Joe’s Weather Blog: Merry Christmas/JAN Thoughts

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Well the holidays are here and we’re actually having a White Christmas in KC. You may remember just a couple of years ago, when we had a nasty Christmas Eve blizzard that carried into the wee hours of Christmas morning. It was an impressive storm with 4-8″ through the region and winds that gusted to over 40 MPH. Travel was a mess but it was wonderful to see for all the kids out there who had their best opportunity in years to try out their new Christmas gifts in the snow! Take a look back to 2009!

Many don’t remember that we also had snow squalls in the area the following two days as well with another 2-4″ on top of what happened on Christmas Eve.

Nothing like that this year…although the storm a couple of days ago did leave us with more than 3″ @ KCI and now for December we’re closing in on 6″ which is pretty close to normal. we’ve also had a cold month, and while temperatures will rebound rather nicely on Saturday (if we can melt the snow…a run towards or above 50° is very possible) the overall trends are cold for the next several weeks as the cold weather pattern that we’ve been in since early November shows no sign of leaving for any length of time.

What is somewhat interesting to me is that there are some indications for at least the next 7 days or so, that some of the worst of the cold air is going to flow into the Great Lakes region and the NE part of the country. That’s not to say we won’t have more cold shots on the KC area though…another is on tap for SUN-next MON with additional shots coming after that. There will be moderation for a day or two between the cold shots of air, but the overall trend heading through the 1st 10 days of JAN is cold to potentially bone-chilling cold around the 3-7th of JAN cold in my opinion and again as I mentioned in my winter forecast (which worked out well for DEC by the way) I expect January to be colder than average as well and probably snowier than average too! Overall…perhaps a slow start (significant precip wise) but I expect active weather for the month overall (whatever that means…actually to me it means I won’t be bored for many days in JAN…I’ll have plenty to write about).

What has also been interesting to me, and I’ve written about this in the past, is that we’ve been cold in sort of an unconventional way. Typically for the Plains and eastwards sustained cold is often tied to blocking weather patterns. This has not been the case so far this winter…but for the 1st time in months there are suggestions that blocking may start across the North Atlantic area. This is an oscillation that I’ve written about in the past called the NAO. When the NAO is positive (like it has been most of the time in the last few months) we typically see transient shots of cold weather that zip in an out. This of course HAS NOT been the cast over the last 6 weeks or so…it goes to show you that these indies that meteorologists love to use are not fool-proof. What I find interesting though is with a weather pattern that “wants to be” cold and now with blocking forecast to develop over the next 10 days…will this enhance the cold more for us?…or will the coldest of the cold shift for the 1st time this winter. My initial feeling is enhanced cold for our region.

As we wrestle with the temperatures in the forecast with the ups and downs that are going to occur…it appears as though we’ll be mostly dry for the rest of the year. What precipitation that occurs may be on the light side…whether it be rain or snow.

That’s about it for today…Christmas Day. On behalf of all of us here in the FOX 4 Weather Department and the rest of FOX 4 as well we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a great holiday season. Thanks so much for reading the weather blogs this year and also for following the FOX 4 Weather team on twitter @fox4wx.

Season’s Greetings!


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