What Just Happened In Kansas City, And, What Is Next?

Good morning bloggers,

A Major Winter Storm just blasted Kansas City with 4″ to 12″ of snow.  Yes, a few spots reached 1 foot of snow.   And, with temperatures near 32 degrees for the duration of the snow event, it was a wet heavy snow that became so heavy that trees came crashing down.  Some of the trees were pines that rarely ever have a problems.   Sunny The Weather Dog poses in front of this tree, and you can see a tree that is not really looking too normal, and if you look closely you can see the final dusting that came as the system spun by early Sunday morning.


The Storm Time-Line:

5This satellite picture is from Friday night as the storm was maturing:

The LRC provided the insight for Weather2020 to predict this storm 45 days in advance. Then a month in advance W2020 picked out January 12th as the target date for a big storm. Then, after the Chiefs got the bye week and the #1 seed in the AFC, I came on the air every night from December 30th through the next week making these statements; 1)A storm will be targeting the Chiefs home game on January 12th, and 2) this is the blizzard part of the cycling weather pattern! And, then we were the first to make snowfall amounts (Oh, a couple of bloggers went for amounts weeks ago as many of you are doing quite well in forecasting using our top secret information). As the storm approached we upped the totals to 2-5″, then 4-8″ while our competitors apparently had much less predicted. Then the day of I finally pulled the trigger and went 5-10 inches, and it verified everywhere but the official recording station KCI. They reported 4.4″ for a seasonal total now of over 12″.

Here is how the storm played out on Friday into Saturday:

  • Friday morning:  Rain begins falling before noon, and a little surprising was the fact that sleet was mixing in already. An interesting early signal
  • Noon Friday – 1 PM Friday:  Rain changes completely over to snow and stays that way. With temperatures hovering between 33-34 there is little accumulation until later
  • 3 PM -8 PM:  Heavy snow develops near the rain/snow changeover line south of KC and 3 quick inches of snow falls south of KC and 2″ just northeast of the city near Excelsior Springs
  • 8 PM -10 PM:  Viewers tweet out how we blew the forecast because only 1 to 2 inches had fallen. I am on the air trying to explain that the storm just started
  • 10 PM – 7 AM:  It snows all night with 3″ to 7″ accumulating
  • 7 AM -10 AM:  The main upper level low and disturbance shows up on radar, and it started producing a heavy band of snow that became stationary extending from Arrowhead Stadium southwest to just northwest of Chanute, KS.  I found this on radar as you can see below and it was about an hour before this time, or around 7 AM, that we thought an additional few inches of snow would be possible. And, oh my did it happen. My snowfall total on the Plaza went from around 3.5″ to around 9″, or around 5.5″ of snow in four hours.


That system ended up tracking just southeast of KC.   And, here we are on Monday morning, two days later, and none of it has melted yet. There have been many power outages, and we have had great snow for the kids to enjoy.


It has been a very long time since KC had snow to make a snow tunnel, or snow igloo like this one. Very nicely done!

Okay, so where do we go from here?  The Kansas City Chiefs won a home game at Arrowhead Stadium.  The moment is too big for some teams and some players (Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck), and some players just come through (Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes).  They will be facing off against each other in a battle of the best QB ever to play in the NFL against the best QB in the NFL right now.   And, weather is going to be a factor.  Let’s look at the latest data.

This week’s weather:

There is a lead system ahead of the late week stronger storm system.  Take a look:


This map above shows a surface cyclone centered one southwestern Missouri early Thursday.  There will be a chance of rain-sleet-snow as this system rapidly moves by.   There is an Arctic Air mass sitting up to the north, with temperatures dropping to 50 degrees below zero way up over Greenland and northern Canada.  This Arctic air has been sitting up there for a long time, and a surge to the south is finally about to happen.  So, we are issuing an Arctic Air Watch Later This Week!

The Setup for Friday Night-Saturday:


There are still a lot of questions concerning the storm later in the week.  The good news for the AFC Championship game is that this storm will be long gone by Sunday.  The bad news is that it will be very cold for the game.  More on the game day forecast in just a second.  This map above shows the next storm developing with a stronger surface cyclone (low pressure area) centered near Guyman, OK.  An area of heavy snow is predicted to form from Nebraska to South Dakota.  This is the spot that had a blizzard in the last LRC cycle as KC had an inch of rain, a cold blast, and then just 0.3″ of snow on the back side. This time, it appears this system will track farther south:


The track and strength of this storm are still being determined, and we are uncertain on snowfall amounts, and how cold it will get. This is targeting our area and we will learn more in the next 24 hours.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Snow flurries this morning.  Expect a cloudy sky with a few flurries.  High:  33°
  • Tuesday:  Cloudy early with some sun finally breaking out. High: 42°
  • Wednesday:  Increasing clouds and turning colder. High:  36°
  • Thursday’s storm:  Cloudy with a chance of rain-sleet-snow for a short period of time as a system zips by early in the day.  High: 37°
  • Friday:  Cloudy and breezy with rain likely developing during the day. The rain will change to snow Friday night.  High:  39°
  • Saturday:  Snow likely, possibly heavy early in the day.  It will be windy with blowing snow and crashing temperatures dropping into the teens.  Accumulations of snow are likely.
  • Sunday:  Becoming mostly sunny, cold, with the wind dying down.  Temperatures in the single digits to teens.
  • Sunday night for the game:  Dry and cold with light south winds. Temperatures between 5 and 12 degrees.

Temperatures Sunday morning:


Look how cold it is forecast to get by Sunday morning.  That is 0° near KC.  We will know a lot more as we get closer to Friday.  Watch 41 Action News and we will keep you advised.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Here is the link to the blog and have a great day!  Weather2020 Blog


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