Something unusual happened Tuesday morning… it rained! We’ve had one day with rain earlier in the month…and since the 10th of November…it’s been dry otherwise. So you can definitely say the rain was welcome and needed. Temperatures have remained nicely above freezing locally though…so the roads are just wet.

By the time you read this the rain will likely be over for many spots or at least ending. We should quickly see the sun return and temperatures pop well into the 50s before the day is done…not a bad day at all for April….I mean December.

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Forecast:

Today: Turning sunny and breezy with highs in the upper 50s.

Tonight: Partly cloudy and chillier with lows back down to near 25°

Tomorrow: Clouds and sunshine with highs in the mid 30s. More typical of December

Thursday: Moderating a bit more with highs 40-45°

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Discussion:

The rain was welcome and needed as mentioned at the start of of the blog. We’ll end up with about 3/10″ or so at KCI…with a bot more than that towards the south side of KC…overall welcome! When looking at other totals…this system actually outperformed because some areas in the Metro had close to 1/2″-3/4″ of rain. Here are some maps through about 8:30 am

Amounts on a more regional basis were heavier to the SE of the Metro…

Via CoCoRaHS

So a good soaking rain for lots of areas. This will break the dry spell for many.

Onwards…

Our next cold front…a seasonably strong front that will bring us closer to average tonight and tomorrow is moving through the Plains this morning. There is colder air behind it…single digits in Nebraska.

8AM Map. Temperatures in RED

The satellite picture shows rapid clearing happening on the west side…and this will overspread the Metro quickly this morning.

The front will come through uneventfully…and it will turn chillier before sunset tonight…so we’ll have to pop well into the 50s before about 3PM or so before temperatures start to fall off.

Tomorrow should be typical…although there may be a few snow showers/flurries out there in the late morning or afternoon. Perhaps a bit of a dusting in northern MO.

Then the focus shifts to the holiday weekend. Well again warm up on Friday…into the 50s it appears ahead of a stronger push of either arctic or western Canadian air…technically it should be western Canadian air I guess…regardless it’s been nasty cold there for a long time…and it’s remained bottled up for weeks…well the dam is going to break and that cold air will be released into the Plains Friday.

Take a look at Friday’s highs off the GFS.

The front is just north of KC by the end of the afternoon and it appears it will move through towards sunset…or before 8PM at least based on the current timing.

From there we tank…by later Saturday afternoon we’ll likely be down to 10-15° with sub-zero wind chills. Here are the forecast temperatures for the afternoon on Saturday.

4PM forecast temperatures off the GFS

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s colder than that locally either.

So where does this leave us with regards to rain/sleet/snow/ice?

There may be some light rain developing as the front moves through in the evening…then as temperatures continue to drop…that rain will start mixing with some sleet and then we may see a period of sleet towards 12AM Saturday as the New Year is ringing in. This is important because the roads may become slick near or after 12AM Saturday.

My biggest concern…from about 4-5 days out is that the pavement temperatures will initially be very warm thanks to the 50s on Friday and will allow whatever falls (liquid or frozen) to melt for awhile…BUT as temperatures drop FAST into the low 20s and getting colder before daybreak…the roads may quickly freeze and ice over.

This will create a FLASH FREEZE situation where the roads get bad and get bad quickly! This can be very dangerous because 1) we haven’t had winter weather yet 2) a lot of folks may not be paying attention to the changing conditions 3) treatments can’t be done everywhere at one time 4) IF we have rain ahead of things it would wash off the pre treatments. This is problematic on many levels.

One issue that we have…and this may change…is that while the air at the surface will support snow west of I-35 towards 12AM Saturday…the air above us won’t at that point…and it may take a few hours for it to “get there” from the NW side of the Metro to the SE side of the Metro.

This creates that mixed precip issue…sleet and perhaps some freezing rain as well. This creates the mess that is on the table for early Saturday morning. Eventually by daybreak all should be ready for snow from KC northwestwards. Areas farther SE will continue to have mix issues. This all could change in terms of the precip types expected as the cold air gets better handled.

From 4-5 days out it’s fool hardy to be time specific with 100% confidence on precip types when a degree here or there above us may define what happens.

Again I just want to show you the set-up and the potential of what can happen based on decades of watching this arctic cold boundaries move through the region with winds and warmth above the surface.

This will all be aided by disturbances coming/streaking towards the NE from the SW.

These disturbance may create the equivalent of about 1/10 to 2/20″ of liquid…which then will be converted to sleet/ice and finally snow. So at this point a BIG snowstorm in KC isn’t expected (if things shift southwards a bit more though…that comes into play to some extent). An accumulating and our 1st accumulating snow though is on the table for Saturday morning. Odds favor under 2″ in the Metro…with N MO and NE KS poised for potentially over 3″ of snow.

Again this is all VERY early speculation on my side…but that’s the purpose of the blog really. I’ll be more general on the air tonight though.

Finally a couple of nuggets from yesterday that I saw and tweeted out.

Check out this Sierra Nevada snow out in CA!

200″…almost 17 feet this month alone! Wow! This is great for the water situation/reservoirs in CA down the road!.

The feature photo is from DeAnna Blair out in Shawnee

Joe