*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.