A Storm Approaches: Any Ice?

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are looking at an active weather pattern this week as we track a wet storm Monday-Tuesday, chance of light snow Thursday and a new wet system for Friday-Saturday. We are going to focus on this Monday-Tuesday wet storm as it it quite complex, for multiple reasons.

Let’s begin with a  look at how the cirrus and cirrostratus clouds created a red sky this morning.  They can  bring some of the most beautiful sunrises as they are high in the sky and the sun can shine on them before it rises.

Here is an update on the rainfall statistics since August 1st. We had nearly 20″ of rain from August 1st to October 22nd and we needed a break from the rain. Well, be careful what you wish for as since October 22nd we have seen just 1.70″ with the average through the end of February being 7.21″. This puts us 5.51″ below average. We have a storm system for Monday and Tuesday that has a chance to double our rainfall total since the 22nd October.


SUNDAY: Today we will see high clouds with highs in the 50s along with wind gusts to 40-45 mph from the south. A wind advisory is in effect until 6 PM from around I-35 to the west.


MONDAY MORNING: Tonight we will see a moisture surge from the Gulf of Mexico which brings a low overcast and a temperature rise to around 60°-65° by morning. There will be a chance of drizzle and a few showers as a disturbance races in from the southwest.  There is the slight chance of a thunderstorm.


MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING: This is where it becomes complex. We will be tracking areas of drizzle, showers and perhaps a thunderstorm. Now, look closely at the temperatures. Low 30s are found in northwest Missouri with some freezing rain (liquid water freezing on contact with the surface) while 60s are found to the southeast of KC. We are in the 40s as the front slips in. Where will this front set up? Will it waver back and forth? Will it push south and not return as the heavier rain moves in Monday night? The answers to these questions will determine how much ice we see. Also, the answers to these questions are not known at this time as we have a major conflict in the data.


TUESDAY MORNING (5 AM): OK, this is crazy, but possible. The front on this data wavers north and our temperatures in KC rise from the 40s back to 60°-65° with periods of rain, drizzle and a few thunderstorms. The freezing rain is confined to a small area in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri where temperatures are around 30°. The colder air could easily be 50-100 miles farther south, making the rain, freezing rain. The NAM is the most bullish with this cold.


TUESDAY MORNING (7 AM): On this data, just two hours later the colder air is now heading back south. Temperatures now range from 37° at KCI to 64° in Odessa with heavy rain moving through. Temperatures are in the upper 20s to low 30s in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, but the rain is over, limiting icing. The only way we have an ice storm is if the colder air pushes farther south and stronger, because it does look like the rain axis is fairly set.


RAINFALL FORECAST:  Some of the models are showing the biggest precipitation event since the 22nd of October whether it is rain or freezing rain. Rainfall amounts will range from around .10″ northwest to close to 1.50″ southeast. KC has the chance to see 1.25″, but I would not count on it yet as the models are still all over the place.

Here is the overnight NAM model, but the latest model run had a lot less, but then guess what????  There is a second system Wednesday that needs to be monitored closely.


Have a great week and when you see a meteorologist on the street, be kind. This is not going to be an easy forecast with chances of rain, freezing rain and snow. Also, our temperature forecast may be off by 30 degrees depending on what block you live on.

Jeff Penner


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