Joe’s Weather World: Another Spring pop in the weather (WED-2/26)

Weather

Good morning…our latest storm has come and gone…aside from some rain…and a few snowflakes mixed in last night east and southeast of KC…it was just another ho-hum system for us…in a winter that has been a walk on the weird side I think.

In many ways it continues to amaze me that we’ve had 17+” of snow…some closer to 2 feet towards the Pleasant Hill area…with the temperatures we’ve had. Alex did some research for me yesterday showing that out of the winter season (from 12/1 through yesterday) we’ve had 60 days with above average temperatures…25 days with below average temperatures and 2 days with average temperatures. 2/3 days this “winter” have been above average.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny with blustery conditions through the mid afternoon. Winds gusting to 20 MPH. Temperatures in the upper 30s

Tonight: Clear and chilly with lows in the 20s

Tomorrow: Variable clouds with a few sprinkles possible in the afternoon. Maybe an isolated shower. Highs in the mid 40s

Friday: Partly cloudy and pleasant for late February. Highs near 50°

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Discussion:

So let’s start with some great news…unless something really changes…we’re looking at 60s for the weekend…both Saturday and Sunday. Another great weekend (we’re having a run of these lately) is on tap. Warm winds with a downslope component will allow temperatures to pop. 65° looks doable both days (or thereabouts). It might be a bit breezy on Saturday though…Sunday looks wonderful too with the exception of potentially a lot of high clouds around the area.

So with that said…

I was interested in checking to see the snow situation for March. Typically snow in March is either something noteworthy or really nothing significant. As the sun angle gets higher in the sky…it’s much easier to melt the snow during the day as it falls. The sun angle now is essentially the same as the middle of October.

So you need a noteworthy storm to do something big. The biggest snowstorm in KC weather history occurred in March of 1912…a 2 day storm around the 23rd with almost 2 feet(!) of snow. So you can still get clobbered…but odds obviously don’t favor anything like that.

As a matter of fact…the chances of getting more than 1/10″ of snow aren’t even that high in March. We average 2 days every March with that…compared to 4+ days in January. Much about 1″…good luck…less than 1 day a month in data going back to 1960-61 compared to about 3 times that risk in January.

Via Midwest Climate Center

So yeah…it could be a real struggle in March. Data today isn’t great for snow lovers. There are a few pieces of data jumping on something towards the middle of next week. We’ll see.

Again as we head farther into March it really takes the right set-up…and in a winter where the “right” set-up has been so elusive…I won’t get too worked up about anything at this point.

Speaking of getting worked up…the snow storm affecting areas off towards the east of the area through the OH Valley and Great Lakes region…

The counties highlighted in purple are under winter weather advisories…

That storm has been a mess to forecast for. A few days ago it looked to max it’s snow about 200 miles farther north…and slowly but surely it shifted farther and farther south. For example Chicago was looking at potentially 4-8″…now they’re down to a relatively low impact 1″. Winter forecasting.

Something else…sort of random. This winter has been mild overall. That’s not random…but a big change from last year obviously. We also haven’t had terrible wind chill factors this winter for any real length of time.

This is what is considered average for wind chill factors…snow year is defined as July 1st through June 30th

So basically what this means is that we get about 6 days with wind chills of at least -15° or lower. We can even break this down into hours.

So 41 hours every year we average at least -15° or lower wind chills.

Here have been the trends…

Only a handful of hours…

How about something closer to doable…+5° wind chills or lower.

In terms of hours with +5° or less wind chills…this year…about 100…average is about 340 hours. Big differences.

Oh and IF you want snow…a suggestion…head up to upstate NY. The mild weather this winter has kept the Great Lakes free of ice…that means an extended Lake Effect snow season is likely and this weekend…while we’re in the 60s…

So there’s that.

My feature photo comes from Hughesville, MO out in Pettis County north of Sedalia…at least some areas got a bit of snow overnight. Via Paul Withers

Joe

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