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A Winter Storm Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for areas north and northwest of Kansas City.
There are still many concerns/questions that will need to be answered as this storm approaches/develops over the plains states Wednesday and Wednesday night.
- Fact 1: The energy that will help carve out this storm system is still off the west coast this morning
- Fact 2: Warm air is being drawn northward and will be in place ahead of this storm
- Fact 3: This storm will become negatively tilted and stronger just as it approaches and passes Kansas City Wednesday night.
This first map on the left shows the energy moving in this morning. There isn’t any organization at all to this storm yet. By Thursday morning the storm goes through a major transition.
You can click on either of these maps for a larger view. The map on the right shows the 500 mb flow GFS model forecast valid at 6 AM Thursday. Notice how there is a little circle near Kirksville, MO showing the organization and intensification of this storm that will be heading into the Great Lakes states. The window of opportunity for snow will open wide for about four to eight hours if this storm takes this track as shown here.
Here is the surface map from the same GFS model valid at midnight Wednesday night:
This surface map shows the strong 996 mb surface low near Springfield, MO at midnight Wednesday night. The blue dashed line is the 540 thickness line which is often the rain/snow changeover line. It would be passing through around midnight. This changeover line could pass through within two to three hours of midnight. The blue shade shows strong northwest winds at around 30 mph with higher gusts. It will become quite windy as the snow begins to fall and it would cause some blowing and drifting of the snow.
Here is the snowfall forecast map we have been showing on 41 Action News. I made this yesterday afternoon at 4 PM and it is just our initial thoughts from two and a half days away from the storm. Now, we are 24 hours closer and there are some adjustments to this map that we will make and update today on 41 Action News. The National Weather Service is now predicting 2 to 4 inches near Kansas City. I would like to wait and see how the computer models trend on this storm before we shift this south a bit as the energy is just now coming ashore. We will update our snowfall forecast later today and share it with you in an updated blog this evening.
- Today: Sunny with a high of 54°
- Tonight: Clear with a low of 35°
- Wednesday: Increasing clouds with a northeast breeze at around 15 mph. High: 49°
- Wednesday 4 PM-9 PM: Increasing chance of rain with temperatures in the upper 40s
- Wednesday 9 PM – 1 AM Thursday: Rain likely changing to snow
- Thursday 1 AM-6 AM: Snow likely for two to five hours
Looking ahead to Christmas week:
Another storm is showing up for Christmas week. The flow aloft is blocking up and an Arctic air mass is growing. An Arctic blast is possible and a storm is likely going to form around Christmas Eve into Christmas Day just to our west and southwest and then slowly move our way. There is a very high probability that a storm affects us next week, but the details are not clear at all at this point. The models have been showing all kinds of solutions, but they are all trending into a fairly big storm system.
Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog. Let us know if you have any comments or questions.
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