It’s a mess out there on many bridges and overpasses and some schools are closed, especially from the northside into northern MO.
The glaze of ice is the issue.
There were areas of sleet and light ice last night, and as temperatures dropped this morning, and are still dropping, whatever wetness that was out their has frozen up and it’s a big problem this morning, especially on untreated roads.
KCI has had runway issues and there are numerous cancellations and delays. Thank goodness we squeezed in the Victory Parade yesterday and it wasn’t today, because that would’ve been a mess and a half.
If you thought you were hearing things last night with thunder and sleet falling, you weren’t, there were several areas of thunder and lightning out there after 12AM or so, especially north and west of I-35.
Today the snow aspect will be minor. It is snowing pretty good across northern MO though, with several inches on the ground in far northern MO.
Today: Freezing mist/drizzle and potentially some snow flurries as well. Cold with temperatures essentially in the mid 20s for most of the day with wind chill factors in the teens.
Tonight: Cold with clearing skies and lows in the teens
Tomorrow: A nice turnaround with highs rebounding into the 40s
Saturday: Milder. Highs well into the 50s. There will be filtered sunshine at times
Sunday: Same with more sunshine
So the glaze is the main issue out there today in addition to the dropping temperatures and the blustery winds. Some areas are OK this morning… other areas are not. The view from the KC Scout website shows all the crashes out there.
The bridges and overpasses are messy for sure. Parking lots and sidewalks have a thin glaze of ice on them and most aren’t treated which complicates things even more. Be careful out there today.
This was all expected. I sent out a tweet thread last night covering this potential
The surface map this morning shows the colder air dumping into the region… hence temperatures have been dropping off this morning. Temperatures are in red
So why, despite the cold temperatures here on the ground, are we seeing a glaze of ice and not snow? Very simply aloft… there is no moisture to support the actually forming of snow flakes.
Last night we were also fighting a warm layer of air that was melting the snowflakes as they fell. So essentially we’ve been out of sync… when we had support for snow flakes to form, we had a warm layer melting them. Then as the atmosphere chilled down, the moisture to create the snowflakes left.
You can see that clearly on the sounding this morning from the balloon launch at Topeka.
As the balloon goes up it measures various weather parameters including temperatures, dew points and winds. These are plotted on a chart in degrees Celsius.
On the far left are the millibar levels… for example 700 mb is roughly 10,000 feet up. A key layer for snowflakes to form. See how the air is dry there? This is the result of a dry slot that moved into the region this morning.
The numbers at the bottom are temperatures and the diagonal lines above those numbers represent the temperatures going upwards. The 0° means 32°. So for this sounding the air is below 32° going up (supporting snow) but because flakes can’t really form and grow well… we’re left with the end result
Freezing mist and freezing drizzle.
Farther north into northern MO…the air is more saturated in the snow flake forming part of the atmosphere… hence this scene in Maryville.
Big difference up there compared to down here which was the expectation.
There are some signs that we may saturate the “snowflake forming layer” later this afternoon BUT by the time that happens the lift to the atmosphere to create more snowflakes is waning as the storm pulls farther away…so while some patches of snow showers/flurries are possible it wont be significant probably for the KC area.
So it goes in the weird winter of 2022-23.
And how about this… with a rapid return to southwest winds tomorrow, we quickly moderate as highs soar to near average…40s and then over the weekend we may push near 60° again with breezy to windy conditions.
On the warmer side of the storm…towards the southeastern US…severe weather season is well underway for them.
The threat of tornados is also a big issue today.
That 10% hatched area is a concern. From the SPC discussion this morning…
“The strongest unconditional parameter space for significant-tornado
potential this afternoon and evening still appears to be in the
corridor from southern MS to middle TN and western/central/northern
AL, but that doesn’t preclude one farther north into a much more
conditional regime as well. Deep shear and SRH will remain
favorable northward into the Ohio Valley, but instability at all
depths should diminish due to a combination of antecedent precip and
less-mature, lower-theta-e return flow. As frontal/prefrontal
convection moves over the region, a blend of linear and precursory
supercell modes is possible, with damaging to severe wind being the
most common event, and a few tornadoes also possible. Severe
potential also should diminish in the Ohio Valley corridor sooner
than the Gulf Coast States, as the frontal/prefrontal convection
outruns a narrower warm sector.”
So there is that aspect as well.
Our next potential snow risk is maybe towards the middle of next week. Maybe.
The feature photo is from Sheila Jackson out towards Lexington, MO