Winter Weather Special Tonight

Good morning bloggers,

Our winter weather special is on tonight at 6:30 PM on 41 Action News.  There are some special segments about what the animals at the Kansas City zoo do in the cold weather; we go to Arrowhead stadium as they “may” be playing two home playoff games, so how do they remove all that snow if a storm hits in January; and our entire weather team chimes in on their winter predictions.  Now, here is an important note. We recorded this special two weeks ago, so our forecasts came out before this recent storm hit.  It will be interesting for myself to watch this from that perspective.  We have already exceeded the past three winters totals.  Wow!


The Weather Pattern:


The weather pattern is quite fascinating this morning.  Okay, I am always fascinated by the cycling pattern as described by the LRC.  Two storm systems are lining up and developing in the next few days.  The first storm will blast into the west coast.  The jet stream continues to strengthen as winter is approaching. The jet stream is caused by the “Thermal Wind” which is not really a wind at all.  The thermal wind is really not a wind at all, and more of a description of a change of wind with height.  It is the mechanism that forces the strengthening of the jet stream and this is located at around 30,o0o feet to 40,000 feet above us.  It is actually created and caused by temperature contrast, so when winter approaches and we move into the end of January around a month later, the temperature contrast is the strongest where it can be 50 below zero near the North Pole and still 90 degrees over Mexico. This is a 140° contrast, while at its weakest point in early August, it may be 30 degrees at the North Pole and 100 degrees over Mexico, or half the strength at 70° contrast, and thus a weaker Thermal Wind.  Oh my, I am getting depressed today.

Well, as you look above, you can see the influence from some blocking aloft.  The High, with the red arrows showing the circulation, is a block that formed (AO and NAO went negative recently). It is not that strong.  In future LRC cycles it may be stronger.  It still has had an influence on our weather pattern, and may be the reason why this recent snowstorm tracked a bit farther south.  It was likely an important factor.  And, there is a strengthening series of two storms for us to track as they intensify west of California (great and bad news for that fire devastated region as there may be some mudslides and flooding).  They need the rain out there, as it will green up the hills and reduce fire danger during the winter months, unless it dries out again?  I think the rain will be heavy enough to turn it green in the fire danger regions.

2What happens next will be interesting for the KC region and surrounding regions.  The first storm is likely going to bring mostly rain to our area, with some snow possible not that far away in Nebraska and Iowa.  The second system may bring KC our next snow as early as Monday. You can see these two systems on this map on the left.  The jet stream is strong and far to the south, likely in response to the little blocking we had.  Dew points will likely rise as Friday nights storm approaches. This should help warm Kansas City into the 40s Friday evening with a good chance of rain. And, then we will monitor the track of this first storm as it moves by, and gets kicked east by the second system.

Take a look at what the second system produced on last nights model run:


Yes, that is snow, and heavy snow, and there are other solutions ranging from flurries to a few inches next Monday.  We are usually thinking this will be our first chance of an inch of snow, and not this year! Here we go already, bloggers. Let’s see how these systems line up today.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experiencing featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let us know if you have any questions by going to the Weather2020 blog and joining in our discussion.  Have a great day. There are many slick spots out there, so give yourself some extra time!


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