A Block Begins Forming: Let’s Look Into What It May Mean

Good morning bloggers,

There is a lot to discuss today.  Is it any real surprise that the freezing rain that the models had shown did not verify, not even close?  Every model, and I mean every one, did horrible from the European model to the GFS and everyone in between such as the Ruc, HRRR, NAM, Canadian….it didn’t matter which model you looked at, as they were all just horrible as guidance.  Warning signs that we were not going to get much measurable precipitation showed up as early as around 3:35 PM yesterday when the GFS model came out and literally had no measurable precipitation in KC until this afternoon with the next band of rain.  I did not ignore it. I started showing on the air where we needed to see development as nothing was forming yet. And, then it never materialized. On the air I began hinting at this, but it took me until around 9 PM when I was live on Facebook when I went way down on the ice prediction. NOW, PLEASE READ THIS NEXT STATEMENT:  I went way down from 0.10″ to 0.01 to 0.05″. Think about that. Take your two fingers and make 1/10th of an inch and try to go to 0.01″ of ice accumulation which is about what we got on the south side of the city. We were predicting a very small amount of ice anyway, and a very small amount of ice accumulated. This second system was not supposed to be as strong as the first one two days ago, and it wasn’t.  But, here we are in Kansas City, and here we are trying to predict these small little systems. We are still sitting at under 6″, 5.8″ of snow, for the season. Kansas City has never in its recorded history had under 10″ for three consecutive years. And, it may not do it. There are chances showing up. There is a blocking pattern developing. But, will we be left in the dusting again?


This map above is a forecast for the 500 mb level, 18,000 feet above us, in 168 hours, or next Thursday morning.  A blocking pattern is developing in these next 7 days.  You can see the block by looking at the upper high forming over Greenland. This is forcing the jet stream to energize and shift south. And……IMPORTANT…….it will be a pattern that the models have a horrible time predicting. This may benefit KC, or again leave us in the dusting, if  we are lucky. How could it benefit us? If it forces the jet stream far enough south, the block would need to be slightly stronger, and then maybe one of these systems will be forced to track farther south as well and then we will be in a major snowstorm. Can you imagine? I sort of can, but realistically, I will be shocked if it begins happening.  Look at this map above again. I pointed to a storm that is forecast to develop one week from now, and you can see the AO and NAO indexes showing the first deep dip in the pattern, and the biggest dip since late November. We are actually moving into cycle 4 of this years LRC, which lines up well with the first cycle in October, and is directly related to the second and third cycles as well.  We know what has happened in this pattern in KC: 5.8″ total in many small snowfalls.

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 7.47.02 AM

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 7.47.18 AM

So, what does this mean? Well, we need next weeks storm to track a bit farther south. Look at last nights GFS forecast model:

GFS Snow

GFS Rain

Let’s see how the models trend as this block sets up.  It could suddenly get very exciting in KC, but as of this moment, the models refuse to show much snow potential.  So, this is next weeks storm. What about today and this weekend?  Is this about to wear you out?


This map says a lot. Snow over Nebraska, western Iowa, extending north into South Dakota.  This is a forecast for noon on Saturday.  A storm system will track through. This storm is directly related to the October 7th, part of the pattern or right at the beginning of this “great” pattern we have been experiencing, this frustrating pattern for those of us near KC and surrounding areas. It certainly has been entertaining. But, I would rather predict large storm systems and not these small precipitation events. If you step back, you will see that we at 41 Action News and within this blog have predicted most of the storms accurately. There have been a couple of clunkers in there for sure. We have some more challenges ahead.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Freezing drizzle changing to drizzle or light rain with temperature rising to above freezing this afternoon.
  • Tonight: Fog developing late with light winds. Some drizzle and mist possible. Some freezing is still likely 60 to 100 miles farther north.
  • Friday:  It will be cloudy and foggy with light winds and some drizzle possible
  • Friday night-Saturday:  A chance of rain with a storm moving by. Highs in the 40s or possibly even the 50s if the storm tracks farther north
  • Next Week: An interesting pattern to track

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go click on the blog on Weather2020.com and join in the conversation.


A Second Icing Event Of The Week

Good morning bloggers,

We are having our second icing event of the week at just after midnight.  Take a look at the radar at 12:25 AM:

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 12.22.37 AM

The most significant precipitation has been targeting areas north of I-70, but the echoes were increasing as I was writing up this blog entry.   The evidence was pretty strong earlier this evening that this was going to be a bit farther north and west, but there is still some wide spread glazing and a small icing event in progress. Let’s see how this develops in the next few hours.

Have  a great night. I will start another blog by 8 or 9 AM.