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