Another Major New York Storm System As Spring Begins

Good morning bloggers,

The spring equinox, also called the Vernal Equinox, happens today at 12:15 PM eastern time, or 11:15 AM in Kansas City.  This date starts the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  The word equinox comes from Latin words which literally means “equal night”— aequus (equal) and nox (night).  On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.   And, just as spring begins, another major winter storm is targeting the northeast. The storm that just brought the KC metro area its biggest rainfall amount since the late October storm, and brought Dodge City and Wichita, KS their first significant precipitation since October as well, is now intensifying into another huge northeastern storm system.

The New York City Forecast:

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 7.19.31 AM

I circled the snowfall forecast from the NWS as of this morning. Are you kidding me? They are forecasting 10 to 18 inches of snow over Central Park.  As this system went by Kansas City, KC was in the comma head yesterday but it was too warm to snow. We were finally in the perfect spot to have around a foot of snow near KC, and 2.04″ of rain was reported by one of the bloggers yesterday near Overland Park and Olathe.  If this comma head were snow, then this would have been huge, but it wasn’t snow.  At least we did get the rain, even though it missed some areas up north. The northeast is about to get bombarded yet again.

The Meteorology Behind This Storm:

1The blocking pattern that formed two to three weeks ago has had impacts on the west and east coasts. In KC there was no seeming impact as we have continued to not be in the right spot for any winter storm systems, and this block had little noticeable impact except for lots of cloudy days and this recent wet storm.  The influence of the blocking is finally about to fade. The blocking had the biggest affect on California as the Sierra Nevada mountains have been getting a nice series of storm systems to build up a little snow pack for the season after it was very dry until around three weeks ago.

On this map, you can see the storm forming near the northeast coast, a ridge moving into the middle of the nation which will lead to a warm surge to near 70 degrees on Thursday in KC. An even bigger ridge over the Gulf of Alaska, and another storm heading into California.

It is not supposed to be so easy to snow in New York City, especially as we move into spring. But, this storm is not going to have a problem. It is going to still be a difficult forecast however. Once again, predicting snowfall amounts is difficult to be so precise. It is just as difficult to predict rain. In KC yesterday, we were expecting 1/2″ to 1″ possible, and 2″ fell in spots, while 0.02″ fell in St. Joseph. If this were snow, we would have had to predict a dusting to 20″ to be accurate.  I would have loved to have the opportunity to forecast such a storm.


This forecast map above shows the surface forecast valid at 7 PM central time Wednesday. A return to south winds will begin the warming trend. The California storm will then weaken and move out into the plains Friday into Saturday. More on this system tomorrow, as the models are all over the place and confidence is low on any significant rain near KC.

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