Minor Icing Early Today, Then Just Wet

Good Sunday bloggers,

From one of our bloggers:

“How is it that precipitation is already starting well east of here? Furthermore, temperatures haven’t been above freezing for that long, so how can the ground warm above freezing quickly enough to not freeze any liquid that falls on surfaces that were subjected to the freezing cold for 15 days? Given the angle of the sun, and the fact it is a cloudy day and not a clear and sunny one, would really like to know how all of this is setting up so perfectly as to keep us citizens super safe from evil Mother Nature. Go!”

Great questions. Jeff Penner just wrote up this blog which provides the answers. Let me address one of the questions. The rain is falling from areas above the ground that are now above freezing, so the water falling from the sky, the rain drops, is around 35 to 36 degrees as it hits the ground. This will in turn warm the surfaces and prevent any major icing. but, some ice is still likely due to how cold it has been. It should be short lived. That air temperature near the surface is much more important than the ground temperature. If it were just 32 or 33 we may see some icing, but it warmed to 36 to 38 degrees this morning.

Here is Jeff’s blog entry!  

South winds overnight have taken our temperatures to the mid and upper 30s. This has put an end to the ice threat. A few north facing surfaces may see some ice for a few hours this morning, but we are looking at mostly wet conditions today. The other part of the story is the rainfall. Some locations today will see beneficial rain.

Also, one other item. Tonight the sky will clear allowing temperatures to drop to the 20s along with poor drying conditions. So, locations that receive a decent amount of rain will be susceptible to black ice, especially after midnight. The current salt on the roads will be washed off, so new treatment may be needed.

Here were the 730 AM temperatures. It is basically above freezing in all of the viewing area.


The Winter Weather Advisory has been cancelled for the KC area, and to be perfectly honest locations to the northeast will not have a huge issue as temperatures are warming their as well. Again, north facing surfaces will have the best chance for slick spots.


Let’s go through the forecast.

SUNDAY NOON: Rain will be widespread, mostly along I-35 and east with temperatures above freezing. If there is any icing it will be located in northeast and east Missouri.


SUNDAY 6 PM: The rain will be mostly over and well to the east with temperatures in the mid 30s. Surfaces will be wet to damp.


MONDAY 7 AM: This is when we could see some ice as any leftover water could re-freeze. The sky will clear after 10 PM to midnight from northwest to southeast allowing temperatures to drop to the 20s. The drying conditions will be poor with a light wind and high humidity. The salt on the roads prior to the rain will have been washed off by this time.


The other big story is the rainfall as it has been so ridiculously dry since October 23rd. KC has seen just 0.46″ of rain which is 4.15″ below average.


Today, KC may see as much rain that has fallen since October 23rd with amounts around or higher than 0.40″. Locations to the southeast may see .50″ to .75″. Unfortunately, locations to the northwest, especially far northwest Missouri may not see much rain at all.


Have a great week ahead and enjoy the rain!

Jeff Penner

No Snow! Really?!?!?!

Good Saturday bloggers,

Today will make the 15th straight day below freezing. This is not that unusual considering it occurred during the end of December and early January. What is odd is that we have had just 2.2″ of snow (0.9″, 0.8″ and 0.1″ in the two snows,on the Plaza where we measure for the snowflake contest)  during this cold stretch and we have a system for Sunday that is going to produce rain, huh?

Where is the snow? Why is it so hard for it to snow in KC? I don’t care what the year, or what the LRC is for the season, the set up for Sunday should be an easy 3″ to 6″ snowstorm. Here we are one day before the storm, firmly in Arctic air, and by Sunday morning we will still be 30°-32°, but for some reason the air from 1000 to 5000 feet surges above freezing overnight, so that any precipitation that falls from the sky will be liquid. I can see this happening if we were in just southwest flow, but an actual upper low drops right over Kansas from the northwest, a perfect track for our region to see snow. When this upper low moves by, why does the air column not cool enough for snow?  I have asked these questions, and to be perfectly honest, I do not have a great answer. It is just this year’s pattern I guess.  It shouldn’t be so hard.

When we made our winter forecast and Gary forecast 21″ of snow and I forecast 19.5″ of snow, this was one of the storm systems that we calculated into the forecast. It is the part of the pattern that occurred October 7-11. So, when we lose this chance of snow, it puts our winter snow forecast in jeopardy and we will have to rely on another storm over producing. And we know, that is not going to be an easy task.

So, here we are, in Arctic air with a chance of rain and freezing rain. It is what it is, so let’s go through the weather timeline.


Here is the set up from Saturday morning with an Arctic high over southeast Minnesota, bringing lows to near -20 in northeast Iowa and Minnesota. We were around 10° with a cold east-northeast wind.


We are in a Winter Weather Advisory for Sunday morning as the Arctic air is retreating while rain is increasing. If the rain falls with temperatures 30°-34° for even 5-10 minutes, then all surfaces will become quite slick. In this situation, even if temperatures are above freezing by a few degrees the rain may still freeze on contact as it has been below freezing for 15 straight days and there will be a lag of 1-2 hours between air temperatures warming above 32° and the surfaces warming above 32°.


Here is how we have the different precipitation types. During the winter all precipitation usually starts as snowflakes in the clouds. Then, as the snowflakes fall to Earth they will encounter a variety of temperatures.

If the snowflakes fall and it is below freezing all the way to the surface you get snow.

If the snowflakes fall into a large layer of above freezing temperatures that extends all the way to the surface, the snowflakes melt to rain and stay liquid on contact with the ground.

If the snowflakes fall into a large layer of above freezing temperatures they will melt to rain drops, but if the temperature near the surface is below freezing, then the water will freeze on contact with the ground, creating a glaze of ice, freezing rain. This can make things extremely slick in just a few minutes of the rain starting. This is what we may be facing Sunday morning.

If the snowflakes fall into a layer above freezing they once again will melt to a rain drop. But, if the rain drops encounter a thicker layer of below freezing air before reaching the surface, the rain drops can re-freeze and become ice pellets, or sleet. This is my least favorite precipitation type as it is hard to see when it falls and it takes hours and hours of sleet to accumulate to 1/2″ to an 1″.


Now, let’s go through the weekend weather and time out this next storm system.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: It will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 20s and wind chill values in the teens. This includes the big Chiefs playoff game. There is NO reason they should not win their first home playoff game since 1994!


SATURDAY EVENING: Temperatures may drop to the low and mid 20s with wind chill values between 5° and 15°, including the end of the game. It will still be dry.


SUNDAY 4 AM: Temperatures will be on the rise to near freezing as light rain and freezing rain develop to the southwest. It should still be dry in KC.


SUNDAY 4-7 AM: This is the period where we have the most concern for icing as it will be dark with temperatures around freezing and the surfaces will likely be even colder. So, any rain that falls will freeze on contact and this would create a glaze of ice within minutes of the onset of the rain. You can go from dry to a skating rink in 5-10 minutes or less.


SUNDAY 7-11 AM: It is during this time when we will see the temperatures rise enough to make this all rain. Some surfaces, especially on the north side of buildings may still see ice as they will be naturally colder due to never seeing sunlight this time of year. Also, the NAM (only model to do this) insists on temperatures barely above 32° which would mean the slick conditions would persist. We lean with the warming up just enough to melt any ice.


SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING: The rain will move away with temperatures likely in the mid 30s. Total rainfall will be a trace to .05″ northwest to near .50″ in the Ozarks. This means the KC area has the chance to see .05″ t0  .25″, perhaps a bit more. It is not much, but we will take what we can get.


MONDAY MORNING: The drying conditions Sunday night will not be that good as the sky clears by morning. This will allow lows to drop to 25°-30° and if there is any leftover water/dampness it could freeze and become black ice. The amount of black ice will depend on how much rain we receive.


Well, at least we have a storm system to track and there is another interesting set up Wednesday-Thursday as a storm system comes in from California, followed by a second weaker system and Arctic blast. Maybe we can get 1″ of snow out of all of that!

Have a great weekend and GO CHIEFS!

Jeff Penner

Next Weeks Storm Systems Are Right On Schedule

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: A few periods of clouds, otherwise sunny. A cold surge arrives from the northeast, but this just holds in the cold. Today is the 14th day in a row below 32 degrees. High: 24°
  • Tonight:  Increasing clouds, becoming cloudy.  Low:  10°
  • Saturday Tailgating at Arrowhead:  A few morning clouds with some sun coming out. Temperatures warming through the teens into the 20s with a wind shift to the southeast at 10 to 15 mph.  Wind chills near 10 degrees, so bundle up.
  • Saturday Afternoon & Evening:  The sun comes out as the sun sets over Arrowhead, hopefully with the Chiefs winning. High: 28°, the warmest temperature of the year so far.  It will be dry with a breeze.
  • Sunday: A good chance of rain. There is a chance of some freezing rain with temperatures very close to 32 degrees. One or two degrees, and the amount of precipitation are critical to whether there will be any problems with icing. There is even a chance of a change to snow or a mix of snow or sleet. High: 33°

Thank you so much for so many well thought out messages on why this blog is successful.  I will be using a few of them in my presentation next week. I leave for Austin on Monday and return late Wednesday afternoon. I am presenting on Wednesday morning and in this presentation I will be sharing my Star Wars Calendar from 1978.

IMG_2203Take a look at this entry from January 9th-10th 1978, 40 years ago. Can you even imagine?  The weather pattern in these first two years of me keeping a weather calendar were about as exciting as any in my entire life.  Storm systems were blasting the southwestern United states.  As you can see on these two entries, “A Very Large storm is dropping rain, very heavily constantly raining. 2-5 inches of rain are expected. The next day we had severe thunderstorms across the San Fernando Valley. Are you kidding me?  The very next year, in the 1978 weather calendar, it was just as exciting. We are so far from any weather like this, unless you live in the deep south, east, or in the Lake-Effect band region.

Here is that Star Wars Calendar:



Look closely. You can see a long range forecast. Underneath the month title of January, I have a forecast I wrote for the month. I was making long range forecasts in 1978 before I knew that the weather pattern was cycling.  This is part of my presentation on “How to have a successful blog: sharing the Art & Science of weather”.

Cycle 3 of this year’s weather pattern begins this weekend into early next week. This years cycle is around 47-days. What happened 47 days ago? I was in New York City to see the Chiefs play the Giants.  The game was horribly boring and the Chiefs lost. When I arrived in NYC it rained, there were winds up to 50 mph with injuries from a scaffolding that fell onto a street, and then on my way out it snowed.  I was at La Guardia airport on the 20th leaving and NYC had their first snowflakes of the season. 47 days ago! It is not a coincidence, as many of you realize. This recent snowstorm is directly related to what I personally experienced on my visit.

So, now I am leaving for this presentation in Austin, TX Monday. There is this thing you all named, the LLTI (Lezak’s Leaving Town Index). Well, maybe it’s going to work, but we know a lot more now a days.  The storm due in around next Wednesday-Friday is the one we have expected to produce near KC, but let’s be realistic.  This part of the pattern has now hit, and also missed KC.  It has produced in the region, but KC itself is 1 for 2, while the LRC itself is 2 for 2.  That is a 50% accuracy on forecasting and a 100% accuracy on the LRC itself. Does this make sense to you? It is a point I have been trying to get across for years; that the LRC is almost flawless, but the forecasts based off knowledge of this cycling pattern are always much more challenging.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 7.41.32 AM

The map above shows last nights European Model forecast for Thursday. And, here are the totals for the next seven days:

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 7.42.21 AM

If this is exactly right, then the snowflake contest would end and we would have 0.5″ of liquid precipitation. But, hang on, here is the problem. This still needs to evolve in such a way for it to set up to produce this output. A slight change here or there could leave many areas dry once again.  I don’t want to analyze this potential any more significantly until early next week as we will be receiving many more solutions from the computer model.

Before we get to this storm, we have a lead system approaching us on Saturday night and Sunday.  Let’s see how this sets up too. We need to break the ice. It has been so dry, and these are two decent chances to get measurable rain or snow. Remember, Amarillo, Texas is zero for this years LRC. They have the big goose egg, the big zero, no rain or snow at all for 90 days.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to Weather2020, click on the blog, and join in the conversation or read the comments as we discuss this developing week of interesting weather. Hopefully it won’t leave us frustrated again. I would place the chance of being frustrated at 50%.  Ouch. Have a great day!


New York City Snow……Dodge City Zero

Good morning bloggers,

I am heading to Austin, TX next week and speaking on “How to have a successful blog: Sharing the Science & Art of Weather”.  What do you love about this weather blog and why is it successful?  I would like to use a couple of your comments in my presentation, so thank you in advance.

I titled today’s blog, “New York City Snow…….Dodge City Zero”.  Take a look at the 8 AM observation in NYC:

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 7.17.07 AM

The visibility was down to 1/4 mile with snow. A pure winter wonderland, and of course a lot of headaches for people having to travel or get outside to work.  While NYC is having another snowstorm, Dodge City and Amarillo have yet to have even a dusting of snow. Amarillo has had no rain or snow in over 80 days and Dodge City has had only 0.01″.  What? How is this possible? This year’s weather pattern is how it is possible.

Today’s Weather Video:

Why Is This Blog Successful? Thank you in advance for answering from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. We will look at the next two storm systems more in depth in the next blog entry and on 41 Action News tonight. You can always watch our streaming newscasts on KSHB.com.  Please let us know if you have any questions and again please answer my question of why is this blog successful. Have a great day.


Using The LRC To Predict Next Weeks Storm Systems

Good morning bloggers,

A Major Winter Storm is developing and about to impact much of the eastern seaboard.  While this is happening, farther west it has been an extremely dry fall and winter season thus far as discussed in yesterdays blog. We will begin this blog entry with todays developing storm, and then we will discuss how this fits the LRC perfectly, and how next weeks storm systems also fit. We will then make a prediction for Kansas City to have the potential of a major winter storm in less than ten days.

RadarLet’s begin with how last nights band of snow turned out.  The big eastern storm actually began forming last night as a band of light snow showers was heading towards Kansas City.  A few snowflakes were reported over parts of the KC metro area, but look at what happened to the band once it moved over the KC metro area.  Yes, and this isn’t too hard to believe when we have already experienced around 90 days of this pattern with almost every storm not quite coming together in this region. The band of snow literally broke up over the KC metro area.  This disturbance is the one discussed in yesterday blog, the very positively tilted trough that is now becoming very negatively tilted as it heads into the eastern states.

Let’s take a look at the advisories across the United States for today:

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 6.26.01 AM

  • The purple areas over Texas and the deep south are Hard Freeze Warnings!
  • The pink areas from Georgia and northern Florida up to Boston are Winter Storm Warnings

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 6.27.45 AM

I went to Hilton Head Island in October for the first time. I would love to be there today. Savannah, GA is about to have a 1 to 4 inch snow storm that may also produce just as much at Hilton Head.  The largest snowstorm in Savannah, GA history has been 3.6″.  This storm will be fun to track to today as it impacts many eastern cites.

The LRC & The Next Two Storm Systems

  • According the Cycling Pattern Hypotheses (Named The LRC by the Action Weather Bloggers in 2003) a unique weather pattern sets up from October 1st to November 30th.
  •  Quasi-Permanent anchor troughs and ridges become established. These are where storm systems reach their peak strength, near the anchor troughs, and where storm systems reach their weakest strengths near the anchor ridges
  • The pattern is cycling, and a new cycle length also evolves in the fall. By early January we confirm the cycle length, and this continues through the rest of winter, spring and through the summer until a new and unique pattern sets up the next fall

This year’s pattern is cycling in the 44 to 51 day range, as we have showcased many times already this season. This is centered on the important number near 47 days. Take a look at this very important comparison for next week:

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 6.52.05 AM

What are we looking at here?  The LRC had just set up in early October, likely beginning around October 7th. This first storm developing Saturday night and Sunday is directly related to the October 7th storm, and the more important second storm system is directly related to the October 10th and November 28th storm systems. January 12th is exactly 47 times 2 or 94 days after October 10th, and 45 days after November 28th.  The bottom map is just a day 10 forecast from the GFS model, but the patterns look rather remarkably similar, and they should as this storm is right on schedule.

This part of the pattern in the first two cycles:

  • In cycle 1 Kansas City had 0.07″ on October 10th and 1.23″ on October 14th for a total of 1.30″ in this first cycle. Joplin, MO had 1.18″
  • In cycle 2 Kansas City got missed and was left dry. The storm was very small scale and did produce three days of light rain in Joplin, MO for only 0.06″

There is one big seasonal difference for this cycle 3 version of this storm. There is cold air available.  Now, will the storm be functional. Take a look at the latest GFS and European Model outputs for snow:

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 7.10.11 AM

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 7.09.30 AM

Bloggers, I know it seems like a fantasy storm, but it fits the LRC. Of course it may not quite come together, but I have confidence that it will.  There is a pretty good chance that this system will “break the ice” and finally end the snowflake contest. But, considering what we have gone through so far this winter season, I would say confidence is still quite shaky.

There is also the intermediate storm system, the one in between the huge eastern storm and the likely KC winter storm.  Let’s see how that sets up for Sunday on the new data. Warmer air will be drawn in, but cold air will not be that far away for Sunday’s storm.

We have maximized the 0.9″ to 2.2″ that has fallen around the KC metro area. Sunny The Weather Dog shows us that there are still patches of snow around due to the lack of melting in this cold wave we are still being affected by today. Another cold surge is arriving this morning.  The 0.9″ accumulated on the Country Club Plaza in front of our 41 Action News studios from a 0.8″ storm and a 0.1″ storm, while KCI Airport had two 1.1″ storms. Overland Park, KS has had 1.3 and .4″ for a total of 1.7″ thus far.


Let’s track this eastern storm system. Boston may have the biggest impact, but these souther cities are not used to weather like this and the impacts may be quite significant in a few of these locations. Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go to the Weather2020 blog and join in the great conversation.  Have a great Wednesday. And, Happy New Year!


You Can Not Draw Up A Worse Pattern For The Plains States

Good morning bloggers,

The day again begins way below zero near KC.  It was -6 degrees for a few hours overnight. It will be warming up to near 20 degrees today. Let’s look at this weather pattern that is so very dry in many areas.

What we are experiencing at this moment is bordering on the incredible. Unfortunately for us in the plains, we have to throw in another word; boring. This is incredibly boring if you live in Kansas so far. Okay, let’s throw in another word; frustrating!  I do not think I could draw up a worse pattern for the plains, and the results are again, bordering on the incredibly boring and frustrating.

Extreme Dryness:

  • Amarillo, TX:  80-days with no measurable rain or snow. Since October 13th, the total is a trace. Since October 6th, the total is o.o6″.
  • Dodge City, KS:  Since October 6th, 0.01″ has fallen.  
  • Kansas City, MO:  4.50″ of rain fell between October 7th and October 22nd.  In the 71 days since October 22nd,  o.46″ has fallen.  

The lack of snow may be more wide spread than you think. Amarillo and Dodge City share the very low snowfall totals with many other locations.  Wichita, KS has yet to have even a few snowflakes.  Chicago, IL is still sitting at 5″ of snow for the season, better than Kansas City, but that is still way below average for this time of the year.  Denver has a very low total, and Goodland, KS is still sitting at under 2″ of snow. Goodland averages around one foot by now.

This next storm is an example of why I titled the blog “you can not draw up a worse pattern for the plains states”.  Could this change and start producing precipitating storm systems? Sure it can. Last winters pattern suddenly turned wet in a few spots as spring began. And, it was not what I expected it to do. If you really dive into last years pattern, and look at the results, most areas actually did stay dry in the spring and summer. Only areas around Kansas City had the much wetter conditions. The chance of a significant drought developing are high.  Now, look at this next storm system:

The Weather Pattern at 500 mb (18,000 feet above sea level) at 6 AM this morning:


There is a trough swinging across Kansas and Missouri this morning, stretching back into Colorado and Utah. Yes, we have a storm that is as positively tilted (tilted backwards or from east to west) as it can get.  And, this trough is actually about to become an intense storm.  I know, that is hard to believe right?

2This extremely positively tilted trough will be barely visible as it passes overhead this morning. By 6 PM tonight, it will begin going through a massive transition. How this happens from now through Thursday is a microcosm of what has been happening since October.  The wave coming into the Great Lakes will help produce some snow up there, and this extremely positively tilted trough will gradually turn the corner and transition into the exact opposite. It will become a negatively tilted trough and a major storm.  Will it form close enough to the east coast, or could it end up too far offshore to impact the big cities. Either way, I would love to have this forecast problem. We have yet to have a major winter storm to discuss in our area, near KC.  Our snowflake contest had over 13,000 people enter. We are down to 1,161 people left in the contest and by the end of January we will be down to around 100 entries left. By the end of February it will be down to around 10 entries or so, but I have to double check that number.

Take a look at what happens to this trough next.  By Thursday morning the storm system that was so severely positively tilted will become a fast moving and very negatively tilted system.  It appears it will be just a bit too far east for any major impacts on the big cities. This is something to monitor closely.  This next map is valid at 6 AM Thursday:


This pattern is so “bad” right now, unless you like cold and dry weather.  Or, maybe you live near the east coast or across the deep south where the weather has been much more exciting. This next storm, however, appears that most of the energy will be just offshore as a major surface cyclone forms with the wave that is actually tracking over KC today.


The third cycle of this years LRC begins soon.  Maybe this third cycle will see things turn around, but confidence is shaky at the moment that it will.  There a storm showing up for later this weekend. Ahead of this system warmer air will be drawn in, and there is a chance of 40 degrees or higher by Saturday afternoon for the Chiefs playoff game against the Titans.  We will look into all of this on 41 Action News.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go join in the conversation on the Weather2020 blog as we share in this weather experience. Happy New Year!


Happy New Year

Good morning bloggers,

Happy New Year! Let’s take it one day at a time and enjoy this weather experience together.  We are hoping everyone has as special of a 2018 year as possible.  When it comes to the weather we experience, remember we can’t do anything about it.  We are currently in this very long dry spell and very long stretch of rather boring weather in KC.  Now, cold weather outbreaks can be exciting, but many of us are on the same page; if it’s cold, then it might as well snow. And, the snowflake contest continues at 41 Action News.

What was the warmest and coldest temperatures in KC during December?


The coldest temperature of the month, and the coldest temperature of the entire year in 2017, was 6 below zero just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.  And, it was 72 degrees earlier in December, seemingly a distant memory.  Take a look at the low temperatures from earlier today:



There is one big storm forecast to develop off the east coast later this week. The big eastern cities will be paying close attention to this, but it is currently forecast to intensify just a bit too offshore as you can see below:


Happy New Year! Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and LRC.  Hopefully some exciting days are ahead of us weatherwise.  Go over to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation over there!  Boomer Sooner!


Frigid End to 2017, Frigid Start to 2018

Happy New Year bloggers!

My goodness if it is going to be this cold, then it might as well snow. Unfortunately, this is not the case as we are staying in this ridiculously dry weather pattern. Dodge City, KS has received 0.01” since the new LRC started.  It will stay dry for at least another 5-7 days. So, let’s go through this numbing New Years forecast and look back at stats from 2017.

We are in a Wind Chill Warning tonight and Monday as wind chill values are expected to drop to between -30° and -20°. The wind chill will drop to -40° along and north of I-80. The blue warnings in Montana, are for Avalanches!


Here are impacts to keep in mind if you are planning to be out and about. Your exposed skin will freeze in 20 minutes in a -20° wind chill and in 10 minutes when the wind chill drops to -35°.  The bottom line is dress in layers and move quickly if you are outside.


How do you know if you are experiencing hypothermia? Here are some symptoms to watch out for if you are exposed to the cold too long.


So, if you are headed to a New Years eve party make sure you are bundled up, get inside quickly, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, and of course, have fun!

Here is the forecast for tonight and Monday.


Now, here is the forecast for around the area and region.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: We will see a decent amount of sun, but so what! The temperatures will stay between 5° and 10° with wind chill values around -15°


HAPPY 2018!: It will be -5° in KC and near -20° for Omaha and Des Moines on the thermometer. The wind chill values will be as low as -30° in KC and -40° along I-80. At least you will not have to deal with icy or snowy roads.


NEW YEARS DAY MORNING: Here is the latest computer projection of lows around the area. We are going -10° in KC as we believe these temperatures are about three to five degrees too warm. Now, the coldest low recorded on January 1st for KC is -13° in 1974. We are going to make a run at this temperature. Wind chill values will be as low as -30° as it won’t take much wind to create those values when it is this cold.


Here are the coldest lows recorded for KC on January 1st. If we do not make the first coldest, then second place is quite likely.


NEW YEARS DAY AFTERNOON: The high here in KC will struggle to 5° despite abundant sunshine. Northern Missouri will likely stay below zero all day. Wind chill values will be around -15°.


This current Arctic blast will exit Tuesday as a new one arrives later Wednesday and Thursday. This next blast is directed slightly to the east, so we will not get quite as cold, but lows below zero are likely Thursday and/or Friday. This Arctic air will arrive once again be accompanied by little to no chance of snow.


Before we turn to 2018, let’s look at some stats from 2017 here in KC.

The hottest temperature was recorded on July 21st and 22nd as we climbed to 98°. It would have easily been 100°, if the dew point were not 80°-83°! This lead to a major rain event south of the river on the night of the 22nd. St. Louis was 108° on the 22nd of July as their dew points were in the 50s and they were in a drought.

The coldest temperature was -5° just last week. Now, if we fall to below -5° before midnight, then the coldest temperature of 2017 will be set in it’s last few minutes.

We finished with 46.02″ of rain, or 7.20″ above average. You can see the surplus was caused by the wet summer as we were 8.05″ above average for June through August, which means the rest of 2017 had average precipitation.


Have a happy and safe New Year!

Stay warm, and again, please don’t drink and drive.

Jeff Penner

The Cold And Dry Weather Continues

Good Morning Bloggers,

2Animals may be seeking the warmth of your car, so be careful when you start and warm them up.  This is a picture from around 4 years ago.  Sunny The Weather Dog didn’t seek the warmth of the car, but she only spent a few minutes outside this morning. Temperatures have dropped into the single digits in Kansas City, but the coldest air is still 24 to 48 hours away.

DSCN4757 (1)Sunny learned how to pose two years ago when she was just a puppy. When you look at her posing this morning in the very cold 7 degree temperatures, you can notice, or really not notice one thing. There were only a few “fract0 stratus” clouds out there in this very dry atmosphere.  As high pressure builds overhead conditions will get even colder and drier.  The dry weather is more wide spread than just around eastern Kansas into western Missouri.

Drought conditions are creeping over many areas of the United States as 2017 comes to a close. The big question will be whether or not it will begin raining and snowing enough to prevent the development of a serious to major drought?  Last year we thought a drought may develop and as we moved into the early spring months the storm systems finally began producing heavier rains in a few spots and the major drought did not materialize.  I was concerned last year, and those concerns proved wrong. I have higher concerns for 2018 for the development of a major drought and I believe one is developing already.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 8.21.21 AM

We will look at more of the specifics in the coming days and weeks. For now, bundle up. The year is ending with a major Arctic Blast!

Thank you for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the blog at Weather2020 to join  in the conversation.


Top Weather Events Of 2017 & Arctic Blast Arrives Tonight

Good Friday morning bloggers,

An Arctic Blast will arrive tonight in Kansas City and expand over a large part of the United States tonight and Saturday.  An Arctic Blast Warning is now in effect through Monday.  Temperatures will drop to below zero, but the bigger factor will be a northwest wind blowing at 10 -25 mph. This will lead to dangerously cold wind chill values.

We will also discuss the top weather story of the year in Kansas City and nationally.  Let’s begin, however, with this Arctic Blast.

Arctic Blast Warning


The National Weather Service created this graphic above. It will be very dangerous to spend any amount of time outside beginning tonight, but increasing on Saturday night into New Year’s Day.

  • Hypothermia and frostbite can happen in less than 30 mins and the symptoms can look just like someone who has celebrated too much
  • Temperatures will likely drop to below zero, possibly as low as 15 to 20 below zero near the Iowa and Nebraska borders
  • The wind will be blowing in the 10 – 25 mph range. This will create wind chills 15 to 40 degrees below zero
  • Most people will only spend one to three minutes outside. When you are going to New Year’s Eve parties, limit that time outside to a few minutes of getting out of your car and into the party. Don’t forget to have that designated driver

GFS Temperature Forecast Valid 6 AM January 1, 2018


European Model Temperature Forecast Valid 6 AM January 1, 2018

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 5.20.50 AM

Arctic Air Retreat Within Ten Days


This map above shows the forecast temperatures valid at noon on Sunday January 7th. Temperature may reach into the 40s and 50s, possibly even higher, over the Kansas and Oklahoma.  The Arctic air will likely have retreated back into Canada, but it is still sitting there to be tapped for LRC Cycle 3.

Speaking of the third LRC Cycle; it will begin around the middle of January. This cycling weather pattern began around October 7th, and each LRC Cycle is coming in with around a  47 to 48 day cycle length.  LRC Cycle 3 could begin as early as around January 5th to 7th, but more likely around January 9th to 11th.  Remember, in October it was actually fairly wet in the first few storm systems that cycled through, and ever since October 22nd it has been ridiculously dry.  We have noticed that every other cycle matches up better at times. So, there is hope that we can have some wetter storm systems January.

Today’s Set Up & Weather Time-Line:

As I was writing up this blog at 5 AM, and I was finishing this last Friday entry of 2017 I noticed the low cloud surge that was on the move. You can see the low clouds well on the 2-4 satellite picture before the sun rose this morning. Look at the dark areas, which showcase the low clouds. These were surging north and northeast right towards KC:


Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Increasing clouds, becoming cloudy. There is a chance of light freezing drizzle or snow flurries this afternoon and evening.  East to southeast winds becoming south, but staying fairly light. High: 29°
  • Tonight:  A chance of flurries of light freezing drizzle. Turning colder with winds increasing and shifting to the northwest at 10-25 mph. Low:  
  • Saturday:  Partly cloudy, maybe a few flurries. High: 10° with wind chills 10 below zero
  • New Year’s Eve (Sunday):  A few clouds and maybe a few flurries. High:  8° (Wind chills 20 below zero as we ring in the New Year!)
  • New Year’s Day:  Clearing and cold with early morning flurries, a light dusting is possible. Low: -10° High:

Top Weather Events Of 2017:

Nationally, I think Major Hurricane Harvey comes in at #1. In Kansas City, I believe that the March 6th tornado outbreak that produced EF-3 tornadoes near Smithville, MO and Oak Grove, MO is #1.  Here are some of the events as shown from the NWS:

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 5.33.16 AM

  • #1:  March 6th Tornado Outbrea
  • #2:  July flooding event over south KC
  • #3:  August flooding event on Eclipse day
  • #4:  The lack of snowfall
  • #5:  White Christmas

What do you vote for as #1 through #5?

Hurricane Harvey Is #1 Nationally

Hurricane Harvey formed near the Yucatan Peninsula just as the eclipse was being experienced around August 21st.  Harvey intensified into a major hurricane and slammed into the central Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane with winds topping 130 mph near Rockport, TX, on August 25th, making it the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005.  After landfall, Harvey moved inland and stalled over south Texas and then drifted around before re-emerging out over the Gulf of Mexico and then making landfall near Cameron, Louisiana five days later on August 30.  Harvey was a named storm for 117 hours after its first landfall. This makes Harvey the longest Texas landfalling hurricane to hold onto its name after landfall for that long.  As a result of the slow movement and track of Harvey, 50 inches of rain blasted away rainfall records and created massive catastrophic flooding in many cities, including the Houston metropolitan area. Harvey is the #1 weather event of the year nationally, the way I see it, but other storms come close such as Hurricane Irma.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Join in the conversation over on Weather2020, click on the blog as we are all learning and sharing together in this weather experience.  Have a great last Friday of 2017!