Good Monday afternoon and evening bloggers,
Our site was temporarily down, but we are back up and running. We have had some snow showers, a few have been fairly heavy. I didn’t experience one of these, well, sort of I did. On the way into work today Wornall Road was soaking wet, so a heavy enough snow shower to fall, melt, and get everything wet had to be rather significant. All I have seen have been a few lighter snow showers and flurries today. We are in a rather interesting pattern this week, but Kansas City continues to struggle to have any significant snow this season. Only 5 inches have accumulated thus far and we are now over half way through with winter. This pattern is still capable of producing accumulating snows, but they just aren’t happening here. And, it’s even worse in Wichita where they have had less than one inch so far all season. Look at the temperature contrast developing tomorrow afternoon:
You would think with this big temperature contrast there would be a big storm developing, but there just isn’t one right now. There will be small and fast moving systems tracking across in northwest flow, and of course we will be monitoring these closely. One of these may bring snow to our area:
From 63° in Dodge City, KS to 4° in Waterloo, IA. This is a forecast map valid 3 PM Wednesday. And, then this surface low and frontal system will track southeast. This will likely keep Kansas City in the colder air, but it will be close. By Thursday afternoon, however, this system will zip by and we will have a northeast wind shift., This is the 7 AM map showing 4 degrees below zero in Waterloo, IA to 36° above in Dodge City, KS.
Our next big storm is due in around the 19th of this month, but we also have a system we have to monitor closely on Valentine’s Day Sunday. Have a great day.
Share on Facebook
Good Wednesday bloggers,
The major storm is exiting. The wind is decreasing and the sun will be increasing as the day wears on.
The clearing line is approaching and we should see the sun today before it sets. Highs will be in the low 30s.
THURSDAY: The sun will be out and the wind will come in from the southwest. This will take highs back to the 40s.
FRIDAY: A weak system will drift across the area Friday night. This has a 30% chance of bringing us a few rain or snow showers. It is odd that it would be rain as every layer of the atmosphere is below freezing, except one. That layer is the surface. If temperatures are 35-40 we will see a few rain showers Friday night. If the temperatures are 30-35 we could see some snow. It is not a big storm, but even this would bring rain? Wow.
Saturday looks dry with highs near 40°. There is a 2nd system for Sunday. This could bring another round of scattered rain and snow showers ahead of an Arctic shot. Right now this does not look like a big system, but we have to watch for a small snow from this.
Have a great rest of the week and weekend.
Share on Facebook
Good late evening or early morning bloggers,
We have a strong cold front moving across our viewing area tonight. Temperatures will drop below freezing by morning and there is a disturbance rotating around the big storm that may help develop an area of light snow. I am not sure how wide spread it will be, but a light dusting of snow, even up to 1/2″ is not out of the question in a few spots early Wednesday morning. You can see the cold front moving across on the next two maps at just before sunset:
As we just missed this big storm by about 1/2 of a state we know and have all experienced a lack of snow the past two years. In fact, Kansas City has had only 19.4″ the past two winters in 16 accumulations. Wow! Here are the numbers:
Wednesday will turn much colder with temperatures struggling to get above freezing. Our attention will then shift to a disturbance and potential developing weak storm system Friday into Saturday. The models have been hinting at this storm possibly forming strong enough before it passes by to produce a little band of snow. I will be blogging on the Weather2020 blog at weather2020.com in the morning. Let’s see if it looks more exciting. And, our weather team will update this blog on Wednesday.
Have a great night.
Share on Facebook
Good Tuesday bloggers,
Northwest Kansas to central Nebraska received the full blown blizzard. Eastern Nebraska and Iowa received 2″-8″ of wet, gloppy snow as temperatures were 30-34. Our area received .25″ to .50″ of rain. The entire month of February averages 1.46″, so not a bad start to our moisture count.
11 AM TUESDAY: This is the surface map for 11 AM. A deep low pressure was over central Kansas. Temperatures range from the 70s in Mississippi to the 10s in Wyoming. This is quite a storm. This low will continue to track northeast and the cold air will sweep in this later this afternoon and evening.
7 PM TUESDAY: The surface low will be entering northwest Missouri. The colder air will be on the way as the 50s and 60s shift east.
10 PM Tuesday: The cold front will be sweeping across the area as the low pressure moves into Iowa. Temperatures will be nearing the freezing point with west winds gusting 35-40 mph. It is going to be a blustery evening and night.
230 AM Wednesday: Will we see any snow? Well, for the snow lovers this is a slap in the face. Really, one snow shower at 230 in the morning. Maybe there will be more snow showers, but at most we will see a dusting. If we are going to see a dusting we are going to need more than 1 snow shower.
3 PM WEDNESDAY: The big storm races off to the east, bringing showers and thunderstorms to the east coast. We will see the sun by afternoon with highs in the low 30s.
Temperatures will warm to the 40s and low 50s for the end of the week and weekend. A shot of Arctic air is likely next week, but at this time we do not see any big storm systems.
Have a great day.
Share on Facebook
Good Monday bloggers,
The storm we have been talking about for days is now on the way and will affect the region Monday night and Tuesday. The heavy snow and wind will stay in Nebraska/Iowa. As we get closer to the storm, it is becoming a more difficult snow forecast for those regions as the rain-snow line is getting pretty far north. Let’s go through this wild and major storm system.
3-4 AM TUESDAY: This is when the main storm will be really getting its act together. Eastern Kansas and western Missouri will see rain and a few thunderstorms. Look at the rain-snow line…yikes! It is so close to Omaha and Des Moines, what a nightmare for those meteorologists. The blizzard is pounding much of Nebraska.
MONDAY AM RUSH HOUR: The rain will be exiting the KC area. Again, look how far north the rain-snow line. This will have an impact on snow totals in southern Iowa and southeast Nebraska. Omaha will likely still get a ton of snow, but Des Moines has a tough forecast. The blizzard is really for Nebraska and northwest Iowa.
RAIN AND SNOW FORECAST: This is the big picture. You can see the pink pockets in the snow band. These are 15″-20″ amounts. The rest of the purple/pink is 8″-15″. Notice, how the rain intensifies in eastern Kansas. We will see some decent rain totals. It will at least be nice to wash the salt off of the streets.
RAINFALL TOTALS: It looks like we are in for a nice soaking, considering it is early February. Amounts will range from .50″ to close to an 1″ along and west of I-35. Locations to the southeast will see .50″ or less. .50″ or more is a good soaking for this time of year.
SNOWFALL FORECAST: This is from the 12z NAM. The Omaha area still has a 10-15″ potential. Des Moines on the other hand is down to 6″. The other models we look at for Des Moines have 2″-5″of snow. So, yes a nightmare as the rain-snow line gets pushed even further north. This line is getting close to Omaha too. This model has 1″-4″ for northwest Missouri. This depends on if the precipitation starts as snow tonight before it changes to rain. These amounts may be way to high as it could be all rain up there as well.
TUESDAY EARLY AFTERNOON: Since the storm is taking off to the north, we are going to enter the dry slot of the storm during the day Tuesday. This means the sun will pop out and temperatures will surge to 55°-60°! The surface low will take off to the northwest during the evening and the cold air will rush in, possibly leading to flurries and a few snow showers tomorrow night.
Have a great week
Share on Facebook
It’s always fun when we get a storm system like this. It brings out the true die-hards, on both sides of the coin. There are those itching, scratching, begging for snow…
“The xxxxx model still gives hope!”
Then, there are those pleading, hoping, wishing the snow goes poof.
“I HATE SNOW!”
And trust me, I see the comments on both sides! Before I really get going on this blog, let me remind you I tend to use a little tongue-in-cheek humor from time to time. I also like to have some fun when talking weather. So I hope you get a little knowledge, education, and some fun out of my lengthy typing.
By the way, this is a stereogram image (also called Magic Eye picture).
It can take many people years to see the hidden image. Others can spot it in a split second. You could spend your whole life staring into a stereogram, hoping to “see it”.
My point? It’s easy to get lost in the details of something that truly doesn’t matter in the first place.
Let’s dive in.
Here is our storm system for Tuesday.
You can see a little bit of a spin there between San Francisco and L.A. That’s our piece of energy, developing into a low pressure storm system.
So far, this thing is performing as expected, coming into central California Sunday night. And out ahead of it, the alert map is getting more colorful than a box of crayons.
Remember that a warning is worse than a watch. So you can already get an idea of where the heart of this storm may go.
My overall thought on this system has not changed much from yesterday. I think we draw warm air into the Kansas City area on Tuesday. I went ahead and bit a little more on the warmer air at the surface even.
Thus, I have pushed forecast highs into the upper 40s.
By the way, something tells me we could even hear a few rumbles of thunder early Tuesday morning as this system begins to push through the area. If enough warm air can be pulled in, it may happen. Crazy.
It’s totally not out of the question we jump into the mid 50s if the dry slot parks itself right over Kansas City. Which is what our latest computer model is trying to suggest!
The dry air means breaks in the clouds & air that warms up quickly. It’s hard to get snow when surface temperatures are 15-20 degrees above freezing!
My snow impacts map has not changed too much over the last couple of days either. I still believe the worst of this storm system will wind up in Iowa & Nebraska, stretching into parts of Northern Kansas.
If you have travel plans into or out of the red area Tuesday, you may want to change them now!
For the true weather geeks that want to see what the models are saying in terms of snowfall, let’s go dig around in that sandbox.
The 6am models runs came in looking like this.
It continues the idea of meaningful snow staying well off to the Northwest of KC.
The Euro is actually trying to get the snow a little closer to KC. Also of note, the bullseye of snow (over 15″) being placed more into Kansas & Southcentral Nebraska.
This model is really shoving the snow to the Northwest. This model might be a bit too far North.
And the NAM, still holding hope on a more Southern track.
Yet, the NAM has given up on putting snow in Kansas City, finally coming into agreement with what the other guidance had yesterday.
Remember, computer guidance is just guidance. Doesn’t mean it can’t change or isn’t completely wrong!
Based on the computer charts, the storm location, and the overall trend of things, this is my initial take on snowfall amounts:
I leaned with a blend of the Euro & NAM. While the indications are for this storm to go to the Northwest, we are still 48 hours out. There is still a large amount of time for the track to still shift. And if the system decides to go even 75 miles more to the South, the snow forecast will greatly change. Nothing is set in stone, even at this stage. We’re in the elite eight, so we’re zeroing in on a winner, but upsets are still possible.
Unless we see a big shift in the guidance tomorrow, I think we will be looking at a rain event for most of the viewing area. As of tonight, the best areas to see any kind of snow at all would be along and North of highway 36. I also still think we could wind up seeing a sharp divide between no snow and a lot of snow. Heads up to Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas.
One other thing to note: cold air *will* be pulled into this system by Wednesday morning. And that’d be for the whole viewing area. My worry would be that we get some slippery roads for the morning rush, simply due to leftover moisture freezing up.
Keep in mind February is typically our snowiest month. So don’t fret, snow lovers.
We still have plenty of winter left to go! Tuesday’s system appears to just be another teaser for the KC area.
Here’s to a good week,
Share on Facebook
Despite a little more cloud cover today, this was another nice afternoon with highs pushing up into the 50s and 60s across most of the area. Hard to argue with that for the end of January.
A weak cold front is going to slide through the area tonight. That will not cut us down drastically, but I do expect it to be about 8-12 degrees cooler for Sunday. Also, plan on more clouds than sunshine tomorrow. With that front coming through, I cannot rule out a few spotty showers tomorrow morning into the early afternoon. I think they will be very few and far between, so nothing major. Overall, another decent day by January standards.
All right. Elephant in the room….what everyone is wanting to know: HOW MUCH SNOW FOR TUESDAY????
In my opinion: it’s still to early to call numbers for sure. Way too much that can wiggle still. I mean, look where our infant storm is right now.
Do you see it? Still floundering out in the Pacific. In all honesty, it’s not truly a “storm” yet, just a chunk of energy out in the ocean. It’s got a heck of a journey left to go still. And has to interact with a few other features in the atmosphere down the road. Which means we still have more questions than answers a this point. In my opinion, it’s too soon to slap numbers on this thing that we can stand behind with confidence. Personally, I don’t like tell you one thing one day, then model chasing each day after. It’s a fast way to lose your hair and develop an ulcer.
Those hardcore weather geeks out there have no doubt already scoped out the model charts, itching to see what they say for snowfall. I’m betting some had this reaction upon seeing the numbers in Kansas City:
It’s okay. Laptops are getting cheaper these days.
For those that didn’t see, this is what we’re talking in terms of raw model snow output. First up, the always goofy GFS:
That says *no* snow in Kansas City. None.
And then the statistically more accurate & reliable, European model:
Here again, notice what it’s saying? Nothing for KC. Nothing.
The Euro really has not budged much over the last day or so. I will give it credit for that. If anything, it’s pushing the snow more to the Northwest.
The Canadian model has been banging the drum for snow in KC the last few days. Today… it changed it’s tune.
That is a big difference from the other day. I posted an image in my previous blog.
Now for those snow lovers who saw the NAM output from 6am, I am betting you did this:
And here is why:
But let me remind you, that’s just ONE run of ONE model. Doesn’t mean it’s right.
Yes, the NAM handled the east coast snow surprisingly well, despite what many forecasters thought. But last I checked….
We don’t live on the east coast. So I don’t think it’s as easy as just putting all of our eggs in one model’s basket, so to speak. And for those asking “which model has done the best this year”, the answer is: none of them. Each model has totally been off and each model has done well on various storms. No single model has been totally right all the time. That said, much to the chagrin of others, the Euro remains the more dominate model.
Local weather service offices are putting out more detailed information on this storm. This is what the Topeka office published this afternoon:
I actually like how they are handling this. Staying away from amounts, which is a good idea considering this storm could drastically change track.
And this is what the office out of Kansas City posted today.
Now I say that will all the love and respect in the world. I do agree that we’ll see a sharp gradient between little snow and no snow. But putting amounts on this right now still seems a little early too me. A lot *is* still going to change. Especially if/when that warm air gets involved.
So what’s the deal? Let’s break this down a little bit more.
The guidance today is finally picking up on what I have been talking about for a few days: warm air. I strongly believe we’ll draw in warmer air into this storm. Like we’ve seen before, that’s all it takes to cut off any kind of meaningful snowfall in Kansas City.
It’s why the GFS and Euro are saying no snow in Kansas City; both models are putting highs in the 40s to near 50 in KC Tuesday!
Obviously, the NAM doesn’t buy that. Hence the reason it puts a lot of snow over the area.
Based on past storms, what I’ve seen on the guidance, and my gut/experience mixed together, this is what I’m seeing today:
No, I’m not putting snow amounts on anything yet. I feel we need at least one more day before we can do that with a respectable amount of certainty.
In my opinion, I think areas to the North & Northwest of metro Kansas City will need to be on guard for the heaviest snowfall amounts.
The area in red has the best chance for more than 8″ of snowfall. That would have big impacts on work, school, life in general. Add in the wind (which will be over 30mph), there could be blizzard conditions in the the red zone.
If you plan to travel West on I-70 through Kansas, or plan to go toward the Omaha area, you may need to change your plans Tuesday.
Confidence on timing is still good, overall. We’re looking at late Monday night through early Wednesday morning for the storms to work through the area. This is where my mind is as of right now:
Tuesday morning through noon:
-Rain for Kansas City area & points South of I-70
-Light snow in Northeast Kansas & Northwest Missouri
-Rain changes to a wintry mix (sleet & freezing rain) near KC Metro, rain continues South of I-70
-Moderate to heavy snow in NE Kansas & NW Missouri
-Light snow near Kansas City. Locales South of I-70 seeing light rain changing to light snow on the Kansas side, remaining light rain on Missouri side
-Moderate snow pushes to the Northeast, through Northern Missouri into Iowa
-Lingering snow flurries
I will write up another blog tomorrow with new thoughts/details on what may happen. Don’t be surprised to see a few changes. Remember where this storm is right now and what all it still has to do. We’re in the Sweet 16 round of this thing, and shakeups are bound to happen.
Have a great evening,
Share on Facebook
Tom Petty truly said it best, didn’t he? If the comments/questions/emails/tweets are any indication, a handful of you are seconds away from salivating on your keyboards over the potential for snow next week. However, the waiting is the hardest part, it seems. Waiting six to 12 hours hours for new computer forecast model runs to come out… people are sweating buckets!
But here’s the thing: We still have nearly four days until our storm gets here. Four days for things to go back and forth. Four days for models to show copious amounts of snow, only to be taken away on the next run. Four days for this storm to change its course, change its strength, change its mind. I mean, it’s all the way out in the Pacific. WAYYYY out there.
It still has to move across the ocean, it still has to arrive onshore, it still has to move across half the country. Remember too that despite this being 2016, we can’t really sample a storm all that well until it moves over land. Sure, we can see it on satellite and run the huge mathematical computer equations (models) to see what it may do.
With all those variables, there is something bound to change. To fill in more of those missing letters, we need this thing to move over land. That won’t happen until about Sunday. Even then, there is a lot that could still change.
Yes, I know the models have fallen into a bit of agreement this morning. The Euro & GFS being quite similar four days out is exciting to some. But check this out.
Here is the latest (6am run) of the Euro:
Here is the 6am run of the GFS:
One of the other models that goes out four days or more is the Canadian. It’s singing a different tune.
So which is “right” and which is “wrong”? None of them. They are guidance. They are here to help out forecasters. Rarely does a model ever hit it “on the nose”. And when you are looking at guidance this far out, you know it’s going to change! I know the ____ model says this many inches of snow. I see that. But that doesn’t mean it *will* happen.
If any of you follow college basketball, we can relate the NCAA tournament with a situation like this for Tuesday. Today is like the start of the tourney. You know who the players are, you know the records of the teams, but you do *not* know who will win. Sure, you can pick a favorite. You can hope/wish/pray one team wins it all. But that doesn’t mean they will.
Just like in the madness of March, anything can happen. Upsets, heartbreak, pure joy.
I think we have put ourselves into a situation where we focus so much on the numbers… “how many inches of snow will fall at my house??!”. We lose sight of the forest because of the trees. Let’s step back, let’s rethink this approach. Instead of “you said we’d get xx inches of snow and I had xx inches!”, think about how much snow is enough to cause problems for you. Enough snow to be a concern. We call this, impact based forecasting.
Can many–if not most of us–deal with a few inches of snow? Yes. We don’t live in the South. We have great street/road crews here. We have people that own plows for the front of their trucks. A snow event of under six inches will not shut down our area. Put something like that in Atlanta or Dallas, then it’s a different story.
So who may be impacted the most from this snow event Tuesday? At this time, the odds suggest it’s those locales to the North & West of Kansas City.
Does that mean this can’t change? No. Once more, we are still four days away and forecasters truly cannot get a good handle on a winter event until about 2-3 days out, at best.
Something still tells me we have to consider another layer of warm air aloft. That has burned us before. If we get that, then snowfall amounts would be greatly reduced. Recall that by average, it takes 0.10″ of water to get 1.00″ of snow. If we get 0.30″ of sleet/drizzle/rain, then that right there is 3.00″ less of snow that will fall.
I never have–nor ever will–profess to know it all. I will never be a perfect forecaster, that’s impossible. However, I have lived in a snowy climate. I have had to forecast winter storm after winter storm while spending seven years in North Dakota, thirty minutes from the Canadian border. I also spent six years forecasting snow events across all of Western Kansas & into parts of Nebraska. Through all of those years I learned one big lesson when it comes to snow forecasting:
You can hope, you can wish, you can pray all you want. The atmosphere will always (and I mean always) do what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants. We humans matter not.
Getting lost in the shuffle of the computers as well as the hype of what so-and-so said/posted here/there doesn’t help matters either.
So what can we do between now and Tuesday? Pretty easy:
And remember, for every person that loves snow, there is another that absolutely cannot stand it. And vice versa. We live in a region that gets snow in the winter, severe weather in the spring, and heat in the summer. If that’s not for you, there are four dozen other states you can call home.
Like I tend to say toward the end of blogs like this: our team will continue to do what we do, monitoring and updating you on this next storm. At this point, there isn’t much to worry about for a couple more days. Go, enjoy the break from winter. We still have plenty of February left to go; it’s even a leap year.
And for those wanting Spring, well… the waiting is the hardest part.
Have a nice weekend,
Share on Facebook
What an afternoon across the area for January. Sunshine today and temperatures soaring into the 40s and 50s.
Those are the readings from the top of the 4pm hour. Not that bad in parts of Southwestern Kansas.
We are going to have a nice sunset across the area, it’s already looking good on our Skyview network.
If you can, take a photo and send it to us! We may show it on air this evening.
The sky will clear out tonight and it will get cold, as lows dip into the 30s. You’ll still need a coat and gloves for the morning drive. However, by the afternoon, we’re back into the 50s. Highs will remain above average for a few more days.
So in the short term, it’s sunshine & above average days. Make the most of them!
There is already a lot of talk about Monday-Wednesday of next week. If you are a weather geek that checks the models daily, you already know what I am talking about. Winter is going to return to the area and in a big way for some.
We will be watching a storm system that looks to travel across the region, dumping some decent snowfall in a few select locales.
With it being this far out, there are still a lot of variables at play and many thing will change. Proof of that: in the 12z (6am) versions of the models this morning, they played the ol’ switcher-roo game! Yesterday, the GFS model wanted a few inches of snow over KC, while the Euro said we got a dusting at best. Now, it’s the Euro saying we get a few inches of snow and the GFS saying it’s just a dusting!
Here is an idea of what we know so far:
Let’s check out those possible scenarios.
#1: This is the output from the 12z GFS model for next week:
#2: This is the possible outcome from the Euro model:
#3: Based on the path of previous storms, things could go a little more south than the current guidance is suggesting. If so, this could be the possible outcome:
Once again, exact amounts will change but the high end could be close to 15-20″, but that would be worst case.
Something else to note: we have had a problem with warm air (slightly above freezing) aloft when these system move over the area. It’s not out of the question that happens again with this one. If so, snow amounts would be cut down a lot and some could wind up seeing nothing but showers & freezing rain/drizzle/sleet. This is why you will likely see some forecasts that include “rain & snow mix”. This is not a slam dunk forecast where we *know* it’s just going to be snow. Just one of those variables I mentioned above.
We could use some snowfall, as we’re behind for the season. Over the last three months, it’s been tough to get more than a few inches of snow in Kansas City.
Keep in mind that February is typically the snowiest month of the year for Kansas City. And with this being a leap year, there is PLENTY of time left to go! Moreover, I have a season total snowfall forecast of 30″ to hit!
The team will continue to monitor the trends and provide updates. Stay aware that some outlets & social media accounts will likely be posting raw model output over the next few days and proclaiming a “massive winter storms is going to hit ______”. The bottom line: yes, some area in our general region is likely to get a good snow event. However, it’s far too early to pinpoint where exactly. And the city/location/bullseye will likely change over the next few days.
Enjoy the departure from the cold, we’ll keep tabs on the snow.
Share on Facebook
Good Tuesday bloggers,
There are 2 main topics for the weather the next 7-10 days. First, is a huge warm up this week.
UPPER LEVEL FLOW TODAY: We are still in the cold air as the jet stream is to our south. The jet stream will flatten out and track to our north the next 2 days. So, highs today will be in the 30s with Wednesday in the 40s.
UPPER LEVEL FLOW FRIDAY-SATURDAY: A flat ridge will form over the middle of the USA and this will allow some rather mild air for this time of year to surge into the Plains. Highs will be in the 50s Thursday and likely 60s Friday and Saturday. Notice, the dip on the west coast. This is the start of a major storm that will affect us next week. This is item #2.
UPPER LEVEL FLOW NEXT MONDAY: A deep storm will be forming over the southwest USA. We will still be in the mild air, although a cold front may sag in ahead of this system, turning us much cooler by Monday.
There are two main tracks we see that this storm could take.
TRACK #1: This would track the storm over KC February 2-4. If this happens we see some heavy rain and perhaps light snow at the end with the snowstorm over I-80.
TRACK #2: This solution takes the center of the storm along the I-44 corridor. This puts our area in a prime spot for heavy snow.
So, what do we lean with? We lean with track #2 as it fits what happened 50 days ago from February 2nd, using the LRC. A deep closed low tracked northeast along the I-44 corridor December 13-14. We will know more in a few days, but the model trend is slightly south.
Enjoy the warming trend.
Share on Facebook