Joe’s Weather Blog: New week…new weather (MON-1/11)

Weather Blog

We’ve been having some big cloud issues for the last several days…in some cases worse than others. We ended up with more sunshine on days it probably should’ve been cloudy, and more clouds on days it should’ve been sunny. Yesterday was a case in point going from cloudy on the north side to mostly sunny on the south side of Kansas City.

We’ve finally scoured out the clouds and should be in good shape for the forecast warming trend to settle into the region into early Thursday before a seasonably strong cold front comes through the region to usher in more typical January air.

I don’t think we’ll threaten any records on Wednesday BUT if we get enough sunshine, I won’t be shocked to see some 60s in the area.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and not as cold with highs in the mid 40s.

Tonight: Fair and chilly. Lows in the 20s.

Tomorrow: Getting milder with sunshine…highs well into the 50s.

Wednesday: Clouds and sun with highs in the 60° range.

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This morning, the sun is going to shine for many areas and the change in the weather expected last week for this week has arrived. I don’t quite know if we can call this a January Thaw but I guess we’ll take it.

Temperatures in the 50s are likely with some upside on Wednesday depending on higher clouds filtering out the sunshine.

There is a system that will change this come early Thursday. A seasonably strong cold front will send more typical mid-January air into the region. So while I expect the 50s to linger into midday on Thursday…it should turn colder after that…if the front speeds up, it might trend a bit cooler.

Ahead of the front, we are going into our “downslope” special. Westerly winds aloft coming down the slope of the western Plains into the Kansas City region will help to warm us up rather dramatically. Some 20° above average as a matter of fact. When air flows down a slope or mountain it warms up given ample enough sunshine and that’s what we’re expecting for a couple of days.

The Thursday system will be a sharp pull-back. There are differences in how the models handle these things though. The EURO has been rather aggressive in developing rain and potentially some as things transition. The other model data through last night wasn’t nearly as aggressive. It has to do with how deep the upper level system that is driving this change gets and how far to the south it goes.

My inclination is that Thursday will be dry, with most of the lift going into cloudy production. The lower levels of the atmosphere will be tough to saturate, so I’m thinking any precipitation will have a tough time reaching the ground locally at least.

There could be some scattered snow showers around on Friday perhaps, but odds favor more of a northern Missouri chance than down towards the KC Metro area at this point. The winds will be on the increase both Thursday and Friday. Friday in particular will be very windy for awhile at least and I think perhaps the models are being a bit generous in warming things up Friday. The temperatures above us, close to 5,000 feet or so are expected to be around 15° or so. Pretty chilly air up there. IF we get into a stream of lower clouds…and with the winds cranking pretty good at 20-30 MPH in gusts…it won’t feel so good compared to the weather over the next few days.

One saving grace about this next change, and also one that is allowing things to warm up better this week as well…a lack of snow cover.

Even the snow being depicted in far northern Missouri might be a bit generous. So the air mass coming into the area isn’t exactly getting chilled by more snow on the ground locally or really regionally.

IF you look closely at the map below…you can see the southern US…Texas (again) and now even into Louisiana and parts of Mississippi…yes they too have snow on the ground now.

Check out Texas…and Louisiana.

Places down there have had more than doubled our snows so far here in Kansas City.

Midland broke their daily snow record with 3.2″. That is 1/10″ away from all the snow we’ve had so far this season.

Our regional weather pattern at this point is still not set-up for any appreciable snows for awhile it appears. The ensembles of both main models aren’t exactly overly bullish on potential as well. You can see though that they are trying to sniff out something light on Friday (we’ll see).

EURO Ensembles
GFS Ensembles

Maybe something NEXT weekend.

There may be bigger changes after that though…stronger signals are showing up for the potential of more significant cold air towards the last week of January. I’ve talked about this before (last week) and the models are sort of showing their hand right now. Look how things change at 5,000 feet with regards to temperature anomalies (compared to average).

1st this coming Wednesday.

Notice all the warm air in the Plains and into Central Canada

We drop after that into the weekend…then go back up again.

This is for NEXT Wednesday…and the seeds of bigger change are developing in the northern Rockies into north-central Canada.

Now look even farther down the road…

This is for 2 weeks from today…the 25th.

That is a cold set-up, and something that we really haven’t had too much of for any length of time locally. The last week of the month is certainly setting up to be a cold one I think.

Whether or not it’s cold and dry…or cold and snow/ice remains to be seen but there is a chance that winter really comes back towards the end of the month before February starts.

So I’ll leave you with that, have a great Monday and enjoy the sunshine again! The feature photo comes from Steve Goodheart out in Lawrence, Kan.

Joe

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