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| 11:40 PM update »
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 January 18, 2007 11:27 AM
Interesting maps and data. Do you foresee any winter watches or snow advisory's for KC and or Northeast Kansas or will the amounts be too low. Thanks for the update. Michael/Topeka
The NWS will be considering watches and advisories very soon.
Posted by: michael huffman at January 18, 2007 11:42 AM
How does this unique storm fit in with your theory? And what constitutes the beginning of the cycle and the end of a cycle? My students and a few teachers here were asking me.
It fits very well. It is hard to define the beginning, middle, end of each cycle. If life slows down a bit I will try to better define where we are soon. This storm is similar to others, but the surface has some unique qualities that are interacting with this. And, this storm doesn't really want to be there, but it is. It is being ejected out by the overall pattern, so in a way it is a bonus, and yet fits. This is being put in simple terms. I will work on where we would consider the beginning, but we know that the pattern we are in now will be repeating in about 42 tro 46 days. The same can be said for next week and the week after and so on until the pattern falls apart in August, of course this is according to my theory!
Posted by: David Pollard at January 18, 2007 12:14 PM
Although the storm is tracking north of KC or just a little to the south it still looks like the heaviest precip is to the south of KC. It looks like its give us down here around .7 in of liquid. What would be the rain to snow ratio during this storm. Or am i interpeting the models wrong?
It only gives us around .35" on most models which would be 3 to 4 inches of snow. But, is it correct?
Posted by: daniel at January 18, 2007 12:26 PM
If it snows this weekend, and we get more than one inch. Would this be our first official recorded snow fall of the season?
I hope we get nailed especally for us north of I70 where we have been missed.
The NWS considers the sleet as snow accumulation too, but we know this would be the first inch for those of you up north.
Posted by: rodney spurgeon at January 18, 2007 12:32 PM
I am a science teacher in Blue Springs. My middle school students are participating in their own Snowflake Contest by predicting how much snow we will receive in January. How much snow did Kansas City officially receive during the last storm? Is there a site where I might look to get this information the rest of the month? I would like to be accurate and use the official statistics for Kansas City.
You can go to the National Weather Service website and go into the climate data and see how much snow fell.
If you have problems send me an email.
Posted by: Christine R at January 18, 2007 1:07 PM
I think you are right on the other stations promos talking about how they stay calm during weather situations not really attacking you. I think they were attacking another station.
I left out the personal stuff! Thanks!
Posted by: Jon at January 18, 2007 1:20 PM
i think this will be a fun storm over the weekend. I will take an inch or 6 inches, as long as it is snow!
I agree, let's keep our standards low.
Posted by: Ryan McMillian at January 18, 2007 1:22 PM
Do you think we will see any measurable snow in Harrisonville with this storm?
We have not had over an inch of snow since November 30th?
Let's see what we think on Friday.
Posted by: Brent at January 18, 2007 1:24 PM
I am a big fan of unique set ups. What is it about this set up that you "have never seen before"?
The fact that this storm is in the deep south near Baja California. We will have southerly winds while it is approaching and the tropical feed of moisture seems so deep. It would rarely snow with this set up around here unless we were deep in Arctic air. The Arctic air mass has modified and moved on.
Posted by: Mike at January 18, 2007 1:59 PM
Wow how about that snow in L.A. At the boggers meeting you talked about L.A. and their weather, are you suprised at the snow in L.A. does this go with your theory? How about the storm this weekend, it is getting very exciting HPC has an area just south of the viewing area at a moderate chance of snow up to 4 inches and further south a moderate chance of snow up to 8 inches. For the snow storm to hit the our vewing area, does the storm need to go further north? what are some factors that could affect the movement of this upper level low?
I don't have time to go into details on your questions right now. Let's just track the upper low and see where it heads.
Los Angeles didn't have snow, but it was just outside LA in the foothills near Malibu. It fits the theory as they continue to be having a dry winter.
Posted by: John Moon III at January 18, 2007 2:25 PM
Gary, David asked a question I've also been curious about, that is when the cycle begins. Since it repeats, I personally considered the cycle to begin just before the first major inclement weather event. So this year the beginning of the pattern was in late Nov, early Jan, and will happen again late Feb. This allows me to put these lesser events into perspective as to where they are in the cycle. So come springtime when I forcast my outdoor activities I will know when weather systems may or may not be a factor. For example, mid March we can expect a trend in the weather pattern that may bring some sort of precipitation as it will be a couple of weeks after the significant event late Feb which (in my mind) is the beginning of the pattern. Does my use of your pattern sound right to you?
It makes sense. I will need to think about it for a while. Let's bring it up when the weather calms down.
Posted by: Jim Yates at January 18, 2007 2:35 PM
Just looked at the 18Z NAM. Looks as though it is trying to put a heavier band of precip near the metro. It also looks like it could be in the form of rain however for at least part of the time. I assume this is the result of the upper level low pushing north of us. To me this model looks better than it did just a few hours ago though. Am I correct in my assumption. Thanks, and looking forward to the new GFS here in an hour or so.
Posted by: Matt Maisch at January 18, 2007 3:12 PM
Sorry to bother you but I was thinking: if the NAM continues the trend of the 18Z this ULL will hit Winnepeg by Monday!!
Thanks for the advice on my expectations-it is kind of ironic that I have been flapping for weeks about how hard it is to get a big storm here how we should be happy with the 3-4 inchers and yet, I am expecting the big dog!!!! Here's hoping the GFS and later NAM runs don't have this tracking up over Alert!!!! Have a great evening!!!
Posted by: Bill Gollier at January 18, 2007 3:26 PM
Wow ! That is pretty amazing that YOU haven't seen a set-up like this before. You are BY FAR the MOST experienced and excited weatherman in KC. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed that we get some snow!!! I miss getting snow, especially after moving from MN last year.
Loved the picture of you and Breezy last night! I am sure her big sister is watching down on her through her training:)
Keep up the great work!!
Posted by: jill at January 18, 2007 3:30 PM
Gary and Crew,
I don't know a thing about all the maps and grapics but I do know I rely 100% on you too. I read the blog like an addicted little blogger and wanted to make one comment on the storm you are now tracking. As I was out doing chores this morning, I noticed two things, one the squirrels were very active gathering nuts and my hogs were re-arranging the straw in their sleeping area. If my Grandpa was ever correct about anything it was about animals knowing about weather before people and these two "signs" point to a snowfall event.....Just found that interesting. Thanks for the hard work....Lovin ya In Leavenworth
This could be the new data I use tonight.
Posted by: Micky at January 18, 2007 3:32 PM
About the caller you had last night, it may very well be the "identity crisis" situation, I know my dad still has trouble remembering that you are NBC on channel 8, and not Fox on 4, since for many years channel 4 was NBC, so it will just take time.
Now about this storm, SNOW IN MALIBU!!!!! yes, when I got up this morning I found out that it snowed in Malibu from the storm system that is supposed to affect us, even enough to make snow balls. Isn't it funny that lately we struggle to get snow but it still finds a way to snow in odd places,WOW.
Thanks for your time.
Nick(in slushy)St. Joe!!
Posted by: Nick Rau at January 18, 2007 3:36 PM
i just wanna wash my car! i vote for no precip! i'll do a "non" rain dance. haha...
gary... your story about the lady from last night was great. i have no doubt the station switch is still partially to blame. channel 4 was "always" NBC, WDAF. i'm sure there are some people who will be confusing 61 Country with 106.5 even after their change to ("ooooh") The Wolf.
just keep up the good work and keep on the promotions staff, and get somebody to increase your advertising budget! - mt
Posted by: Mike Trainor at January 18, 2007 3:43 PM
Hey just saw they issued a Winter Storm Watch for Appleton City 3-6 in with locally higher amounts. Im hoping atleast 6 inches. Hopefully you guys up north can get some.
Watch out, it is still early.
Posted by: daniel at January 18, 2007 4:20 PM
I have a good feeling for this system. Are you planning on doing a snowfall accumulation map.
I think we will broad brush the snowfall totals, unless I get inspired by the new data tonight.
Posted by: Jeff at January 18, 2007 5:06 PM
Has anything changed, giving you a stronger sense to make a more precise amount of snow that we can expect?
I see a few things that can go wrong. We must wait a bit longer as confidence is not growing yet.
Posted by: Adam at January 18, 2007 5:09 PM
I had planned a trip to visit friends in Kimberling City, MO this weekend (Jan 20/21). It sounds like they might receive the most precip. What do you think?
Tough question. It is too early to pick out who will see the most with this unusual storm.
Posted by: Jane at January 18, 2007 5:14 PM
Well, snow eh? Finally! I want the snow up north here. NOT down south. NEW IDEA!! You guys too could do your own "Weather DVD". As I'm sure you guys know, another staion did. Only there's one problem. The other staion is most watched no matter what, and you guys, just, no offense, aren't. You could try do to this. Ill have more on this later.
Well, good idea. If we do a special this year we can always put it on DVD. So, it is something to think about.
Posted by: Alden at January 18, 2007 5:43 PM
Gary, I know its too early to sneak ahead - especially with this storm coming, but I had to look ahead. The LRC is freaky. I can see the Dec 20th storm and the Dec 25th storm on the GFS now for us. [240 hr and 384 hr] [[roughly]]. Even as far out as it is, I compare the vorts to those days, and the pattern is in general allignment with the same features. Pretty incredible. This time will pan out different as I expect more cold air around [since I am thinking the rest of Jan and Feb will be colder than expected]. I think Dec was just toying with you a bit on your forecast...I think you will hit your snow forecast. I think where you thought there may be 2 more polar outbreaks/big snow events...I think there will be one or two more, and some smaller [2-6] inch variety snowfalls.
Seems the southern jet/pacific/tropical connection is now hooked into these vorts...
Snow snow snow...
Whether we get 25 inches or not will not define the winter forecast for me. I tell this to the weather team all the time. Our prediction was a good one. I think you will agree. In the end 25 inches of snow may fall in KC, and this would be amazing at this point. But, 25 inches almost for sure will happen in the viewing area.....LOL as I am trying to tell you it doesn't matter, O.K. it matters a little. But, the most importan thing is the pattern is doing what I thought it would do and this is way back in October and early November. The specifics are always tough.
Holding onto the cold air may still be quite difficult. I know the models are doing it, and I HOPE IT does happen. But, I still wonder.
Posted by: Scott at January 18, 2007 6:04 PM
Is this Storm a not very good SNOW producer? Even if it tracks south of us?. if you used your gut feeling could it be a big SNOW producer if it goes further to the south. And also is there going be a copius amount of moist air comming in to the storm?
I heard somewhere that storms like this one can be a really tough to forecast. This will be rather exciting to see how it evolves in the coming day!
Oh Andy, if it tracks south of us and maintains its strength then we will get a lot of snow. The problem is.........where will it track. Northwest of us will still have the potential to bring the dry slot in faster than the models are even saying.
Posted by: Andy at January 18, 2007 6:38 PM
This storm seems to fit the pattern this year. It seems we have not been able to pinpoint the strength and exact track until the storm is close. I appreciate your enthusiasm and accuracy....so I do not mind waiting a little longer so the latest data can be analyzed. I hope the storm trends closer to the 4 inch mark or more!
So do I.
Posted by: Brad at January 18, 2007 6:53 PM
gary, just make sure when you make the snowfall map you leave a huge hole right over northern missouri.. We all know it just can't snow in northern missouri. (maybe if i just talk bad about the snowstorms it will snow?)
We will leave you out of the snow (LOL). Let's see what we think in the morning.
Posted by: Glen Briggs at January 18, 2007 8:33 PM
Hey gary!! I was just wondering, is there any possibility that we may see some sleet or freezing rain out of this, or all snow?
There may be a mixture at times, but if the storm tracks further south it should be mostly snow.
Posted by: ADAM at January 18, 2007 9:06 PM
The NAM has it going to the north of us, but the latest GFS has it going almost right on top of us, come on GFS, be more correct than the NAM!!
Is that vort behind "our" vort trying to kick it out too hard? if so it needs to be nice;)!!
Nick in St. Joe!
I like the GFS and the Canadian!
Posted by: Nick Rau at January 18, 2007 10:02 PM
Good late evening sir!!! Man, it is just never easy is it???? What a mish mash again-the KC area winter dance continues!!! The GFS is sticking to its guns and has support from the Euro and UKMET but the NAM is just sticking in the back of my mind and I can't get rid of it!!! I swear the NAM is bound and determined to take this to Winnepeg!! LOL!!! I really feel for you-I know it is fun to track these and try to figure things out, but it would be nice if just once we could have a firmer grasp sooner than 24 hours!!!
It looks like on the WV imagery that this low is still digging a little and has not made the turn yet and that there is another wave comming down behind it-how many straws can I grasp!!!!
Oh well, as always, mother nature will reveal her plans in her own time in her own way. Have a great evening!!! Yes, I will steal time in between classes tomorrow to check out the 12Z runs!!!!
Yes, it was tough doing the show tonight. What am I suppose to say? The NAM takes the low to the North Pole, and the GFS and Canadian model are consistent and take it through KC. I will wait a few more hours before I get excited.
Posted by: Bill Gollier at January 18, 2007 10:37 PM