Joe’s Weather Blog: Very active pattern…brings rain and maybe more (THU-1/28)

Weather

We’re “stuck in the muck” or “stuck in the yuck” depending on your perspective. Those were the phrases I used yesterday when noticing the extent of the low clouds that were encompassing western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Last night no doubt my forecast for today was vastly different than my colleagues…

I went cloudy with temperatures near 32° today. I altered my original forecast of clouds to sun with upper 30s…to something grayer for most of the day. I don’t know for sure how that will work out in the end, but there is a lot of model support for my thinking right now. We’ll see if I made the correct forecast or not.

Last night was a interesting night. Where skies cleared out, it dropped into the 10° range. Where the clouds were persistent, it was in the mid 20s. KCI did a bit of both, briefly seeing some breaks for about 90 min, dropping to about 18° then going right back up to 25° when the clouds moved back in.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy and cold. Highs in the 30-35° range. There might be some thin breaks later today…not confident about that.

Tonight: Variable clouds and chilly with lows 25-30°.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy breezy and mild with highs well into the 40s. Let’s hope we break through the clouds…if not it could be 10° cooler.

Saturday: Rain, heavy at times…maybe even a rumble. Highs into the mid 40s.

Sunday: Blustery and colder with temperatures steady in the low to mid 30s. Maybe a few flurries.

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Discussion:

The deck of moisture that is out there is only about 1000-1500 feet thick. The air above that deck is actually warmer than the air at the surface be a few degrees…and it is a lot drier. I noticed all of this last night, hence my forecast change for today compared to other forecasts.

Now the issue is do we break up today…and that is certainly not set in stone. A few weeks ago I thought we were going to be stuck in the gray skies for several days in a row and that did not play out as I expected. Last night there were some breaks, and sometimes when that happens at night, it’s a sign that it could happen again during the day too. We’ll see about all that. I’m more pessimistic about the chances through most of the afternoon at least.

Tomorrow looks OK I think, as long as we break into some sunshine and the winds increase enough to create some mixing.

Then there is Saturday. That will be one wet day in the area.

It’s connected to the system helping to create some nasty weather out west that I spent a lot of time talking about on the news last night. Watching some of the higher elevations in the Sierras getting some 5 feet+ of snow…coming at the rate of 5″ per hour for awhile last night. This might be their biggest snow event in such a short amount of time since back in 2010.

It was coming down there pretty good yesterday…over 2 feet worth I think.

IF you want to take a look at the Mammoth Mountain web cam…take a look.

That system comes into the Plains over the weekend. No need to rewrite everything from yesterday, but there have been no changes to those thoughts or the data really.

This may be a snow maker across eastern Iowa and towards the east through the the Corn Belt. Here is the snow forecast into Sunday morning:

Again though this will be a rain system for us…and a decent one at that.

Odds continue to favor 1/2″-1″ of moisture starting at some point on Saturday morning. The dynamic system aloft will come into the Plains and help spin up a surface low pressure area in southeast Colorado that will dip into Oklahoma, then come up the I-35 corridor towards the Kansas City region.

It will almost pass directly over us too then pass into central Illinois and Indiana.

So a good rain maker for the region from this as milder as milder air comes up through the Plains ahead of the system.

There should be another similar type system next Wednesday and Thursday. That could actually be even stronger (model data has this passing northwest of KC too) meaning warm air again with colder air coming back in behind it.

This is an interesting setup because that colder air will be lingering in the Plains and Missouri Valley and there is a third system a portion of which is now over is Asia…I can trace that to potentially doing something wintry towards next weekend. We’ll see about that.

There is a lot of model inconsistency regarding how things play out in about 10 days. The GFS has a full-on arctic type air mass coming into the Plains and upper Midwest. The EURO has us chilly but in a flow aloft that would support systems coming out of the southwest US…snow lovers take note of that after next Friday. The EURO ensembles though lean more towards the way the GFS is going with us being pretty cold but struggling to get something wintry in the cold air mass.

So a lot may change between next weekend and the 12th of February…there is some real weather shaping up for the first week of the month it appears.

By the way, we ended up with 1.3″ of snow up at KCI from this, but we really can’t complain about the winter so far at least. There is actually a scale used called the ACCUMULATED WINTER SEASON SEVERITY INDEX that measures the “severity of a winter is related to the intensity and persistence of cold weather, the amount of snow, and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground.”

This won’t surprise many…

Those red dots mean “mild” winter severity

Now the opposite…the winter of ’09-10!

That was “extreme”

and the two as a contrast on a graph.

So yeah…’09-10 (red line) was quite a bit worse as you can see.

OK that’s it for today…have a great Thursday. See you tonight at 5/6/9/10.

Our feature photo comes from Sandra Cox out towards Leeton, Mo. Pretty!

Joe

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