dive deeper.

Of the 3 major models…the GFS (American model) the EURO (European model) and the Canadian (duh) there are the “deterministic” runs…the ones that we show you on TV and are readily available if you’re poking around on your own…then there are “ensemble” runs of all this deterministic runs.

The benefit of this approach is confidence. Ensembles help because they take a model and use different initializations and some different physics to come out with a forecast. The GFS runs about 20 ensemble members…the Canadian about the same and the EURO runs 50 other “members”. So I’m looking at almost 90 other pieces of data…let me show you this information.

1st the EURO…you can see the individual runs represented by the horizontal bars…and the average of all of this by the vertical bars at the bottom. Some members hit us pretty hard…others with nothing. It averages out to 3″ or so on the EURO ensembles…again with the cold air coming in…there would be some upside. I believe the data is a strict 10:1 ratio

Now the GFS…and it’s more complicated because the GFS model that you see is the new model physics…while the data that is below is using the older model physics…this model while updated a few months ago isn’t necessarily any better though.

Again some yes to snowstorm some no…

Then there is the Canadian…

More than half the members with at least 2″

So looking at ALL 90 or so members above…43 give us at least 2″ through Sunday AM…almost 50%.

That’s why I don’t think you discount the potential of a snowstorm in KC on Saturday. Can it go to the SE of here…sure…but there is just as much of a chance we get into something more significant in the Metro than it misses SE of the Metro and I think that is something that may not be “out there” as much. A metro is is still VERY much on the table.

For what it’s worth the new NAM data came out this morning and just nails the KC area with heavy snow…like 6-12″ worth…that is probably overdone…and I typically don’t trust what it does after 60 hours…and this would be between 72-84 hours out right now…but again…let’s NOT discount the potential for a significant snow in the KC area…

Whew…90 minutes of writing and close to 1400 words! See you tonight!

Our feature photo is from Michelle Frazier‎ of the sunset last night.


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