Model Trends On Potential New Year’s Eve Storm

Good afternoon bloggers,

Here is a picture from the nose of an airplane at KCI Airport this evening. Derek Emshoff sent it in showing the little bit of snow coming down:

I am in Las Vegas analyzing the data.  Should I fly back to Kansas City or stay here as planned to celebrate the New Year.  It depends on what happens with this next storm.  In the last cycle of the LRC there was a separation of the southern wave in this part of the cycle. It is doing something similar this time, but how long will the wave hang in there before it shears out?  Let’s take a look at the 500 mb forecast map from the 18z NAM model that just came out. This is the 60 hour forecast valid at midnight Monday morning:

A wave dropping down the west coast now will get ejected out by another wave (the X on the California/Nevada border).  A strong warm advection pattern is likely going to develop but there are still many questions.

This next map is valid at 6 AM Monday morning.  The ejecting wave is heading right towards us, but how long will it hold together. We are firmly in a developing warm advection pattern with a Gulf of Mexico influence if this verifies.

By 6 PM this computer model, and most others that I have seen, begin a major shearing process of this wave. But, it is still strong enough to help produce bands of snow.  You can see how positively tilted this storm is trying to become and so quickly by noticing the trough in Canada stretching from northeast to southwest into our area.  This is forecast to completely shear out and weaken during the next 12 hours into New Year’s Day.

So, what do these likely developments mean for our weather in and around Kansas City?  The GFS came out with a very similar solution in the upper levels to the NAM model, but was a lot lower on precipitation totals.

It is Friday Night In The Big Town! Let’s wait on another two days worth of model runs before making too many conclusions.  For now, some snow seems likely but there are still  too many questions as there always are three days before a potential storm.

Our weather team will keep you updated on 41 Action News and I will be checking in from Vegas.  It’s a beautiful day here today!  Have a great Friday night.


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85 comments to Model Trends On Potential New Year’s Eve Storm

  • stjoeattorney


  • Kcchamps

    could this storm be a victim of the LLTI(LezakLeavingTownIndex)?? :)

  • stjoeattorney– be careful how you say that… ;)

    Gary– Stay in Vegas. It guarantees we get snow

  • Kcchamps


    latest NAM 18z snow map

  • Emaw

    I know what it means, most of the accumulating snowfall is going to die on our doorstep to the west. Awesome!

  • beckysma

    STAY THERE! I want snow :)

  • MikeL

    The 18z NAM moved the heavy snow track to the northwest of here. Be ready to be left standing at the altar again…

    • weatherdonkey

      What are you talking about…the models will change a number of times before it gets here…why are you picking one and saying that’s what will happen?

      • f00dl3

        I don’t see why everyone is getting so excited over 1 days worth of model runs. This happens all the time – one day it gives us the bulls eye, and then every day after that it goes weaker or north or south. Unless it shows us still getting 3″ or more come Sunday 12z, I’m not gonna be too excited.

  • mukustink

    Gary you and your SO stay in Vegas and ring in the new year. We may not get a good 5-8 incher here in KC according to St.

    • Did Miky go chasing after George W. to Florida ??? I think Miky has a man crush on him. ;)

    • RickMckc

      Why is is necessary for you to make constant references to Gary’s personal life?

      • mukustink

        Well Gary constantly makes reference to his personal life via twitter, facebook, and this blog so what’s the big deal? He and his SO are in Vegas to celebrate the New Year. I wouldn’t come back early because of a “potential” snow event.

  • Skylar

    The GFS is coming in now

  • k10k7

    That wasn’t cool…..

  • ChiefsFan

    41 weather team has a 50% chance on tuesday and 30% on Wednesday, sound like there pretty confident in this storm

  • Adam Penney

    18z GFS still has the bullseye right over the metro.

    However, it is trending weaker than the runs of yesterday. Still gives the metro a 4-6 inch snowfall.

  • Adam Penney

    Well foodl3, I’m with you. We must wait. But in the mean time, there are usually only a handful of times a year where we have something to track here in Kansas City.

    After all, this is a weather blog, so it’s still pertinent to discuss, in my opinion. Always fun to track the models. Most who have been through these know that it can swing and miss in a heartbeat.


    • mukustink

      I received mine back from Brett and he blew the motor up on it. He didn’t add the oil I gave him. I think he poured it on the acorns to keep the squirrels away from them to further his theory.

  • weatherbro

    Not so sure about this one. GFS seems to have much lower precip totals when compared to the NAM. We’ll see though.

  • Adam Penney

    Jeff just said 1-4 inches on the newscast, and I agree.

    This is NOT a strengthening storm as it passes by. It will be getting sheared away by the northern stream. This wreaks of a 1-3/2-4 inch snowfall and nothing more.

  • KUweatherman

    Decent band of flurries passing through northwestern Olathe. Back deck is already getting covered in snowy goodness.

  • heavysnow

    Actually getting a quick burst of snow in St Louis metro right now

    The New Years Storm could finally break my string of seeing only 1 inch of snow. Could I finally see 2 or more inches of snow? Its been since March of 2011

  • Skylar

    Steady light snow in south Overland Park right now, the radar shows some weak echoes expanding in from the northwest. Also, TOP says that since the storm will be weakening while cold air is moving in, the storm is more likely to shift south on the models so the NAM might not be the best at this point even though it has more moisture. We’ll probably get a moderate 2-5″ with some places maybe getting 6″ if any bands of heavier snow make it this far east.

    • Skylar

      Here’s 18z GFS snowfall since nobody posted it: “http://wxcaster4.com/gfs/CONUS2_GFS0P5_SFC_ACCUM-SNOW_120HR.gif”

  • melafinatu

    Snowing at KCI

    • mukustink

      Derrick thanks fo the info. Hope MCI can handle this amount of snow. What an embarrasment last week was.

  • melafinatu

    Weird that we’ve had on and off flurries/light snow all day with no indication on radar

  • StormyWX

    Just do what you thin is best. If it were me personally, I would wait a couple more days, and if the threat of a storm really did seem imminent, then I would try and fly back to the city to help out some.

    Or, if I didn’t really want to do that and I placed a lot of faith in the rest of my team, I would let them handle it, but I would still probably fly back out of common courtesy (not trying to say that you staying would be rude, it’s my personal opinion).

  • mukustink

    WEATHERMAN BRAD WHERE ARE YOU? Mr. President is worried about you. Are you OK? What is your forecast for Monday? Should we stay in or go out? How much snow will we get. BRADLY WE NEED YOU. PLease reply so we know you are ok.

  • stadio10

    My guess is that if Gary comes home, it is not because he does not have faith in his weather team. Its cause he loves this city, and loves weather.

    I am no expert, but my forecast for north of the city is 2-4 inches at MCI. See potential for squat, or potential for 3-6.

  • weatherman brad

    muku thanks for your concern i am doing just fine.

    i am keeping an eye on the storm, i am not sure yet on the snowfall totals just yet as the track is uncertain, i say for right now i put in about a %50 chance of precipitation.

    i had some time off yesterday to celebrate my birthday, so sorry i wasn’t on then.


    • mukustink

      Kevin was glad to hear that you are OK! He was worried about you after the contest results. So how old did you turn?

      • weatherman brad

        muku, i turned 22 on Thursday and i gotta say i am loving it.

        i know i was bummed that i didn’t win the contest, but i know there is always next year and the year after that to.


    • %50 ??? WE only call %100,%0…Nothing in between, brad

      • weatherman brad


        i now that and since i don’t know anything about the storm yet or the track of it that is why i am going with a 50% right now.


        • blueskies

          That was awesome – only a 50% chance because he hasn’t looked at the data. Weatherman Brad continues to break new ground in meteorology. KFC could take a lesson from Brad. 100% chance when you think it will rain, 0% chance when you don’t, and 50% chance if you haven’t seen the data. We need to petition Gary to consider Brad for George’s open spot. Brad could be the next Dan Henry.

  • Adam Penney

    0z NAM stays consistent. North of the GFS. Still about 3-6 inches for the metro. Heavier totals in NE Kansas closer to 8-12 inches.

    • mukustink

      Thanks for the update. I’ll wait until Sunday to see what the models are portraying at that point. Have a great weekend everyone. I love you all. You bloggers are the bomb! Keep up the great work on the maps and the model runs! God bless you all for your hard work and dedication to the models.

    • Skylar


  • thomasmidwest


  • Dwight

    I really hate to ask about personal travel plans as I know a personal forecast cannot be provided to everyone. However, we are planning to see a dying relative for the very last time in the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday with an overnight stay near Manhattan New Year’s eve. Our planned route takes us south to 50 hwy and through sw kansas. Is this a trip we should be making? Looks like the entire trip from Manhattan to Liberal and south to Texas may be in snow storm conditions.

    • I,m sorry for your loss,but there is noway to avoid this storm…This is a decision you will have to make as this event nears …Timing of the snow,and its strength(inches per hour),and totals, are still in doubt…

    • Overbrook

      I wouldn’t be cancelling any travel plans at this point. The following may be more than you need or care to consider, but from my experience…
      US-50 is a good highway, two lane, paved shoulders, occasional short segments of 4 lane/passing lanes. I suppose you might be dropping SW on K-61 at Hutch? I like that route- pretty quiet compared to US-50 and US-54 to the south that you’d catch at Pratt taking K-61. US-54 on SW to Liberal and beyond is a good stretch- 2-lane paved shoulders, steady traffic, but good maintenance to be expected even past Kansas (Guymon, OK & Dalhart, TX) South from Liberal on to Perryton, TX on US-83 is a good road although pretty isolated stretch. Been down that route many times over the past several years, even in some snowy weather and never felt like I was taking my life in my hands, but I have been chased east from Liberal a couple of times by worsening weather. As an alternative, might consider taking I-70 out to near Ellsworth then SW on 156/US-56 eventually taking US-183 (Kinsley), US-283 (Dodge City), or US-83 (north of Liberal) south to US-54. Just other options to consider depending on where the weather might be passing through. Just keep an eye on the weather and unless it looks like a real blizzard brewing, take it easy going down regardless of the route.

  • Kcchamps


    00z NAM snow map

  • Kcchamps

    the 00z GFS just came out and only gives us .10-.25″ of precip

  • Kcchamps

    the latest GFS would have us getting 12-18 hours of LIGHT snow

  • weatherbro

    Nothing to see here.

  • Adam Penney

    Yes…0z GFS continues its weakening trend. Almost nothing for the north side. South side would see 1-3 inches of snow.

  • Adam Penney

    GFS and NAM are literal polar opposites both in location of storm features and storm strength.

  • Adam Penney

    Given the orientation of the storm, and how it’s getting sheared as it swings by, I’m much more inclined to believe the GFS solution over the NAM.

  • Skylar

    Getting another little burst of snow here in southern Overland Park.

  • McCabe58

    Tush… Shut up. Take a breath and calm down little boy

  • RickMckc

    @McCabe58 … I think someone is having a little too much eggnog today.

    FWIW … 0Z NAM (yes, I know tush, I should ignore it) is further south from the 18z NAM. Seems to be following the GFS trend.

  • McCabe58

    Really Rick… Are you not reading what this dude is posting? He has to yell everything he says to get attention because no one cares what he says. It’s pretty sad actually and it’s even more sad that you’re sticking up for him.. Lol

  • Adam Penney

    Not buying the NAM solution at all. Very slim chance the wave can hold that strong while getting sheared to death.

    GFS strength much more viable, IMO.

  • McCabe58

    The nam wins out this time Adam

  • Adam Penney

    Hope you are right mccabe. This just isn’t the classic SW low ejecting out as strong negatively tilted storm, which generally give us our biggest snows.

    The jet stream isn’t phased correctly. It’s splitting and shearing the wave apart as it goes by. Not what you want for a major snowfall.

    • Kcchamps

      just throwing this out there, the 18z GFS had the metro getting 5-6″ I want to see what the overnight and morning models have to say before I start to lose or gain hope for snow :)

  • McCabe58

    What’s it looking like though? Which way is it going? A south trend is better for me!

  • McCabe58

    Ohhh haha sorry, took it the wrong way :P

  • teamster83

    Like i posted earlier this morning. I never buy into the models that give us the most snow cause they never come through. I hope we get a good snow storm but not counting on it

    Good night all

  • McCabe58

    Night everyone! Hope the models look good tomorrow!

  • mattmaisch

    This thing is far from set in stone. I believe snow is coming, now the question is how much. Looking forward to the models late tonight and tomorrow as well.