Heavy February Rain: The Beginning Of A Major Eastern Storm

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Good morning bloggers,

A strong storm is just now developing and our area will get some beneficial rain from this as it begins intensifying and moving away later today:

  • The southeast half of the KC metro area has been getting the heaviest rain
  • Rainfall amounts will be much higher south and east of I-35 again, just like the last storm with areas just north of Kansas City getting very little rain again
  • The rain should end from northwest to southeast by later this morning into early this afternoon
  • Temperatures will likely be in the 40s all day long with the wind increasing a bit from the northwest

Please let us know how much rain you have received so far. Thank you for spending a few minutes of the day reading the Action Weather Blog.  Here is a look at the radar and a little discussion of the bigger picture.

Take a look at the storm system moving across this morning. It almost looks like there is an eye just south of Topeka:


Heavy rain is falling in the areas that have the yellow, orange, to red echoes.

4The storm affecting us this morning is the beginning of what will end up being a major northeastern snowstorm.  A blizzard will likely be developing tomorrow into Saturday morning with winds gusting to strong tropical storm strength gusts of 40 to 60 mph.  Snow will be heavy and this will cause major problems for travel beginning tomorrow.  We are moving into the part of the weather pattern that produced Super-Storm Sandy and this one will be memorable as well.  Some New England cities could have two feet of snow with the blizzard conditions.

This next map is a closer up view of this storm that is forecast to rapidly intensify late Friday night. This GFS model from the 06z model run shows a  981 mb surface low still strengthening off the northeast coast:


We will go over the details of this storm and what lies ahead for us on 41 Action News today and tonight.  Have the umbrella handy this morning.  I have to figure out a way to get Breezy and Stormy outside in the rain.



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34 comments to Heavy February Rain: The Beginning Of A Major Eastern Storm

  • Greenstein

    Loving this beneficial rain for those of us on the south side. Keep these moisture producing systems coming.

  • grassmankc

    Moderate rain falling in Greenwood MO. We’ve received .44″ so far.


    Light rain in PC . My rain gauge only how’s about .15 so far. But hey anything is better than nothing.

    The GFS still shows KC missing out this weekend on snow. Might have a few rain showers but that’s even in doubt as the precious European Model (scenario 1) holds strong.

  • Emaw

    Closing in on .70″ in north Olathe , nice rain!

  • davidmcg

    dribbles here in McLouth, only 0.04″ so far.

    • mowermike


      You missed out last week too. These events are just a county away from you. Dang the luck. KCI will show lower totals yet again also.

      Little over a half inch so far in Liberty. Beautiful steady soaking rain.

      • rred95

        what is the frost line now? Want this rain to soak in more than an inch.

        • mowermike


          Still frozen on north facings down below about 1.5 inches…most sunny locations frost line is below 2.5 inches.

          We froze a lot of that moisture last Tuesday in the ground with the very cold temps late last week. So, the soils were pretty wet prior to this rain.

          I would say this rain is getting our subsoil wet….great news!!!!

          .58 inches so far in Liberty, we also had a nice T-storm around midnight or so..

  • grassmankc

    Just sprinkles now. I received .75″ in Greenwood and now almost average for the first two months of the year at 2.57″ What a difference in not just the 50 miles but it’s the same 50 miles each time getting the rain/snow.

  • stjoeattorney

    mowermike, this is a serious question. You are indicating that there is frost below 2.5 inches below the ground. How can soil that has no moisture in it be frozen? Last fall, to a depth of 7 feet in St. Joseph the soil was nothing but dust. We have received no appreciable rain or snow, just over 1 inch and most of that was in the form of snow that evaporated into the air.

    This time around we have 0.00 inches of rain. While I am thankful for the relief that is being given to those that seem to be southeast of the Interstate 35. The rest of the state to the northwest of I 35 and the majority of Nebraska and Northwest Iowa are still in the severe drought situation. In fact, a new drought repoert should be coming out any time.

    • mowermike


      I know this from our crews unable to pull irrigation lines in during the month of Jan.(at times) Also, a few of my suppliers that had installers putting trees in the ground also reported frost lines down about 5 inches in some cases while planting late in Jan. Now, this will vary across the city due to location, I’m just stating what we’ve seen so far trying to complete jobs.

      Soils were wet prior to this rainfall, but .80 inches of rain at a steady paste should not create water running off the soil top. That’s just another indicator that soils still hold a frost line past the first few inches or so.

      Remember last Monday, when we set a record high of 74 in KC, some on here reported that the golf courses were wet, well, that wasn’t due to irrigation practices, it was the melting frost line that caused the top of the soil to become muddy. I too witness this as I was walking some of our properties that day. This frozen moisture was from the Dec. storms that rolled through KC.(rain and melting snows)

      Frost lines during the winters(around these parts) are the best case scenarios for holding what little moisture we do average during the winter months. Then when they do melt in March or so, you have immediate moisture for the new growing season.(should the frost lines hold that long)

      Next step, need some cold air within a week or so, that will help save some of the good moisture from last week and today.

  • rred95

    This winter seems almost identical to last winter. low snowfall but ample rain events(for winter). I will be curious to see rain and snow totals for dec,jan,and feb.of this year compared to last year. Bet they will be very similar. New pattern or same as last year? I cant help but think we are still in same pattern that formed in fall of 2011.

  • restull

    We got some rain (0.10-0.20in) in SC Kansas. BUT man was it a struggle! This is the first meaningful precipitation since January 10. I can still count on one hand the number of times we have had even this much precipitation since mid September! Yikes.

  • .86″ for this part of SW Lawrence and it would appear that the rain for us is all but over.

    Not many puddles and runoff also seems to have been minimal.

    On the temp front we started the day at 54 around 12:30 AM and are now sitting at 43.


    I was pretty close on my guesstimate for rain in PC. Thought we would get .31. My total now that rain has stopped is .33.

    Now for the disappointment of watching all that snow this week bypass us to the north.

    • Dobber

      The models are all saying it will miss us?


        It’s painful how bad we get missed. The Low is going to pull far north of us and system south of us. Literally we get nothing right in between.

        The models have been very consistent past few days on that scenario.

  • kcpurpledog

    Hey Theo, that drought sure is preventing rain isn’t it? Do you think it might also be possible that where weather patterns, and even random weather events set-up just might be a reason that some areas of the nation are wet and some are in severe drought? I thought it was too dry to produce moisture and thus rain?

  • sedsinkc

    0.81″ in the rain gauge in KC North just S of Gladstone.

  • Emaw

    Looks like .85″ is the total in north Olathe, sweet.

  • mowermike


    Loop this radar…

    This proves that the radar estimates aren’t always right. It’s showing .10 at KCI(NWS reported .35) It’s showing Gladstone only having .10-.30 and it shows Downtown only receiving about .25 inches(NWS reported .63 inches) It also shows Liberty around .10 inches.( I recorded .71 up there)

    Currently, I believe 90% of the 4 county area that surrounds Downtown is now above average for the months of DEC. Jan. and Feb. to date.(some more then 1.25 inches above) KCI might be above average just slightly to date also. I think I read that KCI was .24 inches below average prior to the rain last night. If so, then they’re above average for the short term.

  • stjoeattorney

    mowermike, thank you very much, I did not think there was that much moisture below an inch or two. I understand the concept of the mud at the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. However, please keep in mind that it has been drier up here then south of KCI. I understand the logic of the freeze thaw cycle, and I also agree that it serves an important function for to be cold in the winter in order to keep moisture in the ground, kill pests larva, etc.

    Just a side note, people have been indicating that it has been a snowless winter. City of St. Joseph public works department has had three snow events, a 5 and a 2 inch event and 2.5 inch event. That is 9.5 inches of snow for the winter season thus far, or roughly 1/2 of normal snowfall.

  • yteirags

    Hey Gary we got .96″ here in Overland Park at 99th & Antioch :)

  • RickMckc

    About .8 in the rain gauge near I-29 & 64th.

    That’s two decent rainfalls within the past two weeks, I think. Maybe things are changing in the moisture department.

  • HeatMiser

    Hey Gary, slacking a bit on the blog dude. You haven’t written anything in many many hours. Catch up and update us on the weather.

  • weather

    Gary good job with the forecast. There’s a reason I say mukustink. KU was pathetic the other night! I wish I was going to be in the Northeast to expierence a TRUE blizzard! Radar returns and ranfall amounts not accurate? It’s about as accurate as the models a week out. Come on Spring as this winter has sucked like the last one. Have a great Friday all. Good night and good luck!

  • Kole Christian

    Tchaikovsky 5th Symphony
    Other than this weekend’s storm, what other ones are showing up?

  • mgsports

    I am happy to announce that meteorologist Keith Denny is joining the KSHB weather team for severe weather season

    • Weatherman Kumke

      #1. He’s not a meteorologist.
      #2. All he does is copy off of KCTV5’s website
      #3. He’s worse than Frankie Mcdonald.


  • nofluer

    We received .15″ of rain overnight. Ummmm “we” is North of Craig, MO a bit, which is just North of the edge of your map. For a long time we weren’t even close to being on the map, and when I pointed out that we don’t have TV stations up here in the vast wastelands of the North Mr Lezak adjusted things so we could see the radar for our area, incoming tornadoes and all!!! But then we started to disappear again. The map has been just sliding down during the week, and during the weekends the whole county is gone plus a chunk of the county below us. (It must be heavier on the weekends.) I’d watch one of the other stations, but they don’t give us coverage either. Guess I’ll have to go to Omaha to shop and spend my money. KC doesn’t seem to want us. (BTW – Omaha is a half hour closer than KC, but they’re in NEBRASKA! BLEAH!)

    Our YTD total moisture is .9″, and our growing season (Sept 1 – Sept 1) moisture is 7.8″ so far. That’s important to me because I am going to try to establish a new alfalfa field for my milk cows this Spring. Our total rain was 28.95″ last year, but 7.9″ of that fell the last weekend in August and, on my place anyway, not a drop of it ran off! I could hear the sucking sound of the ground absorbing the water from in the house!

    Thanks for the accurate forecasts, Gary! Keep ‘em coming!

  • MCIRamp

    Boston=Snowmageddon. That is rediculous snow. As good as they are at snow removal in that part of the country, it’s going to take days to dig out from that…