KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Things are looking rather white in the region this morning as 1-2 inches of snow has fallen, clinging to everything.

In many ways, the snow reminds me more of a November-type snow where the roads have fared rather well in many instances due to the warmth built up yesterday and the day before, while the flying wet snows stuck to everything else.

It’s a soon to be snowman’s paradise out there, so the kids will be thrilled, especially with all the cancelled schools today.

Temperatures this month are still more than 10 degrees above average, which is a remarkable stat that may edge downwards to finish off the month. If the month ended now, we’d have the third-warmest January in KC weather history. As is, it’s still the fourth-warmest January though yesterday.

As I said though at the start, February will not be the same as January.

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Kansas City Forecast

Today: Generally cloudy, although there may be some breaks in the clouds before lunch in some areas. Increasing winds this afternoon as well with temperatures in the mid-30s.

Tonight: Partly cloudy and colder with lows near 20 degrees unless the clouds hang around for longer. Winds fade a bit.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and chilly with highs in the mid-30s.

Friday: Warmer and windier. Another run well into the 40s.

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Discussion

I promised you a photogenic snow and Mother Nature delivered in a big way overnight! The snow turned into bands of heavier snows, coating the grass and exposed surfaces, but keeping the roads mostly wet.

Temperatures never really dropped last night (mostly in the 32-34 degree range), and in most cases that saved the roads. But there are still some slushy areas and some secondary snow-covered roads to start the day.

Here are some early snow reports that have come in.

There are some areas near 3 inches in isolated pockets perhaps. I had 2 inches on the nose in southeast Olathe, Kansas. The snow is wet and heavy, so it will compact on itself this morning with the moisture that’s in the snow (that makes for good snowman making).

Overall, the forecast worked out pretty well. Really there wasn’t a bad forecast range. Lower-end ranges worked, higher-end ranges worked. Road forecasts were well played with generally just wet conditions out there.

I sort of was surprised by the number of schools that were closed, but I think there were a lot of folks itching to get a snow day today since there hasn’t been one yet this winter.

There may be more coming down the pike though.

Weekend Arctic air in Kansas City

The pattern will be a bit variable over the next few days before we see a stronger push of Arctic-born air come in the northern Plains over the weekend and flow south later Saturday into Sunday.

As a matter of fact, the source region for the air coming our way later in the weekend is in a part of the hemisphere that produces cold air in abundance during the heart of the winter season.

We’ve had a run of 25 days above average in KC this month, 29 straight overall (including today). The lack of cold mornings is also pushing this stat along nicely. We may break the streak tomorrow unless the clouds later today hang tough all night, which is possible as well.

If that happens, lows in the morning will be in the lower 20s, giving us a bit of wiggle room because the highs will only be in the low-to-mid 30s. Average now for a high is 39 degrees.

There is a cold front of sorts moving through the Plains this morning. When it passes by, you’ll notice the increase in winds and perhaps a bit of a retreat in the temperatures.

Our storm that produced the snow that blanketed the region is now towards Evansville, Indiana. The snow is being swept east this morning, and while there may be a flurry or two this afternoon with the push of chillier air, the accumulating snow is mostly done for us.

KCI officially picked up almost 2 inches of snow from this. At least their snow depth at 6 a.m. was 2 inches, and that means they have between 1.5- 2.4 inches of snow on the ground. There is rounding involved. Before midnight last night, they had 0.6 inch.

After a cold day tomorrow, milder air will flow into the Plains aided by some downsloping winds. We’ll see if the expanse of snow that’s out there affects this, but we should get enough wind to really moderate things Friday and especially Saturday.

The trick about Saturday is the timing of the front that will be changing things to the cold side later Saturday. Model data has the front moving through Saturday evening, and this could allow Saturday to warm up to near 50 degrees with enough wind and sunshine.

The trick will be the sunshine aspect of this for Saturday to get us to our full potential.

The Arctic air will bleed into the region Saturday night into Sunday morning. The next question is whether there will be some light wintry precipitation in the transition.

I won’t be surprised. I doubt it would be heavy, but with falling temperatures and potentially “something” falling, perhaps some light mix/light snow. If the pavement gets wet and the colder air comes in, there could be an issue with some black ice in spots. That remains to be seen because the winds will counter the effects of the black ice to some extent.

It’s something worth watching.

The overall trend though is colder weather and colder days. There will be some additional wintry weather threats as well next week, including Tuesday perhaps.

For a change (and unlike the winter as a whole so far), there should be an abundance of cold air around. There isn’t per se a major storm showing up, but instead a series of disturbances coming up from the southwest. We’ll have to see how well they can saturate the mid-levels of the atmosphere to get snowflakes to form in the clouds.

So we finish off January cold and we’ll start February cold, and that will be unlike what we’ve experienced for the last month or so. There may be some moderation for a bit heading towards the next weekend (first weekend of February).

Tomorrow’s blog will have a special section related to a somewhat unusual optical phenomena that some areas got to see. Odds are you’ve never seen it before in its entirety.

The feature photo today is from Terri Bruntmyer.

Joe