Will It Snow This Winter?

Good morning bloggers,

We begin, on this Thanksgiving Eve, with a question. Will it snow this winter?  Well, the chance of it snowing in Miami is nearly zero, and the chance of it snowing in Los Angeles is likely zero. In Kansas City, we know it is going to snow. The least snowiest winter season snowfall total in KC has been 3.9″ in the 2011-2012 winter.  And, last winter was close:

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Less then 5 inches of snow fell last year.  Only five days had any accumulation at all, which was likely a record low number of dates with measurable snowfall.  Kansas City has never gone three years in a row with under 10″ of snow in each season. So, the chance of KC having 10″ of snow or more would seem to be nearly 100% unless we have that historic 3rd year in a row.

There is no snow in sight. Here is a look at the weather pattern:

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The pattern is being dominated by a rather large upper level ridge around 18,000 feet above the southwestern United States centered off of Baja, CA.  A storm is developing over the Gulf of Mexico and heading into Florida. The Pacific northwest and Florida will be the stormy spots on Thanksgiving, but the rest of the nation will be extremely quiet. There is a weak blocking upper high near the North Pole.

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The Arctic Oscillation (AO) has dipped to -3, which is pretty low, and there is some indication of blocking, but not in the right places to produce exciting weather at this moment. The AO is forecast to surge back to neutral, but then negative again in the next two weeks.  I will have a lot more to say about this in our full winter forecast write up that will be published here on the blog Monday at 6:30 PM when our Winter Weather Forecast special comes out.  We have learned a lot more just in the past few days to weeks, and we will share it with you after a bit more analysis.  What you want to see is for this AO and the NAO to stay negative and dip even deeper during the winter that is a few weeks away from starting.  The NAO is also trending to negative and staying there right now. I like this part of what we are seeing, but this weather pattern continues to be not so exciting at the moment.

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This next map above shows the 500 mb flow valid Sunday evening. That ridge off of Baja moves inland to Mexico.  The trough coming into the west coast will be monitored closely, but as it moves out into the plains it gets all dysfunctional.  Remember last year, the storms that didn’t come together became much stronger just as spring began. Maybe this year, one or two of the cycles will have much more functional storm systems during the winter. For now, we continue to wait during a rather boring stretch of weather in November. I will take it for now, as I am the emcee of the Plaza Lighting tomorrow night and light winds, dry and temperatures in the 40s sounds good to me.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  High pressure settles in overhead with light south winds returning later this afternoon.  It will be mostly sunny with a few high clouds. High: 42°
  • Thanksgiving Day:  Clear with a few high clouds with a light breeze. High: 58°
  • Thursday night for the Plaza Lighting:  Clear with calm winds. A great night to come out and celebrate a KC tradition with us at 41 Action News.  Temperatures in the 40s.
  • Friday: Increasing south winds, sunny, and much warmer. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 7os with south winds 10-25 mph by later in the day.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.

Gary

Plaza Lighting Forecast Looks Great!

Good morning bloggers,

Well, yes, I went to New York City to see the Chiefs take on the New York Giants. I got back late yesterday morning.  The NYC experience was awesome. The game, not so much.  So, let’s move onto the Plaza Lighting where our special guest flip switches are Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson from the KC Chiefs.  The weather looks awesome for this event.  Between now and Thanksgiving Day there will be a cold front moving through.

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This cold front is moving across the region this morning and by 9 AM it will already be clearing the Kansas City viewing area.  North winds will take over and be about as strong as Monday’s south winds.

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There is some Arctic air building up over northwestern Canada and eastern Alaska. There is still no indication of when or if this air mass will eventually blast south.

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La Niña is developing over the tropical Pacific Ocean. It appears it will grow into a moderate La Niña. There have been four previous moderate La Niña years. The most recent one was in the winter of 2011-2012, and that year Kansas City had 3.9″ of snow.  That was also a very positive Arctic Oscillation influenced winter as well.  This combination obviously didn’t work out well for KC.  Now, it does not appear it will be a positive AO year in combination with La Niña at this time. It appears it will be more of a neutral AO and NAO winter.  The other three moderate La Niña winters all had over 20 inches of snow.  Some things to think about as this all is still coming together.

If you want something to think about, look at the past 30 days ending November 18:

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This is something to take in seriously. These past 30 days, down the heart of the developing LRC, have been extremely dry from Mexico north to North Dakota and over all of the southwestern states.  The temperature anomalies are setting up into a very influenced La Niña look with the below average temperatures stretching from the Pacific northwest east southeast through the Great Lakes.

Our winter forecast will come out early next week.  Right now, remember again, we are in the classic “panic period”. So, please be patient for another week or two as this continues to evolve.

We are honored to bring you the 88th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony on 41 Action News locally, and we are streaming around the world on KSHB.com Thursday night from 6 PM to 7 PM.

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Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.   Click on the blog over at Weather2020 and join in the conversation.

Gary

Quiet Weather for Thanksgiving

Good Monday bloggers,

On Sunday we went day by day through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and we showed how there was going to be no big storm systems along with mostly mild weather.  Well, that has changed little as we look at the weather forecast today.

The main weather issues for today is the wind. At 10 am there were gusts to around 30 mph and this will increase to 40 mph during the afternoon. We are in the middle of a corridor of stronger winds that extends from Oklahoma to Wisconsin as the pressure gradient is tight.

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Here are the temperatures across North America.  There is a noticeable presence of Arctic air across Canada and Alaska.

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It is rather cold up there, like we showed yesterday, with temperatures ranging from -40° to -20. At this time there are no big signs of it coming south. We will be watching this closely as we head into early December.

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Here is the updated upper level flow for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Wednesday, the biggest travel day of the year, features a strong and big ridge in the western USA and a weak trough in the Great Lakes and New England. Remember this time of year, a ridge usually means dry and warm and a trough means colder with a potential storm system. The trough on Wednesday is not that strong, so there will be very few weather issues across the country.

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The upper level flow for Sunday is also rather tame as the western ridge moves east into the Plains. A sharp trough in New England will bring cold air and lake effect snow, but the main storm will be offshore. The trough entering the Pacific Northwest will bring showers, but overall a quiet weather pattern.

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Let’s go through the holiday weekend once again.

WEDNESDAY: There will be showers in the Pacific Northwest, Florida and the deep southeast USA along with a small system in the northern Plains. Otherwise, the weather is calm which is good news for travelers.

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FRIDAY: Yes, it still looks like 70° on Friday here in KC and it may go higher. Temperatures across the USA are mild and remember there are no big storm systems.

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SUNDAY: It will turn colder from the Great Lakes, Midwest to New England with a chance of lake effect snow. There will also be more showers in the Pacific Northwest.  Overall, more calm weather for travelling back home.

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Happy Thanksgiving and remember DON’T DRINK & DRIVE.

Jeff Penner

 

Thanksgiving Holiday, Day by Day

Good Sunday bloggers,

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving week is here, but it is, and we will take a day by day look across the USA through next Sunday. There is building Arctic air and we will look at the chance of any travelling hampering storm systems.

It was a cold Sunday morning across much of the USA, but Arctic air is sitting over Alaska and Canada.

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Look at these temperatures in the Yukon, -40° to -30°! When it gets this cold up there this time of year, we must watch it closely for a southward blast. At this time, however, we do not see it coming south anytime soon.

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Here is the upper level flow for the biggest travel day of the year and there is a huge ridge in the western USA with a flat trough in the Great Lakes. This is a quiet weather pattern, which is good news for travelers. Remember, a ridge usually means dry and warm weather while a trough means colder air and potential storm system.

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Here is the flow for the end of the holiday weekend, next Sunday. The ridge in the west has pushed east as a new trough sits over New England. This is still a calm weather pattern with showers for the Pacific Northwest and snow and rain showers for the northeast. It will be cold for the Great Lakes and New England, but the Arctic air will likely stay farther north. So, we do not see any big storm systems for the entire week of the Thanksgiving. We are going to go day by day with an emphasis on the temperatures.

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Ok, here we go, seven maps, starting today.

SUNDAY, 11/19/17: The storm system from Saturday is already off the east coast which means dry weather for the Chiefs and Giants, but the wind may gust to 40-50 mph.

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MONDAY, 11/20/17: It will be windy in the middle of the USA with showers in the Pacific Northwest and Florida, but the weather pattern is calm.

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TUESDAY, 11/21/17: A cold front will be surging south, but the Arctic air stays in Canada. Highs here will be held to the upper 40s and low 50s. Rain is likely for the Pacific Northwest and Florida.

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WEDNESDAY, 11/22/17: The weather will be calm for the biggest travel day of the year. There will be more showers found in the Pacific Northwest and Florida and right near or off the east coast. A small snow system is possible in the northern Plains, but overall this is good news for travelling.

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THANKSGIVING, 11/23/17: Look at the warmth in the western USA. 62° in Billings, MT on Thanksgiving?  Wow! KC will be around 60° with 30s and 40s in the northeast. The Arctic air is bottled up in Canada.

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FRIDAY, 11/24/17: Oh my, it is black Friday and we have a real chance of reaching 70° with no big cold air anywhere in the USA. 50s are possible in the northern Plains.

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SATURDAY, 11/25/17: There is some data suggesting that a cold front from the north will be slower, which would mean KC has a chance to reach 70° again. There is colder air from the northern Plains to northeast, but this is not that bad considering the time of year and the fact that Arctic air is lurking in Canada.

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SUNDAY, 11/26/17: Colder air will be heading south and our highs will drop to the 40s, but again the Arctic air is north of the border.  Also, remember there are no big storm systems, so in summary, the weather through the entire Thanksgiving weekend across the entire USA will be relatively calm and mild.  We will be watching the Arctic air closely as we enter December. We also expect the pattern to become more active.

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If you are headed to the Plaza Lighting this Thanksgiving the weather is looking great with temperatures falling from the 50s to 40s, a clear sky and light wind. Two years ago Gary Lezak, Rhiannon Ally and Mike Marusarz had to stand out in a pouring rain with temperatures in the low 30s and winds gusting from the north at 30-40 mph. So, this year will be considerably better.

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Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and remember to NOT drink and drive.

Jeff Penner

Fast Moving Storm System & Thanksgiving Week

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are tracking a storm system moving 60-65 mph across the Plains and Midwest today. Since, the storm system is moving so fast we will see rapid weather improvement this afternoon.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

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Here is how fast the storm is moving as we look back at the surface pattern since Friday evening.

8 PM FRIDAY: It was around 60° in KC and in the 70s over much of Oklahoma. A surface low was found in northeast Kansas with colder air moving south across Nebraska.

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3 AM SATURDAY: The cold front was moving south across KC as temperatures ranged from the 70s in southwest Missouri and eastern Oklahoma to the 30s in Nebraska.

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8 AM SATURDAY: The cold front was racing by I-44 as the surface low was northwest of St. Louis. Temperatures dropped to the 40s in KC, but it was still near 70° in St. Louis. Winds were gusting 30 to 40 mph in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

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8 AM SATURDAY: Rain, mostly light with moderate to heavy downpours was widespread across the region. Remember, it is moving east at 60-65 mph! Rainfall totals will range from around .05″ to .50″.

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3 PM SATURDAY: The storm will be mostly east of the Mississippi river and the sun will be out here in KC with highs back to around 50°. The wind will be decreasing, but still gusting 20-30 mph from the northwest.

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SUNDAY MORNING: It will be clear, calm and cold with lows in the upper 20s to low 30s.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: This is the day to get the leaves up, hang the Christmas lights or clean the lint trap. It will be sunny, with a 5-15 mph southwest wind along with highs 50° to 55°. Highs will be near 60° in western Kansas and that will be our weather Monday.

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We will look in more detail at the Thanksgiving holiday on Sunday, but here is a look at the biggest travel day of the year.

WEDNESDAY: There will be a large ridge in the western USA and trough in the Midwest extending to the southeast USA. There are no big storm systems on this day, but there will be showers in the Pacific Northwest, rain in the deep southeast USA and perhaps a small snow system in the upper Midwest.

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It will be warm and dry in the southwest USA, cold from the northern Plains to Midwest, Great Lakes into the southeast USA.

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Have a great rest of your weekend.

Jeff Penner