KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Well it won’t be today, that’s for sure. A cold rain, yes… Flakes? No.
Rain is slowly expanding through the area and this will be a beneficial rain for all it appears. Amounts won’t be overly heavy, some perhaps over an inch, but most appear to be in the 1/3 to 3/4-inch range, give or take in terms of what this system will do for the KC region overall.
It’s chilly out there as well. Readings this morning are in the mid-to-upper 30s and will struggle to go anywhere today, perhaps going up a few degrees. We won’t get into the warmer air that will be several counties south of the metro today, but the air overall will be seasonable. We will get into the dry slot of the storm at some point during the middle of the afternoon when the rains will shut down for most of the evening as well. This is storm No. 1.
Storm No. 2 may be affecting us to some extent over the weekend, especially later Saturday into Sunday early morning. This may be a winter mix/snow system for us. Amounts don’t look overly heavy, but it’s possible that we actually have some real snow on the ground for parts of the area by the time you wake up on Sunday.
Kansas City Forecast
Today: Rainy through 2-4 p.m. or so. Steady temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40 degrees. Blustery into the afternoon with lighter winds afterwards. Not a pleasant morning.
Tonight: Cloudy with a few scattered showers, then after 3-4 a.m. a mixed set of showers and some snow is possible towards daybreak. Accumulations look minor, perhaps some coatings on exposed surfaces. Temperatures remain near 40 degrees, then drop into the mid-30s towards daybreak.
Tomorrow: Any snow ends quickly, then cloudy and blustery with temperatures struggling to get out of the mid-30s. Feels colder with the winds. Perhaps some late sunshine mixing in.
Friday: Decent day with highs in the lower 40s.
Before we dive into the matter at hand, or matters, there’s this:
We went from No. 4 to No. 3 on the hit parade for the warmest start to a year in KC. Pretty impressive. The last time we had a warmer start was back in 2006.
This is going to start changing big time over the coming days as a colder regime starts to set up across the Plains and elsewhere. Longer-term trends to finish the month are chillier. Perhaps not every single day, but overall chillier.
Winter isn’t over. It may feel that way, but it’s not. There are risks of snow showing up and certainly colder days coming.
The system today is mostly behaving thus far. Rain this morning is expanding through the region and more will develop over on the Kansas side and move towards the northeast up the Interstate 35 corridor. This will continue through the early afternoon.
On the broader view of things:
The morning surface map shows a developing area of low pressure across the southwest part of Kansas.
The surface storm will come along the the I-70 corridor and pretty much come right over KC tonight and early tomorrow morning. That will keep the warmer air south of the region. And with the rain for the first 2/3 of the day continuing, the warm front south of here will be firmed up as the rain will just keep us chilly.
Again a 3 to 5-degree change in temperatures isn’t out of the question later today and overnight.
You can track the progress of the surface storm with this next map that should auto-update through the day.
What is sort of interesting is that as the dry slot of the storm comes towards the northeast this afternoon, there is a small window where there could be some convection between the Emporia area and Wichita in Kansas. If that happens and with the surface low adding a bit of extra circulation to things, there could be a few low-topped supercells formed.
Sort of a needle in the haystack situation, but not out of the question. There could even be a brief spin-up down towards the southwest of the region or perhaps some small hail.
A lot has to come together, at least some instability has to develop down there, but it’s on the table. Hence that small level 1 risk southwest of the metro.
By far the higher risks are in Dixie again.
As this storm passes east of the region that chillier air will circulate southwards, especially above us. That should allow for a mix/snow to develop on the backside of the system as it moves through the region tomorrow morning. If this comes together a bit more, we may see some minor coatings in some areas, but surface temperatures will be near 35 degrees it appears, so it will melt on the roads I think.
Weekend chance of snow
This system is the last in the parade of storms to affect California. This will affect mainly northern California with some additional rains and mountain snows today, as well as areas farther northwards.
It will drop into the Las Vegas, Nevada, region by Friday morning. Then by Saturday morning, it will approach Amarillo, Texas, and come through the KC region on Sunday morning. This will bring additional moisture to the western U.S., including at least some lighter totals towards northern Arizona
So let’s track it as we go up in the atmosphere to about 20,000 feet. We’ll pick it up around midday tomorrow as it’s moving towards Nevada.
There is another wave dropping into the system from the north and there is a pirouette that may be needed for this to work out for us in terms of impacts. If the northern system dropping southwards is a bit faster, and passes us before the two sort of try to come together, then the system coming out of the southern Plains would get shunted to the south of the KC area with minimal impacts.
There will also be an issue with drier air being ingested into whatever comes out towards the area. On the flip side of that, there are some jet stream dynamics (more on that tomorrow) that may help the cause of this. So a few things are on the table to get us some snow locally.
The amounts shouldn’t be too heavy, but there is some potential to get a couple of inches here or there from this. Perhaps a small upside based on this morning’s data.
Again, if that pirouette doesn’t work out well, then this may not be much at all.
The timing is later Saturday into Saturday night and early Sunday. This appears to be a majority snow opportunity for us as well.
Something to monitor, especially with the game on Saturday. Hopefully it waits until everyone is home and safe before we start getting road issues (if it comes together).
The feature photo is from Lesa Wadrip up in Parkville, Missouri.