Joe’s Weather Blog: Good thing this wasn’t winter (THU-10/28)

Weather Blog

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Take the same storm in the winter season, if there was enough cold air around, and today would be an almost “shut down the city” type winter storm. We’d be getting about 4-8 inches of snow, but the complicating factor would be the wind, which is increasing as I type this: At 10 a.m. gusting to 30 mph at KCI, and it may go higher today.

Well, it’s not December and the air at the surface is well into the 40s and the air aloft is above freezing as well through the lower few thousand feet. But when looking at the air around 5,000 feet or so, it’s supportive of snow, so that is a sign of the dynamics of the system passing south of the area.

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Forecast:

Today: Rainy and windy with gusts to 30-40 mph. Temperatures steady in the upper 40s.

Tonight: Rainy, but winding down. Windy with gusts to 30 mph. Steady temperatures in the mid-40s.

Tomorrow: Perhaps some leftover drizzle or light showers especially east of Interstate 35. Late day sunshine too with highs hopefully in the lower-to-mid-50s. Windy with gusts to 30 mph.

Saturday: Frosty in spots in the morning with some fog as well, then sunny and nice. Light winter with highs in the 60s.

Sunday (Halloween): Mostly sunny and pleasant with highs in the upper 50s. Trick or treaters will have variable clouds with temperatures in the 40s.

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Discussion:

Just a fascinating storm really…

The surface storm is spinning slowly through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

The upper level storm…is almost in the same spot…

When the two are on top of each other, we call that “stacked” and that results in a slow movement of things, and that’s why the rain is so persistent today.

We’re on the backside of the storm.

And instead of the rain coming up from the south like yesterday, down the rain is coming in from the northeast and east.

As the radar returns are rotating around the storm in southern Missouri, remember the air circulates in the counter clockwise fashion around lower pressure and that circulation is creating the radar motions.

Tomorrow that storm will be farther east and the backside of the storm will be edging into and eventually through the region at some point in the afternoon, where hopefully we get clearing skies by later in the day.

That will set things up for a pretty good drop into Saturday morning, with upper 30s likely, perhaps chillier in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Frost is likely northwest of Kansas City with some around here as well. Fog is also likely too.

The next change is a stronger cold front coming into the area later Sunday into Monday. Actually the front comes through earlier Sunday, but the chillier air gradually builds in behind it, and that will be an issue in the area on Monday into next week. This will certainly affect Monday Night Football, and I have concerns about the potential of at least some light rain in the area on Monday with the chilly air combination creating more unpleasant conditions around here.

After the front passes and the cooler air moves into the area, aloft there appears to be a setup for quite a bit of mid-level moisture to move through on Monday. So lots of clouds are expected if nothing else. That will also depress the temperatures on Monday, so 40s may be as good as we can do Monday afternoon.

From the mid-level clouds, there may be some areas of light rain or drizzle that develop as well. There isn’t a really decent disturbance though, and I’m not sure the atmosphere below those mid-level clouds will saturate enough to support rain, but it is possible.

Here’s the rub though: aloft the air will be getting near-to-below-freezing, enough to support some sort of winter component to things, especially up in northern Missouri. Some model data has been vacillating back and forth about trying to generate snowflakes in parts of the area, especially up north over the last couple of days. It’s worth paying attention too. Odds are at the surface, up there, it would be close to 40° or so. Again, it’s really marginal, but it might be something that I dive in harder on tomorrow.

There are also timing differences with the onset of either the rain/drizzle or flakes, and again this could affect the football game in some way, so we’ll be watching that carefully.

The only thing that will keep the freezing temperatures at bay next week are clouds. It looks like there may be cloud issues Tuesday morning so that should stay above 32° I think. If we clear out, we could see the freeze on Wednesday or Thursday morning, but clouds again could be a factor.

The feature photo today is from Jonathan Clark.

Joe

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