Joe’s Weather Blog: Grinding cold continues unabated (TUE-2/9)

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Another gray and cold day expected, and this isn’t going to change much over the next few days with periodic snow chances and bitterly cold weather continuing. About the only saving grace is that the winds haven’t been their usual nasty with the arctic air in place. Wind chills have been cold (typically near -10°) but with this type of air mass and a bit strong wind, they should probably be about 10 degrees worse.

There will be periodic snow chances for the next couple of days but aside from some flurries or some freezing mist today and tonight, today should be mostly dry. Accumulations are possible tomorrow and Thursday. There may or may not be something more substantial for snow lovers this weekend. Regardless the issue for the weekend is how cold it will get. That will be connected to the role of clouds over the weekend.

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Forecast:

Today: Clouds…maybe a flurry with highs around 12°.

Tonight: Clouds with steady temperatures and lows down to about 8°.

Tomorrow: Light snow developing. Dusting to 2″ possible. Highs around 11°.

Thursday: Same.

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It sort of is to the point where we’re in a repetitive summer hot and humid forecast every day. Now it’s the opposite though…cold, cold, cold.

So never a good sign to start with this, but basically it confirms all that has been said and will be said for the next week or so…the 8-14 day forecast.

So that carries us into next week.

One of the ways that we can start to moderate towards the end of that period is to get rid of the snow. The snow acts to refrigerate the air that we have already. Typically around here we get three to five days of nasty cold and start to moderate after that as the winds switch towards the south or southwest. That isn’t the case at this point though and won’t be for awhile with a locked in arctic high getting reinforced on occasion by colder air masses coming down from Canada.

Step one though to lose the snow…and that won’t be happening. We’ll actually gain some snow over the next couple of days. Perhaps 1″, perhaps in some spots 4″ or so. The cold arctic air has an easier time producing accumulating snows when something else is happening in the atmosphere and if we overcome the initial dryness that is out there above the low level cold moist air, we can get some decent snows.

Speaking of which, northern Missouri has 6-12″ on the ground at this point.

That may become a factor, with additional snows over the next 10 days down the road in KC. Any wind shift to the north, after we lose the arctic air (whenever) down the road…will bring in chilled air from northern Missouri too. I just have this feeling we won’t be able to just flip a switch and get back to average for awhile.

CoCoRaHS is showing over 6″ of snow on the ground north of the Metro. Cameron and Plattsburg seem to be the diving line.

After today, here is where we stand for temperature streaks.

It has been colder for longer…much longer. That record though of 15° for highs could be in play by the end of the weekend. It’s possible the 20° record could come into play but that is lower confidence.

So after the snow risks for Wednesday and Thursday and we need to watch for over achieving snow potential somewhere out there in west to east bands…the focus shifts to the weekend.

It will remain cold…just how cold will be determined by 1) clouds and 2) the risk of more accumulating snow. The GFS is having itself quite the snow part around here cranking out a solid 2-4″ snow (with ratios) locally. Other models have something but not nearly are as bullish. The GFS has been consistently doing this as well too for a few days.

It’s got a decently strong wave coming into the Plains to do all this. With the arctic air in place and a renewed surge coming into the region, it creates some decent+ snows locally. Other models don’t really have this stronger wave hence the much lighter snows. Some other models have a stronger wave for Sunday into Monday.

The end result of all this though is the potential for clouds. Clouds are a killer for getting well sub-zero locally. Many a forecast three to five days out of extreme cold are busted because of clouds. A reasonable forecast for one of the mornings this weekend (especially Sunday AM) is -5 to -10°. That though will immediately go closer to 0° IF there are clouds.

So we’ll just figure that out as we get closer.

We may finally come out of this towards the end of next week…maybe. I don’t think permanently either though…there should be another modified cold chunk of air after a brief one to two day break I think. The hope is that the last week of February could get better or more seasonable around here.

Don’t worry there will be much milder days in March…there almost always are. Even some runs towards 70°.

Last night on Facebook, I did a comparison of the model forecast from one model to what happened during our all time coldest run of weather in late December of 1989. I may expand on that tomorrow in a blog but here it is.

We’ll see…clouds need to be monitored in these situations.

Our feature photo comes from Rob Irick out towards Wyandotte County Lake.

Joe

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