Joe’s Weather Blog: Saturday Storm Update (11PM)

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11PM Update:

Snow started to pour down here at the station around 9PM and it took no time for the grass to be covered. Other areas have not switched over yet as I type this, while some only have had enough snow to barely white the ground.

The arctic air is moving into the metro as I type this. The front has cleared most areas N/W of I-35 and is moving southwards. The cold air is being pushed by 20-30 MPH winds and it will overtake the entire area in the next few hours.

Temperatures are quickly dropping to 20-25° behind the front and the untreated roads especially will be vulnerable to a flash freeze in a couple of hours. Temperatures by daybreak will be near 8°.

Snow amounts are coming into line mostly. I did extend some of the heavier totals a bit farther to the SW…so here is the map I went with for the 10PM show tonight…

Let’s see how things end up playing out overnight. areas SE of KC…Clinton and Sedalia will now see less snow it appears.

Here is the 10PM map…temperatures are in RED.


I sent this tweet out earlier…let’s see what happens…

Have a great night and pay attention to the changing road conditions overnight into tomorrow AM.



I will get an update to the blog done this evening as the late evening information rolls into the forecast center…but thus far it appears all my thoughts from yesterday are still valid including the timing of the events and the eventual outcome with the cold weather coming in waves for next week.

Forecast: (7AM SAT Update)

Rest of today: Periods of rain/freezing drizzle ending before 10AM (if not earlier) then cloudy with some mist or drizzle (liquid) possible during the later AM and through 4-6PM. Temperatures should be near 35°

Saturday night: A rather brief but potentially impact worth snow should move through the area. The timing seems to be as early as 5PM to about 11PM or so. It won’t last long but with temperatures coming down we should at least have some accumulation. I continue to forecast a dusting to 2″ for most of the KC vicinity. There is the potential of 2-4″ across part of NW and NC MO however.

Sunday: Bitterly cold arctic air rushes in near 12AM…temperatures will tank into to near 10° Sunday morning and wind chills will be sub-zero Sunday. Highs should struggle to 15°


7AM Saturday Update:

Things are progressing mostly to forecast form. There was some rain overnight but most of the decent rain passed to the SE of KC. With that said there still may be some light showers or patches of rain this morning. Temperatures overnight held steady in the 31-34° range for most. While an isolated slick spot is possible out there this morning…it should be short lived. Again I’m expecting above freezing temperatures later this AM through the afternoon.

Snow thoughts remain the same as last night. Still expect some snow to whip through the area this evening. There may be some additional rain with this as it re-starts later today. Then as the core of the storm approaches the atmosphere as a whole will chill down and snow should result. My forecasted amounts are staying the same.

Another blog is coming this afternoon by 2PM or so. Here is radar from the NWS in Pleasant Hill showing the precipitation out there today.


I’m also inserting the temperatures through the area…the purple line represents the freezing line…

The map above should auto update throughout the day. Remember that from about 9AM-5PM…the purple line (while representing temperatures of 32°) does not necessarily mean the roads become icy. Road temperatures are holding there own and the daylight means the pavement temperatures should stay above freezing.

Pay attention to any untreated surfaces though this morning…parking lots and sidewalks just in case.



10PM Update:

Early new data shows that at this point I have no strong need to change things concerning what I’ve said and blogged about since yesterday. I’ll tell you what, for a storm that looks so healthy…that has overproduced where its been (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tuscon, West Texas ice storm) it’s amazing how little the models are generating with regards to snow in the KC area. The path of the upper level storm really isn’t even that terrible.

For whatever reason though…it’s going to have a tough time producing precip for awhile tomorrow…then you factor in the surface temperatures as the snow gets going (32-34 degrees…leading to some melting initially) and it’s tough at this point to see significant accums in the KC area.

With all that said…and considering the track of the upper level part of this…there may be a weird band set up nearby of some 2-4″ totals in a relatively fast time frame. My feeling is that this may be just north of the KC area…as I’ve illustrated on the air for the past 24+ hours.

It’s a weird storm…

Again the emphasis after the system moves through tomorrow night will be on the cold weather. Anything that is wet or white will flash freeze (potentially) and as I’ve mentioned there is a reasonable chance that the roads could be in worse shape Sunday AM as opposed to SAT AM.


There are potential pitfalls with the forecast obviously. So far the data is playing out as expected for the weekend storm system with regards to the timing and the playout of the frozen precipitation.

The highest chances of slick travel conditions will be from 2 parts of the storm. The 1st one will be the glazing issue that should develop towards or after 12 AM tonight and linger through mid morning tomorrow. This will be due to the potential of freezing rain in various intensities.

Then the next slick travel issue will be with any snow that moves through later int he day and into the evening tomorrow. Amounts may not be significant but there may be some decent bursts of moderate snow moving through the I-35 corridor. It continues to appear that after any freezing rain potential overnight, that areas SE of KC will see fewer road issues tomorrow than elsewhere.

Obviously how the various road crews handle the ice/glaze potential will help in determining how bad things do get. Also untreated areas will fare worse than treated areas.

Temperatures tomorrow afternoon should be near or above 32° so conditions will improve.

The snow aspect of this is still in play. Accumulations won’t be that significant it appears but may still cause issues.

A side note to this…I also think we could have issues tomorrow night into Sunday morning because of a flash freeze scenario as temperatures tank. It will be a race between the winds helping to dry things out a bit on the roads and the temperatures dropping to near 10°. Be aware of travel issues through Sunday morning. I have a feeling a lot of road treatment will be used over the next few days.

The cold air moving into the region is nothing to sneeze at. There are obviously still issues about who gets the deepest snowpack…but again the potential of -10° or lower temperatures are there north of KC towards the IA border. An arctic high will be right over the area Monday morning. Assuming the criteria of clear skies/light winds/dry air are all there…and IF we have snow on the ground…well it will be downright cold.

There may be some high clouds…but that is the only thing I can potentially see as a deterrent to ideal an idea radiational cooling scenario. My forecast last night of 1° will probably be what I go with tonight as well…but that number could easily come down farther should the snow play out as expected…perhaps for KC down to -5° by Monday morning.

So far this winter we’ve had a whooping 3.1″ of snow. We’re running at about 50% of normal. You may remember that my winter forecast was for about 10 x’s that amount (gulp).  I got a great email from Dakota Botts who is a research assistant at MU…and a blog reader. Here is the email concerning the chance that my winter forecast will pan out…

 “You requested the other day in your blog that people send in graphs of the seasonal snowfall through December as compared to the whole season. Attached you will find an excel spreadsheet with that information, as well as some statistics for you. The first tab has a graph on it similar to the one you posted the other day, with snowfall totals through 12/31 as compared to the whole season. The second tab contains some statistics you may find interesting to include in a blog (maybe tomorrow because it is the start of a new year). I calculated the probability (based solely on previous occurrences in KC) of us getting  6″, 12″, 18″, 24″, and 28.9″ of additional snowfall before the season ends in May. The 28.9″ would bring the current total to 32″, which is what your winter forecast was. The number of occurrences and probability are summarized below:
Snow after 12/31 >=6″ >=12″ >=18″ >=24″ >=28.9″
Total Times 109 73 42 16 8
Probability 86.5% 57.9% 33.3% 12.7%
The same data can be found on the second tab of the attached spreadsheet.
 Out of 126 years of data, we have received more than 6″ of snow after 12/31 109 times, giving us an 86.5% chance of getting at least 6 more inches of snow before the season ends. The other numbers are reported similarly. Unfortunately, based on previous years, you only have a  6.3% chance of hitting your 32″ forecast. This of course does not make it impossible, nor does it include current weather patterns that may bring us more snow. Historically, however, it looks grim for a lot more snow in KC this winter. This is upsetting to me because I am a snow lover. Hope this helps!”
Dakota sent me some other stuff as well concerning KC climatology for JAN-FEB. I’ll get some of the JAN stuff out Sunday and/or Monday after the winter weather threat has passed.
Remember the past summer as we were all following the Royals on a day by day basis? You would hear various stat guys throw out the odds of the Royals doing this or doing that. There is a ___ chance the Royals could get into the Playoffs or World Series. The odds had a tendency to swing every day.
So here I am, on 1/2 with roughly a 6% chance of KC seeing over 29″ of snow. Not good odds at all. Like the Royal odds though, IF we could get a decent snowstorm (tomorrow won’t cut it) my chances will miraculously increase overnight. The problem is that there really isn’t anything coming  next week until perhaps another chance of some sort of “event” next weekend. So it’s fair to say, even though winter is just getting going…that my forecast of 32″ of snow is not looking too good right now.
Strangely my forecast low temperature of -14°, while almost impossible without snow on the ground, had decent reasoning to it. It’s scenarios like this coming Monday morning that I envisioned when forecasting a low temperature that extreme. Except I need deeper snowpack for that to have a chance…and that’s the item that appears to be in short supply this winter (so far at least).
I’ve got no doubt there are still going to be opportunities…we’ve had the moisture, we’re getting at least some cold air intrusions (I’m still trying to figure out why this upcoming storm isn’t as functional (from a snow standpoint) as it should be. The issue is getting both to cooperate with each other…and soo far they haven’t “played nicely” together (depending on your perspective at least. Some (many I’m guessing) would just assume this go on for the rest of the winter. I get it.
Another update coming tonight, if not earlier.



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