We’ll close out 2014 in the freezer

Anyone catch the nice sunset tonight? Clouds cleared out of the Metro late this afternoon, making for a nice finish to the day.
2 PM

If you plan to be outside Sunday, maybe taking in the Chiefs game, I’d suggest taking your sunglasses with you. We should see a fair amount of sunshine. Despite the big ball of fire burning brightly in the Winter sky, it’s not going to warm us up all that much. Highs will be in the upper 30s to right around 40°. For those taking in the final Chiefs game of the regular season, here’s the updated Arrowhead forecast:

Let’s talk about this cold coming in on Tuesday. Not much as changed overall; the timing still seems to be on track as does the magnitude.
3 PM

Comparatively speaking, much colder than where we’ve been as of late. Just look back at the last ten days and you’ll see.

From what I saw today on the latest forecast guidance, this shot of cold will not hang around too long. I expect our highs to get back into the mid to upper 30s by Thursday and Friday, just in time to ring in 2015. Okay, so what about snow? It’s really been lacking this month. To give you an idea, here is a comparison of total snowfall in the month of December over the last few years.

The latest snowfall depth across the country looks like this as of today:

So there are many areas lacking the snow. And while we have a chance Monday night into Tuesday, and again Friday into Saturday, I am just not optimistic it will amount to much at this time. My confidence is high that whatever falls Monday into Tuesday will be very light at best.
When it comes to the snow chances for Friday and Saturday, the latest guidance has really backed down on amounts with both the ECMWF and the GFS Parallel calling for nothing more than a half inch of snowfall. As always, that could still change. The models *do* suggest some meaningful snowfall in Southeastern Missouri. It’s possible that band shifts back Northwest. I’ll keep eyes on it and let you know.

Be sure to catch my TV forecast at 10p tonight and I’m back again Sunday morning and Sunday night. You’ll see plenty of me this weekend!

Snow & cold: a lot of one, little of the other

I’ve been tracking snow on the radar today well to our West and Northwest. The radar as of 7pm looks like this:

The thing is: that activity is moving to the Northeast and at this time, I just do not see anything meaningful impacting the Kansas City area. Models have not been doing a good job with this overall system. All of our in-house models are showing large areas of rain progged to be right over KC at 7pm. As you can see from the radar image above, that’s not happening at all! While there are a few rain echoes trying to develop in Southwest Missouri, I don’t think much of that is hitting the ground.
Nonetheless, here is what the very latest RPM model suggests should be going on at 7pm:
So far, this seems to be the closest to accurate (compared to our in-house stuff and even the RAP model), but it’s still “off” in my opinion. Never good when the short-range models can’t grasp what’s happening!

While I think the bulk of the snow will stay to the North tonight, I cannot rule out some areas Northwest of KC seeing a few snowflakes. Keep those eyes peeled from St. Joseph to the NW.
On Saturday, areas to our South–say from Sedalia/Harrisonville and South–have a shot at seeing a little snow in the morning. Some light accumulation on grassy areas is possible, but I don’t foresee it being much more than that. Here again, many across the viewing area will miss out (including KC).

No matter what, most of us will get the helping of cold air coming in. Check out the temperature map as of 7pm:
Quite the spread just across Missouri. It’s all moving Southeast tonight. We’ll likely see “midnight highs” in Eastern Kansas tonight… meaning it will be warmer at 12:01am than any time during the afternoon. Even in Kansas City, our high for Saturday may happen while you’re sleeping. I only expect middle to low 30s Saturday afternoon. Those around Sedalia and points East may see slightly warmer readings.

That cold air will continue to spill into the area over the weekend, making for highs in the 30s all weekend long. I do believe we’ll get sunshine on Sunday, but that’s not going to help us warm up much. At least we’ll be close to average for the Chiefs game.

I won’t get your hopes up just yet, but there appears to be another chance for snow Monday night into Tuesday. The latest batch of guidance does not look impressive for snowfall with the GFS parallel saying a dusting to 2″ tops, while the Euro model is suggesting nothing more than about 0.75″ of snow.

One thing the models do agree upon (to an extent) is the cold air coming back for next week. Both the operational and the parallel version of the GFS really buy into it, putting lows Wednesday morning in the middle single digits.
Wed AM
Notice the center of high pressure parked over NW Kansas, helping to usher in that cold air. About two-thirds of the country is going to be shivering, so expect to hear exaggerated headlines about the “Arctic Plunge”. One shouldn’t forget it’ll be almost January; you know, when it’s supposed to be cold in this part of the world!

I digress. The Euro model is not as cold as the GFS; it claims we are in the lower teens. Either way, it’s going to be a cold finish to 2014 compared to these last few days.

I’ll continue to refine the forecast over the weekend and give updates here on the blog. If you happen to see any snowflakes tonight, feel free to pass along the photos!
In the meantime, I leave you with this:

Stay warm and Merry Christmas to you,

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Bloggers,

It’s a somewhat quiet Christmas morning, weather wise, around North America:


I got up early and took the dogs with me to get a workout in. It is Breezy’s 9th birthday and she trained me this morning, LOL:

Dogs wo 2

It will be warming up today.  Have a great Christmas and I will be at work tracking this changing weather pattern. If you missed our winter forecast we are showing it on the 4 PM newscast this afternoon.


Christmas Eve Thoughts

Good morning bloggers,

It was snowing at 3 AM when I wrote this Christmas Eve blog entry.  Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  Yesterday we issued an Arctic Air Outbreak Watch!  And, last night on 41 Action News we showed the 7 day forecast with the Arctic blast developing and reaching KC next week.  It is going to get very cold. How cold? We will talk about that in the next few days.  

We will be tracking Santa Clause tonight on 41 Action News. We have our Santa Tracker ready to go.



Today is the last shopping day before Christmas. Did you get it all done?  Let us know if you saw any of these snowflakes.


Maybe Some Snow Early On Christmas Eve

Good morning bloggers,

Some Snow Is Possible On Christmas Eve!  Arctic Air Watch Next Two Weeks!

We are in the dry slot this morning as this storm system reorganizes. As it does, a new storm will be developing and it will bring mostly rain to a large part of the eastern United States. As usual, the National Media was on “hype” mode this morning calling it a massive storm that will create “major travel problems that will affect millions”.  This is what I heard again this morning from multiple sources. There may be some travel problems, but it is not nearly as bad as it could be if this were a major winter storm. Why isn’t it? Because there isn’t enough cold air available, but that is about to change.  According to the LRC, an Arctic Outbreak is likely in the next ten days, so Weather2020 issued an Arctic Outbreak Watch:

Arctic Outbreak Forecast

The part of the pattern that produced the Arctic outbreak in November is now developing right on schedule. There are still a few questions, so let’s see how it evolves.

For tonight:


As the storm redevelops and reorganizes overnight, there is a chance that a band of snow will form and rotate in from the north and west.  There is a pretty good chance that we will see snowflakes falling on Christmas Eve morning before this storm pulls away.  Now, it could be more than just a few snowflakes. The latest NAM model does form the upper low in an ideal location to create a more significant snow band right over our heads in the morning. Let’s see if this trend shows up on the other models.

Have a great day. We will go over the details on 41 Action News.


A storm system on the first day of winter

Good morning bloggers,

A storm system is in the process of developing over the plains states today.  Rain is spinning around a developing disturbance this morning with the heaviest rain now approaching Kansas City:


You can see some pockets of moderate to heavy rain developing as this area grows and moves across.  The yellow pockets indicate pretty good downpours. By later tonight into Christmas Eve morning it will become cold enough for some snow, but the storm will be pulling away at that time.  The latest NAM model does show some potential for a minor dusting to a half inch accumulation Tuesday night, and this is something we will be monitoring closely. How cold will it be at the surface, and will the precipitation be organized at all Tuesday night? Either way, this is not a cold storm system.

Have a great day, and we will keep you updated. I am not too happy with our Kansas City Chiefs. It’s hard to believe they were 7-3 five weeks ago.  What’s your take on what happened?


Hello Winter!

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today is the Winter Solstice.

What is it?

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. It occurs when the sun’s daily maximum height in the sky is at its lowest, and the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun. This results in the least number of daylight hours and the longest night of the year.  The sun shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn as the North Pole is tilted away from the sun at is maximum of 23.5°.


So, are we going to have any winter weather for Santa?  Well, it depends on a two part storm system for this week.  Lets go through the weather today into Christmas eve.


It will be cloudy with areas of mist and temperatures 40° to 45°.


Tonight we begin to feel the affects of part #1 of the storm system.


Periods of drizzle will be likely with temperatures staying in the low 40s, so no ice/snow will occur.



The main part of part #1 of the storm system moves by with rain showers.  Rainfall amounts will be trace-.20″.  Rain will be falling all the way to Omaha and Des Moines, so no icing if you have plans to travel north on I-29 or I-35.



Part #1 of the system moves away.  There will be a light mix to rain in Chicago, so if you have plans to head up there, it does not look like a big deal, perhaps some small delays.  Here in KC it will come close to 50° behind the rain and ahead of a cold front.  This is not a strong cold front.  It will drop us to where we should be for this time of year, highs in the 30s.



Now to part #2 of the storm system.  This part will track southeast through the Rockies into the southern Plains on Tuesday.  Tuesday afternoon will see a small area of mixed precipitation form in north Texas.  Our area will be cloudy, breezy and cold with a few flurries.



The second part of the storm system intensifies rapidly as it heads northeast into the Ohio Valley and Midwest.  It will stay well east of our area.  We will just see clouds, flurries and a northwest breeze at 10-25 mph with highs in the 30s.  So, it will not be  a White Christmas, but we may see a few snow flakes to add atmosphere.  The east coast will have rain and wind with some severe thunderstorms in the deep southeast USA.  A band of snow will occur from St. Louis to Chicago to Detroit east.  So, these cities are on the western edge.  It does not look as strong as it did Saturday and it will track further east.  So, there will be travel impacts, air and ground on Christmas Eve, mostly east of the Mississippi river.



Have a great day and happy holidays.



Here Comes The Sun!

Good Saturday bloggers,

It has been days since we have seen the sun.  Well, today the sun will shine down upon us as a clearing line approaches from the west as I write this.  This will be an active few days of weather as a strong storm system forms in the middle of the USA early Christmas week.  It is going to come close to KC.  So, lets go through the next few days as this storm will impact travel.

SATELLITE PIC EARLY SATURDAY:  The clearing line will move through, but later today the clouds from the south will move back in.  Highs will rise to the low 40s with the sun.



SUNDAY 3 PM: The clouds are back with some mist as highs warm to the mid to upper 40s.



MONDAY 7 AM: Part #1 of the strong storm moves through with a band of rain showers.  We could see a trace to .15″.  Temperatures will be in the 40s.


MONDAY 3 PM: After part #1 moves by we will see southwest wind and some sun.  This will take our temperatures to near 50°.


Then, colder air will rush in Monday night as part #2 of the storm forms in the southern Plains.  This will become the main part of the storm system for early next week.  As it stands now, it will track up I-44 bringing rain, snow and wind from Springfield to St. Louis.  We will have to watch for it to form a bit further west.  In that case then KC could be impacted.  Even if the storm does track along I-44 we could see some snow showers and flurries.




CHRISTMAS EVE: The storm really intensifies and becomes a full blown snowstorm across northern Illinois and Wisconsin.  So, if you have travel plans to Milwaukee or Chicago airport delays are quite likely.  The east coast will have rain and wind and likely airport delays as well.


Have a great week and happy holidays


First Snow of the Season

Good Thursday bloggers,

The snow is about over and amounts played out just about as forecasted.  The heavier band along I-35 was about 10 miles west of where Gary had the band last night.  But, our 1″-3″ forecast turned out well.

Wider view of radar estimated snow totals.



This is just a radar estimate.  So, we would love to have your snow totals as nothing beats the human touch.

The rest of today will be cloudy with flurries and some mist as temperatures rise to 32-34.  There will be a chance of re-freezing tonight and some black ice, so be aware of that.


Gary will have more later.

Have a great day and enjoy the snow.  It is good snowman snow.


The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

2 AM Update:

Good morning bloggers,

An extremely heavy snow band tracked across Olathe to Downtown. This clipped the Plaza and an inch of snow fell and the snowflake contest ended around 2:30 AM.  4″ fell in Merriam, YES FOUR inches of snow from that band fell in parts of the KC Metro area, while others were less than an inch.  New areas of snow are increasing to the west, so most areas will end up in that 1 to 4 inch forecast range.  There has been some graupel (snow pellets) that cut into totals in areas that did not get the heavy snow band.  Let us know how much you end up with when you wake up.


Previous entry below:

Good late evening bloggers,

As Tom Petty sang, “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”. I think that is how it goes. If you stare at radar it can drive you nuts. At 9:40 PM the radar echoes began rapidly increasing, so hang on. Remember we aren’t forecasting a major snowstorm here. Widespread 1 to 3 inch amounts are what we are forecasting. There may be a couple of pockets with more than that.  Here is the map I am showing at 10 PM:


So, try to be patient. There is no way this one goes “poof”. Now it may around 6 or 7 AM, but not for the next seven hours. It is coming and 1 to 3 inches will fall. Let us know when you see your first snowflakes.  Have a great night. I will check in later.