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A Look Into What Created The Blizzard Conditions In November

Good morning bloggers,

2018 Stats

As you can see above, Kansas City’s highest temperature in 2018 was 100°, the first 100° day in almost five years.  The lowest temperature was 11° below zero, and that happened on New Year’s Day.  Almost half of the yearly snowfall fell on November 25th and that part of the pattern is about to cycle back through!

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone had a great holiday.  A storm will be tracking due south of Kansas City and too far away to have much of an impact our area.  So, today we will discuss the conditions that helped create the first 3″ snowstorm in almost five full years. This happened back in November, and if you remember, the pattern had a huge warm up ahead of this storm system.  These maps below show the pattern just before, during, and just after Kansas City had 5.8″ of snow at KCI Airport and near blizzard conditions.  The part of the cycling pattern that produced these conditions will cycle back through within two weeks.  Will the exact same thing happen? The answer is likely not, and yet not out of the question, however.  There are many possibilities ranging from just a cold front and dry, to an even larger storm system.  I will lean in the direction of something between these two extremes.  Take a look at the last cycle:

LRC Cycle 1_2 2018

The top left maps shows a ridge, that helped create the 62 degree day on that Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the series of waves coming into the west coast.   The waves organized into a strong jet streak over Oregon, and this allowed the storm to dig into southwest Kansas before lifting out into the Ohio River Valley the next day.  Will a similar situation happen, or will it dig more or less? Will it have more energy, and will there be any blocking, as there was no blocking when this first storm happened?  There are other questions as well, and for now we just know one thing for certain. This part of the pattern is going to cycle back through, and this actually was the beginning of around a two week stretch with more storm systems.  This means there will be some exciting days ahead of us as we progress through winter.  Some of the models have been indicating this part of the pattern is right on schedule for around the 12th weekend.  The Kansas City Chiefs host a playoff game on January 12th. There will be a big warm up just ahead of the storm, and then we will see how the pattern lines up in this LRC cycle.

Today’s Weather:

A storm is tracking out of the southwestern United States and heading across north Texas today.   Most of the advisories are begin affected by this storm, including cold on the back side as Las Vegas has a Hard Freeze Warning in effect.  In Kansas City, there may again be few snow flurries or some light freezing drizzle this morning, and then the weather will improve Thursday and through the weekend before we begin anticipating a stormier part of the pattern in around ten days.

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

Gary

Happy New Year

Happy New Year,

We hope everyone had a safe New Year’s Eve.  It is a cold start to 2019, and it is far warmer than it was a year ago.  This morning drop to around 15 degrees is 26 degrees warmer than it was a year ago.  Another big warming trend is in the forecast later this week, and the storm that fits the LRC almost perfectly to track south of KC Thursday is doing just that as you can see on this forecast map for Thursday:

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This map shows the next storm tracking across Texas with the northern edge of the precipitation staying south of Kansas.  We just had another rather wet December storm, and Kansas City had over 3″ of rain in December, and hardly any snow, despite snowflakes falling on many days.  It snowed on 8 different days last month for a whopping total of 0.5″.  And, it has now snowed on 15 days this season already for a total of 8.3″ at KCI Airport.  We are back down to our 1/2″ per day that it snowed.

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A trend in what direction:

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The Arctic Oscillation can be argued to showcase when it has been cold, and when it has been warm this season. It may be a good indicator, and it is far from perfect.  The LRC tells us when storm systems are most likely, where they are most likely going to track, and it provides us insight in so many other ways. And, then there are these other influences that must be calculated in.  The AO is just one of those factors, influences. This shows a predicted dip into negative territory in the next two weeks, and this is just an ensemble of models that show a range from one of them that stays positive, and most of them that dip negative.  If this negative dip continues to show up, then there is a good chance it will turn colder in the middle to end of this month.  At the same time, and I did an extensive LRC analysis yesterday, a series of stronger storm systems is likely during the last 20 days of this month as well according to the LRC.  Will there be cold air for these storm systems to work with?

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.

Gary

The Top Weather Events Of 2018 & A New Year’s Eve Storm

Good morning bloggers,

A storm system, that was over Mexico yesterday, is now tracking right over eastern Kansas and western Missouri today.  An Arctic front is also on the move and heading this way.  And, let’s take a look at the top weather events of 2018.  Let’s begin with today’s storm system:

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A large area of rain is moving northeast across Oklahoma into eastern Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, and it extends east across Illinois into southwestern Ohio this morning.  Rainfall amounts will approach 1″ near KC.  KCI Airport just needs 0.04″ to reach 40 inches for the year. The center of this disturbance will track right over the KC region this afternoon.  It may be just strong enough to dynamically cool the layer between the surface and 10,000 feet to allow for a mixture of snowflakes, and there is even a chance it will change to a heavy snow in some spots as it passes overhead.  This may surprise a few forecasters today, and I am paying close attention to this development.  It may happen just as it is passing by, and there still could be a small accumulation if the changeover happens.

Today’s storm system in Kansas City:

  • This morning:  A 100% chance of rain this morning with temperatures in the middle to upper 30s.  Southeast winds 5-15 mph.
  • This afternoon:  The rain will be ending with a few snowflakes mixed in. The rain may change to snow before ending, and if it does some minor accumulation is likely. This is most likely near KC and areas to the northeast of KC as the storm exits. The wind will shift to the northwest by late afternoon with temperatures beginning to drop to near freezing.
  • Tonight:  The cold blast arrives before midnight with falling temperatures to well below freezing. A few icy/slick spots may develop from any standing water.  There will be a chance of a few snowflakes and a very light dusting of snow.  Low:  12 degrees.
  • New Year’s Day:  Cloudy with a few snow flurries.  Wind chills near zero or lower with a high of 19°

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The Top Kansas City Weather Events of 2018:

  • #1:  The November Blizzard with KC’s first 3″ snow storm in almost five years.  5.8″ fell with blowing and drifting snow.
  • #2:  Snow on Easter Sunday with snow on the first three Sunday’s in April
  • #3:  First 100° day in over four years. It reached 100° on July 12th, and it was part of a five day heat
  • #4:  The drought that extended east over Kansas City. It was mostly a hot and dry summer
  • #5:  Heavy 10″ rainfall in October finally wiping out the drought in our region
  • #6:  The earliest measurable snowfall in Kansas City’s history when it snowed 0.2″ on October 14

That first measurable snow on October 14th was the first of 14 days with snowflakes falling already this season.  Here are those 14 days:

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The storm moving across now is being kicked out by another storm system that will most likely track south of Kansas City later this week.  We are in the part of the cycling pattern that produced Kansas City’s first inch of snow to end our snowflake contest, and a similar storm system brought 9″ of snow to St. Louis.  It created a nightmare to forecast this system in November, and it is posing similar challenges for our region this time, especially down to the south in Oklahoma and St. Louis once again. It will need to be monitored closely, and I am expecting and forecasting that it will track south of KC once again.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience in 2018.  We hope you have a safe New Year’s Eve! How about those Kansas City Chiefs. We will look into that anticipated storm that is due in between the 8th and 15th of the month. Hopefully it isn’t timed for the 12th when the Chiefs will host a playoff game at Arrowhead.  Happy New Year!  Here is a link to the Weather2020 blog:  Join The Weather Conversation

Gary

Many Weather Changes Before 2019 Arrives

Good Sunday bloggers,

We have many weather changes to track before it becomes 2019. This means a lot is going to happen by Monday night. The data is coming in to line with a solution we can buy. So, here we go.

SUNDAY: It will be a mostly sunny and warmer day. A south to southwest wind at 15-25 mph will make it feel cooler.

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SUNDAY NIGHT (MIDNIGHT): Rain will be racing in from the south and roads will stay wet as temperatures will be at or above freezing.

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MONDAY MORNING (7 AM): Rain is likely with temperatures at or above freezing, so roads will be wet. Notice, there is a sharp cut off to the rain from St. Joseph to Topeka. This line seems pretty set, but it could still shift 15-30 miles west or east and this would make a huge difference in the forecast for KC.

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MONDAY (NOON): It will still be raining with temperatures in the 30s. A few snowflakes may mix in on the very northwest edge. The complicating factor on whether we see slick roads New Years eve evening is the timing of a fast moving Arctic blast.

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NEW YEARS EVE (5 PM TO 9 PM): The rain will be exiting as the Arctic air arrives. This is the period of time that will determine the extent of slick spots. If the Arctic air is faster and/or the rain exits slower, then we could see more of the rain change to snow with some accumulation. However, it is not the snow that has us too concerned. It is the amount of water left on surfaces when the Arctic blast arrives. Temperatures will be just above freezing before the Arctic air, so in less than 30 minutes temperatures will drop to the upper 20s and since the sun will be set, any water left could freeze quickly. It is not just the timing of the Arctic air and exit of the rain that will determine the extent of slick spots. It is also the amount of rainfall your location receives.

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RAINFALL FORECAST: Remember, there is a sharp cut off to the main rain. Locations that see under .05″ will have less slick spots as most surfaces will dry before any water freezes. If this forecast pans out and KC sees .10″ to .50″ of rain, followed shortly by Arctic air, then slick spots will be likely. Locations to the south will really have to watch this closely as they will see .50″ to 1.50″ of rain. The 12Z NAM has come out with the western edge of the rain farther west, putting KC in .25″ to 1″ of rain and even some wet snow. Let’s watch this closely.

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NEW YEARS EVE (9 PM TO MIDNIGHT): Regardless of whether there are slick spots, all locations will turn bitterly cold as temperatures drop to the teens with north winds at 15-25 mph. This brings wind chill values to -10° to 0°.

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NEW YEARS EVE (MIDNIGHT): It will be windy and very cold. Lows New Years day will be around 10°. This is still 20 degrees warmer than New Years day 2018. Remember the low of -11! Wind chill values will be around -11°, however.

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CHIEFS FORECAST: If you are headed to the game, make sure the napkins and plastic cups are secure, as south winds will be blowing at 15-25 mph. Temperatures will warm from the lower to mid 40s during tailgating. The kickoff temperature is about how many points I think the Chiefs will score. Now, can they hold Oakland to less? Temperatures will drop to 35°-40° by the end of the game with increasing clouds.

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NEW YEARS EVE DETAILED FORECAST: Periods of rain are likely  through the day and it is the 5-9 PM time frame that we must watch closely for the potential of rapidly forming black ice. Also, the rain may end as wet snow, with some accumulation, just ahead of the Arctic blast.

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Have a happy and safe New Year

PLEASE DON’T DRINK/TEXT AND DRIVE.

Jeff Penner

Chiefs, New Years Eve, A Storm & Arctic Blast

Good Saturday bloggers,

Let’s begin with Gary’s forecast that it may snow today.  While I was on vacation last week I noticed a few bloggers giving him a hard time of wishcasting or something.  Well, he ended up being the only one that was actually accurate. There was a trace of snow today, and while I was on the air this morning, it was snowing the entire time.  KCI Airport reported snow as well, so there apparently was only one forecast for it to snow, and it was actually the most accurate one.  A band of heavier snow was on radar stretching down to the southwest, it was just aloft. Here is the snow Gary forecasted accurately!

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It is hard to believe that 2019 is two days away. There will be many weather changes between now and then. Also, there is a small football game at Arrowhead Sunday.  Let’s go through these changes and events.

SATURDAY: The clouds will hang tough as highs reach the mid to upper 20. The low clouds will exit, but there are high and mid level clouds increasing, so we will see some sun before it sets.

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SUNDAY MORNING: Temperatures will drop to around 20° this evening and then either hold steady or slowly rise as winds increase from the southwest. Temperatures will be in between 21° and 27° by 7 AM Sunday.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: It will be mostly sunny and warmer with highs in the 40s. A southwest wind at 15-25 mph will take the edge off of the warmer air. Remember the game starts at 3:25 PM. Clouds will move in from the south during the game as a storm races out of the southwest USA.

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SUNDAY NIGHT-MONDAY MORNING: A large area of rain will be found from Kansas City and points to the southeast. There is still a question on how far northwest the edge of the precipitation will track. Temperatures will be around or just above freezing, so we do not expect ice. An Arctic blast will be surging this way.

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MONDAY MIDDAY/AFTERNOON: The Arctic blast will race through and the western edge of the rain will turn to snow. It does not look like much snow, but a little rain, followed by snow and a rapid temperature drop will make it slick. This is why the location of the northwest edge of the precipitation is crucial. We will know more Sunday.

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NEW YEARS EVE AT MIDNIGHT: Any precipitation will be long gone. Regardless of whether your location sees rain, snow or both, it will be very cold. Wind chill values will be -10° to 0° as temperatures fall through the teens with north winds at 15-25 mph.

REMEMBER: DON’T DRINK/TEXT AND DRIVE

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CHIEFS FORECAST:

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NEW YEARS FORECAST:

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Have a great weekend and happy New Year.

Jeff Penner

A New Year’s Eve Arctic Blast & A Look Into A Possible January Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 7.25.28 AMThe weather frustration has been increasing for many of us as we wait for our next chance of snow.  It has snowed on eleven different days so far this season, and yet only 0.5″ in December.  8.3″ has fallen so far, remember, so I recommend patience.  There were a few light snow shower bands on the Topeka radar this morning as you can see on this picture.  Some of these may make it into the KC area this morning. Let us know if you see any snowflakes.  This is just some wrap around moisture around yesterdays big storm that produced over an inch of rain in most areas near KC.  This disturbance will move by this morning with some sunshine returning later today.  The wind chill factors are in the single digits and teens, so bundle up.

After this system moves by we get to look ahead to New Year’s eve and a stronger cold front. An Arctic blast is forecast to arrive on New Year’s Eve, and this will most likely be a short lived blast of cold.  How cold will it get?  The lowest temperature so far this season has been 9 degrees. It may get down to that level or a bit lower, and without any snow on the ground there will be somewhat of a limit on how cold it will get with this Arctic air mass. Last year it dropped to 11 degrees below zero, and that was with very little snow. This happened on January 1st a year ago. This year’s pattern is being influenced by a developing El Niño. The influences have become more obvious with the recent warmer last two weeks or so.

New Years Arctic Air

The Arctic air will head south arriving in Kansas City Monday night as we ring in the new year.  And, by January 4, 2019 the Arctic air will retreat back up into Canada as you can see on the second map on the right.

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This map shows the 6 AM temperature on January 1, 2019 near 12 degrees. It will likely be 3 to 10 degrees colder than this map shows, so a low near 2 degrees to 9 degrees is more likely near KC with 25 to 30 degrees below zero closer to Canada.

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The Arctic front will likely be on our doorstep by early Monday afternoon. A rain storm will be ejecting north northeast across eastern Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, into Kentucky as well. KC is on the northwest edge of this system. If this lead storm ejects out a bit farther west, then some snow may develop near and north of KC.

What would be a great remedy for the snow enthusiasts that visit this blog?  A snow storm, right?  Take a look at this:

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This is one of the models projections in recent days for a potential storm system to develop.  This will likely happen between January 8th and 15th.  It has been popping into some of the models from time to time in recent days, and it fits the LRC for us to have a significant storm around this time frame.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let us know if you have any questions or comments as we share in this weather experience. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation and have a great day.

It’s Raider week!  The Chiefs have a 90% chance of winning this weekend.  Let’s assume they do! Then, they would get a bye. They will be favored to win each game at Arrowhead with a 70% chance of winning the first playoff game, and a 60% chance of winning the second playoff game. Multiply 70% X 60% and you get a 42% chance of them making it into the Super Bowl.  Go Chiefs! Let’s take care of business this weekend first!

Gary

An Arctic Blast On New Year’s Eve

Good morning bloggers,

A wet storm is now exiting the area.  Rainfall amounts reached over an inch in most spots.  At KCI Airport there was 1.10″ putting the December total up to 2.15″, and the 2018 total up to 39.85″, or just 0.15″ shy of 40 inches of rain for the year.  How much rain did you receive?  The cold front will move through later this afternoon and colder air will surge in.  It will be much colder on Friday, and then we have strong indications that there will be an Arctic Blast on New Year’s Eve:

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This temperature forecast map is valid at midnight on New Year’s Eve just as we ring in the new year.  Temperatures are forecast to drop to 25 degrees below zero in North Dakota. How much of this air blasts south is still in question, and will we see any snow on New Year’s Eve?  There is a trend on the models for a slightly deeper storm system on New Year’s Eve and a little bit of snow as you can see below.

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The Cold Arctic high pressure area will be centered near the Canada/USA border just north of the Montana/North Dakota border as you can see with the 1041 mb surface high.  Some snow is forecast to be falling from this system by this model.  Let’s see how this sets up.  Temperatures will be dropping into the single digits by New Year’s morning, and if there is snow on the ground it would maximize this blast from the north.

What we are seeing right now:

  • A cold blast moves in later today and this evening and Friday will be much colder than today.  Highs in the upper 50s today and in the lower or middle 30s tomorrow
  • Saturday’s chance of snow is out for now. There is a storm moving by and possibly right overhead. It is just so positively tilted that there is no snow being produced. I am still monitoring this closely and won’t be shocked if it looks a bit differently on today’s models.  Right now, however, taking the chance out makes sense
  • Sunday for the Chiefs game should be in between systems. The part of the pattern that produced the big St. Louis storm is moving through on Sunday night into New Year’s Day.  How will this second cycle of the LRC produce?  We will be monitoring this as well.  There are two parts to this storm system, one early Monday and then the cold part later Monday.

Have a great day!

Gary

A Storm Is Approaching & What Do You Think Were The Top Weather Events Of 2018

Good morning bloggers,

We hope everyone had a great Christmas.  New Years Day is now less than a week away.  There is a lot to track in our exciting weather pattern as the year comes to a close.  Before we get started, I have this question:  What were the top five weather events of 2018 in Kansas City?  Let me know what you remember, and I will work on a list for next Monday night on New Year’s Eve.

Storm System Round One:

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A nice cold area of rain has made into Kansas City this morning.  A few heavier downpours can be seen in the yellow and orange areas. This band of rain will lift north before noon, and then we will wait on a larger more wide spread area tonight. There may even be a few thunderstorms tonight.

Surface Forecast Valid tonight at midnight:

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Look at this surface forecast valid tonight at midnight.  A strong surface low with a 998 mb pressure at its center will be located over southwestern Kansas.  Imagine this pattern during the spring with warmer air available.  This would be a developing severe weather set-up, and we have had a few of these since this years LRC began.  It isn’t spring, however, and even though there may be f ew severe thunderstorms over the deep south, this storm will produce snow, rain, and wind as it tracks across the plains.  As this system moves by later on Thursday, colder air will blast south.  The Arctic air is still being held way up to the north.

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That is still a very large Arctic Air mass and we are monitoring it closely.  Enough cold air will blast in behind this storm system for a chance of snow this weekend. We are down to only one model that has snow on Saturday, and this model has been consistent. It still depends on a wave, an upper level storm, that will produce snow only if it is as organized as this FV3 GFS model shows:

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The other models are just slightly weaker with this system. and as a result snow does not form.  I am still holding out hope for a dusting to 2″ system, as this is directly related to the storm that ended our snowflake contest at KSHB in November.  Will it be slightly weaker and dry, or slightly stronger and snowy?

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Have a great Wednesday, and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let’s share in this weather experience by joining in the conversation on the Weather2020 blog as we all learn more about this complex hobby known as weather.

Gary

 

Merry Christmas: Snow Moves Into Saturday’s Forecast

Merry Christmas Bloggers,

A strong storm is developing over the southwestern United States today. Snow levels are dropping over Southern California, and as this storm ejects out into the plains states, a major snow storm is likely over parts of the northern and central plains.

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This map above shows the strong surface cyclone located near Omaha, NE on Thursday evening.  Warmer air will surge north on south winds ahead of the storm, and some big thunderstorms are likely over Tennessee extending south to the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf of Mexico coast.  Near blizzard conditions are possible farther north, and then a cold blast will arrive in Kansas City Thursday night. This cold air will be in place for a weaker storm system that is directly related to the part of the cycling pattern that produced the end to our snowflake contest on November 12th. An inch of snow again is possible on Saturday with this second cycle version of this pattern.

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This smaller system will zip across the southern and central plains on Saturday.  Most of the models have trended in the direction of some small accumulation of snow, and even an inch or two near KC.  We upped the chance of snow to 50% as it fits the LRC well.  It isn’t a wet and strong storm, so it makes this still a forecast that we will gain confidence on in the next 24 hours as it is only four days away.

There are also strong indications of a much colder and blocky pattern developing in the next two weeks.  We will discuss these trends in the blog the rest of the week.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and have a great day!  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.

Gary

Christmas Eve Thoughts & Possible Snowflakes Tonight

Good morning,

On this Christmas Eve there is a disturbance moving towards Kansas City.  There is a 60% chance of rain this evening as Santa begins his trip from the North Pole.  It will be snowing around 2,000 feet above the surface tonight, but the temperatures near the ground will be closer to 38 to 41 degrees. This likely means it will be too warm for snow tonight.  It will still be close and I am saying there is a chance of snowflakes mixing in early on Christmas morning.  A dusting is even a possibility, especially around 75 miles northeast of KC.

After this lead disturbance moves by, a wetter storm will be approaching.   Here is the rainfall forecast from the GFS model last night:

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Kansas City Weather Time-line:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny early this morning, then increasing clouds with rain developing after sunset.  High:  Near 50°
  • Tonight:  Rain is likely for a couple of hours with a few snowflakes possibly mixing in around midnight.  Low:  35°
  • Christmas Day:  Mostly sunny with a few clouds.  High:  48°
  • Wednesday-Thursday:  A 100% chance of rain with temperatures in the 40s warming into the 50s.  0.40″ to 2.40″ possible

We will be tracking Santa tonight!

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Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.  Merry Christmas Eve!  Go to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.  We have been moderating that blog.  Last night there was a long “Chiefs Hangover” and we didn’t get to the comments right away.  We will stay on top of that today.

Gary