KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We’ve talked a lot over the last week about the lack of snow so far in the region. We’re still sitting at 1.7 inches of snow and it seems temperatures lately have been 60 degrees or higher more often that we’ve had snowy days.
This is our fifth warmest start to a year in KC, and today won’t hurt that standing. Mild air continues to push through and while tomorrow and Friday will be colder, really just seasonable for mid-January. We should warm right back up again this weekend.
The issue for the next 24 hours is a decent looking storm that will be creating rains later this evening, then with colder air wrapping into the circulation a band of snow, perhaps some moderate snow, will move through the region before daybreak tomorrow.
The timing may lead to some slick conditions on the roads in some areas tomorrow morning.
Today: Increasing clouds and mild again with highs well into the 50s.
Tonight: Rain showers developing after 9 p.m. then after midnight, a band of mixed precipitation will develop northwest of the metro and then move through while most are sleeping.
Temperatures will be dropping to near 30 degrees by daybreak. Snow accumulations will likely be under 1 inch for most, although there may be a spot or two that can do a bit better.
Tomorrow: Any snow quickly ends before 8 a.m. The generally cloudy and blustery with highs in the low to mid-30s (whatever we are at midnight will be the high for the day).
Friday: Mostly sunny and seasonable with highs in the mid-to-upper 30s.
The western parade of storms that has created widespread damage and significant flooding has allowed a series of weakened storms to cross over the Rockies and affect us. Mostly the effects have been extensive clouds, but we have seen some light precipitation from these systems.
Another system will be affecting us tonight. The system this morning is in the Rockies. This time (unlike the previous system this past weekend that did little for us), you can actually see a spin to the cloud cover/moisture out there.
This tells me that the system is actually a bit more “coherent” that the last system.
This will be tracked over the next 24 hours as it gets into the Plains.
Ahead of the system however, there isn’t any cold air to speak of really. By this afternoon, the temperatures at the surface really won’t support snow until you get north of the black line below. This is at 2 p.m. today.
Slowly as our system comes into the Plains, that colder air in northern Nebraska and northwards will circulate southwards into the developing area of low pressure that by 9 p.m. tonight will be down towards the south of the region.
By later tonight, the strength of the dynamics of the system will saturate the atmosphere and things will be rapidly developing and expanding towards the northwest of the metro.
Initially this will briefly be rain with a conversion over to sleet and perhaps then snow. This next map shows the forecast radar for 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
Then it moves away.
So the actual amount of time the snow will be falling in the M=metro may only be about four hours or so.
We have the low to mid-50s today helping to keep the roads warm into the overnight. Surface temperatures will likely be in the 31-34 degree range during the snowfall, which means some melting is likely.
The band may be decent for a couple of hours when it moves through, so accumulations are still possible, especially on grassy surfaces, decks, and cars etc. Roads may turn slushy, and some should get at least some snow cover on them, so the morning rush tomorrow may be impacted.
Whatever moves through though will be short-lived and be out of here by daybreak, so we can only accumulate so much snow in that short window. Hence a dusting to 1 inch seems to be a good forecast. Some could possibly do a bit better than that.
In general, it’s really a decent snow track. It’s a nice-looking circulation and we’re in a favorable spot for accumulating snows.
More moisture, a more seasonable atmosphere, and a couple of other things coming together would mean this would be a nice fast-hitting 2-4-inch snow for us. Alas, tough to see that happen in such a short time span.
We immediately moderate on Saturday, surge again on Sunday, then have another rain system come through later on Sunday and into Monday. Again, likely too warm through the atmosphere for snow again.
On its heels is another system next Thursday. This one may have a bit more of a southern track and MIGHT allow colder air to be at least closer to the region to be tapped into, but that’s a long ways off.
We actually may get some colder weather around these parts towards the 21st or so for a few days, but it doesn’t appear long lasting.
The feature photo is from Ben (@RunningNinja23).