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Winter Storm Warning: Here it comes….update

Good evening bloggers,

Here comes a band of heavy snow. The snowfall rates may reach one to two inches per hour.    And, I just updated the snowfall forecast, tweaking it up a bit.

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This is a quick update, as it has been busy here in the forecast center.  I will check in later.

Gary

A Major Winter Storm Approaches

Good morning bloggers,

A major winter storm is developing today over the southern and central plains.  The heaviest snow is likely near I-70 between Columbia, MO and St. Louis.  Farther west, there is a rather big challenge and battle between the models. Of all of the main models, not including the short range models which have a very warm bias in this situation, only the GFS model holds the changeover time to after around 9 PM in KC.  This is a big difference from the others that have the rain changing to snow period happening before 6 PM.  This will be the difference between 2 or 3 inch total amounts and 10″ of snow near KC.  I lean in the direction of the other models right now, and we will be monitoring this rain/snow change time-frame closely.  This is a rather important factor as the NWS decided to not upgrade the Winter Weather Advisory in KC and this is a bit conservative.  The latest FV3 GFS has a foot of snow near KC and the European model has around 8 to 9 inches. I will stick with 4-8 inches for now as I am anticipating around a 6 PM changeover.  If it happens earlier then the amounts will be higher. Here are some of the maps I showed last night on the air:

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Rain will be developing in a lead band before noon, and then the main area of rain will approach from the southeast after noon.  The red areas show a few snowflakes mixing in, and the blue shades show where this model is predicting snow.

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This was our in-house model at KSHB-TV that shows the rain beginning to change to snow between 3 and 6 PM:

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As the storm strengthens to the west, we will experience some dynamic cooling of the entire layer, and it may very well be enough to change to rain to snow over most of the KC region by 7 PM with heavy bands of snow.

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By 6 AM Saturday morning, as the intense emotional day for football in KC begins. We have experienced such horrible playoff losses in the past 25 years. Six straight losses at Arrowhead stadium in the playoffs, and after last years 22-21 loss after leading 21-3, it is now in our heads. There is only one way to get it out; by beating the Indianapolis Colts.  by around half time of the game, the snow will be tapering off to flurries. The wind will be out of the northwest around 15 mph, and the impacts on the game may not be so significant, unless this storm slows down just a bit.  Getting to the stadium may be a nightmare if the higher snowfall totals materialize.

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So, there is a lot to discuss today. We will update the blog later this afternoon if the advisory gets updated to a warning.  Right now, it is a “nowcast” of today’s weather and we will be monitoring the surface temperatures closely.  The NAM model develops a “snow making machine”.  Take a look at this:

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The 850 mb level is around 5,000 feet above sea level. This is why you see the dark brown color over Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico. This brown area shows where the elevation is above this level.  This map shows a snow making machine developing at this level and it is centered where I plotted the L.  The low at 850 mb will most likely track along the 0°C or 32°F line, which will take it on a perfect track to produce high amounts of snow.  KC will be in an ideal temperature range, at around midnight, of around -3°C.  As this system tracks across southern Missouri, the rain will be forced to change to snow, and it will be heavy.  So, again, when will that changeover happen. This will be fascinating to track in the next 24 hours.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading and sharing in this weather experience.  Here is the link to the Weather2020 blog: Weather2020 Blog   It should be quite the conversation today.  Have a great day.

Gary

A Winter Storm Develops On Friday

Good morning bloggers,

A winter storm will be developing on Friday.  There are still a lot of questions for what exactly will be happening, and with a huge NFL playoff game being played in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium the pressure is on the weather forecasters to get quite specific.  When it comes to forecasting snow, the difficulty factor is much higher.  It is unlike forecasting anything else as the exact amount becomes more important. When it comes to predicting rain, we just say, it is going to rain, and then when it rains we are accurate. When it comes to predicting snow, the amounts become the measure of accuracy.  We are saying there is a 100% chance of snow Friday night and Saturday.  If it snows we are accurate, right?  Well, not really, because the difference between a dusting or no accumulation and 2″ or more will often be the difference between no major travel problems, and a complete mess.  So, we do our best to get the exact amount.  When it comes to rainfall, we can forecast a 100% chance of rain and if it rains the average person considers the forecast accurate. It may rain 0.25″ in one location, and just a few miles away it may rain 1.25″.  If that were snow, it would be the difference between 2.5″ of snow and 12.5″ of snow.  With that said, look at St. Louis on this snowfall forecast below:

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What you see on this map, for Kansas City, I think it has a decent handle on the snowfall amounts in my current forecast.  We are forecasting 2″ to 5″ of snow to accumulate by noon Saturday over the KC region.  Some models have a lot more than this, and others have a lot less.  Here is the bigger picture:

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So, it appears the St. Louis area is the main target for this developing winter storm.  The RGEM model, one I rarely look at, just came out and it looks similar to the NAM and  Canadian models. It has a faster changeover to snow, and only one or two degrees colder at the surface. This one or two degrees may be the difference between KC seeing 2″ of snow and 10″ of snow.

2This is the RGEM model valid at noon Friday. As you can see, there is rain heading this way, as this storm intensifies.  This storm is directly related to the blizzard that we had back in November. If you remember, that storm also started as rain, it was faster moving, and a bit stronger.  The rain changed to heavy snow with the winds gusting to nearly 40 mph. This transition happened during the noon hour that day, and 5.8″ of snow fell at KCI Airport, making that the first 3″ or more snow storm in almost five years. We may be about to have our second 3″ or more snow storm in five years, and it is spot on accurate based on the LRC.  This has been in our forecast for this week since October.  Yes, in October, our 12-week forecast had a winter storm in the forecast for around January 12th. And, for those of you watching my on 41 Action News, since December 30th I showed a graphic showing that there would be a storm on January 12th for the Chiefs game and that this was the “blizzard part of the LRC returning”. All of that was on the air every night since before New Years.  Absolutely incredible, when I know many of you realize that the models had it sunny and nice.  It is not easy to keep saying there will be a storm, when it doesn’t show up on the models, and this is the power of the LRC.

Now with that said, look at what happens Friday afternoon:

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By 3 PM Friday, above, you can see the large precipitation area of rain and snow, and just a few hours later, it completely changes over to snow. Remember now, there are models that change it over much slower:

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This model, and a few others such as the NAM and Canadian model, and now also the European Model, has the changeover happening by 9 PM. It may not happen this early. There is a flow from the Gulf of Mexico and this warmer air is trying to pump in, and this is also a storm intensifying at this time. This means there will be some dynamic cooling.  I believe the same questions came up with the blizzard as it was changing over. The storms aloft are quite similar on Friday night into Saturday morning, so this will be interesting again to watch unfold. If the changeover happens later, then more of the precipitation will be in the form of rain.

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By 6 AM Saturday, this model has all of Kansas and Missouri in snow, with the exception of the southern borders.  The storm will begin shifting east Saturday, and it will still likely be lightly snowing during the Chiefs game, and there is still a chance of a few heavier snow bands hanging around.

Overall, here are my takeaways:

  • A wet January storm is developing and targeting our area
  • Rain will begin Friday
  • Rain will mix with or change to snow later Friday evening and overnight into Saturday morning
  • Snow will begin accumulating with 2″ to 5″ expected near Kansas City
  • Eastern Missouri has a better chance of a lot more
  • There are still uncertainties, and these amounts may be dropped a bit, or they may rise a bit

Let’s see how the models come in today. Either way, if you have followed the LRC over the past few years, then you know that by January we now know enough to make these accurate predictions. It was a year ago this week where I stood in front of my peers and predicted the tropical storm Gordon EIGHT MONTHS before it happened. And, now, this is the first of many signature predictions this year.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.  Here is the link: The Weather2020 Blog   Have a great day!  New data comes in soon.

Gary

The LRC & This Developing Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Here we go again!  In some winter seasons, 2009-2010 winter & 2010-2011 winter, we get blasted by big winter storm systems and we are so fulfilled as weather enthusiasts it is like winning the Super Bowl.  Not that those of us in Kansas City know what that feels like, and I am talking Super Bowls.  And then in other winters, the past four winters before this year, we do not get that feeling as weather enthusiasts, and frustration builds over years, somewhat like leading 21-3 in a home playoff game and then losing at the end.  We have a set up approaching that is a great exhibit for the LRC, and yet it is still a difficult forecast because of where we live. The forecast is not as complex in other areas off to the east. Kansas City is likely once again going to be close to the edge of this storm, when it comes to the snow part of it. Take a look at this storm developing, and how it relates to the November storm:

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Just look at the maps above. The one on the left shows the storm that happened and produced blizzard conditions in KC, and it also produced the FIRST 3″ snow storm in almost five years.  Yes, we went over four winters in a row without even one 3″ storm in Kansas City, and this streak ended around seven weeks ago.  Well, that part of the pattern is cycling back through right on schedule as predicted 45 days ago by Weather2020.  We predicted that this would return around January 12th, and here it is down to the date.  A specific forecast is verifying.  Look again at the differences in the models:

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The NAM and Canadian models both have almost a replica of the November storm.  We know one thing for certain; it will not be exactly the same. There are seasonal differences and as Gary England said to me around ten years ago, “I see it Lezak, it’s the same but different”.  Yes, it is the same pattern, and we will have something similar set up. The subtle differences can make or break our snowfall potential.  The GFS model loses, just barely, the identical look to the pattern, and as a result the snow is weaker and farther east.  For KC to have a big snowfall, the NAM and Canadian upper level model solutions just need to verify, and boom, it will snow a lot.  If the GFS trends to being accurate, even though it is still the same pattern but different, the chance of accumulation is lower and farther east.  Here are four of the models that came out last night:

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So, how will this line up?  Let’s see how the models come in today. I favor the NAM upper level solution, and I only favor it slightly as I am certain it will not line up exactly the same. If it comes very close, then it will snow significantly. If it leans in the GFS direction, then it will snow a lot less.  The temperature profiles are also dependent on how the upper level pattern sets up, so when someone suggests it will be mostly rain, the only way it will be mostly rain is if the weaker and farther east solution sets up. For snow enthusiasts, root for the NAM, it is a possibility.  The new NAM comes out shortly.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: Mostly sunny. High:  40°
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny. High:  43°
  • Friday: Rain developing possibly mixed with or changing to snow, first on the Missouri side of the state line by evening or overnight.
  • Saturday: Rain and snow likely. Accumulations of a dusting to 3″ possible. (More will be possible if the storm is better organized) Temperatures near freezing with some light precipitation likely during the game with a northwest breeze around 15 mph.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.  Here is the link:  W2020 Blog   Have a great day!

Gary

A Look Into The End Of The Week Set-Up

Good morning bloggers,

There is a chance of snow on Friday night into Saturday morning.  The part of the LRC, the cycling pattern that created the conditions favorable for Kansas City’s first 3″ snow accumulation from one storm in almost five years, is cycling back through later this week into this weekend.  I will say this again, it is the storm that ended an almost five year stretch where every single snowstorm  produced under 3″ until November 25th.  That’s when 5.8″ of snow fall with near blizzard conditions as temperatures dropped from the low 60s on the 24th to the 20s the next afternoon.  This part of the pattern is directly related that storm. In this next LRC cycle, it will not be exactly the same.  The LRC model predicted this system to be near Kansas and Missouri six to seven weeks ago and it is verifying.  Now, will we have our second 3″ storm of the season after five years with none, or will this system just miss our area?  It is something we are monitoring closely.

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Most of the models have this surface pattern developing Friday into Saturday morning. An inverted trough is forecast to stretch north out of an eastern Texas surface low. The snowfall pattern is most concentrated over central and eastern Missouri on the latest models. Some of them have KC with barely a dusting, while others have nearly 10″ of snow.  This model shows a snowy pattern for early Saturday, and then it ends by the time the Chiefs take the field on Saturday afternoon on NBC as they host the Colts.

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In this scenario, the precipitation would taper off to being very light during the game or ending.   If the timing is a bit slower, then it may be snowing during the game. If it is a bit faster, it may be drizzling, flurries, or dry during the game.  I am just not confident on the timing or amounts at this time.

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This snowfall forecast shows widespread 2 to 3 inch amounts near KC. This is the GFS model. The FV3-GFS model shows much higher amounts, while the European model has no accumulation in KC with it just east of the city.

It is still a bit too early to analyze the details. By tomorrow we should be able to narrow in on the trends.  Have a great day, and thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go over to the Weather2020.com blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

The Storm Is Beginning To Show Up On The Models

Good morning bloggers,

The cycling pattern, the LRC,is right on schedule today and what happens in the next few days will be quite important for the weather forecast this weekend. The Kansas City Chiefs host a playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM, and suddenly some of the models have snow and rain near Kansas City as you can see in today’s analysis.  The Indianapolis Colts are heading to the middle of the nation, the heartland and weather very well may be an impact on game day.  There are still uncertainties as many of you likely realize that nothing was showing up on most of the models as of yesterday morning.  There is a trend towards a potential storm system, as the part of the pattern that produced Kansas City’s first three inch snow storm in almost five years cycles back through.  Let’s begin with a picture I took as the airplane I was in was descending into the New York City area.  These are called crepuscular rays:

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In Kansas City this morning it warmed almost all the way up to 60 degrees.  It was 58° as I was writing the blog this morning at 5 AM:

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The wind was gusting to 32 mph with the dew point temperature up to 54°.  0.05″ of rain fell while you were sleeping, and now this system is zipping along and heading to where I am in NYC.  I am going to a wedding this evening, and I let my brother know that it will be dry with almost no wind for the wedding this afternoon, then rain likely later tonight.  Back in KC, we will begin anticipating this developing pattern as you can see on this next map:

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A rather big split in the pattern is developing near the west coast this week. The conditions are becoming favorable for a storm system to develop near KC in the upper levels of the atmosphere.  On the map above, a trough at 500 mb is forecast to form east of the Rocky Mountains.  The 500 mb level is around 18,000 feet up above the surface, and this storm is now predicted to become strong enough to produce these conditions at the surface as seen below:

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This forecast map above shows a cold front strengthening near KC with snow developing from the USA/Canada border southwest to Kansas City on Saturday morning.  Heavy thunderstorms are modeled farther south near a developing surface storm.  There is a trend in this direction, and look at what this latest model that came out overnight is showing on snowfall potential:

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Do you know what is fascinating? I was discussing this with Jeff Penner yesterday on my way to NYC while he was in between shows on Sunday morning.  We went back and looked at our discussion in the blog LRC Cycle ago, and he wrote the blog that day, and nothing was showing up for the blizzard at that point, and we discussed how fascinating the LRC truly is, and the insight it provides.  In his blog entry on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, he was discussing how nice the weather would be through the next Sunday. We hadn’t experienced that part fo the LRC yet.  And, just a couple of days later, the “blizzard” began showing up.  So, hang on.  We are still going to get this cycles version of the pattern, and as I predicted a long time ago, I favor something ranging from a cold front to a major blizzard, leaning towards something in the middle, and something in the middle just showed up.  Now, let’s see how this trends.

That’s it for now. I just wanted to share this development with you, and we appreciate your sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go over to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation as we all learn together.  Have a great day.  Here is a link to the Weather2020 blog:

Weather2020 BlogGary

30-40 Degrees Above Average

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are tracking a storm system racing through the western USA. It will move through our region tonight with a chance of rain and quite a bit of wind and temperatures nearly 40 degrees above average!

The system is now racing through the southwest USA, grabbing moisture from the El Nino warmed waters of the south Pacific Ocean.

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SUNDAY 3 PM: It will be windy, cloudy and mild with highs in the mid 50s. The sun will shine through the thick cirrus clouds from time to time. Altostratus, mid level clouds, will increase as well and the sun will not shine through those clouds.

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SUNDAY 6 PM-MIDNIGHT: It will be windy and mild with a chance of rain showers, especially from I-35 and points east.

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MONDAY AROUND 7 AM: The rain will be moving away as south to southwest winds gust to 30-35 mph. Rainfall totals will be a trace to .25″, most east. But, here is the crazy thing. Look at the temperatures near 60°. The average low is 20°, so tomorrow morning will be around 40 degrees above average.

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MONDAY 7 AM-NOON: The sky will clear and temperatures will drop a few degrees as the wind shifts to the west at 10-20 mph.

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MONDAY AFTERNOON: It will be sunny with much less wind. Temperatures will rise back to 55-60.

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CHIEFS SATURDAY, 1/12: We have been saying that there is the potential of a storm system in the region around this day. The new data has anything but that solution, or does it? Look closely as there is a snow system in Chicago and a rain system along the Gulf coast with cold air lurking in the northern Plains.  The data has the systems in two pieces and weak. This is still 6 days away and needs to be monitored closely as we could see a rapid change in the data as we get closer. We will be looking to see if these systems can consolidate or one becomes stronger. If this happens, they will incorporate the cold air and we will have a much different solution.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

Mild First Weekend of 2019, Where’s Winter?

Good Saturday bloggers,

This is going to be a good day to take the holiday decorations down as we will see sunshine, a light wind and highs 55-60. Our next storm system is approaching California as it grabs a ton of moisture from the south Pacific. The system moves through Sunday night in a weakened state, so it will have plenty of moisture, but not much precipitation.

Take a look at all of the moisture that that the storm is grabbing from the El Nino warmed water in the south Pacific Ocean. There is even a small tropical disturbance at the southern end of the tropical moisture plume.

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TODAY: It will be sunny with a light wind and highs 55-60. There is a weak January cold front to the north. This front will not even make it as the system from the west tracks to our north. This will bring the warmer air north.

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SUNDAY MORNING: The clouds from the south Pacific will be overhead. This will keep temperatures in the low 40s.  It may drop to 35-40 by midnight, before rising back to the low 40s. Venus and Jupiter were spectacular this morning in the eastern sky. You will not be able to see them Sunday morning.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: It will be cloudy, breezy and mild with highs 50-55. The sun may be dimly visible at times.

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SUNDAY NIGHT-EARLY MONDAY: The system will race by with clouds, wind and a few rain showers. The rain will mostly get it’s act together east of our region. We may see a trace to .10″ of rain. Take a look at the temperature Monday morning. That is not a misprint as warmer air will surge north and temperatures will likely rise to the mid and upper 50s.

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MONDAY AFTERNOON: The system moves east of the Mississippi river and we have a low pressure trough moving by, not a cold front. So, highs will reach 55-60 again on Monday. The temperatures may drop to 45-50 mid Monday morning in between the Sunday night and Monday afternoon warm ups.

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WHERE’S WINTER? There is Arctic air lurking in Canada as storm systems are lined up in the Pacific Ocean. Starting next weekend and lasting for a couple of weeks we will see if one to three of the storm systems can grab some of the cold air to the north. So, let’s see how this evolves, because one of the systems that could grab colder air is timed for next weekend, yes the Chiefs game.

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Here was a view of Venus and Jupiter about 630 AM in the eastern sky. Again, tomorrow morning will be cloudy.

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Have a great weekend,

Jeff Penner

 

 

A Big Weekend Warm Up

Good morning bloggers,

There will be a big weekend warm up across the plains, and there is a chance of some snow melting cooled air approaching from the south on Sunday.  Around 5″ of snow fell in Oklahoma City yesterday.  Who is jealous of this:

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In KC, we have had 0.5″ of snow since the blizzard on November 25th.  This storm is one that I was hoping would have been a bit larger scale  in this cycle, and it was not, as it ended up tracking south just like in the last cycle. The next storm in line is on Monday, and that one may develop a band of rain as it zips east. I will be flying to NYC for my nephews wedding Sunday night, and that same system will b a bit wetter by the time it zips into the northeastern USA Monday night and Tuesday.  And, then, the storm following that one is the part of the cycling pattern that produced a huge warm up and blizzard in KC.  What will happen this time? Some of the models last night had a blizzard, while others just have a strong cold front. Let’s see how they trend. If you remember…..the blizzard didn’t come into focus until a day or two before. So, hang on for the ride.

Here are two models that came in  overnight. The first is the European Model, that has had nothing until now, and the second is the Canadian model, which also had nothing until now:

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And, this just in on what has been almost the LRC model, as it has done quite well at times, the ICON model:
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This is an exact replica of the blizzard from November. Wow! Now, remember bloggers, we are still going to get this cycles version, and it could still be anywhere from a strong cold front to this massive solution.

Have a great day!

Gary

Oklahoma Storm System

Good morning bloggers,

This current storm system is tracking across the southern plains this morning. And, in this picture below, you can tell that it was over the desert southwest yesterday.  This is just east of Tucson, Arizona. A rare sight in the desert.

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This storm is now tracking into Oklahoma, and the forecast for them is quite difficult. Take a look at these two maps:

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The storm will spin over the Red River Valley today and then track to over Arkansas on Friday.  Kansas City will have almost no effect from this storm and the snow will change over to mostly rain by morning.  El Niño is having an impact on these storm systems and this winter.

6:15 AM Radar:

An area of heavy snow was just southwest of OKC.  Some spots across the southwestern half of Oklahoma may get 6 to 12 inches of snow as the storm spins overhead.

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Looking ahead, the models are, as should be expected all over the place on the storm for the end of next week. It is an important storm, as it is the part of the cycle that brought us the blizzard, and the Chiefs play on the 12th in a big game at Arrowhead. As I said yesterday, it could be anywhere from just a strong cold front moving through late next week all the way up to a major snowstorm. And, the models have been showing all of these possible solutions.

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What is this? This is the FV3-GFS model, and it has had a solution similar to this one four model runs in a row.  It makes sense that the models will have a very difficult time with this part of the cycling pattern, and this storm. This FV3-GFS model which is being worked on to become the operational GFS model sometime in 2019 certainly is eye candy for us weather enthusiasts.  Now, I don’t like the date up there, as this would be bad timing for the Chiefs home playoff game. Let’s see if the other models trend in this direction.

Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary