Joe’s Weather World: A taste of winter once again (FRI-3/13)

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You can tell that the weather is changing. For the last couple of days we’ve been in the mid 60s…today…not so much…and it will be our first below average day for high temperatures since February 26th…that’s a nice run of 15 straight days of above average highs around these parts.

Clouds and a northeast wind will conspire to keep highs closer to 50°. There may be a few sprinkles out there too today and this evening…but the main “show” will come overnight into Saturday morning.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy skies and cooler with highs closer to 50°

Tonight: Rain develops which may mix with some sleet or snow well after 12AM…lows in the mid 30s

Saturday: A wintry mix possible early in the morning…then lighter rainsprinkles and blustery weather. Highs closer to 40°

Sunday: Variable clouds and cool with highs in the upper 40s

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Discussion:

We’ve started the month close to 8.5° above average…as a matter of fact this is the 10th warmest start to the month of March in the KC area.

and in a twist of fate…look at where we were last year through the 12th.

Weird right?

OK so we’re going to be all over the place for the next 10 days…some mild days…maybe some 70°+ days next week at some point…then again some chilly weather too…overall the usual stuff for mid>late March.

Despite the mild last couple of weeks we do have more freezes coming…so I’m sure we’re starting to get to the point that gardeners are thinking about getting out and doing some work…just don’t get too carried away.

Radar this morning, as I write this blog…are showing some sprinkles…maybe even a couple of ice pellets. Most of what you see below, as of 10AM is virga…or precipitation evaporating before reaching the ground.

The satellite pictures this morning show a broad swath of clouds out there…

That moisture streaming into the region is coming from an upper level system in the SW USA

There is some broad lift now in the Plains because of this system…and various small little disturbances coming out of it in the Midwest.

A lot of that, as of this writing isn’t reaching the ground since there is dry air aloft that it needs to overcome. As a matter of fact with a rather strong area of high pressure on top of us…that dry air will take awhile to overcome.

As the day and especially tonight comes along…the atmosphere will gradually get more and more saturated and we’ll see precipitation reach the ground.

Now the issue is what form does it take. With dry air at the surface and initially aloft…as the snow/rain falls through that layer of dry air…it will evaporate for awhile. That evaporation, much like stepping out of a pool on a hot day in the desert and feeling cool, will lead to a chilling of the air as the precipitation falls. This chilling above…will, in time take the air aloft near or even below 32°.

The chill will gradually work down through the atmosphere and eventually work it’s way to about 1,500 feet or so above the ground. Surface temperatures locally may not fall below 35-36°. How close the below freezing air above us is to the ground will determine what form the precip takes on. Also of important note…there are indications that there may be some weird little layer aloft of above freezing air…thanks to strong winds bringing in or reinforcing near to above 32° air…

That means sleet could be around as well…especially from KC northwards. That is a monkey wrench and I talked about this last night on the news.

So it probably will be tough to get much accumulation around KC proper…not totally out of the question and IF the air is colder…something could absolutely happen regarding this chance. A “surprise” if you will.

Some model data today…which for the last couple of days was suggestive of snow for KC and northwards…is more suggestive of a mix for KC and northwards…so the model is trying to sniff out the presence of some above freezing air in part of the atmosphere preventing all snow for KC…

I’ll watch the trends on this and won’t be surprised if things end up a bit farther north. IF we had some sort of stronger wave coming tonight…I might be more interested at this point.

The stronger part of the storm comes later tomorrow morning but by then a lot of the precip part of the system will be shoving off towards the SE of KC.

This should be a snow maker in parts of the Plains with winter storm warnings in effect.

Via Pivotal Weather

Overall another 1/2″ or so of moisture is possible…another wet system. Again the bulk of what falls will be before lunch tomorrow. We should see a lightening of the precip in the afternoon…but with the winds blowing…not a nice day.

More rain next week…some showers somewhere maybe on Monday with something a bit more beefy later next week…depending on the timing of that…there may be some stronger storms too…somewhere out there. I’m thinking there is the potential of a hard freeze next weekend too…something to watch.

The feature photo is from Ginger Brooks…

Joe

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