KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Good Wednesday to you. A cold start out there with reports of sub-zero temperatures this morning in the outlying areas, while at KCI we’ve dropped to at least 7 degrees this morning. We start coming out of the cold doldrums today. While we’ll still be below average overall, at least it will be less cold, and hopefully by Saturday we can pop into the 50s.

There is a system to finally start watching. This would start to affect us on Tuesday next week, and depending on how things play out, may affect us into Wednesday. If that happens the risk of snow would be on the increase with this. So let’s start watching this potential. I know, it’s a week away, but it’s the only game in town as they say (well with one exception ;) ).

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Forecast:

Today: In-and-out clouds this morning and partly cloudy this afternoon with highs in the lower 30s.

Tonight: Turning mostly cloudy and not as cold with steadier temperatures. Lows in the mid-to-upper 20s.

Tomorrow: Not too bad, highs back into the 40s.

Friday: A little cooler with highs back down into the 30s.

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Discussion:

There are a couple of things on the table this morning to write about. One would be a warmup coming back into the Plains as we sort of come out of the repetitive cold fronts that dropped temperatures on a consistent basis, although we’re not totally done with those. There is one coming on Friday, a weak one on Sunday, and then a stronger one likely sometime on Tuesday. That last one, perhaps the more important one as that sets up our next storm that may give us some needed moisture in the Plains.

Back east, there is the potential for a blizzard that may impact the northeast part of the country, New England especially. There they will be watching for how close to the coast this next surface storm gets over the weekend because it will be a strong one, and likely you’ll be hearing the term “bomb cyclone” again being thrown around (or bombogenesis). Let’s get out in front of that right away.

When a storm goes through a process of bombogenesis, it needs to drop the air pressure by a certain criteria in a specific time span. We look for a 24-millibar drop in air pressure in 24 hours. This equals the central pressure of the middle of the storm to drop around 0.72 inch on most common barometer readings. This happens when storms are going through a rapid intensification, commonly interacting with milder oceanic waters and also being infused with energy from the middle and upper parts of the atmosphere.

This storm that may or may not impact the northeast part of the country will be trying to do a lot of things, but we do know that the ducks are on the table. It’s a matter of when everything comes together. There will be a big offshore storm. Now the issue is where does it track and how close to the coast will it be.

The EURO has been most aggressive with this, pretty consistent with a “close down most of the big cities” type snow/blizzard.

The models sort of have the same placement of the surface features. Here is the EURO from noon Saturday.

The GFS is a little different:

That placement difference means this when it comes to snow, EURO:

GFS:

Notice the area from New York City down through New Jersey.

That is the toughest part of the forecast that affects millions of people. With this be a 3-inch storm… or a 15-inch blizzard for the New York City area?

They’ll work through that, and we’ll dive deeper on Friday’s blog. If traveling back east over the weekend, be prepared for the potential, especially from New York City to Boston into Maine.

For us…

Aside from temperature switches, the downs won’t be as “down” as they’ve been for the next five-plus days, not much happening until early next week.

We’ll be watching a complex of systems off the Aleutians developing into something more cohesive over the weekend and by Monday (five days from now) drop into the British Columbia area. From there, it’s likely to drop into the Rockies. After that the devil is in the details.

What I feel confident about is that we’re going to warmup nicely on Monday (well into the 50s) with some upside possible as south winds bring in warmth and also moisture at the surface and aloft. There will be a cold front cutting through the Plains as well.

Now how all that comes together and when the front gets here remains to be seen, but data is showing the potential of some sort of rain to possible snow later Tuesday or Wednesday. The EURO especially is the most bullish on the accumulating snow aspect of things for Kansas City on Wednesday. The GFS has it more towards the northwest of the metro, but something may be on the table.

This is a week away, but for us, it’s the only real thing to talk about at this point, so hence the time I wanted to at least mention things. It does look like we should at least get some rain from this, and that will be welcome in a dry stretch of weather around these parts.

No need to dive in anymore on the wintry aspect of things from a week away though.

A final note: Yesterday in western Kansas… oh my.

They were expecting the potential of upward of 6 inches of snow. What some very localized areas received was so much more.

I’ve contoured in the 6-inch and 12-plus inches area:

Now a close up, because right along the Colorado-Kansas border there was a bullseye of at least 27 inches.

That report was taken around noon and it was still snowing pretty good. 27 inches worth!

That’s significant because the Kansas record for the most snow in a 24-hour period is 30 inches in Pratt back in 2009.

It’s possible, not sure if we’ll ever know for sure. That Mt Sunflower at an elevation of 4000 feet may have broken the record for the most snow in the state of Kansas!

This by the way is Mt Sunflower. Don’t think it’s a mountain.

via wikipedia

It’s just the result of a gentle rise in elevation over the course of hundreds of miles from east to west.

It’s flatland essentially.

27 inches and likely more than that.

The feature photo is from Austin Hamilton up in Iowa.

Joe