Joe’s Weather World: A cold week ahead…with perhaps some snow (MON-2/17)

Weather

Good morning…today is going to be a mild day in the region…some may get close to 60° before the afternoon is done if there are some breaks in the clouds. The week overall is a cold one though…and it gets easier now to get below average days with the average highs creeping up into the mid 40s

The overarching theme though is cold for the week as a strong area of high pressure builds southwards Wednesday and Thursday. The cold air may linger into Friday as well. It won’t be as cold as last weeks teens for highs…but 20s and 30s are likely.

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Forecast:

Today: Scattered brief showers…then variable clouds and mild with highs 55-60°

Tonight: Variable clouds and colder with lows in the 20s

Tomorrow: More sunshine with highs in the 30s

Wednesday: About the same with highs in the 30-35° range

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Discussion:

We’re sort of in nowhere land this week regarding the weather. No strong storms aloft but oozing surface cold air pushing southwards will dominate the weather around these parts.

Aloft though we will be in a zonal west to east flow of air with small little disturbances coming from the west to the east. There may a stronger one sometime on Wednesday but getting enough surface moisture will be a struggle with mid levels being saturated.

As far as today goes…there is a warm front towards the south of the KC Metro this morning that will sort of come north today…

As this happens a cold front across the western Plains will come towards us and catch up to the front coming north…so in time later today our winds will switch towards the south…allowing warmer air to flow in…then towards the NW early this evening as the cooler/colder air flows into the area.

This is not a brutally cold air mass coming in…but it will be a solid 20° colder tomorrow…then again today will be more than 10° above average.

Temperatures in the northern Plains are chilly but not overly cold.

With all of this happening…there are some rain showers out there today…

The latest HRRR model shows some scattered showers out there into the afternoon.

For timing purposes…18Z is Noon…21Z is 3PM…0Z is 6PM…03Z is 9PM

Of note…there is actually a tad bit of instability out there this afternoon…so I guess a random fast moving thunderstorm isn’t totally out of the question, especially on the MO side of things.

Aside from the colder weather…a a fleeting snow risk…not a lot on the weather docket this week in the KC area. We’re halfway through the month and temperatures are close to average…about .8° above average but after this week we’ll be below average.

We should be milder over the weekend…but with it will come some rain at some point…probably later Saturday or Sunday.

The southern USA though continues to mostly experience milder than average temperatures as has been the case all winter long really. So much so that the plants down there in some cases think it’s spring already and for the last few weeks have been running ahead of schedule in terms of leaf out.

The areas in deeper red are areas where the leafs are out about 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Here is more information via the National Phenology Network

What am I looking at?
This map shows where spring leaf out arrived earlier or later this year compared to the long-term average based on the period from 1981-2010. The map is based on an integrative model that predicts the start of spring called the Spring Indices. This model was developed using a long-term dataset of lilacs and honeysuckles and has been identified as a climate change indicator by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

What does this tell me?
Locations that are red are earlier than the average start of spring leaf out and locations that are blue are later than the average date. Early spring leaf out may result in a greater risk of frost damage to plants that begin leafing out or flowering before final winter frost events.

Not surprising since so much of the country has been warmer than average since 12/1.

It’s also been crazy wet down there as well…the map below shows the precipitation anomalies since 12/1.

The feature photo today is from Sheldon Proell

Joe

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