Joe’s Weather Blog: The transition to a snowstorm for many starts (FRI-1/1)

Weather

We’re going to start the New Year with a new record for the most amount of snow on New Year’s Day. Locally heavy snow will be with us for the rest of the morning with lighter snows this afternoon. As I’ve stressed all week…the timing of the snow would be critical for the amount of snow.

In KC proper we ended up with less ice and more snow overnight. Now with the additional snow coming today…3-6″ is certainly a reasonable forecast for the Metro.

Ice storm conditions continue south and east of the Metro with still some freezing rain and snow being reported. Power outages are increasing in parts of the area towards the south and east of KC.

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Forecast:

Today: Snow with 3-6″ overall expected. Windy with gusts approaching 25 MPH. The snow tapers off towards 4-6PM

Tonight: Partly cloudy skies and colder. Lows in the teens

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy with some light snow possible. Dusting to 1″ or so near the Metro especially towards the east and south. Highs in the 20s

Sunday: Variable clouds with highs in the 30s

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Discussion:

So looking at the maps this morning…it appears that the “warm” layer of air above us has been wiped away…and it wasn’t as warm as model data suggested to begin with. That’s a good thing to a large extent for those most worried about ice in the Metro.

We had some and there is certainly a layer of ice below the accumulating snow but the power outage risk in the KC Metro area appears to be reduced.

Can’t say that for areas to the south and east of KC where there has been more ice overnight and now the tree limbs are sagging and power outages are increasing.

Close to 25,000 customers are without power, perhaps more as you read this.

The quicker conversion to snow means more snow on top of the ice. Last night I bumped up the forecast snow amounts to 3-6″…thinking we may get some heavier snows for a few hours starting at 9 or 10 AM.

With the 1-3 hour advance in that timing of the snow transition…some areas may well see over 6″ of snow.

The record today at KCI is a paltry (by winter standards) 2.2″. This looks very breakable there.

The radar above just shows where it’s doing “something” and it’s the best that I can get in the blog for you. This morning though you can see the whole consolidated band developing and will pivot through the area today into this afternoon.

Moderate to at times heavy snow will fall in the area and with us getting already close to 2″ or so…I can certainly see another 4″ coming from this.

Winter storm warnings are in pink below.

The whole storm has been fascinating. From SW TX and other parts of TX to OK to MO…snow and ice have been a big deal to finish off 2020 and start 2021.

The wintry mix of sleet and ice can in about as expected.

The transition happened though a bit faster than anticipated. I have a feeling that since the air above us was so dry last night…that when the moisture surged in from the south…it cooled off the atmosphere enough to allow the, what was warm layer, to fade rather quick near the State Line at least.

Obviously it took longer towards the east and southeast of KC.

Meanwhile in Sweet Springs, MO

As the morning develops and as the snow rates increase…it will look like a snow globe for several hours + with winds gusting to 25 MPH or higher, while not a blizzard technically…it will look like one into the early afternoon.

Interesting to note that while my timing of the transition to snow is off by a couple of hours…the timing of the heaviest snow band will be spot on…as the 9-10 AM window was the target for the switchover time to heavier snows.

Again some are going to end up with close to 5″ snow in the Metro I think from this.

The system tomorrow is coming into an atmosphere that will be drier than today’s set-up…much drier. So it will be moisture starved.

You can sort of see the system here in the northern Mexico.

It will sort of end up very close to the spot where the storm today is…pretty remarkable when two storms end up near each other in a 24 hour period.

The effects though of this final system will be to give us more clouds and maybe some lighter snows in the area. Accumulations would be in the dusting to 1″or 2″ range especially on the MO side towards the SE/E of the Metro.

We’ll deal with that tomorrow.

The feature photo of the day comes from Sandra Cox out towards Bill Cox Farms in Leeton, MO

Joe

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