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More Wind, Continued Fire Danger

Good Monday bloggers,

The weather today is looking great with highs around 70°.  This is the good news.  The bad news is that it remains so dry, that we continue with an increased fire danger.  There is a Fire Weather Waring in effect until 6 pm.

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We were getting some wet storms in November and December, but it has really dried out since the first of the year.  So, the sub soil moisture is in decent shape.  It is the topsoil and grass on top that is very dry.   This is why every time we get the wind with low humidity the fire danger increases.  A nice rain or snow event will put and end to this.

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We have two storm systems this week.  One is timed for later tonight and Tuesday, the other is timed for Thursday.  Each one of these systems will not get their act together in time to bring us some decent precipitation.  So, we may see some flurries or a brief rain shower early Tuesday and  a few rain showers Thursday. This is not enough to end the fire danger.  There is a potentially wetter storm March 7-10.

Here is the rain we are going to miss with this first storm later tonight and Tuesday.  Tomorrow will be windy and colder with temperatures in the 40s.

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Here is the snow we are going to miss.  This season has been a total joke when it comes to snow.

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So, until we get some decent moisture, keep the fire danger threat in mind.

  • Be careful where you throw cigarettes
  • Watch the embers when grilling, and using the fire pits
  • Some communities have fire bans.

Have a great week.

Jeff

Warm to finish February, March starts chilly & wet

You know, here it is late February and we had a cold front move across the region today. Yet, temperatures were still in the 60s after the “FROPA” (frontal passage). Amazing. While we didn’t set any records, it was mild for this time of year.
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And as we all know, the wind machine was stuck firm on “high” today.
Sunday Wind

The wind will ease back tonight once the sun goes down. The temperatures are also going to bottom out tonight, falling back down into the 30s. So it may be a little chilly as you get up and going Monday morning. However, the afternoon is looking very nice yet again.
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And yes, we’ll have more wind. It will shift back to the Southwest and stay around 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusty. Would not be a bad idea to use that extra hold hairspray or wear your Royals hat.

Okay, let’s talk Tuesday. We have been keeping eyes on this day for a while. Even with us being 48 hours out, there is still some disagreement on what will happen. The guidance is split, to be honest. And before you ask which model has done better, just know that NONE of them have! In my opinion, the NAM has been almost useless when it comes to storm systems. The RPM goes back and forth. The GFS has done okay, but missed out big on some events. And while the Euro has the track record of being most reliable, it too has missed its share of shots.

Let me just lay it out this way and show you all four models so you can see what each one does. These are animated loops from 7am to 7pm Tuesday.

GFS
Tuesday - GFS

Euro
Tuesday - Euro

NAM
Tuesday - NAM

RPM
Tuesday - RPM

As you can see, the placement of the storm system doesn’t differ too much from model to model. What I think we have to watch for is cold air and moisture transport. To say that differently: how far North does the moisture get pushed? And, how fast does cold air surge into the area? Also, where does the cold air decide to meet up with the moisture?

Obviously, if you believe the RPM, we’ll have snow in the Metro. And not just a little bit.
Snow - RPM
A widespread area of 1-3″ forecast from this piece of guidance. Remember, it’s just guidance.

The GFS also believes in snow for KC, but notice how the placement differs a bit.
Snow - GFS

However, the Euro & the NAM are not quite on board with the idea of snow.
Snow - NAM

Snow - Euro

In terms of numbers for Kansas City, this is how it shapes up.
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As to why the Euro is showing 0.20″ of snow on the line graph and not the maps above is simply due to parameters. The maps are set to not show anything below .50″. Otherwise, it might wind up looking much worse than what could fall.

Now listen, I said it a couple weeks ago and I stand by it: I refuse to get “excited” or “amped up” about forecasting snow until we know for sure it’s going to happen. This year has been very difficult for snow to happen in KC. Sure, the guidance has advertised it, but it has quickly gone “poof” at the last second.

Those who love snow are no doubt furious with how this year has gone. And to be honest, the window for snow is quickly closing. Our biggest snow events have happened in March, yes, but with the way temperatures have been this year, I would not pin my hopes on that happening. Yes, this coming from the guy who guessed we’ve have 30″ of snow this season. We never got the cold air and/or the big storms to move over the area. It wasn’t for lack of trying, however.

Spring is just around the corner.
Spring

The countdown is on…
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Our team will continue to keep eyes on the system for Tuesday and the next one scheduled for Thursday. March could be off to a shaky start…

-JD

Two warm weekends in a row

For those with kids, dogs, and/or a general itch to get outside, this was a day to get out and play. Two Saturdays in a row with highs in the 70s. For it being February, it’s hard to complain about it being this nice. Temperatures at 3pm this afternoon were 20 degrees warmer than they the same time Friday.
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Driving in to the station I saw over 30 people waiting in front of the Salvy billboard, taking selfies. Great day for it.

We tied a record high in Kansas City, briefly hitting 73° this afternoon.
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Once again too, fire danger is a concern. The radar picked up a smoke plumes from the Lawrence area earlier this afternoon.
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While parts of our area are not officially under a “red flag warning”, it does not mean we are free from getting some brush fires again on Sunday. Please use caution, especially with cigarettes.
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I still see people tossing them out car windows. It boggles my mind.

Compared to today, Sunday is not going to be as warm for us.
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However, that’s all about perspective…

A cold front will be on our doorstep to start the morning Sunday.
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The morning lows will still be warmer than the typical daytime high for this time of year!

By the afternoon, it will be mild (and windy) again.
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So yet again, we luck-out in terms of February weather. Highs in the 60s.

Here is an hourly breakdown to help you plan:
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We are seeing two chances for rain in the next week.
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However, based on what I’ve seen, Tuesday may not be a day to get too excited.
Tuesday
It appears the system may form right over us, then push to the East. Once it does that, it will be come more organized and put down better rain in Eastern Missouri. Still, there is time for the guidance to change. Like I said last week: it’s been tough to get things to happen in KC. So I remain skeptical.
In my opinion, it’s a little to soon to go into details on Thursday. I have a feeling things are going to change a bit as we get closer. For now, we’ll just say there is a chance.

Outside of that, I expect the temperatures to yo-yo a bit next week, going from mild one day, to cool the next. March is a transition month, so expect more of that over the next 30 days.

Tuesday will mark the start of meteorological Spring. Check out how fast the average high temperatures grow
Wx Seasons - Spring
It’s just a matter of time before we’re all complaining about the heat…

Enjoy the weekend,
-JD

Friday flashback | A warm weekend

I want to start off with a little pop quiz: how many of you remember February 25th/26th of 2013? Seem like a random date? Think about snow… ah, now maybe some fuzzy (fluffy) memories are coming back. Some of you sent me photos on social media today showing the snow we had three years ago. Here is one of them:
Snow
Thanks to Britt on Twitter for the photo.

We picked up over eight inches of snow on February 26th, 2013.
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In total, nearly 10″ of snow in a 2-day period. The whole month of February netted over 20 inches of snow! What a year 2013 was, huh?

Now, as we head toward the weekend (here in 2016), we’re looking at highs near 70° and no signs of moisture.
While it’s not that warm today, it’s still above the average. These are the 4p temperatures:
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The Southwest wind will continue to push that warmer air our way.

Our surface setup hasn’t changed too much:
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Notice that cold front to the Northwest? It will come through for Sunday. But do not expect a drastic drop in temperature.

The wind gets a little strong Sunday and switches to the Northwest:
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Outside of that, it will still be plenty warm for this time of year.

As you head outside to enjoy the milder weather, keep in mind that fire danger could be a concern. With the dry conditions, wind, and low humidity expected, we could see another Red Flag warning issued. Already some parts of Eastern Kansas are under said warning.
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Do not be surprised to see that warning expanded more to the East this weekend. Just be careful with grills and cigarettes.

I compiled some stats for our “winter” so far–and I use the term winter loosely at this point.
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Meteorological winter runs from Dec 1st to the end of February. You can see, it really has not been that cold with only 14 days below freezing.
We look to close out the month on the warm side, with highs staying in the 60s or better through the end of the month.

Coming up this weekend, we’ll take a closer look at the chances for moisture next week. The odds are higher that we’ll hear thunder before you have to shovel snow. Go figure, huh?

Have a great weekend,
-JD

Thursday Afternoon – Cloudy with snow flurries (!)

Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a cloudy and cold day around the Metro area. A bit cooler than what we experienced on Wednesday. The cold North wind and the clouds can be thanked for that. Some have see a few snow flurries today, but it really has not been all that much to get excited over. We are not expecting much more to happen today, so do not pin hopes on a surprise snow storm hitting the area. This is the cold day, then we strap a rocket to our temperatures as they soar into the 60s this weekend. Winter continues to be missing.

Let’s start today with a look at the 1p readings around the viewing area.
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The warm spots are our Eastern locales. I’ll show you why in a second.

On a larger scale, you can see many of us are in the same boat, in terms of colder temperaures.
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Warmest value is a 44. Even areas like Western Kansas are not not warming up today.

In terms of the radar, the loop of the last three hours shows the weak snowflakes that floated across the Metro.
ezgif.com-video-to-gif (4)

With the visible satellite picture, it’s easy to pick out where the sun is shining brightly this afternoon.
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A lucky area on the eastern side of our viewing area getting breaks in those clouds. Hence the reason the readings are just a bit warmer there. The rest of us are stuck in the gunk (aka: clouds). I think those clouds will wind up keeping a lid on our afternoon temperatures today. Don’t expect it to be very warm: highs in the lower 40s at best. Once again, the cold North wind will not make it feel any better.

Latest trends indicate the clouds will clear out tonight and we should get more in the way of sunshine tomorrow. Couple that with the wind tuning back to the Southwest, we should manage to climb into the middle 50s for a majority of the area Friday.
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The true warm air will be held back on the lee side of the Rockies, but don’t worry; it’s planning to move.

Saturday is expected to be the gold medal day, with highs close to 70 degrees.
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Could it be another record-setter? Perhaps. If there was one day over the next five where a record could be set, it’d be Saturday.
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Over the next few days, the chances for meaningful moisture are pretty slim. We will continue to keep eyes on next week, as the guidance indicates something may try to come our way. However, like I said on Sunday: I am going to be stubborn until I see the whites of its eyes.

Make those weekend plans now!
-JD

A Small System Tonight

Good Wednesday evening bloggers,

The big storm that we missed continues to move northeast to the eastern Great Lakes and New England.  A smaller system is heading southeast on the back side of this storm and will affect some areas around here tonight.

The bigger storm center is south of Cincinnati as of 3 PM today.  A smaller system is located northeast of Rapid City and this will be heading into our region tonight.  It will fall apart as it approaches, getting absorbed by the bigger system.

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WEDNESDAY 9 PM: You can see around 9 PM there will be a band of rain/snow showers moving in from the northwest.

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THURSDAY 1 AM: The band of showers falls apart.  If you look close there is 1 snow shower over Johnson county and a rain/mix shower south of Topeka.  This does not mean the few showers left will be in these locations, but it shows how the system is falling apart and a shower or two is all that is left after midnight.  Tomorrow will be breezy and dry with lots of clouds and highs in the low 40s.

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SNOW COVER.  You can see the newest area of snow from southern MO to Michigan.  The St. Louis area received 2″-8″ of wet, gloppy snow.

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WEDNESDAY PM TEMPS: The snow is likely melting quickly as it reached the low 40s in St. Louis.  Also, notice the entire USA is above 32.  There are exceptions in the mountains and likely in the heart of the snow area that is falling from northern Indiana to Michigan.

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We will have a weekend warm up to the 60s, if not 70°.  Then, next Tuesday-Thursday will be our turn for a storm system.  It may be rain or rain to snow.  We need the moisture no matter what form it takes.

Have a great night.

Jeff

Major Southern Storm

Good Tuesday night bloggers,

Today we have had a cirrostratus deck of clouds which are being produced on the northern edge of a major storm moving across the southern USA.  We are going to be left high and dry, but this storm is producing severe weather and is about to produce snow.  As of 4 pm Monday there was a northern thin band of light rain, perhaps a few ice pellets occurring from southeast Kansas to south of Columbia, MO.  There was no snow with the storm at this time.   This will change early Wednesday.

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SEVERE WEATHER REPORTS: Tuesday afternoon has seen about 5-10 tornado reports in Louisiana.

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SEVERE WEATHER REPORTS: Here is one of the reports, southwest of New Orleans.

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WEDNESDAY MORNING: The storm moves northeast and grabs enough cold air so that it will likely have a band of wet snow on the northwest side of the storm.  St. Louis appears it will have snow.  Here in KC we will have clouds and wind with temperatures in the 30s.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST SCENARIO 1: This solution has St. Louis with a chance of 1-3″ of snow.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST SCENARIO 2: This has St. Louis to Chicago receiving 6″ of snow.

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The scenarios arise for two reasons.  The track can shift south or north at the last second and also how much cold air gets involved.  In other words how much will fall as rain.  One thing we know we will see no rain or snow.  There may be a chance in about a week.  Before that would happen we will have another big weekend warm up.

Have a great night.

Jeff

No Change, Storm Still a Miss

Good Monday bloggers,

We sure could use some moisture, be it rain or snow.  Well, there is a strong storm system that will be forming over the southern Plains on Tuesday.  This storm will produce tremendous rain and snow.  The problem is that eastern Kansas and western Missouri will get missed.  Remember February 2nd, when a big snowstorm missed us to the northwest?  What a year?

2016 KC PRECIPITATION. We are about 1″ below average for the year.  This does not sound like much, but January and February are dry months, so as we go into the Spring this will become more pronounced if we cannot get some wet storms.

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2015-16 KC SNOWFALL: This is a joke.  The opportunities that we have had to receive snow have either missed us, or it has been too warm so that we see rain, freezing rain or sleet.  We should have received about 15″ of snow so far by now, we have seen 5″.

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RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Here is the rain we are going to miss.  1″-3″ (some locations will see 4″) will be occurring from the southern Plains to eastern parts of the Midwest.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST THROUGH WEDNESDAY: We know KC will see no snow.  Locations to the south and east it is much more problematic.  There are solutions all over the place for snow from the southern Plains to Great Lakes.  The main reason the snowfall forecast is all over the place is the forecast surface temperatures.  There is very little cold air available.  Temperatures in areas that see snow will be 32°-34°.  I am sure meteorologists in St. Louis are pulling their hair out.  This is just one of many snow forecast solutions.

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Have a great night.

Jeff

Another storm system evades our area

Those of you who tried to wear shorts today, might have found yourself shivering in the shade a little bit.
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No, it was not near as warm today as what we saw Saturday. Still, our afternoon temperatures were well above the norm for this time of year.
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As of 3pm, it was 20 degrees colder than just 24 hours prior.
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Typically in February if we talked about a 20° plunge in temperatures, many of us would be reaching for extra blankets and throwing another log on the fire.
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Like the saying goes: all good things must come to an end. Much like holiday sales and annoying relatives, things eventually go away. These mild February days are in line to board the plane as we speak.

The setup for Monday will draw in some cooler air from the North. I still expect it to be above average, however.
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The yellow line out to the west is a trough. In this situation, it’s basically a wind shift line.

Now by Tuesday, it’s really going to get cold for some areas. Take a look at this map closely.
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Some parts of Texas will be in the 30s. Frosty cowboy boots down there for sure.

Notice that feature sitting in the Eastern part of the Lone Star State? That is the next storm system, which has decided Kansas City is not a place it wants to visit.
Tues System

The above simulation is based on the latest RPM model. Some other guidance is a little more aggressive on pulling in cold air.  Should that happen, then snow could greet some folks in the Eastern part of the Show-Me state.

As of today, this is what the guidance is suggesting *if* the air is cold enough for snow.

The GFS model:
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Surprisingly, the most conservative of the guidance right now. Keep in mind, the GFS was upgraded a while back. I’ve looked over some of the performance data (since the upgrade) and overall, the GFS has been handling systems better. By no means is it perfect, but we’ll take better for sure!

The European output for snow:
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Should this happen, hello St. Louis snow event! Yikes. Again, this is model guidance, not the book of truth. Think of your friend John that likes to tell wild tales from time to time. Sometimes the models like to go off and tell tales that would make Paul Bunyan laugh.

Speaking of outlandish and absurd tales, here’s the NAM:
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Seems a little much. A much too much. But, still something to keep tabs on. The NAM has really seemed to struggle in our area this winter. Maybe that’s just my take, but I feel it has done this over and over again. It’s supposed to be a better piece of guidance!

At the end of the day, it does not matter what theory you subscribe to, what old wives’ tale you believe in, or how much you wish for something to change… this winter has become one where we cannot buy snowfall in KC. So in my personal opinion, I’ve moved into “hit it over my head” mode. I don’t care what the guidance is screaming for or what so-and-so says (even 24 hours out), I’m not buying into a winter storm here until I see the whites of its dendrites.

Perhaps that’s just stubborn of me, but I refuse to be one that bangs the drum for a snow event days in advance, especially when it’s been harder to get snow on the ground here than getting an angry mouse to wear a mini tuxedo.
Mouse
Let that visual dance around in your head for a bit.

It is frustrating for those that love snow, and it puts more pressure on us to forecast a snow storm in advance. So, you’ll likely hear my “downplay” any remaining snow events. If we even have any!

Here’s to a good week ahead. About 4 weeks to go until the official start of Spring. As we know, that doesn’t mean much in this part of the world. Anything can happen!
-JD

Missing: Winter

The snow lovers are not happy with days like this in February. Yes, I know many of us love highs in the 70s this time of year, but the true die-hard winter weather fans are none too pleased. It’s been tough to get any kind of snow in the greater Kansas City area this winter.
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Feel free to print this out and staple it to telephone poles….

But as I have said many times: there is plenty of winter left to go. Don’t be fooled by a day like this…
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We shattered the record high in Kansas City today.
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It was so nice, people were out and about everywhere. Including the Kansas City Zoo. Check out this time lapse loop from 8am to 4p today:
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I’m curious to know just how many people visited the animals today!

Today marks the third day in a row where the temperature at KCI hit 70 or better. We’ve not had that happen since early November.
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Hopefully you’ve made the most of this nice stretch of weather, it’s about to change.

As we speak, a weak cold front (or a glorified wind shift line) is moving through the area. This has caused a few thunderstorms (!) to pop up in parts of Eastern Missouri.
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There could also be a few showers that try to pop up near the Metro area this evening, but those showers would be very light and I do not expect much rain out of them at all.
The radar depicts a few showers near the area as of 6:30p:
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By and large, I will call it dry for most of us tonight. If you get a few sprinkles in your area, don

In case you were wondering, yes, a chance for severe weather in Eastern Missouri tonight.
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What a day across the area, huh? February is certainly missing!

Do not expect Sunday to be anything like today.
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However, that is all relative. We should still be above average on Sunday with highs in the 50s and even close to 60 in a few areas.
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Overall, not that bad of day for February! Just cooler.

The next “big” thing we’ll be keeping tabs on is a storm system for Tuesday. There is–as you’d expect–some disagreement in the forecast guidance on what will happen. The latest trends put the bulk of the storm to the South of our area, meaning we’ll be on the top edge. This could bring us a glancing chance of moisture. I’ll get more detailed on that in tomorrow’s blog, so check back.

Hope you have a nice evening,
-JD