KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Did you know that we’re now up to 5 inches of snow this month? After having no snow in November or December, 5.3 inches have fallen so far this January. Not too shabby really.

There are 10-plus days to go and while there are no big storms showing up (yet), there may be some little snows for the rest of the month to add to that total.

Regardless of what happens from here on out, this January will go down as a snowier-than-average month. The average for January is 4.9 inches up at KCI. The system from the weekend gave us around 3.2 inches up at KCI. We’re going to see a lot of melting today and tomorrow, especially in the non-shaded areas.

The biggest weather locally will be the arrival of another arctic front coming in early on Wednesday. Whatever we are at midnight will be the high for the day as colder air means falling temperatures Wednesday, sending us down into the single digits for a couple of mornings too before we recover somewhat over the weekend.

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Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with some more afternoon sunshine. Highs today near 40 degrees.

Tonight: Not too bad, dropping into the low-to-mid-30s.

Tomorrow: Milder with highs surging to 50-55 degrees. If we can manage to get rid of more snow today, we could be even warmer tomorrow.

Wednesday: After a midnight high of 35-40 degrees, temperatures by Wednesday afternoon will be down into the teens with wind chills below zero. Cloudy skies expected (maybe a flurry).

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Discussion:

This month so far has been all over the place with temperatures. The average so far is 0.7 degrees below average. We’ve been well below average for a few days and well above average for a few days. I’ve highlighted the below average days:

There has been notable snows as well. The system on Saturday did about what was expected really: Widespread 2 to 4-inch snows with a couple of places doing a bit better. The heavier snows were in northeastern Missouri which is what we thought all week long.

43.7% of the country has snowcover

Here is a closer view:

If you missed Saturday’s blog, here is an updated map.

KCI had 3.2 inches total.

I mentioned on Friday night with the earlier switch to snow that was occurring that the forecast would be leaning more towards the higher side numbers of the range, more 3s and 4s, and that’s about right.

At least it actually panned out as we expected more or less. That was our third snow system of the season.

This week we sort of go all over the place. Perhaps a bit above average today, nicely above average tomorrow, although the HRRR model shows highs approaching 60 degrees. I think that it thinks there is no snow on the ground, and if we melt more than I think today, it could happen. I’m leery that residual snow could impact the highs tomorrow afternoon. Regardless, that will be the warmest day of the week for the area.

Then Wednesday morning there will be another shot of pretty cold air. We may initially be OK early in the morning but by afternoon, not so much.

Here are the forecast temperatures and wind chills. Use the slider, go right for temperatures and left for wind chills for 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Not pleasant. One of the weird characteristics of this winter is the lack of low cloud surges with these transitions. Data continues to show clouds, but a pretty dry layer of air going up to about 10,000 feet or so. Typically there could be areas of light snow with these types of fronts, but once again (and we’ve had a history with these fronts this winter) that won’t be the case it appears.

Thursday and Friday are just cold, with single-digit lows coming. We rebound over the weekend, and right now we should be in OK shape for Sunday’s big evening game. The GFS last night came out with a really mild solution. It’s sort of on an island regarding that but depending on the speed of another front coming into the area, and with our history this winter of really warming up before these fronts get to us, if we can hold that front off till the evening, there is potential for something really nice to happen. For now, take a look at two model outputs for highs on Sunday. Euro (swipe right) and GFS (swipe left).

I think the GFS is a bit bullish, but milder-than-average late January weather may indeed happen on Sunday which would be great, especially for tailgating!

Regarding additional snows, nothing great really showing up at this point. There may be some light stuff around for the next 10 days or so depending on various NW flow type disturbances. Some data shows some potential, but nothing really concrete at this point into the last few days of January.

We’ll just continue to be on a roller coaster for temperatures, a sprinkling of 50s with a dose of lows below 10 degrees possible into the last week of January.

I did want to chat about this… the Tonga Volcano.

There have been lots of questions about this and I answered a bunch on Saturday in the blog.

  1. We actually saw some interesting pressure gyrations here in Kansas City. The underwater volcano exploded and sent out a circular pressure shock into the atmosphere. This came eastwards (the eastern flank of the shock) on Saturday morning around 8 a.m. or so. Remember the volcano was about 6,600 miles away.

For us, the first air pressure pop was more or less subtle really, but it did show up:

That was the first, but there was a second pop as well, more pronounced. How did that happen?

Remember the explosion happened and sent out a ripple (like throwing a rock into a still pond) in a circular fashion. The western side of the explosion went across the other side of the world and circled around from east to west! That pressure pop was more noticeable in the data. This was around 1 a.m. in the morning.

Just amazing.

For those wondering about the size of the volcano, this is pretty neat:

Then there are questions about if this will affect the climate in any way, and at this point the answer is no. There may be some localized or regional affects from the ejection of SO2 (sulphur dioxide) into the upper part of the atmosphere, but this eruption pales in comparison to Mt. Pinitubo back in the early 90s.

So far at least, it’s sent out only a fraction of the SO2 into the atmosphere compared to Pinatubo. Let’s just say that it did affect the worldwide climate… which it won’t. The effect would be minor and short-lived in a world that keeps getting warmer and warmer.

Also let’s remember this:

While extremely impressive, Mt. Pinatubo that exploded in the Philippines back in the early 90s was a beast. This was big, but well short of that in terms of what it’s ejected into the atmosphere… so far at least.

Finally, if you missed it on Saturday, this was pretty neat!

Lara Bee has the picture of the day from Liberty Memorial.

Joe