Joe’s Weather World: A big Monday headache for the area (SUN-10/25)

Weather

It’s Sunday and it’s dreary! IF ever there was a day for a nice pot of chili to be on the stove, this would be it. Temperatures will struggle near 40° and there will be ongoing mist/drizzle through the evening that will dampen things but really not amount to much at all.

The cold air will gradually build through the bottom 8,000 feet or so in the atmosphere today though, and that will play a role in our wintry set-up Monday that still isn’t a slam dunk for accumulations, but has the potential for at least covering some areas with snow, especially on the grassy surfaces.

There are many nuances to tomorrow including the time of day this happens, the rate the mix/snow falls, the surface temperatures at the time and a few other things happening about us. Last October when we were getting close to 1″ of snow on 10/29. Our air temperatures were around 34° or so, and that is something to remember.

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Forecast: 5PM Update…

A Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Monday…counties are highlighted in purple.

Tonight: Drizzle and mist developing… eventually transitioning to some sort of light wintry mix towards tomorrow morning and then to snow. Roads will mostly just be damp I think through the morning rush for the vast majority of the Metro as temperatures will be in the 30-34° range. Watch for any bridge/overpass issues however!

Monday: The wintry mix will quickly convert over to snow and increase in intensity especially from the Metro north and northwest. Areas farther towards the SE of KC though may not see a conversion over the snow for quite some time. This will really eliminate most accumulations and the roads should just be wet there. For areas from the Metro north and west, the surface temperatures and the time of day may help us out a lot. There should at least be some grassy accumulations of a slushy something to about 1-3″ or so at this point. Remember if we’re a few degrees colder…there could be a bit more of an accumulation. Also watch those temperatures because 31+ should be mostly OK…below that though and that could create some more issues especially on bridges and overpasses. Watch for freezing after sunset as well on what may be wet. Just messy

Tuesday: Another mixed bag of potentially sleet, and/or freezing rain. IF we’re below 32° Tuesday this could actually create some bigger road issues, especially on bridges and overpasses.

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Discussion:

I was just looking back at a couple of blogs from late October of 2019…in some ways what I’m writing today is sort of like that. An early snow season potential…but yet there are several things that may or may not work out for the actual accumulations…including how long the mix lingers for and how hard the precip falls in the 1st place.

Let’s start here…

Heck even back on Halloween of 2017 we had a trace of snow up at KCI.

These October snows are becoming a thing!

So today really is just blah… misty, drizzly and really nothing much more than that.

The 10 AM surface map shows colder air seeping in…although for now the bigger push of colder air is towards the west of KC. That look, with clouds and drizzle at times today, is a look that will make it tough to go up more than a few degrees from where we are right now.

Tonight temperatures will gradually nudge down. Not overly so though I don’t think. So that at daybreak we should be in the 33-35° range. Above us there will be an abundant amount of moisture below 8-9,000 feet but above that, at least tonight… there should be 1000s of feet of less saturated air. That is important because snowflakes need to form in that drier air (won’t happen tonight up there at least). This means that what flakes for…or pellets will have a tougher time accumulating because it will be a lighter event for awhile into daybreak Monday.

That’s good news in some cases because combined with the 30-33° air temperatures and the daylight on Monday, it should be a bit tougher to get anything beyond “mostly” wet roads. There could be some slush/ice mixed in though so always worth paying extra attention to the road conditions tomorrow. Some of the late afternoon data does show colder surface temperatures indicating a better chance of slicker roads and sticking snow!

Temperatures tomorrow shouldn’t go anywhere (whatever we are at 12AM should the the high for the day. The record cold high for Monday is 37°. We’ll see where we are at 12AM. Here are the coldest highs for Monday’s date.

On that note TODAY’s record cold high is 39°… so far that is our high today. So it’s possible we may have tied our record cold high for today’s date.

If there is going to be a record cold high… it’s happening on Tuesday I think. Appears to be almost a lock really.

Onwards…

So tomorrow the data suggests that in time the atmosphere will be more conducive for snow. There are little things showing up however that makes me ask myself, who exactly will get the most from this 1st winter event. There are suggestions in the day that the drier air above 8,000 feet will have a tough time saturating (to create better snowflakes) for parts of the viewing area.

Some model data suggests very little accumulating snow north of KCI with upwards of 1-3″ on the south side of the Metro. Odds are this would be mostly on the grassy surfaces through early evening tomorrow. Again trying to thread a needle through the somewhat above freezing surface temperatures. It’s tough for me to see how there is any accumulation from roughly Paola to Warrensbug to Marshall and southeast from there.

So let’s go with the assumption that we don’t have sticking snow through 7AM Monday…then from then to 7AM Tuesday the hi-res NAM has this much moisture.

Now the snow ratios won’t be the best with this for several reasons…so let’s look at something like an 8:1 rain to snow ratio. That would tell me that on the high side 3″ would do it…and on the low side…a slushy 1″ is possible in spots. There may be some areas farther north that don’t get much at all.

So yeah…it’s an important storm for October but I don’t think it’s a close down the city type event thankfully.

Then Tuesday has it’s own issues because the air aloft will be getting even warmer it appears so snow is going to be really a tough thing to maintain…it may be more of a frz rain/pellet/rain thing…those surface temperatures may be drifting down to closer to 30° and that could be problematic. Especially after sunset Tuesday.

Wednesday and Thursday may bring more rain (only) to the region as the main storm finally lifts out of the southwest. Here’s a kicker though.

Say hello to Zeta…

Depending on where Zeta goes…it’s not out of the realm that some of Zeta’s moisture can actually wrap into the upper level storm coming into the southern Plains. In the weirdest of ways it’s possible some of that moisture wraps all the way up towards the KC region on Thursday.

Just so 2020!

Finally by Friday were drying out and we should be OK for Halloween. Also a reminder that we change our clocks next weekend!

Check in with Alex tonight for updates…

The feature photo comes from Tedd Scofield from the other night!

Joe

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