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Blizzard, Severe Weather Risk, A Strong Storm, & A Look Into March Weather Madness

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

Jeff Penner has the weekend off, so I am working on this Saturday morning blog entry.  I have been analyzing the entire weather pattern and everything is right on cycle, as it always is, according to the LRC.  This storm system is caught in the part of the pattern that tracked systems south of KC in the first two cycles of this years pattern, and this time the storm is tracking a bit farther north.  There are reasons beyond the AO+ that is forcing the farther north track of the system that are still being defined. In the coming years as we learn more about these other forcing mechanisms and seasonal differences our weather forecasts will get even more precise and accurate.  This season, our weather forecasts from 50 days out have been spot on with every single one of these storms. There has yet to be any LRC blunder, as we have really refined our forecasting technique.  Now, our specific forecasts have also been accurate as well, and forecasting the weather for each specific location is still going to be more hits that misses, just not as spot on as the LRC itself.  This storm was predicted to arrive this week, and it is here.  Now, what will it do today? Let’s take a look. And, then we will look ahead to the “Blizzard Part of the Cycling Pattern”, or as one of the bloggers said yesterday, “The Drought Busting Part Of The Cycling Pattern”. Cycle 4 of this years pattern will begin next weekend.  And, yes, the LRC will once again be spot on. Will it produce a blizzard, snowstorm, Arctic outbreak in the first week of March? Well, let’s see. A week out in the past three cycles, the models had no clue that there would be a storm. This time they have a clue, well the GFS has anyway. Let’s take a look.

7 AM Radar: Thunderstorms over northeast Oklahoma were moving north-northeast and tracking right towards KC as this storm system is moving out into the plains from the southern Rocky Mountains.  These thunderstorms will spread in from the south and quickly move across before noon today.

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Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  A round of heavy showers and thunderstorms between now and noon. Then, another thin line may move through later this afternoon. In between these two bands the winds will pick up from the southeast and there is a chance of a warm up into the 50s. The highs will range from the mid 40s north to the 50s south.
  • Tonight:  Very windy with a wind shift to the west, then northwest at 30-50 mph and gusty.  There may be a little band of snow closer to midnight, more likely up north. A mini blizzard is possible around Hiawatha, KS and Maryville, MO with 1 to 4 inches of snow and blowing snow.

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The three naps above show the storm developing at the surface today, the severe weather risk, and the snowfall forecast.  There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms today centered on Mississippi and Tennessee, and there is a major snowstorm and blizzard likely extending from southeast Colorado to Wisconsin.  Warmer air may be drawn all the way north into KC And we may see a couple bands of showers and thunderstorms, and maybe even some snow on the back side of this storm.

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By this evening, the surface low will have jumped northeast and redeveloped over eastern Iowa. Look at that pressure gradient near Kansas City at 8 PM tonight.  This may produce 50 mph winds, and there is a trailing tail to the comma head that may bring one quick band of snow across our area by 11 PM. Why not, it has snowed on 37 different days this winter season. If it does snow at 11 PM to 1 AM even just a trace, that would add two dates to the total number of days with snow. Will that tail swing across KC? Let’s track it tonight.

The early March set up:

There she blows!  This is the GFS model, that for three model runs in a row has been trending into position a similar set up to the last two LRC cycles which did produce a blizzard and a major snowstorm in KC.  The January 12th, second cycle produced the nearly 1 foot on the south side of KC, and the blizzard on November 25th did produce nearly blizzard conditions and over a half foot of snow.  This model has a similar set up to these, and the other models just had strong cold fronts and weaker storm systems. So, here we go again as the models just poorly handle all of these set ups from even a couple days out, not to mention a week or longer out.  There is also an Arctic Blast trying to organize. Let’s see how this trends in the next few days.

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If it does not snow again this season in KC, then my winter forecast will have been spot on. I just do not think it is stopping yet, and later next week will be the next test.  In my winter forecast we discussed a range from 15″ to 37″ of snow.

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Have a great day!

Gary

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