Joe’s Weather Blog: Rockies snowstorm comes east + another snow for us? (MON-3/15)

Weather

An eventful last few days in the weather world. For us, just general rains in the region, 1-2″ worth from Friday through yesterday evening. For areas out west, tremendous snows, over 27″ officially in Denver. And for areas in Texas, severe storms and tornadoes.

It’s March in the world of weather and that’s about right.

This week will feature a potential of storms this afternoon, some of which might produce some small hail, and possibly even a quick tornado for areas off towards central Missouri. Then another potent storm arrives on Wednesday with rain and thunderstorms.

There is even a chance on Thursday for some snow to mix in with the rain during the first part of the day.

Yup… March in KC.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy skies with seasonable temperatures. Despite starting in the mid 40s today, we should only go up about 7-10° because of clouds. Showers/storms are likely after 3 p.m. or so. There may be some small hail, and for areas east of KC, there actually is a small chance of a quick-developing and short-lived tornado.

Tonight: Clouds with light winds. Lows in the 40s.

Tomorrow: Some sunshine is possible with mostly cloudy skies. Highs near 50°.

Wednesday: Rain and storms with highs in the upper 40s.

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Discussion:

It’s going to be a busy week.

Here is a look at the rain totals from the past weekend system. Add in about <1/4″ of rain from Friday. Overall, about 1-2″ worth. Not the higher totals that some forecasts were showing:

KCI had 1.38″ worth for the official total in KC going back to Friday. The above maps are two-day totals from Friday night into Sunday night.

This storm produced a LOT of snow in the Rockies. Forecasts of 1-3 feet worth, or more, were right on the money out there. Denver had one of their biggest multi-day snows in their 125+ years of weather records.

Fourth highest total for a storm!

It was impressive.

Cheyenne ended up almost 31″ worth. Pretty incredible.

This storm, in the upper levels, will drift through the Plains today. It represents a pocket of cold air aloft. Temperatures here on the ground will get into the 50-55° this afternoon. So there will be some lift to the air to create more billowy clouds perhaps, and from those clouds, storms are possible.

The set-up isn’t the greatest for the KC Metro area for stronger storms. However for areas farther off towards the east and east south east of here, IF there can be some sunshine to get things a bit more unstable, the risk for “something” is actually a bit higher. The storms would be moving toward the north northeast or east northeast.

The latest HRRR model does show this evolution:

This would be a case of something called “low-topped” supercells. They aren’t overly tall, like the big storms in Texas on Saturday, but they can still have overall broad rotation in them, especially in the bottom 5,000 feet or so of the clouds, and sometimes you can get brief quick-hitting tornadoes from this. Again it’s not the greatest set-up, but it’s not totally out of the question either. Mainly east of KC and towards US 50 and eastwards it appears.

This is fascinating to me because LAST Tuesday, I sort of noticed this potential in the way the features were setting up. We’ll see what happens in the end. Here were my thoughts from the 9th.

That is good recognition!

Tomorrow will be a lull day with lots of clouds and cool temperatures.

Then another storm comes towards the region on Wednesday and Thursday. This means another generous rain in the area with more cool weather it appears. With the surface storm passing well south of the region on Wednesday, we’ll likely have a strong easterly wind in the area with rain coming into the area too. A nasty day is likely.

The main severe weather risk will be towards the southern Plains and Arkansas on Tuesday night and then spread eastbound towards the deep south on Wednesday. That could be a nasty outbreak in that part of the country.

Large hail and bigger tornadoes are possible in the hatched area below into Wednesday night.

For us likely just another decent rain event, on the order of 1-2″ worth. Also of note is a good rain maker for Kansas as a whole as well.

Then the upper-level storm comes into play on Thursday. You can see the whole evolution of things from Tuesday early morning into Thursday night as we go up to about 18,000 feet or so:

As the system passes to the south of here on Thursday, the air will be cooling down aloft. It will become marginally supportive of snow during the morning. Our temperatures will be in the 35-40 degree range as this unfolds. So marginal for snow, but with the air just above the surface being below freezing to some extent, some mixed in snow flakes aren’t out of the question based on the data over the weekend and this morning.

Our feature photo comes from Kevin Kirkwood out in Tonganoxie last week.

Joe

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