KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a cold start out there as temperatures this morning dropped into the lower teens thanks to a cold front that moved through last night. The cold air is going to be fleeting and should push away during the morning tomorrow, setting the stage for a nice several days in the area.
While we enjoy nicer weather, things are going to be crazy back east where a blizzard is heading to New England as well as other parts of the northeast. This will be an impressive storm in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, parts of New York and New Jersey with winds whipping at 60-plus mph and intense bands of snowfall. Some may see over 24 inches of snow from this, but it will be impossible to measure with all the winds going.
For us: We’ve had 5.3 inches of snow this month. No more is expected for January, but there is a possible Groundhog snowstorm to watch for us, and that will be touched on today as well. There is likely some of the coldest air of the winter behind this storm, so let’s enjoy the nicer days over the weekend and Monday.
Today: Mostly sunny with some more clouds on the Kansas side. Chillier than yesterday with highs in the 32-degree area.
Tonight: Clear and cold, with steadier temperatures to perhaps rising morning temperatures into the teens before rising into the 20s by daybreak.
Tomorrow: Cold to start…mild to finish with highs approaching 55°. Breezy as well in the afternoon
Sunday: Still a nice day with highs in the mid-to-upper 40s.
Let’s start with this soon to be all out blizzard. This is also going to be referred to as a “bomb cyclone.” Remember a few days ago I wrote about this because the storm was going to be undergoing rapid intensification tomorrow, and it would qualify as a bomb cyclone.
The blizzard (for some) is going to happen as a variety of upper-level atmospheric features merge and come together. There will be some questions of who gets the worst of this, but consensus is that this will be worse for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
Let’s start with the variety of watches/warnings (via Pivotal Weather):
Now let’s focus back east.
Here are the blizzard warnings, for some the first time in more than 10 years:
Here are all of them mashed together with numerous winter storm warnings as well:
Almost 11 million are under a blizzard warning… impressive.
Remember there is certain criteria for a storm to be considered a blizzard, including visibility in heavy snow and winds speeds that have to occur over a 3-hour straight period.
There will be some areas of strong “banding” that develop, and those are nowcast-type things, leading some to perhaps get over 30 inches of snow. The highest risk for this is in Massachusetts and perhaps Rhode Island and Connecticut as well.
Here are some forecasts for New England:
And the New York City area:
Here is the whole mish-mash together:
And a close-up of New England:
The one thing that may diminish the snow totals in far eastern Massachusetts towards the Cape Cod area would be a potential dry slot, but it still should be impressive because of this as well… the wind!
These are some of the stronger gusts expected (or at least something close to this). Perhaps some areas closest to the ocean could get stronger gusts. There are some near-70 mph gusts possible.
On the Winter Storm Severity Index product, this sends the output to “extreme” for coastal areas.
Here comes the storm:
Notice the central pressure of the system down to about 965 millibars. That’s the equivalent of 28.50 inches on many barometers or close to it.
Oh and to be out on the outer parts of Cape Cod, where 15 to 25-foot waves will be crashing ashore with heavy snows at the same time.
That would be quite the experience, assuming there is a nice sturdy house!
This will also cause a lot of coastal flooding and erosion which is going to lead to bad things I think on the Cape.
The rates of snow and the wind blowing it everywhere will likely make this something that folks remember for a long time. There will be some higher totals than those shown, and some lower ones as well. I think a pretty sharp dropdown is likely near the New York City area and westwards. How close New York City is to the drop off remains to be seen, but 6-12 inches seems like a good estimate for them.
Yes, there is snow possible next week. The timing of that appears to be mostly Wednesday into Thursday morning but unlike this big storm back east, our snow is going to be connected to a variety of smaller disturbances riding over increasingly cold air in the lower part of the atmosphere. This can lead to prolonged snow chances, and accumulating snows.
While amounts are pretty unknown, model data is spitting out 2-5 inches in the region with upside. The data is spitting out 1/3 to 1/2-inch liquid amounts and with snow ratios approaching 15:1 perhaps (the air is going to be pretty darn cold on Wednesday into Wednesday night), you can get some upside to the snow totals.
Now will we be targeted? That is really unknown. Look at this.
This shows little disturbances, but no real cohesive storm through late Wednesday. This chart shows what’s happening up around 18,000 feet. The red areas are areas of stronger vorticity, where the air spins broadly. The atmosphere ahead of these features is “lifted,” while behind the air sinks. Air that is lifted cools and condenses and you can get streaks of precipitation. Also to the north of those vorticity streaks, you get added precipitation.
There are issues. Suppose those streaks are further north, or further south, that impacts our snow amounts here.
Basically here is what we know…
- After highs near 60 degrees Monday, temperatures start falling on Tuesday into Wednesday.
- Snow risks increase on Wednesday, especially as the day moves along because there might be dry air issues to overcome.
- Snow should be widespread, but will vary from light to moderate.
- It will accumulate once it gets going because of the colder air.
- Temperatures will likely continue dropping on Wednesday into the teens by later in the day.
- Snow may be a bit prolonged, lasting into early Thursday based on the date today.
- The GFS does indeed give us sleet for awhile as it has warmer air aloft roughly 5,000 feet up. The EURO is colder through the atmosphere. This will bear watching especially from Intestate 70 southwards. I’m not convinced the GFS is correct though. Here is a comparison. Temperatures are in degrees Celsius. Remember zero Celsius is 32 Fahrenheit.
8. All models are showing potentially sub-zero temperatures on Friday morning next week. Perhaps minus 10 to minus 20 in the deepest snow pack. Needs to be watched.
So we’ll do that, and get more detailed on Monday’s blog. The bottom line is to enjoy the warmer weather over the weekend into Monday and GO CHIEFS. Mid-to-upper 40s for game time in late January is a good thing around here.
Imagine if the game would’ve been in New England tomorrow?
The feature photo comes from Matthew Reinschmidt.