Kansas City Is On The Edge Of Thursday’s Storm

Good morning bloggers,

This weather pattern is a tough one to be fulfilled with isn’t it?  Kansas City has had 8.3″ of snow already.  It has been a very cold October, November, and first half of December.  And, yet there are many of us that are still wondering, “what is this weather pattern that has set up for this next year”.   And, I am not just talking about Kansas City;  what about California where this pattern produced conditions for some of the worst fires in history.  Storm systems have seemingly gone around KC, even though we did have one direct hit when the blizzard conditions arrived Thanksgiving weekend.  So, what is this pattern that set up in early October and is now set for the season?  I still need another couple of weeks to really begin answering this big question.  For today, this next storm is presenting a forecast problem for Kansas City.  Let’s take a look.

These next two maps show the surface storm over northeast Texas at 6 PM Thursday from the FV3 GFS model and the Canadian model:



If you look closely, Kansas City is on the northwest edge of this system.  The two versions of the GFS model both took the rain out of Kansas City’s forecast, while the Canadian model brought the rain a bit farther north.  The strength of the surface cyclone is important as well as how far south it ends up developing. If it tracks a bit farther south and is a bit weaker, then the conditions inside Arrowhead stadium for the big Thursday night game will not be as bad as it could be.  The trend is for around a 15-20 mph wind and for just some mist falling, if that during the game.  Rainfall amounts have gone from 1/2″ on some of the models to now zero as you can see on the first map above.  So, we will again be waiting on the new data today.

Here is the European Model solution showing the midnight surface map and the 6 hour rainfall ending at midnight Thursday night:


When you look closely at this solution, which is quite similar to the other models with some subtle differences, you can see the surface storm just a bit farther south, the rain has shut off for the game, and the pressure gradient is weak enough for wind to not be as big of a factor.  So, for the big Chargers at Chiefs game in KC Thursday night this is quite important.  The trend is for weather to only be a minor factor for the game.  If this storm tracks just a bit farther north, the impacts will be higher with more rain and wind.

Another takeaway is how this storm tracks in the upper levels of the troposphere:


This storm digs hard and dives south into a strong closed upper level low over southeast Texas by Thursday night.  There is a northern branch leaving it behind as the main jet stream tracks across southern Canada.  For KC to have a really tremendously exciting winter we would rather see a storm like this dig into Arizona and then lift out.  Instead, and there have been a few of these already since this pattern set up in October, this storm digs south of KC and then turns northeast east of KC.  It gets even more complex than  just that track, as it then turns southeast again near the east coast and then weakens.  If there was more northern branch involved in this storm, then KC would likely have had a major winter storm, and instead KC may be left dry or with less than 1/10th of an inch of rain and no snow.  This is great for the game, however.  A lot to think about.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day and we will continue this discussion on the Weather2020 blog. It is another great day with temperatures reaching the lower 50s this afternoon.


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