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10:30 AM Update
Good morning everyone,
This storm is very unique as there really isn't an upper low forming. As you can see in the map that Brett showed in the last entry (look below this entry) the waves are not very organized, but you can notice something important. The upper level flow is very negatively tilted. The trough leans from northwest to southeast right across our area. This has allowed a rather unusual and dynamic situation at other levels of the atmosphere. There is a strong surface low developing now in southwest Kansas, but in the next few hours it will be forming over north Texas as the storm begins to rapidly intensify at the surface. Look below at the 10:16 AM map.
Click to enlarge (Surface map at 10:16 AM)
The map below shows the precipitation type forecast by the RUC model for 9 PM. Notice the rain snow line is now on the south side of the city and shifting south rather rapidly.
Click to enlarge (blue is snow, green is rain.....valid 9 PM tonight)
We still have some challenges. When will the changeover occur? Where will the heaviest bands of snow line up? And, how long will the precipitation last? We will figure this out for you on our newscasts tonight at 5, 6, and 10 PM. Right now we are still thinking widespread 2 to 3 inch amounts, and as Brett has been explaining this morning there is a chance of a 5 inch or more area, but where? We may not know for sure until this evening so watch our newscasts.
So, now the waiting begins. It can be frustrating. When will the rain change to snow? This may be the biggest factor in how much snow falls.
Watch out for the end of the week. A strong Alberta Clipper is forecast to actually bring us some snow Friday night. This has been a bit more consistent on the models lately. We will talk about this tonight as well.
We will try to get to your questions, but it will be a very busy day today.
Posted by at February 12, 2007 10:23 AM
What are the pros/cons of a surface low forming rather than an upper low?
There is almost always a surface low. This one is rather strong, but not as strong as it will get when it reaches the east coast around mid week. For us, a bit stronger on the surface low and the cold air could be pulled in a bit faster this evening.
Posted by: Brian at February 12, 2007 10:45 AM
Hi Gary, Greetings from cleveland ohio. I recently moved to ohio from kansas city this past summer and have been disappointed by lack of big storms here so far this winter. right now we sit at 33 inches this winter. this is our first possible big storm. I am also disappointed with local meterologist. Its like snow is taboo. I still read your blogs on a daily basis. Any way you could change cities.
Are there any openings there? Just kidding bloggers. 33 inches still sounds like a lot to us.
Posted by: john at February 12, 2007 10:58 AM
Gary and the team looking forward to some rain and snow this is great for the yard hpefully the northland will get a liitle more this run jerry barry rd and 169
Posted by: Jerry at February 12, 2007 10:59 AM
Gary and Brett:
Sorry to bother you again-my youngest is content with Thomas The Tank Engine so it gives me time to follow and think-what a scary thing-me contemplating the weather!!! Thanks for the update-they are so imformative and great teaching tools!!
It looks to me like the 12Z GFS doesn't help matters much regarding specifics-it has that .83 qpf at 12 hrs but the freeze line is basically transecting the city with the KCI at about 32.3 or something-that could be real interesting. I have also noticed on the surface obs. that we are now getting into the Easterly winds and it looks like on the surface pressure that the colder air is getting its act together-I think I see the pressure isobars are tightening in North Central Nebraska and the line is just south of that-next few hours could be intresting to see where that is.
What a fascinating day-even if this doesn't all come together it is a great event to follow and learn from-thanks to all of you!! Thanks for reading-I'll hold off for a while now so not to bother you too much!!! Have a great afternoon and although hectic/busy have fun analyzing this-I know you are really excited to watch this evolve-nothing like a real live labratory!!!
Bill in Lawrence as is Thomas the Tank Engine!!!
What does your towel mean?
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 12, 2007 11:01 AM
so could this mean more snow for the metro or less?
More snow between Kansas City and St. Joe. Less farther north and maybe 1 to 3 inches to the south.
Posted by: nikie at February 12, 2007 11:01 AM
Do you think we will have a advisory? I am crossing my fingers too. I have Storm LAB up watching the radar and the Station Plots. Just wish Stlab 4.0 was out!!
Posted by: Andrew at February 12, 2007 11:10 AM
We need cold air and forcing in a hurry! We have the deepening surface low, and the precip near by..but we are going to waste all this on rain! Hurry up cold air!!!!
Need the low to slow down or the cold air to speed up. They are off sync..doesn't Mother Nature know its all about us!!!!!
Posted by: Scott at February 12, 2007 11:19 AM
I know you aren't into giving specific totals for snowfall events, but are we looking at a significant snowfall for the Kansas City Metro area out of this storm? Also, how will the wind gusts tonight and tomorrow affect the area? Could those winds cause blizzard type conditions!
Thanks for all you do and have a great day!
I think 3 inches for Metro KC, with strong winds tomorrow morning. I don't know about blizzard conditions because its hard to get sustained winds of 35 mph.
Posted by: Fred at February 12, 2007 11:30 AM
What is an Alberta clipper?
Courtesy of a Weather Notebook to save us some time:
An Alberta Clipper is born on the high plains east of the Canadian Rockies. The average clipper then dives southeast, into the Dakotas and Minnesota, and then arcs eastward across the Great Lakes. On this track, a clipper stays hundreds of miles away from the mild waters of the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. This means your average clipper is moisture-deprived, so it won't drop huge amounts of snow. Instead of two or three feet, it'll leave just a few inches on a narrow track that goes by places like Milwaukee or Detroit.
Posted by: Marlina at February 12, 2007 11:39 AM
How fast is the artic front moving at this time? According to the map it is located around Des Moines right now and moving south.
It is moving south at about 35 mph. But, it is also being absorbed into the storm.
Posted by: David Pollard at February 12, 2007 11:48 AM
Gary and weather team:
I am still concerned about some pretty signigicant snow fall here in northern MO...models are putting us at 6"+, even with downplaying some of the recent QPF info..add in the wind and we could have near blizzard conditions...am I reading this right?? Are the forecasters being a little cautious based on missed forecasts in the past? I know you guys are the most accurate and I trust your abilities....but something tells me that we are missing something...all of the surrounding WFO's are hoisting warnings and EAX downgraded??? Am I just lost in left field?
The best lift will likely be south of you, so this could limit totals. Not for sure yet. Keep us updated.
Posted by: Corey at February 12, 2007 11:52 AM
O.k...I have NO questions for you, I just have to share how INTRIGUING this all is! I have watched Gary ever since I moved here quite a few years back from Iowa and I have never even thought to check out the web site! If I had known, I would have been addicted!! (As I will be NOW, after stumbling across it yesterday!) I am amazed at how many people are able to have intelligent conversations with you about the weather, the "lows", the various "models"....all these acronyms are OVER my head (perhaps that's why I needed a tutor to get a C- in Meteorology in college?!!?!?) Anyway, just wanted to thank you for such a great opportunity to gather updated information and to gain a better understanding of the weather and how the storms are tracked. I've found it VERY interesting! Take care, as I know the weather team will be up LATE, if not all night, tracking and trying to update the public on this particular storm and the snow totals throughout the metro. Thanks for all you do!
Glad you stopped by and enjoy the blog. Please post again soon. Let us know how much snow you get tonight!
Posted by: JoAnn at February 12, 2007 11:52 AM
If this is getting stronger and moving south what wuill that do rto stjoe. SE IS and SW NE are forcasted to get 4-6 so do we still get 4-6? its also 35 degrees still.
We are still trying to figure this out. As soon as we see that rain/snow line everything will become more obvious.
Posted by: tedelo at February 12, 2007 11:58 AM
What's the chance of this precipitation changing over to ice, sleet and/or snow for the evening rush hour?
Posted by: Dave at February 12, 2007 12:10 PM
Can you define your early comment about the Artic Front being absorbed by the storm? What does that mean and how does that impact the snow totals, if it all?
Great job today as I know it is probably a crazy day for you and your team!
Usually you would see a front with a wind shift and it was sort of there but the wind shift is no longer visible. And, instead of a sudden drop from the cold front passage we will now have just a gradual drop in temperatures. The front was literally absorbed into the surface circulation of the storm, or it is in the process of doing so right now.
Posted by: Todd at February 12, 2007 12:31 PM
It appears that we are now under a Winter Weather Advisory.
This should have probably been issued Sunday Night. Keep in mind only the NWS can issue watches/warnings.
Posted by: michelle at February 12, 2007 12:32 PM
Lol!!!! The towel is a better way for me to state my KC winter precip issue frustrations!!! Towel in hand is getting ready to throw it and say good night/good bye!!
Sort of like presently when I read that St. Louis is at 41 and the NWS is conferencing with EMA about their next update!!!
I know this isn't a classic set up for us and it is far from over but I was sure hoping that cold air would be making more of a southerly push by now-thanks to your above response I can see on the charts that it is being somewhat resisted as it heads down (this blog is just awesome-I have learned so much thanks to you and the team!!)-I just hope on the next two surface observations it is closer to the Kansas Border. I'm kind of scared to even look at the 18Z runs.
Oh well, whatever happens, I can't put a price on how great it has been to follow this here-much learned. That is why the towel is back in the drawer-frustrated or not, learning is an awesome thing!!!
Bill in Lawrence
Oh, still hanging at about 37-I have a digital therm. and keep gasping everytime it changes .3 degrees LOL!!!
I like what I am seeing on the model trends. But the waiting can be frustrating. The next 8 hours could be tough for the true weather fanatic.
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 12, 2007 12:33 PM
They just posted winter weather advisory! Any update on when the change over to wintry mix might occur? How does rush hour look?
Posted by: Tim Paulson at February 12, 2007 12:39 PM
I see the NWS has issued Heavy Snow Warnings and Winter Storm Warnings to our north and east. Are they on the right track, or do you expect anything heavier in our area. I am especially interested in the Lawson MO area. Thanks for your dedication and for sharing it with us, it makes the weather fun.
Give us another few hours.
Posted by: Cris at February 12, 2007 12:46 PM
I live in Warsaw Missouri. I am always puzzled by the forecast for our immediate area because neither Kansas City nor Springfield forecasting is completely accurate. I enjoy reading this weather blog since we don't get K.C. televisions stations. Can you tell me what to expect here?
You are really on the edge of whether it will change over or not. I think it will and later on tonight and then you should get some accumulation.
Posted by: janene at February 12, 2007 1:03 PM
To the best Weather Team in KC:
Having found an interest in weather now that I am retired and have time on my hands, is there any chance for more detailed instruction as to what the symbols, etc. mean on your posted maps? In the alternative, is there a good web site that could do this for me?
Hoping for snow in Gladstone!
When the weather calms down we will try to use the blog for some of these lessons. Let me know later this week if it does calm down.
Posted by: Mike at February 12, 2007 1:54 PM
I just found this blog recently, and am loving all the information provided by the Weather Team and other posters. Keep it up!
1) What does "PL" mean on the RUC model above?
2) I know this would be outside KSHB's viewing area, but what kind of precip totals can we expect here in Columbia? I've heard everything from 1 inch to 5-6 inches.
PL means ice pellets. And it could be anywhere from one to 6 inches for you! We should have a much clearer picture soon.
Posted by: Ryan at February 12, 2007 2:21 PM
Good early afternoon everybody!!! How are all of you holding up?? What a fascinating day!! Been great to follow this for sure!!
If I am seeing things correctly, the 18Z NAM and RUC do not look all that great-man, that dry slot-yuk!! (of course the 18Z NAM always seems to loose qpf) Also, both want to pull the 850 low as well as the 700 low back North which given the lack of cold air advancement today makes sense-I think??? Onto the 18Z GFS then time to watch surface observation and the satelite and radar. Hopefully we can get a stronger push (I am going to send the front a personal invitation!!) of the cold air and this can be pushed a bit south again. Still looks to be time for changes as the low is still in Texas. St. Louis looks to get a decent winter event from this as does NE Missouri-still time for us-come on cold front LOL
Have a great afternoon and thanks for the responses today-as busy as you all are it is appreciated beyond words!!! Oh, Topeka NWS has yet to put Lawrence in any kind of advisory-they may, but based on the 18Z NAM and RUC they very well may not.
Bill-yea the towel is still in the drawer because well, to learn is to always better yourself-in Lawrence
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 12, 2007 2:34 PM
My husband is trying to fly out of KC around 5:45 this evening ... do you think the weather is going to affect departure? or will it have even changed over at that point? Thanks!
Posted by: Hollie at February 12, 2007 2:54 PM