Good morning bloggers,
The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the entire viewing area! Significant amounts of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will occur across all areas on Thursday. I will go over the difference between sleet and freezing rain below.
- Today: Thickening clouds & staying dry. East to northeast winds 5-15 mph. Wind chills near zero this morning. High: 28°
- 6 PM-Midnight: Staying dry with easterly winds 10-20 mph. Temperatures between 24° and 28°
- Midnight-6 AM: Snow and sleet spreading across the area reaching Kansas City by sometime between 3 and 6 AM. Low: 23°
- Thursday: Significant amounts of snow and sleet. Some freezing rain is also possible for areas farther south. High: 28°
- Thursday Evening Rush Hour: Snow tapering off to flurries or freezing drizzle, but likely continuing into the late evening hours with some minor additional accumulation possible. Temperatures between 28° and 30°
Total accumulations in the Kansas City metro area are expected to range from 5 to 10 inches. Thunderstorms are likely with this system, and these thunderstorms will even be likely in the all snow areas. The snowfall and sleet rates from the thunderstorms will likely be significantly enhanced and lead to some locally higher amounts. Snowfall rates could reach 3″ per hour in the heavier areas of precipitation from the expected thunderstorms. So, there may be a few spots that get near or over one foot of snow.
Here is our snow/sleet forecast map:
A strong storm system is near Los Angeles, CA this morning. The track of this storm is very important and will help decide which areas have all snow, a mixture of sleet and snow, all sleet, or possibly some freezing rain. Here is the satellite picture taken at 6 AM this morning:
If you are located along and northwest of the main upper level storm track the precipitation will likely be in the form of snow for the duration of Thursday’s storm which will allow for higher snowfall accumulations. Southeast of the path of the main upper level storm will likely see at least a brief changeover to sleet and this will cut into some of the accumulations. The exact track of the upper level storm, now near Los Angeles, is still a bit uncertain. It does look like the track of this system will come very close to Kansas City. With the storm just now beginning to turn our way the exact track is still uncertain.
The above map shows the forecast track of the upper level storm from the 06z (Midnight) GFS model run. Look how close it comes to Kansas City. It will likely go either just north or just south of this track. South of the track of the upper level storm a thin layer of above freezing temperatures above the ground will be forced into the storm and this is why there will be some significant and heavy sleet southeast of the track. Farther south there is still a chance of some freezing rain. let’s go over the differences:
- Sleet: Ice pellets or frozen rain. It is already in the form of ice and will not collect on power lines. It will accumulate on the ground more like snow. It is really more like very small hailstones. Sleet is a frozen raindrop.
- Freezing Rain: This is really just rain, but temperatures are below freezing near the ground. The liquid rain drops freeze on contact with surfaces and can accumulate to create major problems. This water freezes on powerlines and all other surfaces creating power outages and very slick driveways, roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces
Fortunately we are not expecting much freezing rain from this storm. We are expecting most of the precipitation to be in the form of snow and sleet. There may still be an area farther south that ends up with some freezing rain and this will likely be south of an Oak Grove, MO to Pleasanton, KS line. We will be monitoring these precipitation types closely.
We will update the blog later this afternoon or evening. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.