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0.01″ Of Freezing Rain Creates Travel Problems This Morning

Good morning bloggers,

It wasn’t much precipitation, only 0.01″, and yet it has caused some big travel issues early this morning. The freezing drizzle is ending, but the temperatures are falling.  Here is the forecast from KSHB.com:

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There is another little system coming our way tonight into Wednesday.  Look at this statistic that Sunny The Weather Dog is showing us:

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This is just almost too hard to believe.  It has precipitated at least a trace of rain or snow 38 out of the 58 days so far in 2019!  The next significant amount of precipitation is likely on Sunday.  There will be some smaller chances between now and Sunday, and then KC is a target for a few inches of snow this weekend.

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This map above is from the European Model.  Here are the snow outputs from some of the models for Sunday:

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The European Model has now had four model runs in a row with at least 3 to 4 inches of snow in Kansas City this weekend.  It has been the most consistent and has had the highest amounts.  The snow ratios will be in the 15 to 1 range. So, if there is only 0.20″ liquid, it would likely lead to 3″ of snow.  Why are the ratios likely to be in the 15 to 1 range?  Because the strongest blast of Arctic air is likely later this weekend. Take a look at these forecast temperatures:

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This European Model forecast shows way below zero temperatures.  This may be a bit strong, and at the same time if there is a snowpack in place, these temperatures are possible.

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, go to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation as this wild weather pattern continues.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Gary

Nonstop Winter, Tracking 4 Systems and Arctic Blast

Good Tuesday bloggers,

The active winter weather continues as we are now tracking 4 systems and an Arctic blast. Since the new pattern began it has been quite active. When you look at the total rainfall (includes melted ice/snow) since October 5th we are around 10″ above average.

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Let’s go through this next round of active weather.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Thick, lower clouds, will be increasing as moisture increases from the south. A front will be stalled to our south as well. This is the same front from Monday that has been wavering back and forth. It looks like the KC area will stay in the colder air with highs reaching the 40s just south.

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TUESDAY NIGHT: A weak system (#1) will move by and there is a chance of freezing drizzle. As is, based on the new data, there is not enough freezing drizzle (red patches) to cause icing. Now, that being said, it does not take much to cause problems. If we see .01″ of freezing drizzle, then we have problems. So, we will watch this closely. Temperatures will be dropping through the 20s.

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WEDNESDAY: This will be a cold and dry day with some sun as a cold blast occurs. Highs will only be in the 20s. The only way we have slick spots Wednesday morning is if we see enough freezing drizzle tonight. We are not expecting that at this time.

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THURSDAY: The second system we are tracking will affect mostly southern Missouri with a mix. Our region is on the northern fringe of the precipitation, so we have a 20% chance of seeing measurable precipitation. Highs Thursday will be in the 20s.

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FRIDAY-SATURDAY: The third system we are tracking is for mainly Friday night along an Arctic blast. This will have a chance to bring a few inches of snow. It depends on how much an upper level disturbance can hold together. Highs Friday will sneak into the 30s ahead of the Arctic air. It will be dry and frigid Saturday with highs in the teens and wind chill values below zero.

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SUNDAY: The fourth system will be moving across the Plains with the Arctic air in place. This system has a chance to bring a few inches of snow as well. After this system, there will be a reinforcing shot of Arctic air. Lows Sunday and Monday will be close to zero. My goodness!

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Have a great rest of your week and stay warm. Spring is 22 days away!

Jeff Penner

Another Dramatic Weather Week Is Ahead Of Us

Good morning bloggers,

We begin the day with a very complex weather pattern producing a unique set up across the Northern Hemisphere. There is a split in the jet stream north of Hawaii and south of the Aleutian Islands. The northern stream then bends around an upper level high over southern Alaska, and the southern stream dives south to near Hawaii and then across the southwestern United States:

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There is a wave in the northern branch that is an important factor today.  And, the big upper high and ridge over the Gulf of Alaska is creating the conditions for a continued maintenance of the Arctic air mass, with the true Arctic Air mass being held to the north in response to an AO+ (Arctic Oscillation).  Even though the coldest air is far to the north, a United States born very cold air mass has formed in the wake of the weekend snowstorm and blizzard, and it has dropped into areas just north of Kansas City this morning.  The interaction of the northern and southern branches of the jet streams is creating some weather forecast problems. That strong wave in the northern branch is just the first in a series of such waves. Each time one of these tracks just north of the United States, a cold surge will push south, and then it will relax, and warmer air will try to force its way back in. On Wednesday, the next wave will track across southern Canada with another cold surge. And, then the southern branch is likely going to produce a weak disturbance that will increase the chance of light precipitation.

Today at 4 PM:

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Forecasting just today’s high temperature is quite difficult, as you can see above. A front is going to be nearly stationary and lifting very slowly north. A stationary front is defined to move slower than around 10 mph, and this front will just be drifting around.  On Tuesday, it is still forecast to be nearly stationary.

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Then by Tuesday night, there will be a weak wave in the southern branch of the jet stream racing across and there is likely going to be a little band of precipitation with light freezing rain possible. This needs to be watched closely as temperatures will likely be in the 20s north of that front.

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The front will then become a cold front and push south on Wednesday.  We will then look ahead to later in the week. We are moving into cycle 4 of this years LRC and it begins with the part of the pattern that has produced wet storm systems in the first three cycles from 10″ of rain, to the blizzard in late November, to the snowstorm on January 12th. This time, however, there is a stronger influence from an AO+. Take a look at the latest index:

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I am convinced that Kansas City would have had a much better chance of being even closer to the weekend snowstorm if the Arctic Oscillation were not so positive right now, and this is likely having an influence on the beginning of cycle 4:

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This wave is directly related to the first three cycles, and right on schedule.  In the other three cycles, four days out, the tracks were all predicted to be north and weak, and then they strengthened and produced. The models were absolutely wrong in each previous cycle at this point. The difference this time may very well be the higher AO+.  A bit farther south and it will snow significantly on Friday evening:

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Slightly farther north, then you can lift that Friday evening snow into Omaha and Des Moines, leaving KC with flurries and a cold blast.  And, slightly farther south or southwest on that wave, and a few inches of snow would be likely.  Either way, the storm is right on schedule. Let’s see how the models trend today.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great start to the week.

Gary

Another Wintry Week Ahead

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

Well, there were some snowflakes in Kansas City yesterday, but the official station at KCI apparently didn’t report any, so we will be stuck at 37 dates with snow this season so far.  Will there be snow later this week?  The part of the pattern that produced the blizzard in November, and major snowfall in January will be cycling back through later this week into next weekend.  And, some of the models have trended into a look in the pattern that is rather similar to the set ups in those last two cycles.  In fact, we are going back to the beginning of this year’s LRC in October when the drought busting rains arrived.  Let’s take a look.

Let’s start with some numbers at KCI Airport:

  • Precipitation since and including October 6th:  19.31″ which is 9.94″ over the average of October – February average of 9.37″
  • The temperature has been 1.9 degrees below average during October -February so far (-.9° in Oct, -8.0° in Nov, +3.3° in Dec, -0.7° in Jan, and -4.2° so far in February)

We are currently on the back side of this storm that produced snow just northwest and north of our local area.  Kansas City just barely missed this one, but did we really miss it? We had rain, thunderstorms with hail, and wind from this current storm, and now we have a soaked ground that is refreezing this morning, so watch out for slick spots.

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This is a forecast map from the Canadian model which shows an aggressive look to Wednesday nights system.  This shows freezing rain or sleet in our area as a fast moving system zips by Wednesday into Thursday.  And, then the return of the “blizzard part of the cycling pattern” arrives around Friday.  The GFS seems to have the best solution that fits the previous three cycles.  Six days out from the storm in the past two cycles, if you remember, the models showed sunny and nice. The forecast for the Chiefs game from ALL other sources was for it to be great for the Chiefs-Indianapolis game with highs near 50 and Sunny. While, if you watched my forecasts on 41 Action News, I said every night from two weeks before to five days before that a storm was targeting that day, January 12th.  And, then when we got within around 4 days, the computer models finally started narrowing in on the right forecast. All other sources that had sunny and beautiful suddenly changed their forecast to snow and cold.  And, we know what happened that day, as there was nearly 1 foot of snow on the south side of the city.  In this fourth LRC cycle, the AO is currently positive and there is an influence from this and other forcing mechanisms.  Will the end of the week storm become more organized, or will it zip by with a strong cold front and just a little bit of snow?  This is something my confidence level is still shaky on, and at the same time, the GFS model came out with a solution that if it is a bit stronger and deeper, we would get a four for four on this part of the pattern on producing a significant storm.  I am 75% in favor of this solution or stronger, and at the same time if it zips by and is weaker, it would still be 3 out of 4 leading into the next cycle.  Again, I favor the 4-4 scenario at the moment.  And, here is that GFS model that is the most aggressive model at the moment. The European Model came close last night, and developed this system a bit farther east, but it trended in the more aggressive solution.

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This is the prediction for March 1st, or Friday.  Let’s see how the models trend.  Have a great Sunday.

Gary

Blizzard, Severe Weather Risk, A Strong Storm, & A Look Into March Weather Madness

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

Jeff Penner has the weekend off, so I am working on this Saturday morning blog entry.  I have been analyzing the entire weather pattern and everything is right on cycle, as it always is, according to the LRC.  This storm system is caught in the part of the pattern that tracked systems south of KC in the first two cycles of this years pattern, and this time the storm is tracking a bit farther north.  There are reasons beyond the AO+ that is forcing the farther north track of the system that are still being defined. In the coming years as we learn more about these other forcing mechanisms and seasonal differences our weather forecasts will get even more precise and accurate.  This season, our weather forecasts from 50 days out have been spot on with every single one of these storms. There has yet to be any LRC blunder, as we have really refined our forecasting technique.  Now, our specific forecasts have also been accurate as well, and forecasting the weather for each specific location is still going to be more hits that misses, just not as spot on as the LRC itself.  This storm was predicted to arrive this week, and it is here.  Now, what will it do today? Let’s take a look. And, then we will look ahead to the “Blizzard Part of the Cycling Pattern”, or as one of the bloggers said yesterday, “The Drought Busting Part Of The Cycling Pattern”. Cycle 4 of this years pattern will begin next weekend.  And, yes, the LRC will once again be spot on. Will it produce a blizzard, snowstorm, Arctic outbreak in the first week of March? Well, let’s see. A week out in the past three cycles, the models had no clue that there would be a storm. This time they have a clue, well the GFS has anyway. Let’s take a look.

7 AM Radar: Thunderstorms over northeast Oklahoma were moving north-northeast and tracking right towards KC as this storm system is moving out into the plains from the southern Rocky Mountains.  These thunderstorms will spread in from the south and quickly move across before noon today.

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Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  A round of heavy showers and thunderstorms between now and noon. Then, another thin line may move through later this afternoon. In between these two bands the winds will pick up from the southeast and there is a chance of a warm up into the 50s. The highs will range from the mid 40s north to the 50s south.
  • Tonight:  Very windy with a wind shift to the west, then northwest at 30-50 mph and gusty.  There may be a little band of snow closer to midnight, more likely up north. A mini blizzard is possible around Hiawatha, KS and Maryville, MO with 1 to 4 inches of snow and blowing snow.

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The three naps above show the storm developing at the surface today, the severe weather risk, and the snowfall forecast.  There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms today centered on Mississippi and Tennessee, and there is a major snowstorm and blizzard likely extending from southeast Colorado to Wisconsin.  Warmer air may be drawn all the way north into KC And we may see a couple bands of showers and thunderstorms, and maybe even some snow on the back side of this storm.

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By this evening, the surface low will have jumped northeast and redeveloped over eastern Iowa. Look at that pressure gradient near Kansas City at 8 PM tonight.  This may produce 50 mph winds, and there is a trailing tail to the comma head that may bring one quick band of snow across our area by 11 PM. Why not, it has snowed on 37 different days this winter season. If it does snow at 11 PM to 1 AM even just a trace, that would add two dates to the total number of days with snow. Will that tail swing across KC? Let’s track it tonight.

The early March set up:

There she blows!  This is the GFS model, that for three model runs in a row has been trending into position a similar set up to the last two LRC cycles which did produce a blizzard and a major snowstorm in KC.  The January 12th, second cycle produced the nearly 1 foot on the south side of KC, and the blizzard on November 25th did produce nearly blizzard conditions and over a half foot of snow.  This model has a similar set up to these, and the other models just had strong cold fronts and weaker storm systems. So, here we go again as the models just poorly handle all of these set ups from even a couple days out, not to mention a week or longer out.  There is also an Arctic Blast trying to organize. Let’s see how this trends in the next few days.

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If it does not snow again this season in KC, then my winter forecast will have been spot on. I just do not think it is stopping yet, and later next week will be the next test.  In my winter forecast we discussed a range from 15″ to 37″ of snow.

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Have a great day!

Gary

The Influences On This Year’s LRC & This Approaching Storm

Good morning bloggers,

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Another storm is approaching the plains. It just produced extremely unusual and rare events out over the southwestern United States. It snowed at low elevations near Los Angeles.  It snowed in Calabasas, one of my neighborhoods my parents moved to after I went to college at the University of Oklahoma.  That is just outside, or really on the edge of the San Fernando Valley.  It has snowed there before, and it is just something that happens once every 20 to 60 years or so.  Snow fell in Las Vegas, NV, as you can see on the left here.   There are some false reports going around that Las Vegas has never had snow before.  7.4″ fell in a rare storm in 1979. This storm was close to doing something like that huge storm if it would have just organized in the right spot, but fell short at just under 1″. Still incredible.

The storm is now heading east into Arizona.  Flagstaff, AZ has already had 2 feet of snow and more snow will fall today.  And, then this storm will reorganize out over the plains states and head east producing a severe weather risk.

Here is the day 3 severe weather risk for tomorrow, which will be updated just after I post this:

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Kansas City has had an incredible winter, and we aren’t done yet. Take a look at all of the days that have had at least a few snowflakes:

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37 days with snow, are you kidding me?  There is a lot to think about, a lot of take aways, and we will be going over these in the coming weeks.  The LRC is the centerpiece of the big atmospheric puzzle. As discussed in yesterday’s blog, this part of the pattern was predicted to be the dominant storm track this winter.  Everything is right on schedule, and predicted by the Weather2020 team.  There are influences on this pattern, and right now there is something interesting happening with this next storm.  It is tracking north, instead of tracking south. It may very well be because of an AO+ influence. The AO is the Arctic Oscillation. Take a look at the index as of yesterday:

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When the AO goes high positive, the jet stream is likely going to retreat north and weaken, and when it goes deep negative, the jet stream is more likely to dive south and the pattern would then get energized.  This season has seen this index hover closer to neutral, with some smaller dips here and there.  So, how did it turn so cold and snowy? The LRC!  There are other influences.

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El Niño is the warming of the Tropical Pacific Ocean.  And, this is likely going to be a very weak El Niño influenced winter season. There is little doubt that this has impacted the winter.  There were many sources named this some sort of El Niño that would still be dry in California.  I was shaky on this thinking, and as it turned out, it has not been a dry winter out west.  So, once again, El Niño is definitely an influence on the pattern.  Look closely at the numbers.  This El Niño is quite similar to the one in the winter of 2006-2007.  What happened in Kansas City in the winter of 2006-2007?  How much snow fell that winter?  10.2″ fell that winter. Something else must be going on, right? Yes, the LRC!  Kansas City is now at 26.3″ of snow, and it has come from relentless snow storms, all fairly small when you really look at it.  There have been winters where big 1 foot snowstorms hit KC. As of this point we have not had one of these.

This next storm is being influenced by the AO+, the weak El Niño, and other factors.  And, the trend on the models has been for this storm to track farther north.  Let’s take a look.

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These are some maps I showed last night on 41 Action News, KSHB.  This shows a band of rain moving by Saturday morning with snow developing west on I-70. I would not want to travel through that developing snowstorm.

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The trend has continued north, and the farther north this system tracks, the better chance it will draw in warmer air.  I am posting this just after midnight.

Thank you for spending a bit of your time reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go over to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation or read the comments as we share in this weather experience.  Have a great day.

Gary

The Next Storm Is Producing Out West

Good morning bloggers,

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 7.19.01 AMIt is snowing in Las Vegas, NV this morning and an inch is possible. This is the second time it has snowed in Las Vegas in the last week.  The latest storm is dropping south down the west coast and intensifying. It will be forming into an upper level low over Arizona by Friday,  and then begin tracking east before ejecting out into the plains as it gets kicked out by the next system heading into the Pacific northwest.  Seattle has had its snowiest February in this wild weather pattern, and Kansas City has now had 37 days with at least a trace of snow since our first one on October 14th when 0.2″ fell at KCI Airport. That was the earliest snowfall accumulation ever recorded in Kansas City since records began in the 1880s.  This weather pattern has suddenly been producing with storm after storm after storm.  This is what we forecast would happen months ago as we experienced the first LRC cycle in October and November. This is a graphic I showed on the air in early December, the Dominant Storm Track:

Winter Forecast Pattern December 1

And, here is the pattern developing now, as it lines up with the vision we had for this years pattern three months ago:

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The ridge off the west coast extending into Alaska has ben developing over and over again allowing for the Arctic air generation. When you have anticyclonic flow that amplifies over Alaska, it creates the conditions for high pressure to build at the surface. This causes the sky to clear and the winds to go light, which in turn allows for radiational cooling and the build up of very cold Arctic air. This took through December to finally build up.  In December there was a lack of this cold air, even though there were wet storm systems.  In January and February, this Arctic air blasted south, and there has been enough cold air leftover, even when the Arctic air has retreated north, to provide the conditions for these recent snow storms.  Here is what I wrote in November when we issued our winter forecast:

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In our Winter Forecast Video, I discussed how up to 37″ of snow would fall in the KC viewing area this winter. Right now, KCI Airport is officially sitting at 26.3″ for the season. If it stopped snowing right now I would be exactly right on that specific forecast.  We know that we aren’t even close to being done yet, however. How high will this total go? This is a good question.  Maybe we should play another game of predicting the final snowfall total for the season? What do you think?  Malarcky won the title of “Best Weather Forecaster Of The Week” with a great prediction of 7.3″ of snow for these last three events, as we ended up with 7.2″ from the three storm systems.  If we play another game, we may wait until next week to begin.  Let’s first see what will happen with this next storm system.

As you can see above, the Canadian Model is showing the upper level low circled over the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. The GFS and FV3 GFS models are the farthest north with the track of this next storm, and most of the other models track it more like this Canadian model, or just south of KC. If it does track south of KC, then the snow would be pulled into the KC metro area.  Rain and thunderstorms are possible ahead of this system. There are still just too many questions to be answered, and I will hold off on the deep analysis of this storm until we get through a couple more data sets, which will begin arriving in the next few hours. These will be discussed in the comments section of the Weather2020 blog.

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Just look at the cyclone forming on the new NAM this morning.  We will discuss in the comments today!

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience, and have a great day!

Gary

A Recap Of The Three Recent Storms & A Look Ahead

Good morning bloggers,

Who is worn out?  I know I am, and I am still energized by this incredible weather pattern that we have been experiencing.  There is so much to discuss today and I am trying to figure out where to begin.  Well, let’s begin with the snowfall total on the Plaza for our contest.

IMG_7292This was our third storm system in the past five days.  The first storm came through Friday and caused the conditions for the horrific multi-vehicle accidents on I-70, including the 47-car pile up near Oak Grove, MO.  This first storm produced 4.2″ in front of our studios on the Plaza.   And, then we had the second system come through on Saturday evening with the graupel, snow, and freezing drizzle.  The graupel was fascinating in its own right as it was being described as dippin’ dots.  I ended up getting a great video of Sunny while it was falling. That system did produce 1/2″ to 1″ of snow up north. On the Plaza it produced 0.1″.   Then, we had last last nights third storm in five days.  I measured in five spots that were cleared and had new snow, and the total is 2.9″ as of 6 AM this morning.  For our contest, this will end up being a total of 7.20″.   I will post all of the entries below.

I think we set the record on the number of comments yesterday in one blog.  Thank you for sharing and participating.  Many of you got the usual “modelitis sickness” and emotions were up and down based on every hour of model runs.  The most important thing to do on days like this is to monitor radar, satellite, and surface observations.  Remember rule #1 of forecasting:  Always look outside because you never know!  So, if you are immersed into the computer models, then you may forget rule #1.  It was quite difficult, as right before I left for work, the European Model had an epic failure on its snow modeling. It had zero accumulation south and east of around downtown KC, and it would have been easy to panic at that point. Then a few HRRR model runs came in with similar solutions early in the afternoon, and it was about that time I found one of the disturbances over Oklahoma that was strong enough to convince me those models were just “bad” data.  And, I updated you in the blog to try and help with your emotions.  That disturbance did track northeast into Missouri, and it put KC into the favorable spot, and yes, it was the disturbance we discussed in the days leading up this storm. The LRC helped with a specific forecast.

I-70 was shut down once again and closed east of KC in the 6 AM hour once again today, but it quickly opened up again with no reports of any major crashes.

A Look Into This Weather Pattern:

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This map above is what I showed last night on the 10 PM newscast.  It was a modeling of one possible solution for the Saturday storm system.  If you have been following the LRC closely, then you know this is the “St. Louis storm” part of the cycling pattern in this third LRC cycle.  In mid-November there was a 9-inch snowstorm that hit St. Louis. KC had snow from this system as well, and this part of the pattern did produce another system in cycle 2 in early January.  Both systems tracked south, so a south trend on the models makes sense by just knowing how to use the LRC.  The models have had this south trend, and if they track this system just a bit farther south, it would potentially be a blizzard in the KC viewing area.

2As I just discussed, the trend has been for this system to track farther south.  This map on the left shows the 500 mb flow valid at noon central time Saturday.  Look at the little circle near Wichita, KS. This is the type of storm that the blizzard conditions would develop just north and west of this upper level low. So, if it tracks south of your location, then you would go into that snowstorm and blizzard threat.  Ahead of the upper low and to the south and east there will be a chance of thunderstorms.  This is a fast moving system that is being ejected out by another system moving into the western United States, near Seattle, WA.

The trend has been south, and we will just have to see how this third LRC cycle sets up. Remember, “it’s the same, but different”, as Gary England said to me ten years ago, a meteorologist in Oklahoma (was in the movie Twister as the featured weatherman warning the public).  He said this to me when he actually had a glimpse of the LRC.  He saw the complex puzzle that we share with you here, and he only saw it once, in that 2009-2010 winter when I was trying to explain to him why Oklahoma City would get hit by a major snowstorm. I discussed this with him around a week before it produced as it fit the pattern. Then, he has told me, he has never seen it again. This is how complex the LRC truly is.  I am on a tangent now, omg.  Anyway, this storm fits too, and it is “the same, but different”. So, we must see how this third cycle sets up this weekend.  The fourth cycle of the LRC will begin in around a week to ten days.

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This next map shows the Saturday storm system. This is the NAM model that has its own solution. I don’t want to over analyze this system yet, as we just need to see how the models trend today.  For now, this storm is pulling away, and we get somewhat of a two day breather before Saturday’s storm approaches.

The Weather Blog Snow Forecasting Game Results:

  • Storm #1:  4.2″
  • Storm #2:  0.1″
  • Storm #3:  2.9″
  • Total:  7.2″

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Thank you so much for entering.  If you take Jeff Penner and myself out of the contest, then we have a blogger winner.  The winner gets the honor of being the “Best Weather Forecaster Of The Week” award.  The winner is Malarcky!  Malarcky, you are “THE BEST WEATHER FORECASTER OF THE WEEK”.  Congratulations! We should play another game. What would you all suggest?  The 7.20″ of snow that fell in the five days is about as much as what fell all of last winter, and more than the previous two winters before that. Wow!

Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the snow on top of snow with a snow depth of nearly 6″ here in KC:

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Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Here is the link to the Weather2020 blog so you can join in the conversation, or read the comments from our weather friends as we discuss this fascinating weather pattern:  Weather2020 Blog

Have a great day. We will go in-depth on 41 Action News tonight as this next storm comes into focus.

Gary

The Anticipation Builds For The Snow To Begin Later Today

2:15 PM Update:

The NAM model now is showing the disturbance that the European Model did not pick up on. It is still, as always, a waiting game now as anticipation builds. There are questions that will be answered soon.  You can see the disturbance here:

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Previous entry below:

 

Good morning bloggers,

Today will be a rather fascinating weather day in and around Kansas City.   We will get to watch the the sky go from sunshine this morning, to increasing clouds, to a lowering ceiling as snow begins to fall to the ground by later this afternoon. I will be sure to set up a few time-lapses.  We currently have around 2.5″ of snow on the ground and we have 2″ to 5″ in our forecast:

Snow Ruler

Sunny shows us the snow depth, the snow forecast, and the final forecast result.  I am expecting around 4″ in Kansas City, so the snow depth will be around 6.5″. We are going to be monitoring closely for that southern wave of energy that may enhance snowfall totals, as discussed in yesterday’s blog and on last nights Facebook Live I did.  It has shown up on some of the models. If there is that southern wave, then around 9 or 10 PM tonight there would be a little comma head moving almost due north up the state line and that would increase totals by around 1 or 2 inches. I just did a thorough analysis, and I do not see that advance disturbance at the moment. It is something we may not see until this evening. So, until I see any evidence, I am in that 2-5 inch range for snowfall amounts in KC, with the chance of 2″ at 100% and the chance of 5″ at 30%.

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These are the maps I showed on my 10 PM newscast last night.  Here is today’s weather timeline in KC:

  • Today:  Some sunshine early today, then increasing clouds. It will become cloudy with snow spreading in from the south, or possibly a lead band forming overhead later this afternoon.  High:  30°
  • Tonight:  A 100% chance of snow, possibly mixing with sleet or freezing rain just southeast of Kansas City.  The snow may become heavy at times with 2″ to 5″ on top of the snow we already have by 6 AM.  Low:  28°
  • Wednesday:  Lingering morning snow showers, possibly changing to freezing drizzle with a light glazing or dusting on top of the snow.  High:  34°

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog for more information and to join in the conversation or at least read the comments from the bloggers.  Have a great day.  The evening rush hour may become quite challenging for travel.

Gary

Another Winter Storm Is Approaching

Good morning bloggers,

Is this wearing you out at all?  The storm systems just keep coming, and there never seems to be a break.  For many of us, this is something we need to enjoy and take in one minute at a time, so stop and take a deep breath today and let’s try to enjoy this next storm as it moves in. Now, there are many people out there likely on the other side of the spectrum of getting enjoyment out of this storm.  One of my new neighbors slipped and hurt his leg pretty bad a couple of weeks ago, so I know he is ready for spring. And, anyone who had a stalled car or who has been impacted in any car crashes, well, I am sure they are not enjoying this winter ride.  There was a 47 car pile up on I-70 west bound near Oak Grove Friday with one fatality.  So, quite obviously there is an ugly and horrific side to all of these weather events.  We will keep that in perspective, and at the same time the only thing we can do ourselves is be extra cautious and provide a lot of extra time to get around.  Travel problems will likely be developing once again on Tuesday night.

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Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the snow left on Sunday on the Plaza. I was down south, near my old neighborhood in southern Overland Park last night, and there was half as much snow down there.  The weather forecast game continues, and I have posted the entries at the end of this blog.  Kansas City  had 3.8″ at KCI from storm #1 and 0.5″ from storm #2, for a total of 4.3″ at KCI Airport.  The official recording location, however, is in front of our 41Action News studios at 47th and Oak Street. We had 4.2″ from Friday’s storm, and then 0.1″ from yesterday’s graupel shower and little snow and freezing drizzle mixture.  So, the official total is also 4.3″.

The Set Up:

1A rather unique weather pattern is setting up for this storm system as we can see on the left. There is a strong 1040 mb (30.71″) surface high forecast to be located over northern Iowa by 6 AM Tuesday.  This high is dominating the nation today and tonight a drier & cold air expands out over most of the nation.  At the same time, there is a surface low beginning to form by early Tuesday morning over the Gulf of Mexico just off the Texas coast.  The interaction of the high pressure area and the low pressure area is causing a broad southeasterly flow of warm and moist low level moisture as a big source of energy for this storm system.  In the upper levels of the atmosphere, a series of waves are will begin affecting the precipitation pattern, and this is a rather complex set up.

  • Look closely at the 540 thickness line, the blue dashed line just above the last red dashed line. This is quite often the rain/snow changeover line.
  • The surface low needs to be monitored closely as it will track north in this set up
  • The main upper level energy will track just west of Kansas City over central KS into northeast KS Tuesday night.  In most of our snow set ups over the years, this would be a bad track for KC as it would draw in the warmer air and dry slot.  It is something to look for.
  • There is an important wave that will likely emerge and organize and come out of the farther south regions over Baja California and track towards southwestern Missouri or southeastern KS Tuesday night.  This part of the pattern produced such a wave that created a comma head of precipitation producing a band of heavy snow with large snowflakes in the last LRC Cycle. This wave has shown up on some of the models

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That wave of energy I am pointing to on this map comes from southern Baja California, and races northeast. This may have its own comma head associated with it, and if it does, it could produce 2″ to 3″ per hour snowfall rates in a fast moving lead band. One hour of that would produce a majority of the snow in some areas.  So, as you can see this is quite complex, and it is just a day away and we have a lot of questions.

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This FV3 GFS model is trying to track that surface low along that inverted trough and this would draw warmer air northward. The 540 thickness line would be approaching Kansas City from the south at midnight tomorrow, and this model even shows a changeover from snow to sleet and a mixture approaching the city.  This would happen, though, after the lead snow bands move by, and this is why confidence is high on at least 2 to 3 inches falling before the changeover may occur.

We often tend to ignore how close the rain/snow changeover line is to your location.  And, it presents another trick to this snow forecast.  The heaviest snow is often just north of this changeover line. It is forecast, on this model, to end up near the Iowa border by 6 AM Wednesday with a surge to above freezing at the surface and a change to rain.  Now, this is the most aggressive of this possibility, and I just wanted to present it for something for us to monitor.

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Here are some of the models snow outputs as of 5:30 AM this morning:

rgem_asnow_us_54

gfs_asnow_us_10

fv3p_asnow_us_10

gem_asnow_us_10

namconus_asnow_us_19

f5weather-21

The European Model had the warmest solution and least snowiest solution, the map immediately above. All of the models have 2-3 inches at least in KC, and confidence is high in this range. This storm has some tricks up its sleeve, so let’s keep monitoring it.

Snow Accumulation Probabilities:

  • No Snow:  0%
  • 1″ of snow:  100%
  • 2″ of snow:  100%
  • 3″ of snow:  70%
  • 4″ of snow:  50%
  • 5″ of snow:  30%
  • 6″ of snow:  20%
  • More than 6″ of snow:  10%

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy with a little sun possible. North winds 5-10 mph.  High:  25°
  • Tonight:  Mostly cloudy:  Low:  19°
  • Tuesday:  Dry most of the day with a 100% chance of snow moving in from the south later in the afternoon or evening.   The evening rush hour may be a complete mess if it comes in just a bit early.  High:  30°
  • Tuesday Night:  A 100% chance of snow, possibly heavy at times.  Accumulations of 2″ to 6″ possible. It will become a heavier and wet snow with temperatures just below 32°
  • Wednesday:  Snow ending, possible mixing with or changing to rain before ending.  High:  34°

Here are all of the entries for our Weather2020 Snow Prediction Game.  The winner gets the honor of being the Weather2020 Best Weather Forecaster Of Week!

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.52.24 AM

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.52.50 AM

Screen Shot 2019-02-16 at 9.53.26 AM

It is interesting as the  average snowfall prediction is 6.86″.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.   Weather2020 blog Click here to join in the conversation and see what everyone is thinking about this approaching storm. The discussions have been better than ever!  Have a great day.

GAry