Joe’s Weather World: This model better be wrong (TUE-10/29)

Weather Blog

For the 3rd straight year we’ve had snow during the month of October…in 2017 we had a trace on Halloween…last year…measurable snow (earliest on record) in mid October and then last night 3/10″ officially up at KCI. Strange weather indeed during a time of the year we should be getting beautiful fall colors…

System #1 somewhat overachieved for snow on the north side mainly although there were some coatings on cars even on the south side last night…now we focus on system #2.

  • Forecast:

Tonight: Light rain or a wintry mix developing later this evening in the Metro…perhaps some freezing drizzle/freezing rain. Temperatures down to near 32°

Wednesday: A wintry mix combination eventually over to snow later in the day into the night. High only 32-35°. Accumulations likely later in the day and evening. Roads should become slick depending on the treatments and temperatures.

Thursday: Clearing out and cold with highs closer to 40°

  • Discussion:

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the area overnight into early Thursday. Those are the counties highlighted in the purpleblue color. Essentially all of the region except a few counties towards the Lakes area.

So we continue to have strong confidence in an impactful “winter in October” event for the KC area…

The details though are very difficult to pinpoint at this stage unfortunately for many reasons…including just how much snow production will occur during the evening and night time frame tomorrow…will it snow during the day…where with the temperatures be in allowing accumulations…when will the snow stick…how long will the wintry mix continue…how will the daytime light effect the snow accumulations on the roads etc and about 20 other things…so bear with us on this one…it’s a unusually strange set-up for late October when you consider all these factors and more.

This is a storm that will be coming from the Rockies…it actually dropped down through Canada over the past couple of days…out west…more snow again…

Of the systems Denver has dealt with this October…this may be the biggest one…

The as we move into KS…

Here is a look at regional radar…

The system in question will start to organize better tonight…as it does so snow will expand through the Plains region and move eastbound

It will be cold enough…temperatures today are going nowhere at this point…clouds and a cold air mass are both conspiring to keep things in check.

The temperatures in the above may are in RED…

So the cold air isn’t really an issue…

The atmosphere overall will be supportive of snow from a temperature standpoint…it’s not ideal though and that is in the back of my mind. I wonder if we see a decent time of sleet/snow/whatever tomorrow…especially in the afternoon. How long that phase of the storm lasts will contribute to the potential snow amounts.

Of interest as well is the temperatures during this time frame…morning tomorrow through sunset. Typically even though it will be cloudy…during the day in October with the sun angle…there is still energy going into the pavement from the sun…this should hopefully keep the road temperatures above 32°…so that what falls melts…and mostly accumulates on exposed surfaces. So that will be a check point in this tomorrow…IF you notice heavier rates of whatever is falling (if it’s snow) and it’s covering and accumulating on the roads…we’re going to need a bigger shovel.

Regardless when the sun goes down…all bets though are off. We should see accumulations…then the next issue is how long it snows for. Last night the northside had several hours of snow…at time moderate…KCI had 3/10″ of snow. The 11th accumulating snow in KC history during the month of October.

Parts of N MO had closer to 1″ or so and parts of far northern MO…north of 36 had close to 2″ in spots. That’s impressive for October. IF we get harder snowfall in the Metro for a longer time frame…let’s say 6-8 hours (which is typical)…then I can see a path towards 2-4″ in the KC Metro area.

We’re looking at a variety of model data…the 12Z GFS isn’t represented below neither is the EURO model…typically we usually use a 10:1 snow ratio…1″ rain = 10″ snow…1/2″ rain = 5″ snow…but I’m going to cut that a bit…down to 8:1 because of the weirdness of the atmospheric set-up with this…and the variety of precip that may fall for awhile.

So look at the variation…from around 2″ to over 12″ from last night’s GFS.

For the record the GFS today…IF you just go by potential “liquid” accumulations from 7PM tomorrow night into 7AM Thursday would get you to this…

At 8:1 that would be a solid 2-3″.

The NAM has less….

Much less…

The Canadian has very little accumulated snow for the time frame…it generates over 2-3″ of snow tonight and that won’t happen.

Again…the big assumption I’m making here is little accumulation with whatever falls till sunset. IF we have sticking snow of any consequence before sunset tomorrow…then we’ll have some higher totals for sure assuming everything else is about the same. So the time whatever starts to stick is a big conundrum tomorrow…

So right now I’m more or less in the 1-4″ range for totals…less towards the SE of the Metro towards the Lakes region. I’m hesitant to go any higher at this point…that will be a game-time decision when we see what’s exactly heading this way.

So there you have it…

Finally there have been two other years with multiple accumulating snows in October in KC…1898 and 1913. Those winters featured almost 3 feet of snow (38.6″) and over 2 feet of snow (26.5″)…hmmm.

I’ll leave you with that…

Feature photo of the day…from Terry Berggren out in Lenexa




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