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Another Winter Storm Is Approaching

Good morning bloggers,

Is this wearing you out at all?  The storm systems just keep coming, and there never seems to be a break.  For many of us, this is something we need to enjoy and take in one minute at a time, so stop and take a deep breath today and let’s try to enjoy this next storm as it moves in. Now, there are many people out there likely on the other side of the spectrum of getting enjoyment out of this storm.  One of my new neighbors slipped and hurt his leg pretty bad a couple of weeks ago, so I know he is ready for spring. And, anyone who had a stalled car or who has been impacted in any car crashes, well, I am sure they are not enjoying this winter ride.  There was a 47 car pile up on I-70 west bound near Oak Grove Friday with one fatality.  So, quite obviously there is an ugly and horrific side to all of these weather events.  We will keep that in perspective, and at the same time the only thing we can do ourselves is be extra cautious and provide a lot of extra time to get around.  Travel problems will likely be developing once again on Tuesday night.

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Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the snow left on Sunday on the Plaza. I was down south, near my old neighborhood in southern Overland Park last night, and there was half as much snow down there.  The weather forecast game continues, and I have posted the entries at the end of this blog.  Kansas City  had 3.8″ at KCI from storm #1 and 0.5″ from storm #2, for a total of 4.3″ at KCI Airport.  The official recording location, however, is in front of our 41Action News studios at 47th and Oak Street. We had 4.2″ from Friday’s storm, and then 0.1″ from yesterday’s graupel shower and little snow and freezing drizzle mixture.  So, the official total is also 4.3″.

The Set Up:

1A rather unique weather pattern is setting up for this storm system as we can see on the left. There is a strong 1040 mb (30.71″) surface high forecast to be located over northern Iowa by 6 AM Tuesday.  This high is dominating the nation today and tonight a drier & cold air expands out over most of the nation.  At the same time, there is a surface low beginning to form by early Tuesday morning over the Gulf of Mexico just off the Texas coast.  The interaction of the high pressure area and the low pressure area is causing a broad southeasterly flow of warm and moist low level moisture as a big source of energy for this storm system.  In the upper levels of the atmosphere, a series of waves are will begin affecting the precipitation pattern, and this is a rather complex set up.

  • Look closely at the 540 thickness line, the blue dashed line just above the last red dashed line. This is quite often the rain/snow changeover line.
  • The surface low needs to be monitored closely as it will track north in this set up
  • The main upper level energy will track just west of Kansas City over central KS into northeast KS Tuesday night.  In most of our snow set ups over the years, this would be a bad track for KC as it would draw in the warmer air and dry slot.  It is something to look for.
  • There is an important wave that will likely emerge and organize and come out of the farther south regions over Baja California and track towards southwestern Missouri or southeastern KS Tuesday night.  This part of the pattern produced such a wave that created a comma head of precipitation producing a band of heavy snow with large snowflakes in the last LRC Cycle. This wave has shown up on some of the models

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That wave of energy I am pointing to on this map comes from southern Baja California, and races northeast. This may have its own comma head associated with it, and if it does, it could produce 2″ to 3″ per hour snowfall rates in a fast moving lead band. One hour of that would produce a majority of the snow in some areas.  So, as you can see this is quite complex, and it is just a day away and we have a lot of questions.

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This FV3 GFS model is trying to track that surface low along that inverted trough and this would draw warmer air northward. The 540 thickness line would be approaching Kansas City from the south at midnight tomorrow, and this model even shows a changeover from snow to sleet and a mixture approaching the city.  This would happen, though, after the lead snow bands move by, and this is why confidence is high on at least 2 to 3 inches falling before the changeover may occur.

We often tend to ignore how close the rain/snow changeover line is to your location.  And, it presents another trick to this snow forecast.  The heaviest snow is often just north of this changeover line. It is forecast, on this model, to end up near the Iowa border by 6 AM Wednesday with a surge to above freezing at the surface and a change to rain.  Now, this is the most aggressive of this possibility, and I just wanted to present it for something for us to monitor.

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Here are some of the models snow outputs as of 5:30 AM this morning:

rgem_asnow_us_54

gfs_asnow_us_10

fv3p_asnow_us_10

gem_asnow_us_10

namconus_asnow_us_19

f5weather-21

The European Model had the warmest solution and least snowiest solution, the map immediately above. All of the models have 2-3 inches at least in KC, and confidence is high in this range. This storm has some tricks up its sleeve, so let’s keep monitoring it.

Snow Accumulation Probabilities:

  • No Snow:  0%
  • 1″ of snow:  100%
  • 2″ of snow:  100%
  • 3″ of snow:  70%
  • 4″ of snow:  50%
  • 5″ of snow:  30%
  • 6″ of snow:  20%
  • More than 6″ of snow:  10%

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy with a little sun possible. North winds 5-10 mph.  High:  25°
  • Tonight:  Mostly cloudy:  Low:  19°
  • Tuesday:  Dry most of the day with a 100% chance of snow moving in from the south later in the afternoon or evening.   The evening rush hour may be a complete mess if it comes in just a bit early.  High:  30°
  • Tuesday Night:  A 100% chance of snow, possibly heavy at times.  Accumulations of 2″ to 6″ possible. It will become a heavier and wet snow with temperatures just below 32°
  • Wednesday:  Snow ending, possible mixing with or changing to rain before ending.  High:  34°

Here are all of the entries for our Weather2020 Snow Prediction Game.  The winner gets the honor of being the Weather2020 Best Weather Forecaster Of Week!

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.52.24 AM

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.52.50 AM

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.53.26 AM

It is interesting as the  average snowfall prediction is 6.86″.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.   Weather2020 blog Click here to join in the conversation and see what everyone is thinking about this approaching storm. The discussions have been better than ever!  Have a great day.

GAry

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