That’s the great thing about our weather…well really for a lot of folks in the Plains states…the extremes that can happen in a very short amount of time in these parts. From rain/sleet and a few flakes to 70° in a couple of days. Makes my job entertaining and fun!
The sleet today was not a surprise to me…and if you follow me on twitter or on the blog…not a surprise to you either. It was just a matter of whether or not a decent band of precipitation would form (it did) and the atmosphere would cooperate. This morning when I was looking at radar, you could see the higher reflectivities which is a tell-tale that the radar beam is bouncing off harder objects at the radar beams altitude. Then when the FB/Twitter comments started to come in my morning was made. I actually was excited to see this play out the way I thought the potential was there for it to do so.
So why did this happen…well the sounding this AM was telling. This is from Topeka and it is basically a profile of the atmosphere as the weather balloon goes upwards. The RED line are the temperatures and the GREEN line is the dewpoint. The closer the 2 lines are the higher the more saturated the air is and vice-versa!
The blue line that runs up the image represents the 0°C line which is 32°F. Notice this AM the RED line is on the right side of the blue line…indicating that the air is above 32°F. This above freezing air at 7AM this morning went up to about 8500 feet. Now notice the GREEN line…and especially the spread between the RED/GREEN lines. That large spread means that layer of air is very dry. What happens is when rain or snow aloft falls into that dry layer it evaporates and the temperature comes down (RED line moves to the left). IF it comes down enough so that it goes to the left of the BLUE line the air is below 0°C/32°F…and boom you get frozen precipitation! Here is a look at radar from the NWS in Pleasant Hill…this precip (sleet/rain and a few flakes) should move out of here early this evening.
Farther west where the atmosphere is colder it’s been snowing pretty darn good across central and western KS. Several inches have been reported out there. For awhile this AM Russell, KS was reporting heavy snow!
Here is the 2PM surface map…the temperatures are in RED and the dewpoints are in GREEN…the dots or periods are rain reports and the * * are snow reports. Here is a road camera from KDOT showing the snow in central KS.
Great Bend has had 2.5″…near Jetmore 3.5″…Ness City round 3″ and Goodland had 4″ (all melted though). A lot of the accumulations were on grassy surfaces only…especially in C KS.
There are no changes needed to the weekend forecast. Frosty with a light freeze likely tomorrow AM then the potential for a hard freeze is there for WED AM next week. We should pull out of the colder pattern towards next weekend. By Sunday there is strong potential for the highs to surge to between 70-75° depending on the amount of cirrus clouds filtering out the sunshine. I’m going with 71° with breezy to windy PM conditions. Should be fine for the game!
Have a great weekend…I have story to tell you about my last weekend which I’ll do on the news tomorrow AM and on the blog in the PM.