Joe’s Weather World: Here comes March and October and cold and rain?

Weather Blog

Happy Friday…as the dry weather continues but there are glimmers of rain out there down the road…and that could be something that a lot of folks are going to like because it’s been a very dry 5+ weeks in the KC area.

The weather will be VERY changeable over the next week and it’s mostly because of a cold front that will surge through the area Saturday night. This will send temperatures plummeting from wherever we area at 12AM down into the 40s with wind chills in the 30s. Sunday won’t be a nice day…think March.

That front will be south of here on Monday then potentially start retreating north next week. Retreating fronts can create rain and storms…and that is on the table although the precise timing of this is a bit of a question mark.

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Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds this morning and cold. Temperatures may struggle a bit today with the clouds moving through. Highs around 60°

Tonight: Partly cloudy and cool with temperatures quickly dropping then leveling off and potentially rising towards daybreak. We’re go into the mid>upper 40s then come up to near 50° at daybreak with increasing winds early in the morning.

Saturday: Windy(!). Gusts to 40+ MPH not out of the question. Mostly sunny with highs in the 70s. Winds will drop off a bit later in the afternoon.

Sunday: Turning colder/blustery before daybreak. Midnight high in the 55° area but when you wake up we’re in the 40s and won’t get out of the 40s. Some light rain/drizzle/mist all possible, especially from KC south and east during the day, especially in the afternoon.

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Discussion:

So lots of weather…and yet here we are without a drop of rain so far this month. Whatever we do manage to squeeze out on Sunday won’t do much to help the cause…so don’t get too excited although it will add to the not pleasant weather I’m expecting to finish the weekend…so get your outside stuff done on Saturday!

Today is starting cold. I had my first frost this morning…temperatures dropped to the mid 30s up at KCI with 20s all over the place in some areas, especially outside of KC.

Here is a look at the lows so far this morning as of 8AM.

Some 20s mixed in there in the normally colder locations…typically in the valleys and river areas where cold air actually tends to drain and pool…it’s a fascinating thing to see how temperatures can vary so much during this time of the year and in the winter with snow cover on the ground.

As I mentioned the dry weather is an issue and if you haven’t watered the grass…it’s probably looking a little less green than where it has been watered.

The last 30 days have been lousy for rain…

and over the last 60 days…

and the last 90 days…

Note as well the two areas down towards the Gulf Coast…where the hurricanes have hit. Tons of rain!

Oh and if you’re wondering…here is a look a the snow so far this season…

There has already been some sticking flakes across the northern Plains…it’s not totally out of the question there could be some mixed in snow flakes up towards the IA border on Sunday. So yeah…the seasons are still changing!

Speaking of that…the NOAA winter forecast came out yesterday.

First for moisture…since that is what I started with.

This has KC in an area called “equal chances”. More on that in a moment.

Now for temperatures…

A brief reasoning…

“With La Nina well established and expected to persist through the upcoming 2020 winter season, we anticipate the typical, cooler, wetter North, and warmer, drier South, as the most likely outcome of winter weather that the U.S. will experience this year,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.”

OK so a couple of things…La Nina is out there in the equatorial Pacific Ocean…it’s an area of cooler than average waters down towards the equator and can influence weather patterns depending on how weak>moderate>strong it is. The opposite of this is El Nino which is an area of warmer than average waters down there. You can see the current sea surface anomalies for that area below.

See that area of blue>green in the middle of the graphic favoring areas from South America westbound…that is La Nina. Also notice ALL the warmer than average waters just about everywhere else! Also notice the warmer than average waters in the top part of the map…a once again lack of sea ice development up there allows this to stick out like a sore thumb.

There is sort of an interesting La Nina area and a strong area of warmer than average waters across the northern Pacific Ocean.

This is why forecasting the weather for the winter strictly off of La Nina is not a good approach. There are other areas to consider and I think sometimes the folks at NOAA see La Nina and say…here you go.

La Nina…El NIno…and La Nada (when water temperatures in that special area are closer to average) are detailed below via Jan Null.

This La Nina “so far” is considered “weak”.

So let’s look back a couple of years ago to a previous “weak” La Nina and see what the forecast for the winter (DEC>FEB) was from NOAA.

Temperatures

Notice the similarities!

Now moisture….

I mean come on…all that is different is the bullseye of higher chances of being drier than average…moving from the SE to the SW part of TX. Overall though the same map in both cases right?

Drives me nuts!

There are many more things that can influence the winter…some we understand…some we don’t.

These are the sea water anomalies during leading up to October of 2017…which was a weak La Nina.

There is warmer water off CA but not nearly to the extent of what we’re seeing so far this October.

I can’t help but think there will be different national effects from these different areas of warmer waters and the magnitude of the warmer water in the Pacific.

This was interesting…comparing moisture anomalies with all the previous La Ninas and the strength of them…

This graphic shows strong La Ninas (upper right) trending towards weaker ones in the bottom right

Here is some additional information…from NOAA

In general, the stronger the La Niña, the more reliable the impacts on the United States. The typical U.S. impacts are warmer- and drier-than-average conditions across the southern tier of the United States, colder-than-average conditions across the north-central Plains, and wetter-than-average conditions in the Ohio Valley and Pacific Northwest/northern California.

However, as is evident in these maps, there is a great deal of variability even among strong La Niña events. And some impacts are more reliable than others. For example, 9 of the 11 strong and moderate events show wetter-than-average conditions in the Pacific Northwest—though the intensity of the anomaly varies—which is most winters, but not all. And 6 of the 11 events produced wet conditions in the Ohio Valley, which is slightly more than half, but far from a guarantee.

This “failure” of the typical pattern occurs because La Niña is never the only thing that influences the climate over the United States during the winter. Other climate phenomena, such as the Arctic Oscillation or the Madden Julian Oscillation, as well as the random nature of weather, can also play a large part in how a winter turns out.”

Anyway…you’re going to hear TV weather people put all their eggs into this over the next few weeks…and the reality is it’s MUCH more complicated.

But I digress…and don’t even get me started on the “equal chances” forecast. That means nothing really to me and I think the end user as well…but here we are.

The feature photo comes from Austin Hamilton up in Iowa…

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