Cold start to the week

Good morning and Happy Martin Luther King Day,

It is a cold start to the week, with a frigid air mass in place just to our north. Kansas City dropped to around 11 or 12 degrees this morning.  Minneapolis, MN will likely stay below zero all day.  This is actually rare as of the past few years.  Here is a statement from the National Weather Service in Minneapolis:

Streak With Highs of 0°F or Above Has Reached 4 Years at MSP

Sunday, January 20, 2013 marked the 1,466th consecutive day, (just over 4 years), with high temperatures of 0°F or greater at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.  The last time the high temperature at the Minneapolis airport was below zero was on January 15, 2009 when the thermometer climbed to only -6°F.  This streak will likely come to an end on Monday, as temperatures struggle to make it to 5 below. In addition, the number of days withlow temperatures below zero so far this winter will continue to increase as we proceed into the new work week.

The table below is a rundown of the top 10 streaks with high temperatures remaining at or above 0°F at MSP.

Rank Number of days with highs >=0°F Ending Date
1 1466 2013-01-20
2 1142 2004-01-28
3 1110 1994-01-13
4 1056 1945-12-16
5 754 1948-01-15
6 751 1961-01-23
7 750 2007-02-03
8 738 1932-01-29
9 723 1892-01-14
- 723 1879-01-01
Period of record: 1872-10-01 to 2013-01-19

Chicago is still waiting for it’s first inch of snow in one calendar day.  Where are we at here in Kansas City. We are still below last year’s record low snowfall total of 3.9″.  KCI Airport has had only 3.7″ this season.  We are forecasting at least two storm systems, and possibly three or four, that will bring accumulating snow to Kansas City during the next five weeks.

Our next significant chance of precipitation may be eight to nine days from now. Here is what the GFS model showed from the 06z (midnight) model run overnight:


This model solution forecasted an upper low to track near or just north of Kansas City. This would place the snow across Iowa and Nebraska.  We will be waiting patiently as it is still a long ways off. Right now, we just need a soaking rain or a heavy snowfall. The ground is so super dry.

Have a great start to your week and thank you for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather blog.


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32 comments to Cold start to the week

  • Skylar

    This doesn’t seem like it’ll be one of those storms where the models all got it several days in advance. Yesterday, the GFS had the heaviest snow in Minnesota, then last night around Wichita, now it’s around Omaha. I feel some frustration to come in the days ahead.

    • MikeL

      The last few runs of the GFS (including this morning’s 12z run)have struggled on whether to place the heavy snow track too far north or too far south of the KC area. ;)

  • rred95

    As long as the storm keeps showing up somewhere in the midwest in the days to come we will have a shot. Not sure how good of a shot, it truly seems like trying to find a needel in a haystack to get a winter storm (or any precip event) to hit us.

  • plowboy87

    Spitting a little snow in independence.


    Flurries in platte city right now

  • Skylar

    KCI is now reporting light snow. I guess come cold air flurries are moving in from the north.

  • kellyinkc

    saw a few flakes here in Raytown.

  • ChiefsFan

    Gary or anyone, are we expecting any snow today or tonight,any accumulation with any?

    • We will likely have these flurries continue into tonight, but I am not expecting any accumulation. We will have to monitor a little band coming out of Nebraska tonight closely for any developments.

  • f00dl3

    Already at 21 F. High of 22 F may be broke.


    Sitting at 19 degrees up north of KCI. Few flurries off and on

  • Craig

    Yes, this looks promising…

    And there are some decent echos up in Neb moving SE. G-man, any thoughts??

  • whitelightning

    Gary, What are your thoughts on Thursday’s precip? Ice?

  • Kole Christian

    I’m hoping we get big storm, rain or snow. We need it.

  • HeatMiser

    We don’t have the technology to forecast where that storm will hit nine days out, so guessing is purely conjecture and has nothing to do with what will actually happen. We will have to wait until a couple of days out to have a shot at it, and even then our technology is shakey enough that we could still be wrong.

  • Jerry


    As others have mentioned, the models seem to place that storm anywhere from Wichita to Minnesota next week. What does your theory tell you about where it’ll end up?

  • mowermike

    This is our 6th day below average since Jan. 11th. Tomorrow will be 7 and we likely have 8 and 9 later this week. All the temp swings and still not one big storm. Looks to change next week and beyond.

    Gary, KCI is currently at 18 degrees, I see that we did reach 20 but have since fallen back to 18. You predicted 17 for a high 7 days ago, but changed it later in the week to 24 or so. We have been in the teens most of the day, so your first forecast was about right. This is a cold air mass, but nothing too unusual.

  • Theo

    Yeah Jerry, I agree. LRC should be able to tell. Or maybe with Mike’s description above, Gary just needs to say something different every day and we just take the one that’s closest to correct??

    • Rock Hardon


      You should know that asking for precise and definitive answers to questions about the LRC will never bring direct answers. Ambiguity along with enough wiggle room to drive a Mack truck through will always rule the day for any questioning of the theory.Not exactly the stuff that peer reviews are made of.

  • mowermike

    My point of my above post was to show that 7 day forecasts should be used for trends and not actual to the “t” accuracy. The trend in his forecast last Monday(Jan. 14) was for a cold blast to hit late in the weekend and the following Monday. He mentioned 17 on the website but never aired that forecast. He raised the forecast high to 23 that same night of the 14th. Either way you look at it, the idea was cold and today is cold. 17-24 degrees isn’t that much of a difference and sure its going to wobble over a 7 day span.

    Side note: Theo(I know you take great pride in your forecasts and come on here to let us all know I told you so)how would you grade the following forecast submitted on Jan. 11th?
    January 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM
    I say keep wishcasting. If you pray hard enough, it will happen.

    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. NO SNOW!! That puts us into February. Winter only has 4 weeks left by then.”

    Today is our 6th day below average with more to come and it has snowed once in the 4 county area.(Jan 11th) Likely more prior to Feb. 2nd which would conclude your 21 day forecast.


    Decent flurry almost light snow in Platte City

  • ChiefsFan

    Any accumulations?


      None yet. Too intermittent right now. But hey any precip is a good thing. Even flurries. Won’t make a substantial dent but any is better than nine

  • mowermike

    Posted on Jan. 8th by Gary

    “According to the LRC, the more active and stormier part of our weather pattern, that would impact Kansas City more significantly, is due in between January 25th and February 20th. We are forecasting at least two more snow events during that stretch, and possibly a third and fourth one”

    Posted on Jan. 7th by Gary

    Eventually we may have our first true Arctic blast of the season, but we are not expecting that until later in the month and into the first two weeks of February when the storm systems become more likely to produce some snow again. Expect this to arrive between January 25th and February 20th for three weeks of active stormy weather. Our biggest storm of the season is likely in that three week stretch.


    These are just a few comments from Gary about the LRC and the more active part of the pattern starting around the 25th of the month. This was not in model range. He also mentioned similar thoughts in in Dec. in regards to the LRC and when he thought our chances of snow or rain would go up.

    Nothing has happened yet, so nobody is right or wrong.

  • NorthlandKB

    Light snow/flurries @ I-29/Barry. 19.5 degrees.


    Upgrading my Obs to light snow in platte city. Accumulating on cars now.

  • Emaw

    Ok, that’s one of the best moniker’s I’ve seen yet . . . . Funny!

  • stjoeattorney

    precip of any type w/in 300 miles is needed so bring it here or nearby.

  • JohnNCWX

    Nice blog today!

    I am not buying the GFS solution WRT the track of the low. I do NOT think it will be heading towards CHI but more likely over KY up through the Ohio valley. What this does for local KC weather I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another shot of wintry weather further south in the OK/AR/MO/TX areas again.

    This cold air is deep and dry, could cause some problems out east in a few days!