Update – 10am Sunday
It was like Christmas morning for some today: waking up out of bed, shooting to the window or running outside, all to see just how much snow there was. And, much like Christmas morning, you may have been left with a big smile or a McKayla Maroney face.
First thing to point out: a little more snow will still fall between now and about noon-1p. Most of it will be along & North of I-70, but it could add in another couple inches to snow amounts. So final snow numbers will not be available until later tonight.
That said, here is a look at a snowfall map via the reports gathered so far this morning.
Just 36 miles separate no snow in Northeast Kansas and 6 inches of snow near the tri-state line. Amazing. Goes to show how tough snow forecasting really is.
For those who like numbers, here are a few highlights. Again, these are as of 9am and may have already changed a bit.
As per usual, your backyard ruler will vary. But it appears Metro KC North of I-70 had picked up around 1-2″ so far. Those South, it has been spotty… some reporting a dusting to nothing (in Olathe), others saying around an inch (Lenexa, Lee’s Summit).
Given the warm ground in some areas couples with geographic placement, the snow may have melted before finally sticking. I know some complained they didn’t get what they thought in the downtown area. Keep in mind how downtown usually runs 2-3 degrees warmer than the edges of KC. That will make all the difference in the world when it comes to snow. Just look at the spread over a small area!
As the snow wraps up, we’re in for part 2 of this feature film: wind & cold. Temps will drop like a rock and we be around 19 degrees by about 6pm. Throw in a stiff north wind at 20-30mph, and it’ll feel brutal. That wind could lead to problems in areas with heavier snowfall as blowing and drifting snow will be likely. Please, take it easy on the roads today. A combination of the moisture and the wind may lead to travel troubles.
Due to Super Bowl coverage we will not have a newscast until after 10pm tonight. Gary Lezak will be in and have the latest forecast for you.
Hope you’re enjoying the snow today and of course, the big game!
Update – 11:15pm
Hi. Me again.
Quickly wanted to share with you some snowfall reports via the NWS. Your backyard ruler/yard stick may vary a bit.
Update – 10:45pm
If you missed the on air forecast at 10p, be sure to jump on to our website and watch the video forecast. The rain and snow continues to push across the area. Many thanks to those who are sharing their reports; it helps in so many ways.
Our own Justin Wilfon shared this photo of the plaza at 10:30p:
And Kevin sent this one to me from the Northland (near 169 & 435) just before 10pm.
Snow in and around Metro will likely stick to grassy areas first and may take a little while to start to adhere to the streets. This is part of what I mean when I say “what all falls may not all stick”. Another reason to allow that wiggle room in the forecast.
Radar as of 10:50pm showing some heavier bands of moisture headed this way.
Movement is from the Southwest to the Northeast. So if those heavier blobs of rain happen to pass into a colder column of air, we could see some snow bands that setup and drop some heavy snow for a brief period of time. Generally speaking, those South of I-70 will continue to see rain and a little sleet tonight. Some exceptions may be around the 435 loop.
Those North of I-70 will continue to see snowfall through the night. This is part of the reason I am allowing for higher amounts to the North.
Latest short-range model, HRRR, suggests the back edge of the snow bands pass through KC around 8am. The cold air sweeping in will likely still cause some flurries to be squeezed out. Then, the winds pick up and that will blow snow around. For those more to the North, with higher snowfall amounts, that blowing snow will be an issue. I didn’t mention that too much on air, but probably should have.
Just continue to be safe on the roads tonight and into Sunday. Meteorologist Jeff Penner will be in with you early tomorrow starting at 7am with the latest on the radar and any updates to the forecast. Please keep your reports coming. Thanks for following the blog tonight and making it a happy, knowledge-sharing environment!
Update – 9:15pm
Various reports on social media of light snow starting to stick in a few more places, like Leavenworth, KCI, Lawrence. Radar is showing the rain/snow line now sitting almost along I-70.
Additionally, MoDot has been reporting bad road conditions in Northern Missouri.
Check the latest report here: http://traveler.modot.org/map/
Newest guidance is suggesting the storm may actually be out of the Metro area by 8-10am tomorrow. But before it moves out, it appears to take a bit more of a dip to the South. Given this, and the radar trends, I have updated the forecast a bit.
Again, there could still be a sharp gradient between little snow and a fair amount of snow. Anyone that happens to take a drive up I-29 or I-35 tomorrow will likely see a change over the course of 20-40 miles.
I’ll make some final adjustments to things and have a full forecast coming up at 10pm. Be sure to watch.
Update – 8:15pm
Surface temperature at KCI is holding at 34 this hour. Look at the surface obs around the rest of the area.
Now check out the radar.
The algorithm of the radar software is flipping back and forth, as it is struggling to determine if rain or snow is falling. Many in/around Metro will continue to see showers and a little bit of sleet here and there.
What concerns me a bit is that we’ve already seen snow accumulations of around 1 to 2 inches in Northern sections of Missouri…yet, the temperatures are technically above freezing. It’s quite possible the “warm” air is very, very shallow. This would allow some snowflakes to get to the ground and should enough of them pile up, it maybe enough to snuff out that warmer layer of air.
Trenton, Gilman City, and Maryville all reporting 2″ of snow as of 8pm.
Latest 00z run of the NAM model is hot off the press. Here is what it is showing for snowfall amounts by Monday morning:
This would suggest about 3-4 inches of snow in the KC Metro. It also maintains the idea of higher snowfall amounts (near 10 inches) in Northern Missouri.
The 00z RPM follows a similar trend as the NAM
I’m going to mull this over a bit and then see about tweaking the overall snow forecast. We may have to allow for 1-3 inches in the Metro. I’m just concerned there will be a difference between what falls and what sticks. Three inches may fall, but only an inch or so may actually stick to the ground.
Keep checking back here on the blog for updates and be sure to watch the forecast at 10pm.
Previous Entry – 6pm
You don’t need me to tell you the rain (and snow) are here. Just depends on where your “here” is. Sunday will be a weather alert day as the rain changes over to snow for most and that’s thanks to the cold air moving in during the day.
And armchair meteorologist knows that the difference between a little rain and a lot of snow is just a few degrees. As we’ve been saying for a while now, the warm air will linger around Kansas City through about 8am Sunday. This will prevent the change over from rain to snow, however… should colder air arrive sooner, things will change. Likewise, should the cold air take its time, things will change the other direction. We are at the mercy of the cold air.
Here is a look at the radar as of 6:30pm
Already this evening (as of 6:30p) there have been reports of a couple inches of snow in Northwest Missouri as well as reports of sleet around the Metro. I expect temperatures to actually go up a couple degrees going into the overnight period, so the showers will continue in Metro KC with an occasional ping of sleet here and there. Those in Northern Missouri and far Northeast Kansas, you’re in the snow and going to stay there a while.
At this time, I would not be too concerned with slick roads in Metro tonight given the warming temps. That said, as with any rain event, accidents can happen so please take it easy. The spray from vehicles in front of you may be a bit of a hazard. Elsewhere, be careful as you venture out tonight, especially those dealing with snow on the ground.
No surprise here, Winter Storm Warnings are in place for counties in Northern Missouri and this stretches all the way to the East coast as the storm will move that way next.
I know the biggest thing everyone wants to know is: “How much snow will there be?”. It bothers me to say this, but: it’s not that easy this time around. There is a lot of factors at play that can alter this greatly. Adding 3 plus 3 plus 2 is pretty easy. But adding 3 plus six divided by the square root of the absolute value of the cosine of X over pi to the 85th digit isn’t so easy. The more variables you have, the harder the forecast. Now then, with that obligatory “cover my backside” wording out of the way, based on what I’ve seen, this is my latest snowfall forecast.
Please, use this as a guide. We are measuring with a micrometer and then cutting with a weed wacker on this one. There will likely be a tight gradient of little/no snow, to high amounts of snow. Seriously, I would not be surprised if some counties had a four or five inch spread just across the county from South to North!
Given all the “stuff” going on in the atmosphere around us, it leads to a lot of room for error on this one; no doubt about that. If the rain changes over sooner, snow amounts will go up. Remember on average the snow to rain ratio is 10 to 1. So, a half inch of rain could quickly become five inches of snowfall. If we are wrong on when KC sees snow, then the amounts will be off.
Many of you have already been keeping close tabs on the models, I am sure. There has been consistency in saying those along the Iowa line with come up as big winners in the snow department, with raw outputs suggesting amounts near 12″ possible. I do think *some* of that is due to the models changing over the rain too soon. But with all the different models saying roughly the same thing, it makes me a little nervous.
What makes me shake my head is that the Euro & the UKMet have been banging the drum for big snow for a few runs now, but we’ve brushed it off. I saved those outputs, by the way. Now, suddenly, the American models are jumping on board. Check out the 18z GFS (via WeatherBell)…
And the 18z 4km NAM (also via the fine folks at WeatherBell)…
Just yesterday both models were being snow grinches and hold back on snow amounts. Obviously, the Euro model got beat up after missing the snow forecast on the East coast. But if the higher amounts do materialize in Northern Missouri, then the clear winner will be the Euro which picked up on this days ago.
However, just because a model *says* it will snow, does not mean that it will do exactly as the model says. The atmosphere tends to march to the beat of its own drum and does what it wants. Kind of like a toddler.
Personally, I never want to over-promise snowfall, but I also don’t want people caught off guard and surprised. As I usually say: don’t focus so much on the exact amounts. I think too often we shake our fist at the TV and say “You said three inches of snow and I only got two!”.
Many people cannot tell the difference between five inches of snow and seven inches of snow, it’s all psychological. Think more about the impacts and how it will play a role in your plans on Sunday. Yes, I understand there are those out there who push snow for a living and two inches of snow versus five inches of snow equates out to money. Take your frustrations up with the higher power. I’m in sales, not manufacturing!
On Sunday, with the cold air rushing in, I would be a little concerned with the wet roads freezing up. I know many will be going out to Super Bowl parties. Please use caution, take your time, and leave a little early.
I will continue to update this post as the night goes on and I will be back in Sunday morning to track things for you. As a programming note, due to Super Bowl coverage, we do not have a 5pm newscast Sunday. We will be on at about 10:15pm. You’ll need to stick with us on our website, our mobile apps, and on social media for updates.
Be safe and thanks for any reports you can provide us.
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