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 March 16, 2007

Snow on Saturday?

Good morning everyone,

This morning it is snowing in New York City. A major storm is hitting the east coast today through Sunday. And, for us there really isn't a storm, but there may be a band of rain and snow by early Saturday morning very close to us. Look below:

850 Saturday morning.gif 850 mb map Saturday morning

precip sat morn.gif Precipitation forecast by 6 AM Saturday

The top map is the 850 mb level. Remember the surface is around 1000 mb. Why is this? 1000 mb is a pressure with "mb" standing for milibars. Remember the pressure is a measure of the weight of the atmosphere above you at any given point. As you step outside this morning you will have around 1000 mb of pressure on you and with gravity it holds you to the ground. 850 mb is around 5,000 feet up. So, when you go to Denver this is the amount of weight, roughly, above you there. They are around the 850 mb level. But, for us this is around 5,000 feet above us. And it is a very important level when we look at snow and severe thunderstorm potential.

Now, on this map I drew in an arrow showing the direction of the wind at 850 mb. The red and blue lines are temperature lines. We have warm air trying to force its way in here. This is what I would call weak warm advection. Compare this to the warm advection on the east coast. That is a big 850 mb low which I would call a snow making machine. Someone in New York will get 2 feet out of this one. And, for us, as you can see on the map below, there could be a band of 1/10th of an inch of precipitation move through. The blue dotted line is the 540 thickness line. Along and east of that line the precipitation could be in the form of snow briefly and this is right near Kansas City. We will track this weak disturbance on the shows tonight.

Yesterday I went to Pembroke Hill to talk with the 6th graders. Look at Breezy and Stormy's eyes. Stormy thought it would be better to keep her eyes closed. She was smart as Breezy looks "evil". They both did a wonderful job of performing their tricks. Breezy has a new one, she can crawl, and she is learning how to march!

Dogs Pemboke.JPG
Click to enlarge (Breezy, Stormy with a 6th grader at Pembroke Hill)

Don't forget Sunday's Kansas City Star! We will have our severe weather insert in the paper on Sunday. And our weather special "Extreme Weather" is on at 7 PM Wednesday night!

Have a great weekend! Don't drink and drive and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Oh, one more thing! I have been promised that our blog will get the old look back by the end of the month! So, it should be more fun to visit. We will be having more improvements on our website as the next few weeks go by. It is not completely out of our control, but the only thing we can do is make suggestions, with your help of course.


Posted by at March 16, 2007 7:07 AM


Nice blog entry. Thanks for the mix of harder and lighter analysis. This said, with the warm air advection potential and the 850 temp line so close to marginal, wouldn’t it be likely for this not to even hit the ground..or stay up in the clouds? Dunno…doesn’t seem like enough Q to drop especially with the warm air pushing it north. We shall see.

I understand what you are saying. There isn't a lot of moisture available, but the lift is really concentrated right over the state line for about 4 hours around 5 to 9 AM. We know this pattern very well. If I didn't I would be making an argument for it being a bit further west and we could see 3 inches of snow in the morning. This potential does exist but most likely 60 miles east of us. I am leaning towards a rain/snow mix for a few hours in the morning. But we are right on the edge.


Posted by: Scott at March 16, 2007 9:19 AM

Hello Gary,
If that band comes threw, what you think a dusting? Is the ground temps warm? Thanks for the time

The ground temps are not too warm, but the air temperature could be marginal in the lower to middle 30s. We just have to see what happens in the morning. I think the chance of precipitation is now up to around 60%, but the chance of accumlation of snow is around 5%.


Posted by: Anne at March 16, 2007 9:26 AM

Gary, your blog is the only one I read. I'm all for improvement, but I hope the new one when done, doesn't open another window. The old one was easier to get to which is why I look at it rather than the other guys. Btw, still doing the 100 rep workouts? I searched for these on the internet and found different variations. Have any sites or info you can share?

I have a trainer that about once a month suddenly thinks I should do the 100s on a various body parts. I haven't done them in about a month, uh oh, this may mean next week. It is sort of fun and different though. It is important to change up your workout. I don't have any sites to look at, unfortunately.

Yesterday, I had a huge leg workout where I went from leg curls (15 reps), to leg extenstions (15 reps), to squats (15 reps). Increased weight and then did it again, and again for 8 sets of each. This is with only ONE minute of rest in between sets. This is a tough 35 to 40 minute leg workout. I am sore today.


Posted by: mike at March 16, 2007 9:38 AM

Gary, Quick question - I'm an avid fan and reader of your blog, but also my favorite show on TV is Friday Night Lights - which is on Wed. nights at 7:00 PM. Will that show be aired at a different time b/c of the Extreme Weather special? Thank you! Bobby

NBC gave the programming to its local affiliates that half hour only on that night. This is why we picked Wednesday at 7 PM for the special. Friday Night Lights will be coming back next week.


Posted by: Bobby at March 16, 2007 11:28 AM


Thank you for sharing the pics of Breezy and Stormy!!! We got to meet Stormy last year at the Pet Expo at Hale Arena!!

I am glad that our weather here is fairly warm now, my best friend in Ohio where I grew up tells me that they are still getting snow flurries!!!!!! I don't miss that weather!!

By the way, I have heard you mention on the air that you make cottage cheese pancakes, would you be willing to share your recipe??

Thanks! Keep up the great work!!!! Your team is the BEST!

Cottage cheese pancakes are delicious if you make them this way. 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of flour, 2 eggs and 3 to 6 tablespoons of sugar. You won't even need any syrup. Mix it all together, perhaps a tablespoon of oil too. I use low fat cottage cheese and nonfat sour cream.

Breezy was a puppy at the pet expo last year. Stormy is now 6 years old.


Posted by: Kathy at March 16, 2007 11:36 AM

Thanks for all the info! One thing that I like about March is it's unexpected twists, I am really looking forward to your extreme weather special on Wed. I'm supposed to be off that day so I won't have any trouble seeing it:)Breezy looks out of this world in that picture, neat optical phenomena! Since the LRC is about a 45 day cycle then the week of Easter will have to be watched I think because it should have the "big storm" as the colder part of the pattern tries to take shape!
thanks for the info and pictures!!!!
Nick in (chilly) St. Joe!!!

Yes, the week of Easter. My mom's birthday is April 13th. It is her 70th and I am going to Los Angeles. Maybe, just maybe the storm will be one or two days later, or earlier.


Posted by: Nick Rau at March 16, 2007 12:56 PM

Looking at some models, I am seeing rain Sunday night into Monday morning. Your graphics don’t show any rain…I see it pretty clear on the SREF, less on the NAM, and a bit in between on the GFS. They all indicate a surface low forming in the panhandle…


We have it in there for Sunday night and Monday. And, then also for most of next week. The latest data is closing off the upper low, which is supported by many models. This could end up being a rather wet week of March. Some severe weather threat, but more rain and thunderstorms out of this one. Of course as it gets closer let's see how it sets up.


Posted by: Scott at March 16, 2007 1:06 PM

Feast to Famine,

That's what we've seen the last few weeks here in Colorado. As much snow as we were blessed with last December and January, we have seen little to NOTHING since mid-February. I am starting to get concerned that we are heading into the same severe drought pattern that we did at this time last year. It would be great to see the drought broken and STAY broken for a while.

Do you see a return of drought conditions this spring and summer?


After next week you will not be thinking of a drought. Remember we are in the same pattern that set up in October and November. This does not support a drought.


Posted by: Doug at March 16, 2007 4:30 PM

Hi Gary,

do you think there is any chance of snowflakes in the harrisonville area? I am not expecting accumulations but it would be cool to see some last few flakes.



You should see some rain and snow showers this morning.


Posted by: Brent at March 16, 2007 6:50 PM

Gary I do hope you know that your mom's birthday is on FRIDAY the 13th right? So, you'd better have some good luck charms then!

Now, I feel a little strange asking this, but out of all the months in the year, why is March the most active and crasiest? Even though its in Basketball, every year I call march, "March Madness".

Yes, my Mom's birthday does fall on Friday the 13th this year. I just hope I can get out there to visit on her 70th birthday.

The jet stream is still rather intense in March and we still have true winter air masses around to battle with springtime air masses. So, it often ends up with some of the wilder storm systems. But, I still think other months of the year can be just as wild.

This March, for us, has been fairly tame. But, other parts of the nation have it madness.


Posted by: Alden at March 16, 2007 8:12 PM

We had a few waves of sleet here in downtown Overland Park this morning. Why is it that Saturday is always the worst weather day of the week?

We started with the waves of sleet and some snowflakes mixed in, but it is getting nice this afternoon.

Snow fell over most areas just east of Kansas City, and especially over central Missourit this morning.


Posted by: Rob at March 17, 2007 9:16 AM

Was hoping someone could answer this for me. Enjoy keeping up with the blog. I saw that someone had asked about Friday Night Lights being aired (a new episode according to the NBC website) at the same time as the weather special. Gary answered that the time slot was available to local affiliates. We planned on watching the special and taping the FNL episode.....whenever it was going to be aired on KSHB. KSHB's website TV listings says that FNL will be airing at 7:00 on Wed., by the way. Just wondering when to set the recorder? Thanks much!

Friday Night Lights is not on this week in Kansas City.


Posted by: Jim at March 17, 2007 12:40 PM


Thanks for your patience with me, I seem to lose faith pretty easily and fear the return of drought. I think I'm emotionally scarred or something from all the recent drought years in eastern Colorado. The truth about this area is that we almost continually live on the edge of drought.

Probably another thing I need to stay away from is the 'NOAA weather outlook for Spring' in which they are now proclaiming the rapid onset of La Nina with dry and warm conditions across much of west/southwest. I find it curious that these are the same forecasters who said the El Nino this past fall and winter would lead to a wet weather pattern in the southwest US. They ended up having one of the driest winters ever! If we follow their logic it will probably start raining like heck down there...

The rainy season ends in Los Angeles within a month. So, unless they have a miracle it will be the driest year in their recorded history.

And, I have always said that El Nino and La Nina likely do influence the pattern, but it is MUCH SMALLER than any of those NWS forecasts believe. This winter has proven my point.

La Nina may be growing, but the weather pattern is still cycling and the same one that set up last fall. Hmmmmm....


Posted by: Doug at March 17, 2007 11:12 PM

Hi Gary!
Ive lived in KC/Overland Park for 50 years.
I watched Channel 9/12 for most of those years until you came on board at NBC. Your the reason I started watching your channel. Then when Jack Harry came on board, it was a 'double reason' to watch. I love it when you give Jack 'trouble' on air. The rest of the news is more of the same stuff every night. But, when you and Jack 'mix it up' thats what cracks me up and make me want to watch NBC even more. Come on Gary, pour it on ol Jack!
Your buddy,

When they started Jack's show "The Sports Spot" on 38 the spot, channel 8 on Time Warner, there was a suggestion to make it "Harry and Gary". But, it never happened. We could have gone at it over sports and weather issues. Most of the time we do have a little bit of an edge to it and he gives me a hard time. But, I think it makes for good TV.


Posted by: Matt at March 22, 2007 9:55 PM


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