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| February 2007 »
Heavier band forming south of Kansas City...Major Accidents
We have had major accidents including a 35 car pile up on I-35. This 1 to 1 1/2" snow storm is causing more problems than some of the bigger snow events. Please be careful.
Below is a radar image taken around 12:50 PM. I circled the significant band of snow which developed during the past hour. It will shift east and south. This area may see 2 inches or more. The rest of us will get between 1/2" and 1" the way it is looking right now. Maybe a little more in a few spots. But, I think we will end up with our forecasted one inch of snow.
Click to enlarge (you can see the developing band to the south)
There have been a lot of accidents reported so please take it slow. The snow should taper off in a few hours. Watch the newscasts tonight as we look ahead to more winter weather.
Posted by at 12:54 PM
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Snow is increasing!
11:08 AM ESP RADAR
Good late morning. The snow continues to increase. We are now expecting 1" to 2" across the south metro area with 1/2" to 1 1/2" between KCI and St. Joseph. There is a wave of energy aloft moving across southwest Kansas right now and should pass us by around 7 PM. Once it passes the snow should shift well off to the east. Exciting for snow lovers.
Be careful out there as the roads are immediately getting covered. More later this afternoon.
Posted by at 11:14 AM
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Morning Update Update
The morning data is rolling in and look below to see what the NAM does.
Click to enlarge
That's about a tenth to .15 of an inch through this evening. If the ratio works out to be 15 or 20 to one then we are looking at 1.5 to 2 inches or snow. Radar trends look good as Gary pointed out earlier and they continue to look good. Snow should be here by 10am and I could see it lightly snowing for 6 to 8 hours. When you start seeing snow, blog me, we'll track it on KC Live at 10:00am.
Have a great morning,
Posted by at 8:22 AM
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Snow is developing early this morning
This is a special weather statement! Snow is developing and growing steadily to our west. It is now down to NOWCASTING. We will keep you updated this morning as the NBC Action Weather team tracks this developing snow event. It still looks like about one inch or less. There is still some potential for a little more than one inch as well. It is cold and the ratio could be 15 or 20 to 1.
5:50 AM ESP radar image
Above, you can see the rapid development of the snow to our west. Exciting for snow lovers. Yes, this won't be a big storm system. It is still an interesting weather day!
Posted by at 5:56 AM
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It is cold!
The data continues to trend away from any significant snow. It won't take much to have one inch of snow.......but the data is trending away from any accumulation at all. Most of the models do produce about .05". This would be blowing in the roads type of snow and possibly just a dusting. This is a light precipitation event and a little bit more then we could see an inch or so. But, a bit weaker and there is no accumulation. I will be covering this tonight on the newscasts.
In the longer range it is just as difficult. The GFS today held in the cold air for 10 days and beyond with some snow chances. We don't see any storm systems that could produce anything significant yet. One may show up but just not at this moment.
The Arctic front coming on Friday is stronger than this one, but there is almost no chance of accumulation with this front. I don't want to completely rule it out as we know things can change and fast.
Posted by at 2:36 PM
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Late January weather pattern and snow chance
Good afternoon everyone,
I am about to leave for work and I thought I would leave this out to think about. We will briefly discuss the weather pattern and more specifically go over the snow chance on Wednesday, which is quite a strange set up.
First of all the weather pattern. I know many of you are with me with the fact that this weather pattern is still the same one. I firmly believe that the weather pattern is continuing to cycle and likely on a 40 to 45 day period. This cold wave should have lasted longer in December than it did, but for various reasons the Pacific flow wiped out the Arctic air faster. This time through the cycle the "long term" long waves continue to dominate the pattern, but instead of the 145 west ridge as the most dominant feature, it is the Hudson Bay, Great Lakes low that has come back and dominated. You can go to the winter forecast and see that this is one of the features that was clearly expected this winter. Here is the link:
It appears that we have two streams of air that will combine to bring Kansas City more of a real winter as compared to the past few years. One big feature is a cold air generating system near the Great Lakes that will likely return over and over.
The above is what we wrote back on November 10th, and below is the map I drew. This is just a rough map of where I thought the mean longwaves were likely going to be. Amazingly, this is what has happened. But, when the Canadian/Great Lakes upper low and trough have dominated the storm systems seemingly have stopped coming. With the exception of small systems this week. This may all break down in the next week or two. I am expecting it too, then the southwestern upper lows may return.
Click to enlarge
Now, let's look ahead to our chance of snow. A strong cold front will pass through tonight with a few flurries possible, then another wave is dropping south out of Canada around the Upper low/trough and dropping into the northern Rockies. This is stretching and dropping in just enough west to allow a connection to the moisture to our south. This is important and a rather delicate balance. It appears that we will be in a zone of lifting to allow for snow to fall on Wednesday for a few hours. Possibly enough for some minor accumulation.
Click to enlarge (500 mb flow valid 6 PM Wednesday)
Click to enlarge (GFS 850 mb forecast Wednesday 6 PM)
The above two maps say a lot. The top map is the 500 mb map forecast for 6 PM Wednesday. mb stands for milibar. 500 mb is roughly halfway through the atmosphere in weight so it is one of our favorite levels to track the movement of storm systems. You can see, circled, a stream of vorticity that has developed or been picked up from the southern stream. This is helping pull in some nice amounts of moisture just above the surface and will be the fuel for the snow. The second map shows this well. The dark green shade at 850 mb, or around 5,000 feet up is 90% relative humidity or higher meaning that it is a saturated layer. Since we have a very cold air mass in place this MUST result in snow. But, as I said this is still tricky with the wave coming south from Canada. How will it look tonight and what will it really do on Wednesday? The trend is for some snow and at least one inch. This is not a strong storm so a little weaker and it may not be more than flurries. I lean towards a slightly stronger solution.
I will have some special graphics tonight on the 5, 6, and 10 PM newscasts. We will have two new sets of data to track for the 10 PM newscast.
I hope all of this makes sense. Have a great day! I will try to get to your questions later on.
Posted by at 11:47 AM
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Stronger cold fronts are coming
I am back in Kansas City after a great trip away to Las Vegas. I actually caught up on my sleep, saw a couple of shows, and still paid attention to the weather. The hotel room had a television that popped out of a desk and with internet connection. So, I had a big screen with the weather data on it. This is likely the wave of the future to have our computer on the big screen televisions.
Another Arctic front is approaching. This will move through tonight and there may be a few flurries this evening as it moves by. Wind chill factors could be well below zero overnight and Tuesday morning. Then, an upper level storm will pass through on Wednesday with a very good chance of snow. We will likely up our chance today after the new data comes in. Snow is likely Wednesday with some minor accumulation. How much? It may get the ground all white again, but the disturbance will be moving very fast. Below, you can see the disturbance moving our way at noon Wednesday. A bit stronger and more concentrated and the snow could last a few hours, but a bit weaker then it could last only one or two hours on Wednesday. But, we believe it will snow on Wednesday and this is what we will be tracking over the next 48 hours.
Click to enlarge (Wednesday at noon, the disturbance heading our way)
An even stronger Arctic front will move through on Friday. Right now there isn't a storm associated with this, so the threat of snow is there, but it would be another minor event and we will look for subtle changes. It won't take much for snow Friday or Friday night, but right now the computer models are saying only flurries. If this trough forming over North America were just a bit sharper and further west then we could have a more significant storm on Friday, but the trend is not in that direction.
Click to enlarge (Thursday night showing the Arctic flow)
After this moves through, the Great Lakes vortex, or closed low, will be quite strong. The pattern is about to go through a transition at this point. So, more on the changing pattern in the next few days. Bundle up and get ready for the harshest winter weather we have had yet this season.
Posted by at 5:48 AM
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Up, Down, Up, Down...Snow, Snow, Snow
The title of the blog is the best cheerleading that I can do for cold and snow lovers! The up and down represents temperatures which were in the mid-20s today...but are set to return to the 30s for one day. The early part of this week will bring two cold fronts through the region(much like this weekend). The first front shifts the wind to the NW...and the second front drops the temps. So Monday will produce highs in the 30s and don't be surprised to see a few flurries in the late afternoon and into the evening along the arctic front. Once the front passes it will be windy and cold with low 20s for highs on Tuesday.
Now onto the snow chances. The 18Z continues to produce some light snow on Wednesday with an odd storm. I'll call it a hybrid clipper. It is still too early to talk snow amounts but it may be enough to turn the ground white in spots again. Another snow chance is in the forecast for late Thursday into Friday. This storm has been all over the place on recent model runs. For this storm to amount to much we need a deeper trough to develop over the West. Right now the models aren't locked into that...but keep in mind this is still about 5 days away.
The coldest air of the season looks to move into the area by next weekend. Highs are forecast in the teens right now...but if snow is on the ground we may have to trim 5-6 degrees off daytime highs and push overnight lows below zero. So lots of uncertainty in the forecast headed into this week. One thing that DOES look certain is this...more below average temps are on the way...and likely the coldest of the season by next weekend.
Gary returns to blogger nation on Monday morning and will have his thoughts on the ups and downs and snow chances.
Posted by jnelson at 5:45 PM
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Quick Cold & Snow Update
Outside of a stray flurry the rest of the night will be dry...but VERY COLD. Temperatures are already in the teens and will likely drop into the single digits in spots. Winds will remain gusty tonight, so if you are out and about or just letting the dog out dress warm. Wind chills are in the single digits above and below zero. The good news is that this first chunk of Canadian air will only last 1 day.
Here's an update on the recent trends. The snow chance for Wednesday remains in the forecast and looks to be on the light side. It will be interesting to see how far the late week storm can push north. The 18Z GFS and 12Z GEM(Canadian Model) keeps much of the snow to our south...but a slight shift north would put us in a decent area of snow...at least enough to get the ground white again. The question of snow cover will directly impact how cold we get in 6-9 days when the core of the cold air begins to decend on the KC. IF there is snow...teens for highs would be a good bet with overnight lows well below zero. Keep in mind a lot of things have to happen for this scenario to pan out. The snow is a the most uncertain thing right now...but the cold looks like a lock for next weekend( at the very least below average temps).
Thanks for the reports of flurries and snow showers earlier today. If you have anything on your mind let me know. I should have time to answer some comments or questions this evening.
Posted by jnelson at 7:19 PM
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Saturday Afternoon Update
I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Expect an area of mainly flurries(possibly a few snow showers) to push through the region this afternoon. No accumulation is expected. Otherwise, it will just be windy and turning sharply colder as the day wears on. Temperatures are below zero in parts of Minnesota this afternoon!
After the 18Z GFS comes out I'll post some new thoughts. The core of the cold air seems to shift east, then back over the Midwest, then east again with each model run. For now I'm forecasting the coldest air(same as the past several days) for just after Feb. 1. We may have a day or two with highs in the teens. We'll see if the trends continue. If you see flurries this afternoon please let me know!
Posted by jnelson at 2:31 PM
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Welcome to winter...
If anybody was fooled that we haven't experienced much winter weather so far this season...hang on! The transition into the cold will be quick, but somewhat gradual. After a high of 52 at KCI and 53 downtown, temps will fall back into the 30s for Saturday. Expect a couple of clipper systems early next week. The systems will bring a brief 'warm-up' with highs in the 30s, then they will be followed by a shot of cold air. That is the early part of the week.
The 18Z GFS pushes a system just to our south late Tuesday into early Wednesday. I'm not sold that the storm misses us so we've kept the snow chance in the forecast. The main factor on where this storm tracks is how far south the cold air drops by Tuesday and how far north the moisture extends. So will we be cold and dry or cold with some snow? That is question one. The next question is how far south will the true arctic make it by early February. The 18Z GFS pushes the coldest air in by February 2(teens for highs?). Then there is a stretch of cold temps and maybe some flurries or light snow chances before the next possible storm. If you are hoping for snow chances your best hope at the moment is around January 30-31 and then again Feb. 4. Overall the pattern looks cold with no real signs of a warm-up to 5-10 degrees above average until maybe mid-Feb.
Looking back at KC weather records the cold air that is forecast around the start of February may be the coldest since the last week of January and first week of February of 2004. From January 25 to Feb. 7 there were 5 days with highs in the teens, 7 days with highs in the 20s, and 2 days in the low 30s. During this streak there was little to no snow on the ground!. Even more amazing is that the cold snap ended when a storm produced 8" of snow in KC. After the snow there was one cold day in the teens, then temps warmed back to the 30s.
With the recent model trends, the LRC pattern, and history...it looks like February will bring an exciting and wintry weather pattern to KC.
Posted by jnelson at 7:44 PM
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Here comes the cold!
The first of two weekend cold fronts is about to enter the viewing area. As of 5pm it is just northwest of St. Joe. The first front will drop temps into the 30s for Saturday, and then a second reinforcing shot of cold air arrives for Sunday.
I'll blog again this evening with thoughts on the REALLY cold air mass that might pay a visit the first week of February. I think this would give people 'sticker shock' when they see their heating bills at the end of February!
Alright...if you missed the 5pm show I briefly showed ocean-effect clouds just off the northeast coast. You can view these by checking out the infrared picture of the NE. A good satellite website is:
We'll talk more later...
Posted by jnelson at 5:30 PM
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The next 10-15 days will see increasingly colder weather with 2-3 snow chances. As the next 5-7 days go by a large ridge is going to build around 140 degrees west latitude (fits the LRC). It appears it will become full latitude. See map #1. This large ridge will force a deep trough to carve out over the eastern 3/4 of the USA. Several cold fronts will move through the next 10 days, each one reinforcing our cold.
What about snow? Well, this will depend on how much energy can drop into the Rockies on the west side of this large trough. With the cold air in place it will not take much upper level energy to create areas of snow. The latest 18Z GFS has more Rockies energy than previous runs. Thus, it has 2-3 snow chances. One is at 144 hours, the other at 204 hours. See map #2. These would not be huge storms, but could each produce a few inches. If we get snow on the ground, it will really get cold here!
MAP #1: VALID NEXT WEDNESDAY
CLICK TO ENLARGE
MAP #2: VALID IN 9 DAYS
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Posted by at 5:16 PM
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Long Range Trend & Websites
I promised an update after the 6pm news. If you missed the show it looks like after Friday we will see a stretch of 7-10 with average to below average temps. Probably a lot of days with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens. It would be colder, but I'm counting on a lot of the snow melting on Friday. A true arctic air mass may visit the area around Feb. 1, this could bring the coldest air in several years to Kansas City. Don't get too excited yet...because this will likely change one way or another. Anyway you look at things though, it is going to get cold and stay cold for an extended period.
Now how about snow chances. With each cold front a few flurries are possible. You won't find flurries mentioned in our 7 day at the moment for a couple of reasons. The chances are very small and the fronts will have little to no moisture to work with. After we get past Feb. 1 it looks like the ridge in the west will retreat or retrograde west and allow some pieces of energy to drop into the Southwest U.S. With cold air in place and moisture flowing north the ingredients would be in place for the storms to work with. The best time from looks to be late in the first week of February. This is a long way out but many people have been asking when the next 'good' chance of a storm may occur. This active period would also fit in the LRC.
Now on to my favorite websites. I'll put the sites below after I tell you about each. One of these was created by a friend and former co-worker when I was in Madison. The site is good for those who are interested in weather and want to take some time to explore and surf the weather sites. He broke the site down into categories such as models, satellite, radar, etc. Check it out and ask questions if you need help.
The next website is for more advanced weather lovers. Although a couple aspects are great even for casual weather lovers when storms approach. This site puts the weather model information in a numerical output. Many fields are visible such as 2 meter temps(roughly surface temps), precipitation, wind direction, etc. The complex thing about this site is that you can view data for EVERY level of the atmosphere for almost any parameter you can imagine. This site is also tremendous during severe weather. I'll go through and example to get you started. There are several choices to select. Let's leave it on the NAM. Now under station you can put ANY 3 letter weather identifier in there. KC, St. Joe, Lee's Summitt, New York City, Las Vegas, etc. So for Kansas City you could put Kmci or Kmkc. The capital K always needs to be ahead of the 3 letter identifier. Now click submit. Then click on extracted file. Now opens A LOT of numbers. Near the top is the model run time and date. This is the 12Z NAM for Jan 24.
For now just look at this and explore. The 6hr precipitation is what most people will be interested in. When a storm approaches the number for each 6 hour period must be added to get the storm total. So instead of looking at the NAM computer model and saying...there's dark blue over Kansas City...that's about .30" liquid. You can now go directly into the numerical data and see the forecast total.
This site is kind of complex...so feel free to ask questions.
Posted by jnelson at 7:41 PM
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Back to the grind...
Gary is enjoying some much needed and deserved time off the rest of this week. I will be filling in for Gary on the 5, 6, & 10pm newscasts the remainder of this week. Jeff and I will try to keep everyone updated on the latest weather trends in Gary's absence. I'll also pass along a few of my favorite weather sites that Gary may or may not have mentioned before.
The first question that some may ask is where did the weekend snow chance go? The answer is that the chance is so small and it would likely only be flurries that we have removed the chance for Friday Night into Saturday. The upper low remains in the southern Plains and if we do see some flurries it would be from a moisture starved cold front. The cold air will move into the area this weekend and it will be a biting cold air mass(considering it will be in the low 50s on Friday). Highs on Sunday will likely be in the 20s. The cold air still looks like it will linger for much of next week. We'll continue to keep you updated and post more information after the 6pm newscast.
Posted by jnelson at 3:58 PM
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Brett Blogs Again
I have blogged more in 2007 than I did the previous two years. I really like the interaction with everyone. You all have great forecasting thoughts, questions and suggestions.
On to this morning's forecast. This Arctic invasion that looks to be certain for the first weekend of February continues to show up on the models this morning.
Click to enlarge
The above map is last night's European model 500 mb forecast for 240 hours, or Saturday, February 3rd. It looks very cold but already not as cold as some of the data looked yesterday.
One set of numerical data I looked at yesterday had a high in the teens here around the 3rd, this morning it looks like 23-30 degrees. That just shows you how models can indicate a trend but by no means can be leaned on as "The Forecast". Still pretty COLD!
With that said, let me invite all of you to join me Saturday, February 3rd at Longview Lake for the Polar Bear Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Missouri. The plunge is at 2pm. That same day, plungers will go under at Shawnee Mission Park Lake in Lenexa. That too benefits Special Olympics Kansas. I have plunged 3 out of the last 4 years. It should be a "cool" time.
See you at the plunge right?
Posted by at 6:34 AM
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The band of showers went by aloft. I didn't see anything come out of the sky. So, what is next?
Click to enlarge
The above map is this mornings European model 500 mb forecast for 240 hours, or 10 days from now. The GFS and ensemble runs are all showing this trend. We have noticed the GFS to be superior to this ECMWF model. The GFS locks thing up, but not as much as the European model which would make more sense and we have to still watch for some energy to break through the developing ridge once it forms. This flow, though, will support two or three Arctic intrusions of air. And, it could last a while with the potential for snow every few days, and a possibility of a big winter storm even though one isn't showing up yet. This is still a few days away, but the models have been trending in this direction and this does fit with the LRC. Read the winter forecast and you can see this is what we anticipated when we made our winter forecast.
It hasn't happened yet. So we will keep tracking this situation carefully. Watch the newscasts tonight and the rest of this week as these changes approach.
The storm that is forecast to move across the southern plains states on Saturday appears that it will go too far south to affect us in any major way. And, we have to watch Wednesday morning carefully for some light snow in the morning with some low clouds moving through.
Bloggers...........Suddenly winter is on the verge of getting an A grade. This after F with 5 minuses last year and F with three minuses the year before.
Posted by at 3:21 PM
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A band of sleet, snow, something
There is a band of precipitation associated with a little disturbance moving across the area. It should pass through fairly quickly between now and 4 PM. Later this afternoon we will blog about the potential for a brutal Arctic outbreak that may be in the forecast within 10 days.
In the mean time let us know if you see any snowflakes, graupel, or whatever it is that is heading our way.
Posted by at 2:23 PM
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Seasonal snowfall totals
Well, we are one third of the way through winter, but we are really about half way through the snow season. Let's say snow season begins around November 20th and ends around March 30th. These snow totals include the sleet and ice accumulations. Update us on your entire totals if you have been keeping track.
Totals so far:
Pleasanton, KS: 27"
Butler, MO: 26"
Clinton, MO: 25.2"
Appleton City, MO: 24"
Harrisonville, MO: 18.5"
NWS Pleasant Hill: 16.8"
Lee's Summit: 15.3"
Blue Springs, MO: 14.7"
Overland Park, KS: 12.9"
Grain Valley, MO: 12"
The Plaza: 11.0"
Trenton, MO: 7.6"
KCI Airport: 5.2"
St. Joseph: 4.7"
25 inches or more already not that far away. It could be a while for our next good chance. Cold air is likely going to invade the area next week, but we don't see any storm systems at this moment. We will look ahead in our long range spotlight at 6 PM tonight, and then a little bit on the 10 PM newscast as well.
A snow family
Posted by at 12:31 PM
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A look back and a look ahead
Good evening everyone,
Below is a picture of Stormy and Breezy last night after I got home and went on the walk in the snow.
Click to enlarge (Breezy and Stormy, Breezy is further away)
One of the bloggers asked if the weather pattern that produced this snowstorm lined up with 42 days ago or so. I looked and it was amazing, there was an upper low on December 11th over northern Kansas on the Nebraska border, in about the same spot the upper low moved through early this morning. It only produced drizzle in December as there was no cold air in place the last time through.
The pattern being forecast by the models in the next 10 days will completely fit the "long term" longwave trough and ridge positions. When we made our winter forecast we thought there would be a recurring Great Lakes upper low and thus colder than average temperatures from eastern Kansas northeast to southern Canada. We have been waiting, but apparantly it finally has returned from what it showed in October.
There is a strong potential for some very wintery set ups in the next 15 days, IF this becomes established as on the models.
Thank you for all of your snowfall reports. It appears that everyone had 3 to 6 inches with minor exceptions.
Posted by at 6:03 PM
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8:00 am Update
The last significant snowfall with this storm is coming to an end this morning over the Kansas City metro area and will be ending around 10:00 if you live up toward Chillicothe or Richmond or Carollton. There may be a few flurries or some light freezing drizzle as the day goes on. What a Storm! The snowfall totals that we've been getting are verifying our forecast of 3 to 6 inches. When I was looking at the data Friday it looked as if a lot of us would get 4 to 5 inches without much deviation across the area.
Here are some of the totals:
Rich Hill, MO 6"
Blue Springs, MO 4.75"
Independence, MO 4"
Lawrence, KS 4"
Bonner Springs, KS 3"
Lee's Summit, MO 4.5"
Leavenworth, KS 3.5"
Eudora, KS 2.5"
Send us your totals,
Enjoy the snow,
Posted by at 8:11 AM
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12:30 AM update
Click to enlarge 12:30 AM radar image
Good very early morning everyone. The vort max, or upper level disturbance, is producing bands of heavy snow that will clip the area. If you get in these bands then you will get additional accumulation from this storm system during the next few hours. I have 4 inches in Overland Park. I am expecting one more inch on the south side to two more inches on the north side.
What a day! I enjoyed the day, it is too bad I was at work during most of the event, but it is snowing now, so Breezy, Stormy and I are heading back out for another walk.
Brett will blog in the morning. Send in your final totals on Sunday!
Posted by at 12:36 AM
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8:45 PM update
The NWS has put us in a heavy snow warning, but the trends on radar aren't especially good. I think they have done it because 3 to 4 inches has already fallen with 1 to 4 more inches possible.
Anyway, it is a winter wonderland out there. Nearly 3 inches on the Plaza. Keep your totals coming in. I will talk about some of them on the newscast at 10.
The radar echoes are acting strangely but it still looks like we are going to have some more, but Heavy Snow Warning? Perhaps it should have been issued hours ago.
Anyway, it still has been a fun night. The disturbance is tracking through the Kansas/Missouri state line by 4 AM, but after it moves by we could still have another 1/2 to 1 inch early in the morning.
Posted by at 8:53 PM
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4:40 PM update
Heavier snow is increasing south of Kansas City. This will likely move across our region during the next 8 hours. I am sticking up to 6 inches possible, but we will monitor this closely and see how heavy the snowfall rates become during the next few hours.
If you get the chance watch the 5 PM newscast in a few minutes. I am debuting SNOW VISION. It will show how much snow has accumulated. Let me know what you think.
Posted by at 4:39 PM
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1 PM update
Good afternoon everyone,
The radar echoes are impressive. Wichita, KS is now under a Heavy Snow Warning. There is evidence that the heavy snow will be in our area for several hours as well overnight. So, I am beginning to think that this storm may maximize and produce higher snowfall amounts. For snow enthusiats this is quite exciting. Can you believe this day? I hope you are all enjoying it. At the same time, I understand that there are many out there that despise this and are hoping for the lower totals. There are concerns as we go into tonight and Sunday. The biggest concern is travel. If you must travel tonight and early Sunday then you will likely have to deal with snow packed roads and long travel times. So, the best thing to do is just relax at home and watch the snow fall outside.
When I get home tonight I will be taking Breezy and Stormy for a long walk in the snow. I am now on my way into NBC Action News. I am doing the weather on the 5 PM and 10 PM newscasts. I will try to update the blog later this afternoon if these trends continue. We will stick with the 3 to 6 inch forecast and as soon as I see and feel it will be more, or less, I will let you know.
Posted by at 1:02 PM
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9 AM UPDATE...A GO ON THE SNOW!
The new NGM & NAM are out. The GFS will be out in an hour. We do not have to change a thing. One small thing to change is it looks like it will begin 3-5 PM, a bit sooner than our earlier thinking. Based on the new models & radar, the snow is headed in. At this moment, Wichita is reporting moderate snow!
We are still thinking 3-6". It should be a wet snow with little wind. It will cling to everything, making for pretty scenes on Sunday.
Here is an interesting way of looking at our snow amount forecast breakdown:
This means, no doubt, we will see 2", and we are expecting 3 to 4 inches!
Adding to Jeff's statement. Here is LIVE ESP at 10:51 AM, well it isn't live anymore. Snow is moving our way.
10:51 this morning
Posted by at 8:46 AM
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9 PM update
Good evening everyone,
What a week we have had. A sleet storm to begin the week and a snowstorm to end the week and begin next week. The latest data has come in and it shows the upper level storm that right now is a closed upper low and quite strong. This will weaken a bit but rip right through eastern Kansas into Missouri by Sunday morning. There are a few things missing like a strong surface storm and front. So, this could limit totals. We really have another 18 hours to track this before it gets here, but the bottom line........this is exciting for the snow lovers in us. For the storm tracking enthusiasts in us. At the same time it will likely be a major problem for travel on Saturday night into Sunday. Please be careful if you go out and just take it slow. Many churches may be closed but some will be open, so once again just take it slow on Sunday morning.
We will have another update in the morning. Jeff Penner is working in the morning. I am coming in to do the 5 PM and 10 PM newscasts Saturday so blog me your snow totals for the 10 PM newscast tomorrow night. RIght now I think we could have 2 inches or more by 10 PM Saturday night and the main storm would still be 8 hours away.
Have a good night. I am going to try to catch up on my sleep. I have been responding to as many blog comments as I possibly can so be patient.
The GFS has just come out and the system seems a bit further north, which is important. I think our forecast of 3 inches on the low end and 6 inches on the high end will work out. Someone could still have more than 6, but it is hard to pick out the exact area at this time.
Posted by at 9:07 PM
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Snowstorm is in the forecast
The new data is in and I just had a discussion with our weather team. We are thinking that 5 to 6 inches of snow is likely from this storm. The NAM and NGM models have come out with some decent amounts of precipitation in their forecast. The GFS will arrive shortly and we will update this later today. At this moment we are expecting snow to develop and spread across the area late Saturday and then a snowstorm will be in place Saturday night. This will be a wide spread snowstorm with everyone in our viewing area forecast to see about 3 inches to 6 inches of snow. There could be some local amounts greater than 6 inches and later today I will try to pick that area out on our newscasts at 5, 6, and 10 PM. Brett will have updates during Kansas City live at 10 AM this morning as well.
Below is the forecast precipitation by the NAM model for the 12 hours ending at 6 AM Sunday, and it isn't over yet. It could continue into Sunday morning. The yellow strip is about 1/2 inch liquid. This would mean around 5 inches of snow, and there could be a little comma head development in our area. If that is the case then the amounts would be higher in some locations.
Click to enlarge (Precipitation forecast, and it is all snow valid Sunday morning)
There are still a few concerns and things can and always do change. So, let's see how this trends. But, it is one day away so confidence is finally VERY HIGH that we will all see snow and quite a bit. Please be careful as going to church Sunday morning could be quite dangerous.
It's about time snow lovers!
Posted by at 8:39 AM
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The GFS and the NAM remain consistent. The NAM insists on taking the storm north. The GFS brings it just south of KC. This is the solution we want to get a nice 2 to 5 inch snowfall. Winter Storm Watches are up for our viewing area Saturday night and Sunday morning. The weather service says 3 to 6 but it could be closer to two inches if the NAM Solution pans out.
Below I'll show you both graphics.
First the NAM,
Click to enlarge
Now the GFS for the same time period.
Look at the maps carefully, particularly the Xs over Missouri. The NAM has the strongest part of the storm centered near Falls City, Nebraska, while the GFS has it closer to Clinton. 150 miles makes a lot of difference when it comes to snow forecasting. Again if the NAM is right we get two inches of snow, if the GFS is right then 5 inches of snow.
What do you all think? Do you see it? Do you want snow? Let me know. Watch the blog, the Today Show and Kansas City Live for updates and of course Gary tonight at 5 & 6. He'll have at least two more sets of new data and his snowfall accumulation forecast.
Have a great day,
Posted by at 5:34 AM
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11:40 PM update
Good night everyone!
The GFS and Canadian models are consistent in bringing the system near KC Sunday morning. This track would definitely mean accumulations of snow. Brett will have more on the latest trends in the morning. The NAM is driving me a bit nuts.
So, doing the weather tonight was rather difficult. We should be able to show snowfall accumulation graphics Friday. We BETTER.
Posted by at 11:41 PM
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Noon Thursday update on the weekend storm
Good afternoon everyone,
The NAM took the upper low northwest of us which is a concern. The GFS takes it right near KC and so does the Canadian model. Below is the 500 mb forecast from this mornings GFS run. The upper low is approaching Kansas from the southwest. I drew in some arrows to show the diffluent flow aloft. When the air is diverging aloft the air below must rise and thus we get clouds and precipitation if there is enough moisture present. The second map below shows the 850 mb flow and moisture. The solid blue line is the freezing line at this level, around 5,000 feet up in the atmosphere. This is WAY south of us and a strong indication that when the precipitation begins it will be snow.
Click to enlarge (500 mb flow valid Saturday evening)
Click to enlarge (850 mb flow showing the moisture surging in)
This is a set up I have never seen before. It is unique. The storm is in the Pacific right now near Baja California. Where will it track, how strong will it be, how cold will the lower atmospher be, how much moisture is available, and many other factors must be considered. The most obvious snow situations sometimes fall apart. So, let's be cautiously excited if you want snow. We may be ready to forecast accumulations so watch the newscasts tonight as we work on our special graphics.
Have a great day! It could snow this weekend!!!!!!!! Be careful as the ice is still hard out there today.
Posted by at 11:27 AM
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As we wait on the new data......
Yes, there is a chance of snow Saturday into Sunday. There are differences in the data that came out overnight with the NAM tracking the upper low well to our northwest. If you want snow you don't want this to happen. Let's wait and see how the models look today.
Last night I experienced something eye opening. As we try to explain to viewers around Kansas City that there is a forecast that actually is accurate something like this happens......
It was 9:30 PM. I just finished updating KMBZ News Radio 980 AM on the forecast for the next few days. Jeff Penner was not in the NBC ACTION NEWS FORECAST CENTER. I looked at Live ESP and saw some radar echoes right over the Plaza. I knew where Jeff was and ran outside to look (Remember rule #1 of forecasting is always look outside, you never know) It was snowing. The radar echoes grew and spread into Independence, Gladstone, Liberty and north and east from there. So, what was the theme of our 10 PM weathercast? It was snowing now, look outside and the potential for the weekend storm. We were on three times during the half hour talking about it. I mentioned to Jeff Penner that our competition likely didn't know it was snowing right outside their window and sure enough this happens....
As soon as I was off the air at 10:23 PM the phone was ringing. It was a viewer in Excelsior Springs. She says "is this the weather department?". I say "Yes, this is Gary Lezak". She says "How can you go the entire weathercast without even knowing or mentioning that it is snowing outside?". I said, "were you watching NBC ACTION NEWS, channel 41?" She hesitates and says "uh, isn't this such and such channel?". And I said, "No, this is Gary Lezak, NBC ACTION NEWS and we just spent the entire half hour talking about your snow in Excelsior Springs". She says, "Oh, uh, when it comes to stuff like this we don't watch that channel, but, uh, maybe we will from now on".
I told her to watch at the end of the show, and I again showed Live ESP zooming into Excelsior Springs and they were still in the snow at 10:30 PM after Jack Harry had finished sports. Hopefully we recruited a new viewer who had relied on another forecast and never even considered us.
Do you see the challenge we face each day? The only thing in our control is to provide the best and most accurate weather information every single day. And, hopefully the rest of the city will catch on. I know a lot of you are with me on this.
I just thought this would be an interesting story to share with you this morning. I couldn't believe it. Let us know what you think.
Let's hope the new data is exciting. More later today.
Posted by at 7:36 AM
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It is snowing again this evening...Sleetman & update
It is 9:39 PM and snowing here on the Plaza at the NBC ACTION NEWS studios. It is just a fine very light snow and it extends from here north and east. It is being caused by the low level moisture surging in from the south moving over the cold air mass.
The NAM is impessive for some snow on Saturday afternoon into Sunday. It is still a bit disorganized but there is moisture being pulled in from the tropics.
I will blog again about this potential around 11:30 PM as I analyze some more data.
This is Sleet Man made in Lee's Summit Missouri....Awesome
Update at 11:47 PM
Every model is producing some accumulation of snow on Saturday night! We will go into more detail on Thursday, but snowlovers get ready. We should have at least a small snowstorm. Things can still go wrong as we all know so let's hold down our excitement for one more half of a day.
Watch Brett in the morning as he will have some new data while I get my 5 hours of sleep.
Posted by at 9:39 PM
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Snow showers south today?
Good afternoon everyone,
Snow showers have developed over southern Kansas. Don't be surprised if it snows near or south and east of Kansas City this afternoon. These are snow showers and would last only a few minutes as they pass through.
Then, it gets exciting for the weekend. As Brett said in the last entry it is looking like the threat of snow will be much higher on Saturday night and Sunday. We will talk about this later today.
Posted by at 12:43 PM
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How bout some snow?
Some of the morning data is in and I thought I would do a quick blog about this weekend. There are lots of us who love the cold weather and snow. This weekend could finally offer a chance of snow minus the ice. It appears it will be cold enough up through all the levels of the atmosphere to support snow, now we just need a storm system to hold together as it approaches Kansas City. This morning's NAM model shows a shortwave approaching but it appears to be weakening as it moves into the Texas Panhandle. If it continues to weaken then KC sees a little bit of snow, but not much. I'm rooting the next couple of model runs hold this system together and strengthens it. We had a similiar system to this in early December and back in October, both produced light precipiation. (In October it was a "Drizzle Storm")
Click to Enlarge
So there you go. Look for an update from Gary & Jeff this afternoon.
Have a good morning,
Posted by at 9:23 AM
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Breezy in Training and snowy weekend?
Above is a picture of Breezy, my one year old puppy, well she is now almost an adult. This is at our trainers house as we are working on some of her issues. She is a wonderful dog and so smart. Stormy and I have taught her a lot of tricks and discipline, but she has alpha dog syndrom and when she meets other dogs she can be a bit aggressive so we are working on it. She has some issues with kids too, so I really can't take her with me on my public appearances right now. Stormy goes with and does a wonderful job, but Breezy would put on quite a show if I can just work through these issues.
The weather pattern is intriguing. I have been fairly silent about the weekend storm showing up. I am just not confident in it as it is sort of caught in a changing pattern. Many of the computer models have snow here on Sunday and a few inches. But, I would like us to wait one more day or so before we really analyze this. Will it really be there? I hope so, but let's wait another few model runs.
It is cold. The sleet is so hard and cemented into the ground. I think it looks pretty, but it is annoying in other ways. We are actually having a winter after all.
Have a great evening!
Posted by at 1:24 PM
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Is it cold enough for you?
Strong Arctic High pressure, almost directly overhead this morning, has resulted in some frigid temperatures. At 6am we were at zero at KCI. This marks the first time in 401 days since the last time we dropped to zero or below. The last time we did it was December 9th, 2005 when we dropped to 5 below zero. Of course that followed the big snow storm at the beginning of December.
A couple of things to think about today, layers and protect the exposed areas of the skin. Especially if you work outside. Wind chills will likely be around zero at times today. Also, don't forget the pets, dogs and cats can get frostbite on the bottom of their paws. So if they go outside, make sure it is for a short time. The wind chill chart below, provided by the NWS shows how quick you can get frostbite.
Click to Enlarge
One more thing regarding, the LRC and the ice storm down south toward Springfield. A couple weekends ago I was in Halfway, Missouri visiting with my wife's side of the family and I mentioned that they should stock up on firewood because of the potential for a bad storm similiar to the November 30th storm. My wife's aunt stocked up on firewood and its a good thing, today she begins her fourth day without power because of the heavy icing near her house. She's staying warm thanks to that firewood and stocking up on non-perishable foods.
Long-range forecasting, even if its not precise can still be used to prepare!
Have a great day,
Posted by at 6:20 AM
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What a weekend....what's next?
Good evening everyone,
We have had some reports from the bloggers come in:
Trenton: 3/4" of snow, 1 1/2" of sleet, 0.2" of ice
Clinton: 1/4" of snow, 3 inches of sleet, 1/2" of ice
Three waves of precipitation came through with this storm system. One Friday, the second part on Saturday, then the third and biggest wave on Sunday. This morning the storm put its finishing touches on display with a 2 to 3 hour period of pretty snow. This storm caused power outages in over 400,000 homes, it caused all kinds of accidents, and many people slipped, fell and got hurt. This storm was more of a bad one even for us weather enthusiasts. It was stressful waiting for the precipitation to change to snow, which happened up in northern Missouri, but not further south until this morning.
Let's look ahead to our next chance. There is a possibility of something coming in next Sunday or Monday. I have limited confidence in this, but right now the latest GFS and ECMWF have a fairly significant system moving through with rain or snow? I don't want to go into details until we see a trend in the next day or two.
I am on the air in 3 minutes. I better get ready!
Posted by at 5:08 PM
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Snow increasing early this morning
Good morning and Happy Martin Luther King Day,
At 6 AM there is an area of snow that is moving across eastern Kansas and it has its eye on our region. It will likely snow from 8 to 10 AM this morning with a dusting likely as it blows around on the roads that are already ice covered.
Click to enlarge (6:30 AM radar showing a nice band of SNOW, yes all snow, moving in)
What a struggle it was this weekend to get snow. Last night I was baffled as the freezing drizzle kept falling right up to midnight even when it was below freeezing all the way up. We had supercooled water droplets, that can exist all the way down to -40 degrees believe it or not.
Anyway, it was an exciting, even if it was frustrating weekend. I slipped and fell this morning on my porch, so be careful. I am fine, but I experienced how easy and fast it is to fall. Colder air is around for a while.
We will look ahead to next week's storm later this morning. The weather pattern is showing potential, but it is still this weather pattern so don't get too excited.
Posted by at 6:24 AM
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Snow & Baby Update
Before I fill everyone in on the newest member of my family I'll quickly discuss the current radar and precipitation trends. The steadiest of the freezing rain, sleet, and snow is now off to the east of KC, but there are a few snow bands developing on the back side of the storm. The light snow and flurries will push through the area over the next several hours. So if you still have freezing rain or sleet in your backyard...that should change over to snow as the evening wears on. Additional snow and sleet accumulations tonight will generally be a half inch or less in KC. Slightly higher totals may occur over far northern and northwest Missouri. The storm is getting better organized, but to the dismay of many snow lovers in and around KC it is too late for a big snow event this time around.
After working with Gary, Jeff, and Brent over the last 2+ months I've learned a lot and also have bought into Gary's weather pattern theory. This past storm arrived right on schedule(Gary talked about it around December 20) and had a lot of the same characteristics as the November 30 storm. A big surge in temps ahead of the storm with a high of 60 degrees on January 11. Keep in mind the high ahead of the November 30 storm was near 70 on November 28. Both storms came out in several pieces and produced varying amounts of ice. The only thing lacking in this storm was a well defined upper level low. I'm already eagerly awaiting the repeating of the cycle in late February!
Now onto the newest addition to my family! My wife and I headed to Menorah Medical Center this past Wednesday morning around 11am, and just after 12:40pm my wife had a baby girl. Her name is Ella Nelson and she weighed 5lbs 9oz when she was born. I forgot just how tiny that is...my other daughter(Avery) weighed just a few mores ounces when she was born. Avery is 16 months old, so my wife and I are now being kept very busy! While we were at the hospital from Wednesday to Friday I recruited a few more bloggers that didn't realize that they could get 'inside' information to the forecast everyday by checking out the blog. While I was off work from Wednesday-Friday I think I gave the forecast to a different group of doctors and nurses everyday...which was a lot of fun! Ella, Mom, and Avery are all doing great! Here are a few pictures of Ella and family.
Posted by jnelson at 7:12 PM
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4:30 PM update
Jeremy will be on NBC ACTION NEWS at 5 PM in a few minutes. This storm has been significant today, but the atmosphere just doesn't want to produce snow. We believe that it will finally start snowing a bit this evening, but the heavy precipitation will be over by then. A dusting of snow is possible but not much more as this storm tracked north of us. The track to our north and the knowledge of the dry slot should have been the clues to the lack of snow. A further south track would have produced a few inches, but it didn't happen.
Be careful out there and we will have an update later this evening. Hopefully this mess will turn to snow tonight before it ends. I would just like to see a few snowflakes.
Posted by at 4:30 PM
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Precipitation is forming....8 AM Sunday Blog Entry
Good morning everyone,
It should be no surprise that if the main storm goes north then we will get dry slotted. This is what happens almost every time. And, when the storm tracks north of you it is very difficult for it to be cold enough for snow in our part of the country. It can happen, and we were hoping, but it will be a struggle today. I think it will snow before the precipitation ends, and the earlier it starts the more we will get, but it appears the main precipation event will be over by around 9 PM tonight. This could be long enough to have the last 2 to 4 hours as snow and we would then see some accumulation.
Precipitation is rapidly increasing near Wichita, KS this morning. It will be growing and marching our way. Thundersleet and thundersnow is not out of the question. Look below at the latest Ruc model:
Click to enlarge (shows the 850 mb temps and RH)
Click to enlarge (700 mb RH and temps valid 6 PM)
Click to enlarge (Precipitation forecast for 3 to 6 PM)
The freezing line at 850 mb (5,000 feet up) doesn't move south of Kansas City until 5 or 6 PM. Hopefully this will happen faster or the snow window will be closing.
I think the precipitation growing to our west will become a fairly large area by the time it gets to us this afternoon. It isn't going to be cold enough to snow when it first gets here. This likely means it will begin as sleet. Hopefully it won't end as sleet. We expect it to changeover to snow but right before the dry slot gets to us. Northern Missouri may see 3 inches of snow. Areas south of Kansas City will likely see 1/2" or less. It is still an interesting day. The race is on. My feeling is that Kansas City will get around 1", with a bit more on the north and northeast side. It could sleet very heavily and then change to big snowflakes. Trenton, KCI, and others up north are still waiting for their first one inch of snow this season. What a struggle it has been. Does this small accomplishment end later today?
Have a great day tracking the storm. We will have updates this afternoon.
Posted by at 7:52 AM
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Snow lovers therapy
Good late morning everyone,
I agree with what Jeff has blogged about. There is some hope for snow, but the threat of a big snowstorm is pretty much over. So, let's reduce our standards.
Click to enlarge (Radar at 10:13 AM)
First of all look above: This is the radar display from around 10:13 AM this morning. Freezing rain and sleet are heading this way. If you must travel keep this in mind as the roads will only get worse this afternoon. Stay home if you can, but if you must go out then be extra cautious. We think it will be freezing rain and sleet. Temperatures are in the teens so this is going to freeze immediately.
Now look at the latest GFS run and watch the storm go "poof" like I showed on the air last night.
Click to enlarge (Upper low Sunday morning, the red L that I drew in)
Click to enlarge (Upper low at noon)
Click to enlarge (upper low Sunday evening stretching and dying)
The above sequence of maps shows the "poof". The NAM and NGM hold it together longer, but we may not want this to happen. It would track to our north if it holds together and then we would be dry slotted. So, the "poof" could help just a little bit and keep the snow in Sunday night a bit longer.
So, I suggest these be our snow loving standards for this storm:
1" or less: boo (as a few of you have stated this morning)
1" to 2": We should smile and be happy
3" or more: We enjoy every minute of it and go sledding
So, which one will it be? I am leaning in the smile and be happy category, and hoping for the "enjoy every minute" of it category.
Be careful this afternoon as another part of this storm moves by. Especially watch out around your house where it is easy to slip and fall.
Jeff will be back later this afternoon and Brett is in tonight as we monitor this situation closely.
Posted by at 10:02 AM
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Freezing Rain, Sleet & Snow
During the next 48 hours we are monitoring 2 more rounds of precipitation.
Round #1: This occurs Noon-7 PM Saturday. It appears this will be freezing rain & sleet. The new data suggests it may be more freezing rain as the atmosphere is warmer than yesterday. Freezing rain is more slick than sleet as it causes glazing. Untreated areas will become very slick this afternoon. Still use caution in treated areas.
Round #2: Sunday afternoon. It looks like this will be snow & sleet. There are 2 factors in deciding on how much snow falls. First, how much sleet will occur before the changeover to snow. Second, the main storm, now in the southwest USA, will weaken as it moves northeast towards us. As Gary said last night it goes "poof" as it reaches the Plains. So, how long will it hold together? Also, it looks like what ever is left will track north. Based on the new data, we have dropped amounts a bit to 1"-3". We feel at this time we may have sleet for awhile tomorrow afternoon and the main storm refuses to remain organized. Keep in mind, it is still 36 hours away. This is not set in stone, but the trend is not good for snow lovers.
Posted by at 8:39 AM
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Friday night and it is cold
Good evening everyone,
To me today was a blur. Wow, I don't even know what day it is. Freezing drizzle began early and caused major problems on the roads. We were very surprised at how much cold air got in here this morning. If it would have been 27 degrees the roads likely wouldn't have been such a problem. But, it wasn't.....it dropped all the way to 14 degrees. WOW! Then the sleet and freezing rain moved in. Areas to the north somehow had less again. And, it should be no surprise. This is so similar to the end of November it is scary. And, that same line could almost be drawn in as the defining line during the snowstorm on November 30th.
The new data is good news for those of you up north as I think you will see snow. This upper level storm is still not acting nicely on the computer models, but the leftover disturbance should move by on Monday morning. As it approaches we should have a very nice area of precipitation move across at the exact same time it is becoming cold enough above the surface to snow. It is obviously cold enough down here. So several inches of snow are likely.
Watch our show in a few minutes for the updated snow forecast. We are wiped out. Drive carefully this weekend and we will stay on top of this as the storm approaches.
Well, I just finished the newscast. We decided to stick with 2 to 4 inches, but even this is suspect given the prospect of this upper low going "poof". We should have a better idea on Saturday.
Posted by at 9:36 PM
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Bands of precipitation increasing
Light snow has been falling in many spots and now radar echoes are increasing. This may be sleet or freezing rain in the heavier echoes. Please be careful this afternoon with the icy spots out there. We will have more later today as the new data comes in. The Arctic air mass is just taking over and dominating and this is why we have seen the snowflakes already.
We will try to get to your comments and post them as we have time. Keep sending us information. It will be difficult to answer all of the questions today, but we will address some of them in our blog later on.
It is the beginning of a Major Winter Storm. Did you see the article in the Kansas City Star today. I thought it was very fair and they quoted the blog on the entry from December 21st predicting this situation.
Posted by at 11:55 AM
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17 degrees at KCI already & first snowfall prediction
It is down to 17 degrees at 8 AM and still falling as this Arctic air mass takes over. The temperature should stop falling and may go up a few degrees or it could stay steady. Freezing drizzle has been falling but, as expected, only minor impacts thus far.
New data is rolling in. After the models are out we will give an update. The storm system approaching Sunday is forecast to weaken as it moves into the plains. This will be a factor in how much snow we will see. Brett and I decided to keep any mention of accumulations out of the forecast until we have a better feel for what may happen. We will make an attempt at our first snowfall forecast for this storm soon.
O.K. The first set of new data has come out and it is interesting. Just like back in November a storm is trying to form on the southern part of this trough. If it becomes more of a storm two things could happen. #1: A stronger storm would pull in some warmer air above the surface Saturday night into Sunday morning, #2: If it is a stronger storm system then the snow may be delayed but come down heavier when it finally starts. So, we are still VERY uncertain on the strength of this southern extension to the trough, but based on everything we are seeing we have decided to broad brush 2 to 4 inch snowfalls on Sunday. This forecast will likely change as it gets closer. It could be a lot higher, or a bit lower. Watch for our snowfall forecasts tonight at 5, 6, and 10 PM. We will make adjustments on each show as necessary! It should be fun to track.
In the mean time, be careful as some freezing rain and freezing drizzle has increased. This will cause icing on untreated surfaces. So, the most dangerous spots will be in parking lots, on your porch, near your car. This is where people slip and get hurt. Until it sleets the roads shouldn't be that bad. Have a great day!
Posted by at 8:06 AM
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Good evening everyone,
There are a few of us out there that just don't want the cold and snow. For you the warmth will come back soon enough. Then, there are the others of us who are anticipating this storm and growing with excitement. I have been fairly silent today as I just want to wait until I see more evidence. Well the evidence is in.
There is a very strong trend towards us experiencing a major winter storm. Freezing drizzle, freezing rain, then heavy sleet, and heavy snow. Wow, this is sounding an awful lot like November 29th and 30th isn't it?
Click to enlarge
The above map is the 850 mb map forecast for 6 AM Sunday morning. The dark green color shows this level is saturated with near 100% relative humidity. This level is aroun 5,000 feet above us. The blue line is the freezing line or 0 degrees C. From 6 AM Sunday to 9 AM Sunday this model is progging these temperatures to crash while the storm approaches. This would mean snow, and very possibly heavy snow for hours.
We must be careful as it is still early. But, I am finally confident that we will see snow before this storm is over and possibly a lot of snow in some areas. The GFS has been trending in this direction as well. The upper levels are acting in such a similar fasion to the way it did in November it is leaving me just amazed. This hasn't happened yet, but here we go! The track will likely change. The upper level storm could even be stronger than the forecast prog.
There are still uncertainties. Before the threat of snow moves in we have a chance of some freezing drizzle, freezing rain and sleet. I don't think we will have a major ice storm like they could 100 miles south of us as we should see more sleet than freezing rain which would cause major travel problems by sometime Saturday or Saturday night.
I had a hard time keeping up with all of the blog comments today and this is why I was only able to answer a few of them. Be sure to watch Brett in the morning. Tonight at 10 PM we are considering a snowfall forecast map, but I may just wait as it is just too far away still.
Posted by at 9:02 PM
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Here comes winter
Click to enlarge
An Arctic front is moving into Kansas this afternoon and it should pass through your location by 8 to 10 PM tonight. This front will continue to push southward with so much cold air forcing all the way into Texas and southern Arkansas before it will stall. This will likely help the upper level storm act a bit differently on the next few model runs once they have this into their equations. So, there is still a possibility of a more organized winter storm over the weekend.
I am on my way into work. More later on this evening.
Posted by at 1:08 PM
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Quick Morning Update
I'll make this quick. In the last blog entry, Gary talked about the positive tilt nature to this storm.
Overnight the GFS had a nice graphic of this Sunday afternoon. You can see how the upper low leans to the right. That means the storm wouldn't be as strong as we would like for a big snow storm. The next couple computer model runs should be make or break time on what potentially happens this weekend.
As for the next 48 hours, its my belief we see periods of freezing rain and freezing drizzle. Just a quick glance at the numerical data on the GFS this morning had about a half inch of liquid precip with temperatures below freezing at the surface. Looks like a nice coating of ice by Sunday morning. Then hopefully Sunday, Snow!!!
Posted by at 6:39 AM
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Wednesday afternoon trend
Good afternoon everyone,
The computer models have not helped any this afternoon. We have varying solutions and confidence is low on this forecast. With the potential for winter weather still two days away we have time to figure this storm out.
Positive tilted storm: This means the storm is stretched from northeast to southwest. Below you can see the upper low forecast by the latest NAM model. This is valid Saturday afternoon. The storm is still way out to the west and caught in a shifting pattern. This will provide an opportunity for all kinds of solutions in the next few model runs. The Arctic high is losing its strength, but a very cold air mass is coming down. Without snow on the ground from Kansas City to Canada this air mass will modify a bit and this could be a factor in this winter storm.
Click to enlarge
So, I haven't really made any conclusions this afternoon and I don't intend to. We must be patient for one more day. The QPF (amount of precipitation) is rather low on the latest NAM. And, every model takes the upper low north of Kansas City. We won't have a major winter storm if this happens. I still think it will end up further south.
Congratulations to Jeremy Nelson! His wife gave birth this morning to a 5 lb. 9 oz. baby girl. He will blog about this next week sometime. The baby was born three weeks early and she is doing well. Her name is Ella!
Have a great evening.
Posted by at 3:12 PM
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ITS ALL RAIN FOR KANSAS CITY!
Its all rain for...Thursday night. Forgive me for trying to get and hold your attention. Thursday night is where MY confidence ends for this series of events. Though it does look like, as Gary mentioned in the previous blog, that we could see a major winter storm. But the data overnight, I thought, was inconclusive. I still think, as one of our bloogers mentioned earlier this week, that the massive cold air will force the storm farther south and it could mean more snow for us when it is all said and done. However, Friday & Saturday will be weird. Just a thought, but I could see a period light freezing drizzle around Friday afternoon or evening and then Saturday turning out to be mostly dry just couldy and cold until Saturday night as the upper low approaches and then with temperatures just above freezing a cold rain eventually turns to snow sometime Sunday.
The new model data comes out within the next hour so look for an update here by early afternoon.
Have an awesome day, watch out for the wind!
Posted by at 7:55 AM
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My ski trip is in jeopardy again? & Evening update!
The latest GFS is trending strongly in the direction of a major winter storm. Now, this is just one run, but suddenly it is trying to fit into what we had expected. More on this development as the data comes in tonight.
I just did the weather at 10 PM. There is no way to get specific with this big storm at this time. The 00z data continues to come out and is continuing the trend of a major winter storm. As is we would be on the edge with a snowstorm in Iowa, but I am convinced it will go further south. This could place us near the center of this storm by the end of the weekend. Watch Brett Anthony in the morning and we will update the blog in the next few hours.
Posted by at 4:29 PM
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Update on the end of the week storm and warm streak
This morning Brett Anthony was talking about our streak of above average days. It is rather amazing as today is our 31st day in a row above average. This is really a fascinating streak, and even though it is about to turn colder and the streak will end, overall this is just a very warm winter pattern. I didn't expect it to be this warm, but there have been some rather obvious influences from El Nino. Some of the usual El Nino anomalies are there, but many atypical ones as well. Southern California is extremly dry and yesterday's 80 mph Santa Ana winds didn't help their situation any. The persistent ridge at 140 to 145 west at low latitudes can be blamed for the dryness there. And, this ridge is also one of the main reasons for Colorado's amazing snow storms. It has also helped us get some wet storm systems. It is suppose to be dry during El Nino winters across the Pacific northwest and it has been extremely wet there. This is where my theory is clearly the major player in the weather pattern. El Nino is influencing the pattern, but it didn't create it.
The latest data is not very good if you want a big winter storm. But, it is still early so don't panic yet. One thing that is certain is that a very cold air mass will be settling into the region on Friday and Saturday.
Click to enlarge (500 mb flow forecast for Saturday night)
Above is the upper level (500 mb) flow forecast by the GFS for Saturday night. This clearly shows the upper low over western South Dakota. I have circled the vort max (vorticity maximum, which is an upper level storm). The last time through the cycle this southern wave separated and became an upper low. If it doesn't happen this time then the potential for a major winter storm is quite slim. This is one of the features we will be watching closely. There are other features to pay close attention to as well like the strength and speed of the Arctic front Thursday night as we have a window opening for some rain. Will it be a cold rain, or freezing rain? This will depend on how fast the cold air gets here.
So, there is a lot to look at, but I don't like what I am seeing. It is good news if you would rather not have to deal with much ice or snow, so for a few of you out there I know you are cheering. For many others, well, we know our chances do not come often enough this winter so this could be quite frustrating.
It is still early. A rather strong Arctic front is forming and will be moving our way. This is exciting, but the potential for a major winter storm is small right now. Keep watching our weathercasts and we will keep you updated as these changes occur in the models.
Posted by at 6:06 AM
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Up and down we go...16 days in a row
We have been within 3 degrees 16 days in a row. This is a very challenging time of the year and this week will be tough to keep the streak alive. This streak includes Jeremy's forecasts over the weekend.
A cold front will move through in a few hours. This system is acting like an Alberta Clipper (or clopper) since it isn't acting right. We would usually have an Arctic airmass blast in tonight and the temperature change would be more dramatic. But, the Arctic air isn't in place to be tapped yet. It will be a colder and windy Tuesday after this front moves by.
Then, the bigger system evolves over the western United States during the next 48 hours. Every computer model that I have looked at refuses to have the system track south of us. If it is going to snow we really need the main system to track south of us, especially with this type of storm system. We should gain confidence in this storm and what it will produce for us within 24 hours. We know that it will turn very cold. But, any freezing rain, snow, sleet, or rain is still in limbo. This is very similar to the storm and set up at the end of November. But there will be differences. Will the wheel of weather fall on our spot. There aren't many chances this season so if you are wanting some winter excitement hope it begins to line up nicely.
More later this evening.
Posted by at 3:55 PM
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What will Happen Later This Week?
Just talked to Gary about what could happen later this week. It is way too early to tell exactly what kind of precipitation could fall in the viewing area. It will get colder but there are a couple question marks as to will it be all rain, freezing rain or could it snow?
Below is Friday's GFS 850 mb map or the temperatures at 5000 feet. The purple line is the 0 degree celsius line or 32 degrees F. Notice it splits the viewing area almost right in half. Surface temperatures will be very close to freezing or slightly above.
If it plays out exactly like this then it may experience sleet or we could get freezing rain or a combination. Remember November? What if the cold air comes in faster? Then it changes to snow. But the storm is still 5 days away and the data will likely look a lot different by Wednesday.
Click on Image to enlarge
We will see what happens. There is also a possibility of an upper low forming on the southwest side of this storm system. It happened in November but it didn't show up on the computer models until three days out, in this case Wednesday. Let's see what happens.
It looks as if it stays cold next week and there could be a couple more storms as the month goes on, with cold air place that would be as Martha Stewart says, "a good thing". If you like snow.
Have a great Monday, this will be a fun storm to watch.
Posted by at 8:17 AM
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The Winds of Change!
Before we get into discussing the weather I just want to thank everyone who attended the Bloggers meeting this past Thursday. The response was out of this world! It is great to be at a new station that is not only the weather leader in the market, but also a station that has viewers that are so knowledgable and enthusiastic about anything and everything weather related! I wish that I would have been able to spend a few minutes talking with everyone that night, but there will be more meetings in the future.
Today brought gusty winds and cooler temperatures to the area. This was the first of two clipper type systems that will bring a quick swing in temperatures to the region. The high today was 43 degrees with a peak wind gust of 37 mph at KCI. Monday will bring another windy day with wind gusts around 40 mph and highs near 50. Monday Night and Tuesday another cold front will pass through bringing a cool shot of air to the region...and yes more gusty winds.
The upper level flow then begins to shift to a more zonal flow by Wednesday, and eventually a SW flow by Thursday & Friday. What does this mean for us? A week of extreme change with a possible winter storm by late in the week! The most popular question over the past 3-7 days has been...how much snow/ice, where, and when? Since the storm still has not formed, it is not yet possible to pinpoint who gets what. But here is what our forecast is generally calling for right now. From late Thursday into Friday there is a chance of drizzle or light rain. On Friday the arctic front pushes south of the area. While temperatures aloft are forecast to remain above freezing, surface temps should be below 32 degrees. This would result in the possibility of freezing rain or maybe some sleet. The main area of low pressure and the associated upper low should move through on Saturday. With colder air drawn into the storm there could be a change over to snow. Where the rain/ice/snow line sets up will be the question that needs to be answered this week. Another issue will be the strength of the upper low? With each model run that comes in the picture should become a little clearer as the week goes on. One thing that is certain is that it will become much colder by this weekend and into next week. Our streak of consecutive days with both the high and low temp above average will likely come to an end. As of Sunday this streak stood at 30 days! Also keep in mind that this storm fits Gary's weather pattern theory and should resemble the November 30 storm in some ways.
All of your blog comments and questions have been great! I look forward to chatting with everyone as the anticipation of the upcoming storm builds this week!
Posted by jnelson at 6:28 PM
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Next weeks weather
As we get ready for the Chiefs game I thought I would give a quick update on the trends of the computer models for next weeks storm system.
The latest data has been trending towards a faster moving storm without much southern extension to it. Before we go any further I would like you to look back at the archives in our blog from late November. Look around November 23rd to 26th as the storm, which was the same storm as this one in the last cycle (according to my theory). You will see that the models were doing the same thing. As the trough approached all of a sudden there was a storm on the southern end that produced the snowstorm. It may or may not do the same thing this time. The only thing we know for certain is that the Arctic front will be quite strong and we will be in the cold air by Friday. The latest models have an ice storm developing on Friday. The only way we will see snow is if the southern extension develops into an upper low, which is not happening on the models today, but it wasn't happening at this point the last time either.
Have a great weekend and GO CHIEFS! They may very well lose today and it has been fun over the past week. But, man, if they can just win this town will turn red next week.
Posted by at 11:13 AM
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Weekend Forecast & bloggers video
Good evening everyone,
Here is the link to last nights weathercast (that I struggled through a bit) which opens with the video from last nights meeting. You can see a few of you....enjoy: http://kshb.dayport.com/launcher/231953/
The GFS is now coming out and will provide yet another solution on this up coming storm system. Have you been paying attention to the European model. It has been flip flopping all over the place. The past 3 days or so it has tried to have the big system cut off the west coast and then just sit there. We knew that wasn't possible as it didn't fit the pattern. It now has another solution today that almost gets it right. My point, though, is that so many forecasters just love that model when my experience has been the GFS wins out most of the time. Not all of the time, but most of the time the GFS will beat the ECMWF model.
We have some drizzle this afternoon and an area of light rain moving across the Kansas/Nebraska state line. We may see some showers this evening and then the weekend looks good. We will have a few areas of clouds moving by. The winds should be light Saturday and then become stronger from the northwest on Sunday. The flow aloft is strengthening in the next week in response to the temperature contrast developing. Did you know that this temperature contrast is what helps create the jet stream via the "thermal wind"? We almost have an Alberta clipper of some sorts Sunday, and again Monday in this fast flow. If we had cold air in the USA already then the next 3 days could be interesting, but instead besides some wind shifts we will have to wait 7 days.
Next weekend will be different as a major storm system should be developing. We will talk about it in detail by later in the weekend and next week. My ski trip beginning next Friday night is in jeapordy.
Have a great weekend.
Posted by at 4:05 PM
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A Great Meeting
Wow, it was great to meet everyone last night, nice to put faces with names and get to know each other. I'm bleary eyed this morning but it is worth it. Of course it could be the murkiness of the atmosphere right now. Cold front #1 coming through this morning knocks our highs down about 5 degrees by Saturday but Cold front #2 blows through here Sunday morning and we should struggle to get out of the 30s. Gary will likely talk about this more later today but below is the overnight run of the GFS. The map is valid for Monday the 15th. It looks like we will finally have winter here in KC.
Thanks again for coming and thanks to everyone for contributing to the weather blog. As I said last night I will try and have more input here.
Have a great weekend and "Go Chiefs"
Posted by at 6:07 AM
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I would like to thank everyone who came to the meeting tonight. I am wiped out as we had been preparing for the meeting for the past week. It sounds like everyone enjoyed it. I hope you like the book and we appreciate the feedback and support as we continue to strive to becoming the #1 television station in Kansas City. I think it will happen with your support over the next few years.
I will be posting some comments, and if you have any pictures email them too me and I will try to post some of them.
For, those of you who didn't make it or know about the meeting tonight it was sort of secretive. I asked in a blog a few weeks ago who was interested and I invited almost everyone that sent in the request. We had over 100 people tonight and this was really about the limit that we could handle at KSHB. Everyone will be invited to the next meeting and we will have it at an outside source. It will likely be months down the road.
The weather pattern is fascinating right now. We will have a rather wild weather ride in the next 10 days. The GFS tonight had a massive snowstorm near by next weekend. Maybe an ice storm too. So, we will blog about this Friday.
I will get to all of your kind comments in the morning! Have a great day. I have to get my 5 hours of sleep before getting up to do the radio broadcasts!
Posted by at 11:34 PM
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Weather accuracy ratings
A few of you have wondered how the year ended with the Weatherate.com ratings. Here are the final results of the year:
The lowest number is the most accurate:
1st Place: KSHB.......6.05
2nd Place station..............7.00
3rd Place station...............7.05
4th Place station...............7.69
We still have one of the biggest leads in the nation over our competition and this is in a very competitive weather market. I am not going to disclose who is in second, third, and last place as I have in the past. It seems to cause some negative feedback, so I won't go there. We have now won 4 years in a row, it is likely a much longer streak than this, but Weatherate.com has only been tracking television weather forecasts for four years.
Weatherate has the best system I have ever seen to calculate the forecast error. Day 1 is weighted more than day two which is weighted more than day 3. The first 4 days are used in the system and it isn't just highs and lows. Fog, rain, snow amounts, wind, and severe weather are all calculated into the forecast error.
Have a great day! More on this ever changing weather pattern later today. We are tracking a storm system that will race across Kansas and Missouri Friday night. It may be cold enough for a few snowflakes Friday night depending on whether the surface temperatures can drop enough. We will be tracking this tonight. Brett Anthony has been talking about it this morning.
Posted by at 7:09 AM
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It's another warming trend....
We still have our own "Arctic Air Watch" just for fun. But as we anticipate one, two, or three Arctic fronts beginning later next week we will be experiencing two warming trends first. It could get close to 60 degrees one day this week and then again next week. There are no real storm systems in sight, at least for the next 7 days. This will give us time to work on our New Year's Resolutions.
Click to enlarge (500 mb flow valid next Tuesday night)
Click to enlarge (Surface flow valid next Tuesday night)
The top map is the forecast valid 168 hours from last night. It is the 500 mb level which is my favorite level of the atmosphere to look at when tracking storm systems. 0 mb (milibars) is the top of the atmosphere. And 1000 mb is near the surface so 500 mb is half way through the atmosphere in weight and is around 18,000 feet up. This map shows a rather substantial ridge forming across the eastern Pacific with a trough near the west coast. After this trough forms almost every computer model digs it down and off the west coast. If this happens the Arctic air could get held up across western Canada, but usually when a very cold and large Arctic airmass forms up there it will make it to Kansas City. But, in what state will it be when it gets here? This is what we will try to figure out as it develops in the next week.
The second map shows the Arctic high in northwest Canada. It is quite strong by this time next week. Remember these are just computer generated forecasts and the pattern could look very different than this in a few days. I am expecting a little different look than the models are predicting. So, at this moment all we can say is that we are watching closely at the potential for some true winter to arrive before the middle of the month. But, for how long, and will we have a storm? These are questions I am unsure of at this moment.
Have a great day! There is a lot going on this week. So, we have been a bit slow in responding to some of your questions and comments. I will try to get to them as soon as I can.
Posted by at 6:18 AM
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Arctic air watch
Happy New Year and good morning bloggers,
What a New Year's weekend we had. The Chiefs are in the playoffs. We had rain and then a little bit of snow, so it isn't the second snowless December in three years and in our history. Western Kansas was buried under 30 inches of snow. And now we look to the north.
Click to enlarge
Above is the 216 hour forecast for later next week. I have outlined in blue the rather impressive Arctic airmass that will be on our doorstep by next Friday. So, It will very likely turn very cold, but for how long? Will there be a storm associated with this cold air? These questions will be answered soon.
Have a great start to the year!
Posted by at 6:13 AM
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