Cold blast arrives, now what?

Good morning,

*New data this morning shows strong southerly flow by Sunday morning, which will significantly reduce any potential for freezing rain, but it at  least looked wetter for Sunday. We need the moisture.  Details below!

Temperatures crashed into the single digits with wind chills below zero.  Wind chills are near 10 degrees below zero this morning, so bundle up with layers.  The forecast is rather complex as we are deep into the cold air today, it exits with a big warm-up on Friday, and then a storm approaches as another cold surge arrives Saturday.  Here is the Friday forecast map:


Warmer air will try to move in, and somewhat succeed, on Friday.  But, another cold shot is forecast to move into the area Friday night and early Saturday.  A storm system, aloft, has been developing off the west coast and this will get ejected out and move our way.  Here is a forecast of that system valid tomorrow morning:



The main jet stream is forecast to be north of Kansas City on Friday. A system moving across the eastern Pacific has finally broken down the blocking ridge and the door will be open for a bigger storm in the west.  As this evolves the upper level low off the California coast will get kicked out, but it will also weaken into just a little wave of energy as it approaches us Saturday night.  It will likely be cold enough for the rain to begin as freezing rain or sleet. The ground temperatures are very cold and untreated surfaces could become icy real fast, but warmer air will likely arrive Sunday morning. How long will it be at 32° or lower during the precipitation event is uncertain. And, how much rain will fall? There is a lot of Pacific Ocean moisture with this system.

  • The NAM model just came out and has the 32° line passing through Kansas City as the rain is beginning. This is certainly possible, if not likely. But, one or two degrees can make a big difference.
  • The other models will be coming out soon, so let’s see how this trends. If the NAM model is correct on it’s lower level parameters, we would have a mostly liquid rain event in Kansas City with some icing farther east where the air is drier

Here is the NAM model rainfall forecast.  And, I plotted the likely freeze line by late Sunday morning. It may briefly start as freezing rain, but a nice south to southeast wind may just get those temperatures above freezing.  It still will be a close call:


We will go over the details later today, and I will try to update the blog this evening, so check back in. Watch 41 Action News for Kansas City’s most accurate forecast.  Have a great day and thank you for spending part of your day reading the Action Weather Blog.


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31 comments to Cold blast arrives, now what?

  • Kole Christian

    “http://wxmaps.org/pix/mcigfs.png” new GFS seems to give us more precipitation

  • Skylar

    The HPC is giving us a 50-90% chance of accumulating freezing rain across the area. It’s a good thing we don’t live any farther north where temperatures will probably stay below freezing for a while longer.


  • R-Dub

    Funny that HPC is saying that because the local forecast has taken all mention of ice out, at least for Johnson County. I’d trust the locals on this one.

  • Emaw

    We won’t have any major icing problems in the metro, that will be well to our north.

  • NOAA had mixed precip for Blue Springs, up until last night(I believe). Now just all rain as well. Another threaded forecast for the city. lol

  • ChiefsFan

    Like I said yesterday we could have a ice storm with this!


    This will be a cold rain event. Threading a temperature needle now. We should become needle salesman all we do is thread needles

  • ChiefsFan

    As Gary stated “ground tempatures are very cold and untreated surfaces could become icy real fast”

    • R-Dub

      Yes, and just as fast they will become wet when the temp surges above freezing. Could be driving hazards late saturday/early sunday but it’s not going to be a big deal.

  • Theo

    All the wish casting in the world won’t make an ice storm for the metro this weekend. The warmer air has been trending north and east all week, not south.

    I don’t see the arctic blast you predicted for the first part of February, Gary. In fact, it looks to me like zonal flow will return by the 7th. Looks like winter never got going and is all but done for. I don’t see the 2-4 snowstorms you’re talking about either.

  • mowermike

    “I don’t see the arctic blast you predicted for the first part of February, Gary.”

    Define Arctic. Would this morning’s low of 8 and a windchill at various times -11 be considered arctic?(I’m guessing your answer will be no to make your forecast work)

    Accuracy check:
    Jan. 11th post:
    “There is no arctic air from now to 21 days out. Temps will only go below average 2 or 3 days during the next 3 weeks.”(we have had 8 days below average and counting)
    Jan. 16th post
    I don’t see anything that would indicate going very “arctic” here. The cold pool of air by Hudson Bay will move a bit SE into parts of the NE U.S., but it’s effects will not even drop us into the single digits here at night.

    Just making sure you’re not turning that “blind eye”.

    Another question. Why must it be wishcasting by everyone on here every time they speak of possible storms. You said the same things prior to the Dec. 20th snowfall and it happened, also said the same thing about the Dec. 31st snowfall and it happened. You also predicted under .10 inches of rain for the 1/10/2013 event and we received in the 4 county area .25 to .60.(yes, I know, you received .09(the lowest by far for all reports)

    I just don’t know what we would talk about on here if we didn’t post maps and talk about possibilities.

    Could we say that all you do is wishcast drought because that’s all you scream on here. I think we can. Its not hard to figure out that the drought will continue, that’s a given. Anyone can forecast that.

    Now, should we have average to above average precip. for 2013, would you still consider us to be in a drought?

    • RickMckc

      “Another question. Why must it be wishcasting by everyone on here every time they speak of possible storms.”

      Took the words right off of my fingertips.

  • mowermike

    Gary or anyone, blogger kellyinkc posted this yesterday. Can you explain why all the hype not just from this guy but many others in the science field of weather.


    • R-Dub

      I’m wondering why we need an “unusual stratosphereic phenomenon” to produce temperatures that are perfectly in line with what you’d expect in late January.

  • mowermike

    Accuweather on the KC extended forecast has a high of 66 Monday and 68 Tuesday. They had 70 for KC yesterday on the extended forecast. Came down a couple. Not right, but WOW!! Or will it be right??

  • Jerry

    I’m confused by the 7-day forecast…it shows just a 10% chance of rain on Sunday, but the above blog suggests a much higher chance? Or is it realy that minimal?


    Definite trend warmer. Rain event for us.

  • McCabe58

    Ice is never good unless you’re a kid. I’ll be happy with a nice soaking

  • mgsports

    ACCUWEATHER can predict what it thinks like 60’s for 2 days and can change it like the front comes closer to KC area.

  • stjoeattorney

    0.60 – 0.80 rain on frozen tundra! Not good!

  • jgbrazil

    Yikes, this forecast sounds incredibly hard! It’s times like this that I don’t envy your job at all Gary. Lets hope for a nice, miserable Seattle-style cold rain. Ice is no good for anyone.


    The latest GFS had the 30 line farther south until 18z on the 27 th. alot later than previous run. I’m not buying it though. I still think as the water moves in temps go up.

  • McCabe58

    There will be VERY MINIMAL icing in the immediate KC metro. Any icing problems will be north east of here. No need to worry people

  • Kcchamps


    well this is interesting, the NWS has a 40-50% chance of us seeing more than .10″ of freezing rain


    Tonight on air Gary predicted 2 snows in February. Down from his 3-4 snow storms in February. I would like to know what qualifies as “snow”. I would hope we get some snow storms before march.

  • kellyinkc

    I hope we get something. I dormant seeded but if we dont get rain why bother to fertilize this year.

  • ChiefsFan

    Any freezing drizzle tonight?