Joe’s Weather Blog: The return of winter and snow (MON-4/19)

Weather Blog

Snow covers daffodils during a spring storm, Friday, April 16, 2021, in in East Derry, N.H. Some portions of New England received about a half a foot of snow from the storm. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — I’m taking a few days off… actually was supposed to be on a cruise this week, but alas, for obvious reasons that isn’t happening. So I would’ve been on some Caribbean island watching this forecast unfold overnight.

Instead I’ll be here watching it snow briefly tomorrow morning. When it does snow, it may snow pretty hard for a few hours. That’s the key though: it won’t snow for long in the morning. We probably only have about 3-5 hours of snowfall and most of it won’t stick initially but will towards daybreak.

Some of it may though just before daybreak tomorrow. Ahh winter… it’s back and the cold weather will linger for a few days. Freeze warnings are there for Wednesday morning.

Don’t worry, next week will be warmer and I’m thinking that the chances of stronger to severe storms may be developing later next week. So spring will return.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny this morning and variable clouds to cloudy later today. Highs will come during the middle of the day (in mid 50s, warmer on the south side) then fall from there.

Tonight: Cloudy and windy. Snow arrives after 2-4 a.m. or so from north to south. Lows drop to the lower 30s.

Tomorrow: Snow briefly before 8 a.m. then variable clouds. Rain showers are possible later in the afternoon. Whatever snow is out there will melt with highs in the lower 40s or so. There may be some sleet in the showers in the afternoon too. Very weird day.

Wednesday: Record lows are possible, then partly cloudy and not a cold with highs back into the 50s.

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Discussion:

My goodness.

A lot happening over the next 24-36 hours as colder air will be moving into the region. That process will start later this morning, and we can see the colder air already oozing southwards.

The cold front itself is working into the Metro.

There is still some sunshine north of the front…

So we should still get into the mid 50s today… warmer south.

No big deal really.

The issue is the even colder air as the winds increase later today that will be moving into the area. Notice how temperatures this morning towards I-80 are near 30°, with more than a few upper 20s. That’s chilly air that won’t modify a lot as it comes southwards today.

So as the colder air moves into the region, temperatures by midnight should be down into the mid 30s and dropping. We’ll remain snow free through midnight.

After that though things start changing. With the cold air in place and getting colder, a rather strong mid-level wave, at around 10,000 feet or so, will be swinging eastwards through Kansas. This wave will be able to generate snow and help to provide better-than-decent lift to get some decent snow rates despite the fact that this is the later part of April.

Note the RED areas above… that represents stronger lift at around 10,000 feet or so. While the atmosphere as a whole isn’t super saturated, it’s moist enough to get snow to come together and fall lightly to at times moderately for a few hours.

It should be noted that this wave coming in is moving along. It sort of starts to move away just after daybreak, so the duration of the snow is only a few hours.

Here is a look at the HRRR model showing the incoming snow. This starts at midnight, so the vast majority of this will happen while you’re sleeping.

For timing: 6Z is 1 a.m., 9Z is 4 a.m., 12Z is 7 a.m. and 15Z is 10 a.m.

You can see that the snow really is about done by 8 a.m. or so.

The sticking snow will be even more confined it appears.

Now the issue is temperatures. It really needs to be at least 31 or 32° or lower for sticking snow. It will be close, especially for grassy areas and exposed surfaces. On the plus side, this is happening at night, so that helps the accumulation potential.

I have a tough time seeing much more than 2″ from this, even on grassy surfaces, because that will be melting happening as well. Whatever does stick will melt quickly tomorrow I think.

There may be scattered rain showers in the evening which could have a few ice pellets/flakes mixed in as well after 4 p.m. or so.

We’ve only had a couple of accumulating snows on the 20th:

Assuming something is measurable, aside from a trace from the 20th through May, these are the accumulating snows.

So there’s that.

Next up is the cold, and records are possible.

Here are the coldest lows on the 20th (tomorrow):

And the 21st (Wednesday), this is in play:

And the 22nd (Thursday):

The record low for Wednesday is the one that has the best chance of being broken.

Impressive.

Yes, I do see a return to real spring over the weekend and towards next week you’ll probably be needing the A/C’s again. I’m wondering about a severe weather setup as well towards next Tuesday or Wednesday, so things are going to change again around these parts again!

Star Novak has the feature photo today from Wellsville, Kan.

Joe

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