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KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Tuesday’s warmth is the first leg of what will be a powerful storm that’s set to move across the Midwest later this week.

Temperatures at around 3 p.m. Tuesday are in the mid-and-upper 60s around Kansas City, with southerly wind gusts as high as 45 mph. The warmth and wind continue throughout the day, so it won’t be bad to get outside after work and school, other than the wind.

Temperatures as of 2 PM Tuesday
Wind gusts as of 2:45 PM Tuesday

By the way, the record high for today is 72 degrees, set back in 1911. The day’s record high standings are:

  1. 72 degrees (1911)
  2. 71 degrees (1921)
  3. 68 degrees (1954)

So we at least tied the No. 3 spot for Tuesday!

The upper-level storm that will provide the energy and lift for this expected wintry mess is over California as of Tuesday afternoon. It’s expected to track through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma before somewhat following the Interstate 35 corridor into KC.

The upper-level storm (about 18,000 feet up) is still spinning over CA, but is heading our way.

We’ve been talking about this next storm since last week, and the main message has been: the chance for winter weather is there, but it depends on where exactly the center of the storm will go. That exact track continues to be a challenge Tuesday.

Garry wrote Monday about how our models aren’t in good agreement about the specifics of the track, leading to a wide range in winter precipitation types, duration and totals of different precipitation types in the end. Joe wrote Tuesday about why and how the models have different answers to this one problem.

While there are still things to clear up, here’s what we know:

  1. We are expecting a winter storm to bring rain, a mix of sleet and freezing rain, and snow to our area Wednesday through Thursday.
  2. Because of the general timing of that transition between the different precipitation types, there will likely be slick roads and tough travel for anyone going to work or school Thursday morning, especially south and east of the KC metro. It’s probably best to plan on working from home that day, if possible.
  3. The potential for heavy snow is there for Thursday, as Gulf moisture will be streaming from the south into this storm.

With the afternoon and evening data coming in later Tuesday, we’ll have a better idea about the latest trend in the track and snowfall totals by extension.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch Tuesday afternoon in preparation.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on the changes!