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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 January 7, 2007 6:28 PM
I know the kind of precipitation we'll get is up in the air for a while, but how does the moisture with this system look? Does it look like it will have alot of moisture to work with like the last few systems that produced very heavy rains and huge snows in Western Kansas? Also, is this Low cut off from the main jet stream flow?
Thanks for the question. One computer model gives KCI 0.30" of liquid...but that's only through Friday Night. The key to how much precip. occurs is the strength of the storm. Right now the storm is 'positively tilted' in the upper levels of the atmosphere on the models. The November 30 storm was 'negatively titled'. Negatively tilted storms tend to be stronger and also move slower(these tend to get cut-off from the mean flow). Both of those factors would lead to more precip.(assuming you are in the path of heaviest precip.). I hope this helps.
Posted by: Jon at January 7, 2007 7:50 PM
I hope this storms takes a track right over kansas. Im ready for some winter weather. Western KS saw thier storms now its eastern kansas's turn to see ours. I am excited to watch you weather casts all this week.
We'll update the forecasts throughout the day on NBC Action News. Brett will give updates on the overnight model runs during the morning show, Gary will provide continuous updates at 5, 6, & 10pm. And finally...don't forget that NBC Action Weather Plus is always on and Brett, Gary, and myself will continue to provide updates on there throughout the day this week!
At the very least it will turn much colder by this weekend and next week.
Posted by: Jeff at January 7, 2007 8:19 PM
Hey Jeremy, again, the bloggers meeting was awesome, me and my wife are the ones that lived out in Grain Valley, we spoke for a few moments . Is there any indication on the length of this cold air? Will it have any staying power? Last thing I want to see is a storm, then after about 3 days we got back into unseasonably warm weather. I miss winter.. :|
It was great to meet you and your wife last Thursday! The colder air will likely stick around for 5-8 days in the wake of the storm. There is some really cold air building in Canada. IF there would be snow on the ground in KC, temps could be near 0 overnight early next week! Lots of variables in play with this upcoming storm.
Posted by: Dave C. at January 7, 2007 8:29 PM
I have a question, I know it's supposed to be windy tomorrow, but on the 18Z GFS the isobars just don't look that packed together like I think they should be for a wind that strong, now it does have tighter gradients with the isobars as Tuesday rolls along, and again on Wendnesday, so is there another aspect that I'm missing?
With all the warm weather in the East I'm wondering just how they are going to look this summer because the LRC should keep that ridge near them until the end of next summer!
Thanks for your time.
Nick in St. Joe!
Keep in mind you are looking at a 1000mb map(surface). Winds can mix down from the 850mb level if conditions are right. And most times the wind is stronger the higher you go in the atmosphere. So with some mixing tomorrow and the clipper system nearby the winds will be very strong. 20-35 mph sustained and gusts to 40mph.
Posted by: Nick Rau at January 7, 2007 9:39 PM
Thought I'd share some knowledge from my friend in Norman, OK, a NWS meteorologist, who went with me and Adrian, my British chasing friend back then, on his first chase at 17 - 80 mph winds, mesos surrounding us, large hail, the lot. He has worked for the NWS for several years now, and has landed a desired assignment in Norman!
Negatively tilted systems are those that, if you draw a line thru them, you can see the line descending from upper left to lower right (hope I'm recalling this right). What this does is make the upper-flow cross another flow, I guess at lower levels, at closer to a 90 degree angle. The lift from the surface to aloft in this instance is maximized, whereas positively tilted systems often don't have as much lift.
In Winter, it is more the dynamics, physically, of the system, that drives the power of the storm, but in Spring, late-Spring, systems are weaker, but the thermodynamics, the heat and moisture, are more abundant, and the systems can produce intense action then without being so strong.
By June, systems are very weak, usually, and it is more the heat, humidity interacting with hanging fronts and local conditions to generate intense activity.
That's all I can recall - enough to be dangerous, but not much more!!!
Great info! I didn't know how technical I should get. Maybe Gary will show a diagram of this sometime soon. This is the one case where being negative is a good thing:)
Posted by: StormDog at January 7, 2007 10:10 PM
Your post discussing negative tilt and the additional information left by a reader are just an example of why I think many of us love this blog. You break down the information in a way that is easy to understand and interesting!
Thank you, now let's hope this trough becomes negatively tilted as it moves across. This is what will decide if we get a major winter storm or a minor one.
Posted by: Marlina at January 8, 2007 12:39 AM
Good morning sir!!! Beautiful morning out there-the winds have just started kicking in but we made it down to 23 out here in SW Lawrence-had great radiational cooling before the winds just started-yesterday was pretty darned windy and felt pretty cold outside!!! Looks like some pretty good chinook winds today-if I am reading things correctly
This weekend looks interesting to say the least!!! By the way, this morning was my first look at the models since Saturday afternoon-too much going on yesterday!!!! The 06Z of the GFS looks like it is slowing things down somewhat when compared to the 0z and the 0z ensembles of the GFS-wonder if this is a trend or just a quick blip. It really looks like, if I am reading this correctly and I'm prob. not-that we could be in for a pretty serious long duration ice event here. The GFS both ensembles and operational have been very consistent with the overall idea of an ice event for here and the timing of the event-I think???? Once that arctic air mass enters the US, one should begin to get a better idea of where things will set up-whatever the case, it does look like the cold is comming and it does look like it will get people's attention!!! I do not envy you at all trying to make a forecast of precip. type and timing with this-this looks to be a tough deal until about 24 hours before everything starts!!!
One last note that I just ahve to add:
I read through some of the blogs from this weekend and one thing caught my attention-I realize you do not need anybody defending you, but I just thought I would throw this out anyway. You are the expert-very few mets would be able to pick the pattern out the way that you have-you have done excellent with this-will you be right 100% of the time-of course not-the weather is too variable esp. here but your forecast record speaks for itself. Secondly, and this is the main point for me-if you did have a huge ego, you sure would not be on here every day taking the time to answer everyone's questions in the fashion that you do. I throw the most random stuff out there (micro climate in Lawrence ring a bell???) but you always respond and address my questions as does the whole weather team-a person with a big ego would not answer questions from hobbyists and weather fans the way you do. I just wanted to throw that out there!!!!!
Have a great day-hold onto your hat the next 36 hours!!!!! Thanks for reading and bring on the cold!!!!!(hopefully with some snow thrown in!!!!lol)
Thanks for the vote of confidence. This can be a tough business dealing with some negative feedback. Jack Harry is the king at dealing with negative emails, blogs, phone calls as he throws out some contriversial stuff. I just have to blow it off and go on. I am the one who made that statement that provoked the comment anyway.
The weather this week will certainly be peaking in excitement. In November as the storm approached we wondered if the southern extension of the trough would become an upper low. The models didn't catch on to this potential until three days before. So, Tuesday is the three days before date. Let's see what happens in the next few model runs.
Posted by: Bill Gollier at January 8, 2007 5:20 AM