Kansas City Is Still Waiting For It’s First 2015 Thunderstorm

Good morning bloggers,

Who has heard thunder or seen lightning in 2015? Here we are just  a dozen days from St. Patrick’s Day and Kansas City has yet to have a thunderstorm this year. I am not sure what the record is for this type of phenomena, but we may be closing in on the longest time since our last thunderstorm.

Boston is likely about to break it’s all time seasonal record for snowfall as this storm is moving in today.  In Kansas City we are sitting at 14.2 inches for the season, which leaves my winter forecast of 17 inches just 2.8 inches away from being a perfect winter forecast. The winter forecast that we made for the nation was far from perfect, but overall it was not bad, and for Kansas City it has been spot on.  You can judge it for yourself, but the forecast called for 17 inches of snow with the mild periods balancing out the cold waves.



We forecasted a wet winter in Boston, but did we forecast the snowiest season in Boston’s history? Nope! This has been beyond an incredible winter. It has been so bad in Boston that even if we lived there we may have been so done with snow by now……..what did I just say? No way! I would have loved almost every minute of it, I think?  What a about you?

The well forecasted warmer part of the pattern is on the way. A huge warm up  is about to arrive, and not just in KC, but nationwide.  Spring is on the way. When will we see our first thunderstorm?

Our weather team has been training on our new computer system that we will debut next month. For myself it has been three straight 13 hour days, and I will be at the station again today at 9 AM.  I am so ready for the weekend, and I will be in Oklahoma enjoying watching the Sooners beat the Jayhawks, my first time in Lloyd Noble Center in 25 years. I am quite excited. Have a great Thursday. It’s out last really cold day for a long time!




Another Odd Weather Day in KC

Good Wednesday bloggers,

We have been tracking snow all night long.  It was not reaching the ground in the KC area until 730 AM.  It was reaching the ground from Garnett, KS to Warrensburg, MO south earlier.  So, around 730 AM a heavy band of snow charged into the south part of KC and boy did it reach the ground.  A band of heavy snow set up from Gardner, to the south 435 loop to Blue Springs in a 15 mile wide area.  It went from flurries to heavy snow in the 15 minutes I took my son to school.

During the next 2 hours the band will shift south and weaken.  So, snowfall south of I-70 will be dusting to 1″ with the most in that band.  It became very heavy and stalled for 30 minutes.  North of I-70 is dry with a dusting from I-70 south to the 435 loop.  Crazy!

Radar from 838 AM.


The rest of the day will be dry with some sun late and highs in the mid to upper 20s.

We then turn our attention to a massive warm up.  Highs will be in the 50s Friday-Sunday and 60s Monday and possibly 70s Tuesday!  It will remain warm all next week.

Have a great day.


Where will snow fall tonight?

Good evening bloggers,

This map shows the potential for snow tonight along and south of I-70.  But, even if this is 100% accurate it moved in from the south and then moved away in around an hour or two. Let’s see if we see any evidence of this later this evening.



So, Kansas City will likely still be sitting at 14.2″ of snow on Wednesday, but Boston’s total is going to go up, up and away!



Damp & Dreary

Good Morning Bloggers!

Some fog, drizzle and mist to greet you as you head out this morning.



We will have strong south winds today ahead of the cold front that will bring our last cold blast.  This is going to help warm us up today despite the cloud cover and drizzle.  High temperatures today will reach around 47 degrees around 3 o’clock this afternoon.  Once the cold front moves through the winds will switch to out of the northwest and bring in the much colder air mass.  You will feel a big difference when you leave work to head home tonight.  Temperatures will already be in the middle 30s at dinner time.


We will see post frontal precipitation tomorrow morning for some parts of the  viewing area.  Light snow could develop in NE Kansas & western Missouri.  This would be a small time frame around the morning commute for light snow to fall for the Kansas City metro.  A trace to maybe a quarter of an inch could fall for the metro, but south of KC there could be a little bit more.  Light snow will stick around for spots like Ottawa, KS to Sedalia, MO through the afternoon.  If you are traveling tomorrow to anywhere along the Ohio River Valley you most likely will have delays.


Get excited about the weekend!  A hint of spring to come starting Friday as we begin the warm up.  Who is excited about 50s?

Have a great day!


Kalee Dionne

The Last Cold Blast!

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern is going through a huge change. We are at the end of the current cold wave. This is the third cold wave of the cycling weather pattern.  You can learn more about this on the blog at Weather2020.com.  We also have an announcement tonight, something that has been a 365 day effort.  KSHB has won it’s 10th year at being the most accurate. I would like to congratulate our competitor, KCTV-5 for helping create such a competitive landscape.  We, at KSBH-TV and KSHB.com, have lead in accuracy every week of this past year (all 52 weeks, as the season goes from March 1st to February 28th), and the final ratings just came out and I am proud to announce that our weather team is #1 for the 10th time out of the last 12 years!  It is official, and I wanted to share it with you first.

The weather pattern continues to cycle. And, there has been a very well defined cold wave part of the pattern, and  a very well defined warm phase of the pattern. We are just days from moving out of the cold wave and into the warm phase.  Now, during the warmer phase of the pattern there were still some cold shots. And, now that it is March we will be paying close attention to these variances.  Let’s take a look at the cold phases of cycles 1, 2, and 3 of this year’s weather pattern:


There will be a warm-up today, and then the last cold blast of this cold wave arrives Tuesday and exits Friday with a huge warming trend likely during the next ten days. Are you ready for a little spring fever and 70°?

Here are the forecast maps Jeff Penner is showing on the air through the morning.  Another impacting storm system with a one two punch will be blasting parts of the south and then up the east coast this week. Kansas City will get the strong cold front, but we will likely only see light precipitation. The red areas will be some sleet mixed with the rain timed for late this evening:





The last map shows the huge precipitation shield developing Wednesday and this the “one” of the one-two punch.  This forecast map is likely modeling the precipitation too far to the north. It is more likely around 50 more miles to the south and let’s discuss the new data after it comes in.  Kansas City is likely going to have some mixed precipitation tonight, perhaps a quick moving wave of rain tomorrow, and then a dry cold blast later Tuesday into Wednesday. Then, it’s up up and away for the following ten days, perfectly timed for all of the Big 12 Tournament activities.

Have a great day, and I would like to thank everyone for helping raise close to $150,000 last night at the 15th annual Kansas City Pet Telethon.


Snowfall totals & the next chance for snow

Like a hungry kid holding a cookie in one hand and a cupcake in the other, we’re left wanting more. A fair amount of snow blanketed the area Saturday into Sunday, yet some are already asking when the next chance will be.

Let’s list off some snowfall amounts. These are listed from highest to lowest and come from the official National Weather Service reports.

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If you measured snow at your place and did not report it, nobody is going to know. The numbers passed along to the Weather Service are the ones that go into the record books. And as always, your backyard ruler may have shown something a bit different.

Given all the reports, this is the automated map drawn up via NOAA. I have added in some white lines and the range of amounts in those colors.

Comparing that to our snowfall forecast map from yesterday, and it wasn’t too bad at all.

Was it perfect? No. But nobody is perfect! Snow forecasting is THE hardest thing any meteorologist has to do. Remember how just a tenth of an inch of water can turn into one inch of snow.
This is like asking someone how many jellybeans they think is in a jar. Let’s say they guess 100 and the answer is 102. Would you say they totally missed it?

Or to ask someone what time they arrive at an event. Let’s say they tell you they’ll be there at 6:00pm. If they arrive at 6:02pm, are they late? It can be a matter of opinion.

All in all, this was a great forecast by our team. The Metro picked up exactly what we were thinking. That’s the other aspect of this too: the largest concentration of people that we are responsible for informing live in the Metro KC area. It’s critical to get that right.

As a small town Kansas boy, I know what it’s like when the “big city” ignores your area. Having been on this side of the TV for over ten years now, I can tell you that is never the intention. Trust me, in times of really nasty weather, we devote the attention to where it’s needed.

Let’s look ahead now, shall we? Those wanting more snow, you may have your shot sooner rather than later. Check out this timeline for the next few days.

Now I’m going to be upfront with you right out of the gate: I don’t trust the models. The models have struggled two to three days ahead of events. Yesterday, the GFS and the Euro were totally quiet for Wednesday.
Now today, the Euro claims there will be a couple inches of snow in Southern Missouri by late Wednesday. The NAM shows light snow almost in the same exact area (and amounts) that we saw Saturday. The GFS….well, it’s a cute little model. It says there is not a drop of moisture.
On the RPM, it depicts a brief little shot of snow early Wednesday morning.

At this time, I am going to hold off on showing the model outputs. It may wind up making things more confusing in the long run. But the inherited forecast I got today had snow in for Monday and for Wednesday. I cannot make a good argument to remove it from the forecast, so I’ll let it stand.

My thinking is: we’ll likely squeeze at least a little something out somewhere. But we’ll need to stay on our toes as we get closer to Wednesday. It could easily change.

Beyond that, it does appear that warmer days are ahead.

Keep in mind official Spring (the Equinox) isn’t until the 21st of March. However, Meteorological Spring started today. We use this for averages and record keeping; it’s easier! The annual temperature cycle plays the biggest role with this, since the coldest months are usually December, January, and February, we call that Winter. Spring is then March, April, and May. The warmest months are often June, July, and August, so that’s Summer. And then, of course, September, October, and November is Fall.

Sorry, I went down a rabbit hole there. Sometimes I ramble in these blogs. We are constricted on time when on TV (usually three and half minutes to say everything we need to say). With these blogs, there is no time limit!

Where was I.

Ah, yes! It will warm up Next weekend, the indications are we’ll see a mainly sunny sky and highs in the 50s.

I know some are excited for that. But it does not mean winter is done with us. Not by a long shot. There is still a bit more of the winter cookie left for us to chew on.
Enjoy your night and keep a close eye on us as we have something great to announce to you soon.

Storm Mostly Over, Next One On The Way

Good Sunday bloggers,

There is one last batch of snow with this storm.  It is tracking south of KC with snow showers, some very heavy.  Some spots could see a quick new 1″.




The rest of today will be mostly cloudy and dry after this last snow area moves away.  Our next storm arrives Monday night. We will go to the warm side of this storm, so temperatures Monday night will rise into the 30s.  Then, Tuesday will jump close to 50° on strong south winds.  We are not expecting a ton of precipitation with this storm as we will be in the developing area of the storm.  It looks like most of this next storm will be rain and drizzle.  The only way there is a mix or snow with this next event is if the precipitation starts early Monday night while temps are below freezing or hangs on into Tuesday evening as the new cold air rushes in.

Here is a time line of the next 2 days.

7 AM MONDAY:   Watch for re-freezing tonight as temperatures drop to near 20°.



6 PM MONDAY:  Temperatures fall to 30° after being up near 35°. You can see some light rain/freezing rain heading north.  It should stay away until temperatures jump.



1150 PM MONDAY:  The light rain/freezing rain moves in, but temperatures rise above freezing.  There should not be any major issues, but it will be something to watch.



7 AM TUESDAY: Temperatures are above freezing with rain showers.  There will possibly be a few pockets of freezing rain showers or snowflakes, but this should not be a major issue.



3 PM TUESDAY: Wow! 49° with rain showers.  These rain showers are forming along the last Arctic blast, before Pacific air takes over.  The only way we have a mix is if this precipitation is more widespread and extends into the new cold air.



Have a great day and week ahead.


Saturday snowfall update

10:30pm Update Saturday
The first round of snow is still hanging on in the area as some new bands are trying to redevelop just to the Southwest of KC. These should pass through over the next two hours or so, moving to the East/Northeast, and then we’ll get a break overnight.

This activity may wind up adding another half inch or so to our amounts.

The latest guidance continues to suggest we’ll see a second round of snow move in from the West Sunday morning. This should be noticeable. Be sure to watch my web forecast video on our kshb.com/weather site to see it in motion and how it looks to play out.

Because of the snowfall amounts we have on the ground now…

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…I am going to adjust our snowfall forecast totals a bit.

Overall, things haven’t changed too much except to account for the snow that’s on the ground already South of I-70. As I was told long ago: the only thing worse than a wrong forecast is putting out a knowingly wrong forecast. In a fluid situation like this, you have to adjust.

Still, for many areas, including the Metro, our original forecast will verify.

One last thing to stress yet again: please be careful on the roads. They are slick!
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And please, make sure your headlights are on too. Stay safe on those roads. It may not be you that has a problem, but that fast-driving, texting, distracted idiot next to you could be the one that causes issues. Play it safe.

Jeff is back in Sunday morning and will have the latest radar for you as well as forecast. I’ll then be back in the afternoon with a wrap up on snow totals and a look ahead to the first week of March. Tomorrow is the first day of Meteorological Spring.

Original Entry – 7pm

Pieces and parts to construct snowmen* started falling from the sky around 7 this morning. I believe many of us call this “snow”; some say it’s the unnecessary freezing of water.

In any case, it was right on schedule from the forecast last night. Okay, maybe it was a half hour early. Forgive me.
As of this evening, that snow is winding down across most of our area. That is, for now. As the great Billy Mays used to say: But wait! There’s more!

Here is a look at the latest radar image.
1 PM

You can see the bulk of the snow is done on the Kansas side for tonight. There are some heavier snow bands around Clinton and Sedalia. This is where some of the heaviest snow has fallen today. Those will continue to push to the Northeast over the next couple hours.

Take a look at just some of the select snowfall reports that have come in as of 6pm tonight.
2 PM
Here at the studio, I measured 1.2” just before 5pm. Like always, your backyard measurement may vary slightly.

As we go through the next 12 hours, more snow looks to enter the area from the West. The high-resolution HRRR model is picking up on this.

The RAP is also picking up on this activity.

However, consulting some of the other models, such as the NAM, all I’m hearing is crickets. That bothers me a bit. The NAM has had a pretty good handle on this event overall, so I want to believe in it. Something tells me we have the chance still, but if it does develop, I think it will be small and quick. Not everyone will see the snow either. The best window would be from about 7am to 10am or so Sunday.
It’s kind of what I call the “weather lottery”. If you get the snow, you’re the lucky winner. Congratulations.

All in all, I think our overall forecast for snowfall will hold up (1-4″ across the viewing area). We did shift the higher range a little more to the South. And yes, there is a small area that has gone above the four inch mark. However, it was expected, to an extent. And small alterations to a forecast are normal and should be expected.
The darkest shade of blue would be the area that see amounts between four and six inches. Recall a few times Friday I said some areas may “challenge that 2-4 inch range a little bit”.
During any snow event I typically say there’s a “plus two”. One area always seems to get some bonus snowfall of about two inches. I’m telling you, it happens almost every single time. Adrian, that may be you if that next round Sunday morning happens to pass over and add another inch to your total.

When it comes to the overall forecast for this weekend, I feel we covered things very well. Our amounts were consistent all week and the message was on point too: be alert to hazardous travel conditions. I myself saw three accidents on the way to work. One included seeing a woman being loaded into an ambulance. The first thing I thought was: what more could I have said on TV to help this woman? How could I have helped to prevent this? Did I not say it clearly? Did I not say it enough?
This stuff effects us, on so many levels. I want to help people.

When all is said and done, I can only deliver the message.

As far as the amounts go, some are going to argue. Some will try to find a to criticize. But in my biased opinion, we stuck to our guns and had this one called days in advance.

Thousands of years ago, people KNEW the sun went around the Earth. Hundreds of years ago, people KNEW the Earth of flat. Months ago, we knew Russell Wilson would hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks would win the Super Bowl….

See, sometimes what we think we know, just isn’t true. And days ago, the models (and some forecasters) KNEW there would be a big snow event with ten inches of snow in KC this weekend. But here we are.

I hope you are able to enjoy the snow a little bit. Those who are sn-over it, just wait. Warmer days are coming. More on that in tomorrow’s blog.

Have a great evening and be safe on the roads,
*some assembly required; contents may have settled during shipping

Snowy Saturday

Good Saturday bloggers,

The snow is heading our way as if 7 AM. It will arrive between 9 am and 11 am. The snow will continue all afternoon, tonight, ending 8-10 AM Sunday. The intensity of the snow this afternoon will be light to moderate, 1/8″ to 1/2″ per hour. Then, tonight the rates will drop to 1/8″ per hour or less. So, this is a long duration snow, but mostly light intensities. Lets go through the forecast.



1 PM Today: The snow will be in full force with the heaviest south of I-70


7 PM TODAY: The heaviest snow is moving off to the east. Light to very light snow will continue over much of the area.


8 AM SUNDAY: The snow is exiting to the east. Sunday afternoon will be dry and mostly cloudy with highs trying to go above 32°.


SNOWFALL FORECAST: We have not only been consistent on this forecast, but the only ones going for the lower amounts. 1″-2″ of snow is expected across the Kansas City area with 2″-4″ south and a dusting-1″ from Hiawatha to Maryville.


The pavement is cold and the snow will stick from the very first flake. So, roads will become slick rather quickly after the onset of the snow. Use caution if you head out today and tonight.

Sunday afternoon through Monday will be dry. Our next storm arrives Monday night and Tuesday. This will be rain and a few thunderstorms as temperatures surge to the 50s Tuesday. if the storm can be a bit more functional then we could see some light snow Tuesday night as Arctic air rushes in one last time.

Have a great weekend and stay safe. We will have updates all day long on our apps and on www.kshb.com/weather.


Prepping for Saturday snow

11am Saturday Update
As I am sure many know by now: the snow has started. We’ll likely see two rounds out of this system. One round of snow this morning into this afternoon. Then another round later tonight into tomorrow morning.
The RPM model suggests this first round will end around 7pm or so tonight. This is the simulated radar for 6:30pm.
6pm Sat RPM

And then the next round will enter around 6am Sunday. Again, a simulated radar image, this for Sunday morning.
6am Sun RPM

Overall, I feel the timing graphics I used on air for the counties–and showed toward the bottom of the original entry here–worked out pretty well. The timing may have been off by about an hour for the third area of counties. Either way, we have the snow. Little kids and big kids alike are excited, I’m sure.

For those curious about the new forecast model outputs when it comes to totals, I have those for you below. Going forward, the snow outputs won’t matter much because the event will be already halfway over and the snowfall will appear less on those outputs. Thus, these will be the last ones I post for this event.

First up is the 12z GFS idea of snowfall by 6pm tomorrow (when the whole event is over).

Then there is the high-resolution 12z NAM version, which continues to be low on amounts

The Canadian is sort of in line with the NAM, but a little more North with the “higher” amounts of snow.

And then this is the raw output of the RPM. It isn’t too far off from the NAM & Canadian.
The 2-4″ line is the turquoise color and it sits right along KC.

So the general consensus here is: the dress was blue and black.
Oh, and that the higher snowfall amounts will fall more in the Southern half of the area versus the Northern half.

Super short-range models like the RAP & HRRR can be useful on days like this. But you have to keep in mind their range. As of right now, the HRRR cannot see this whole event. So looking at its snowfall totals may be misleading.

Overall, our 1-4″ forecast for the viewing area should pan out. There will be localized spots that spill over a tad. I still think we wind up with around two to three inches in a majority of the Metro. Those a bit more North will see a little less. Lawrence area, around one to three. St. Joseph around one to two. Sedalia to Warrensburg, may be closer to three to four and half.

This is a light snow plus the wind will not be much of a factor at all. No blizzard conditions to deal with, thankfully. Just stay alert to slippery roads if you plan to travel today. There have already been a lot of accident reports this morning.

I am in house again this afternoon and will have a fresh forecast for you at 5pm & 6pm on air. I will also have a new blog update posted around 6pm or so tonight.

And hey, you aren’t helping to fill up the internet unless you send us the photos of snow at your place! Tweet, Facebook, email, carrier pigeon, pony express. Get them to us!

10:35pm Friday Update

Just to keep things fair, here is the 00z GFS output for snow.
0z GFS
It continues to trend lower with each new run and is showing half of the amounts it wanted just a couple days ago. Sometimes the GFS can be more stubborn than a mule. But I am glad to see all the guidance settling down a bit.

It still appears the majority of the snow will fall tomorrow night into Sunday morning and then the system is gone by Sunday afternoon. Like I said on air, if there is a lull in the activity Saturday afternoon, just wait. More snow will arrive. We almost have to look at this like a small conveyor belt of snow bands. One batch arrives in the 7am to 2pm timeframe. Then another will arrive later in the day. Yet another passes through around 3am-6am Sunday. Again, if there are a couple hours where it’s not snowing, don’t be surprised.

Jeff is in tomorrow morning and will have the latest updates for you on air and online. Stay with us as we track this winter system.

9pm Update

Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one: A new run of model data has arrived, the night before our snow event, and the numbers have gone a bit lower. Yep. That’s what the latest NAM is doing.

Here is how it looked at 12z (6am) this morning.

This is the new 00z (6pm) run.
00z NAM

It tightens up the overall snow region and pushes things a bit more to the South. No real change for those in far Northeast Kansas & Northwest Missouri. Ho-hum.

But hang on. This is just one model and one run of a model. The new 00z RPM has something to say.
Here was how the RPM looked at 12z this morning.

And this is the 00z version.
RPM Snow - 9p FRI

Like I said yesterday, I am not going to have a knee-jerk reaction and alter the forecast. There is still the 00z GFS to digest and the 00z Euro. We’ll stay the course; for now. This just serves as a reminder that this year has not been a good year for the models more than 24-36 hours out. I can’t even tell you have many times I written that line this season!
This is also why we’ve played it conservatively compared to what guidance was suggesting days ago.

Catch my forecast on air at 10pm for more.

Previous Entry – 7pm Friday

Someone find the guys from the 80s rock band Europe; tell them it’s time to play their hit song. The final countdown is on and our confidence is pretty solid in the snow event for this weekend.

Right off the bat, let me hit you with the snowfall amounts we are thinking.

Once more, we are staying consistent with one to four inches across the viewing area (keep in mind we do not just forecast for Kansas City). Overall, there should be a wide swath of 2-4” of snow. Yes, a few locales could challenge that range. But those would be the isolated exceptions, not the rule.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 99% of our coverage area tomorrow, as you can see below.
3 PM

While we pass along their weather alerts, we still make our own snow forecasts and it may differ from theirs. But generally speaking, we are on the same page.

There are college basketball games in Lawrence and in Manhattan tomorrow. This means people will be on I-70 and K-10 trying to get from point A to point B. I want to do as much as I can to break things down so you can plan safely.

Here is the overall timing of things for tonight into tomorrow.

To go a step farther, this is how I see it unfolding, county by county. The first counties the snow should hit will be to the West of Kansas City. I’ll call this Area 1.

Then the snow should push into KC Metro around the lunch hour Saturday. This is Area 2.

Our Eastern counties will be the last to get in on the action. Area 3.
A note here: counties along the Iowa border may not see much snow overall. This appears to be an event that will stay just along and South of I-70. Please keep this in mind if places like Maryville or Ridgeway only wind up with an inch of snowfall.

All of the snow will push East as the day goes on.  I think we may be a lull in the snow in the evening for some. But another band will try to push in by Sunday morning. We’ll have to watch that one closely. I see it exiting from West to East by the late morning hours Sunday.

So, Area 1, the snow should start to wrap up around 7-9am Sunday.
Area 2, the snow will start to end around 8-10am Sunday, clearing faster to the NW of KC.
And those in Area 3, the snow should wind down from 8-11am Sunday with some bands holding on in the Southern & Southeastern counties until close to noon.

To clarify, those ending times would be for the whole event. There may be a lull in the snow. And if that second “blob” of snow does not happen, then we’ll be done by about midnight.

I say this simply for record too: things are still subject to a little change. Timings may be altered by a couple hours. But I do think our forecast amounts are in good shape. Keep in mind, we’ve been going with an overall 1-4″ for days now. You’ve probably seen higher amounts elsewhere.

The 00z forecast guidance will be telling. I’ll look that over and add in an update with what I see. In full disclosure, the door has not been closed on higher amounts, but it’s not far from being shut.
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Kansas City has a high chance of walking away with at least two inches of snow from this, if not three. Four inches is also still possible, especially just outside of the 435 loop. But anyone looking for over five inches of snow, the odds are dwindling fast.

All of that said, I still think we need to focus on the impacts of the snow, not so much the amounts.
2 PM

Something interesting that I noticed from the mid-afternoon run of the RPM… it’s pushing any kind of mix for Sunday more to the South. That will be something to watch. But let’s get through the Saturday snow.

Stay safe on those roads tomorrow.