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Thunderstorms and Snowflakes On January 22nd

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Cloudy with some rain and snow showers! Temperature in the 30s, staying just above freezing all day.
  • Tonight: Rain changing to snow and ending. A dusting to 1/2″ is possible. Windy and cold. Low: 20s  Some black ice may be a sneaky problem.
  • Tuesday:  Mostly sunny with a high of 39°

Sometimes we may not realize that Kansas City is quite often near the center of the storm. The center of the storm does not mean that Kansas City gets the most exciting weather, and this is an understatement because we are in a four year stretch where storm systems have not quite come together during the winter in this area.  We will have completed four straight years without even a 3″ snow storm in two weeks.  The last 3″ snow happened during he first week of February 2014.  But, the center of storm systems have passed through Kansas City, and one of them was directly overhead early this morning. Take a look at this surface map:

namussfcwbg

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The occluded low pressure area was centered just north of KC this morning as you can see on this surface analysis.  It is close to blizzard conditions over northwestern Kansas this morning and colder air is moving in from the south with this occlusion. Take a look at this mornings radar image:

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 7.13.45 AM

This is a very functional storm and Kansas City had thunderstorms around midnight, so today began with thunderstorms. The day will likely end with a little bit of snow as the wrap around moisture moved in with the comma head.  Temperatures will likely be just above freezing later this afternoon and evening so any travel problems should be limited.

7:14 AM Radar:  The comma head was showing an increase in the precipitation early this morning as you can see below.

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We will be monitoring this area of rain and snow showers as it rotates around the storm this morning. There may be a dusting of snow, and possibly even up to 1/2″ or so in a few spots this evening. If this gets a bit more organized then it could produce around an inch near KC, but I am just expecting perhaps a dusting at this moment. We still will have gone from thunderstorms to snow in the same calendar day, which is pretty exciting but our streak of lower than 3″ of snow will continue.

Gary

Blizzard, High Wind, Fire, Severe Weather

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are tracking one heck of a storm system that will move from the southwest USA to Kansas to the Great Lakes today and Monday. There are watches and warnings for just about any weather you can imagine, however, eastern Kansas and western Missouri are taking a direct hit from the dry slot. This is the most tame part of a strong and functional storm system.

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There is a Blizzard Warning from northeast Colorado, northwest Kansas to Nebraska, northwest Iowa and extreme southern Minnesota. There is a slight risk of severe weather from eastern Texas to Arkansas through far southeast Oklahoma and far northwest Louisiana, possibly clipping southern Missouri in subsequent updates. In locations that have seen basically no rain or snow in 100 days there are High Wind and Fire Weather warnings. There will also be quite a bit of blowing dust in those areas as well.  In our area…a lonely Dense Fog advisory that expires at noon today.

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Let’s go through the progression of the storm system with the new data, as we will see some rain and even snow!

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The storm system will be getting it’s act together in the Plains. The snowstorm will be intensifying from Colorado to western Nebraska through northwest Kansas. We will be around 60°, likely seeing the warmest day since December 3, 2017.

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SUNDAY 6 PM TO MIDNIGHT: This is when we have the best chance of precipitation with this storm system as scattered showers and a few thunderstorms will be possible with temperatures mostly in the 50s, 40s in northern Missouri and around 60° to the south. Hopefully, you see a nice downpour to at least wash the salt and dirt off of the roads. The wet roads, due to condensation, in combination with the salt and dirt not only makes for a few slick spots, but really makes for a mess. The windshield washer fluid is much needed. Severe thunderstorms will be possible in Arkansas into far southern Missouri.

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MONDAY 7 AM: We will be in the dry slot of the storm system, which means a period of clear sky, temperatures in the 30s to low 40s and an increasing wind from the west. We will not have to deal with black ice as temperatures will be above freezing. The snowstorm will be ongoing about 200 miles to the northwest.

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MONDAY NOON: The wrap around of the storm system will be in the area with wind gusts to 35 mph, temperatures 35°-40° and a few rain showers, perhaps a snow shower.

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MONDAY 2 PM TO 8 PM: We will see the wind continue with scattered snow and rain showers as temperatures stay mostly in the 30s, above freezing. So, this means we are expecting little to no accumulation with wet roads. We still have to watch this period closely, because, if the storm system is a bit slower, farther south and more intense, the snow will be less showery (more solid) with temperatures 30°-32°. In this scenario we would see a dusting to 1″ of snow with more of a chance of slick roads. The chance of this occurring is 20%.

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MONDAY 8 PM TO MIDNIGHT: The snow and rain will end, the wind will slowly diminish as temperatures drop to the upper 20s and low 30s, mostly below freezing. So, if we do not see any snow accumulation, but there is enough moisture left on surfaces, we could see some black ice Monday night into Tuesday morning as lows drop to the 20s. A west-northwest breeze will help to dry surfaces.

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There is little change in the thinking from Saturday as far as our area taking a direct hit from the least precipitation producing part of the storm system, the dry slot. We are expecting a trace to 0.25″ of rain with .25″ to 1″ near and east of the Mississippi river.

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A blizzard with 6″ to 15″ of snow will occur from northeast Colorado to northwest Kansas, Nebraska, northwest Iowa to far southern Minnesota. These locations need the moisture just as bad as we do, so at least some locations are getting a reprieve from the dry weather.

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So, in summary, we are expecting a trace to 0.25″ of rain and a dusting of snow to no accumulation. We will watch for that 20% window where we could see a dusting to 1″ of snow. If we are to get any accumulation it would be from 2 PM  to 8 PM Monday.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

 

Another Storm System, Another Miss

Good Saturday bloggers,

I wish I had better news for the weather enthusiasts, but we are going to take a direct hit from the dry slot of the storm system. This is the least precipitation producing part of a functional storm system. It is not just KC that is having these issues.  Since, the new LRC started in early October Dodge City, KS has seen 0.10″ and Amarillo, TX has seen 0.00″.

Here is the 90 day percent average rainfall across the USA. The dryness extends from the middle of the USA to southwest USA. There will be parts of this dry area that see some decent moisture with the next storm system, but it will likely not be our area.

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We have had 17% of average rainfall (we included the total January average) since the 22nd of October as storm system after storm system underwhelm. We had nearly 20″ of rain from August 1st to October 22nd and since then 0.99″. Incredible!

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The roads are wet today, but not from rain. This is condensation, as the relatively warm and moist air overruns the very cold surface, like a cold soda can outside on a summer day. So, the damp to wet roads when mixed with the salt and dirt can make things a bit slick. Especially, if you start too fast at a light.

Let’s go through this next storm system and see if we can actually find some water falling from the sky and not just condensing on the ground.

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SATURDAY: Today will be mostly cloudy and dry with highs around 50°.

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SATURDAY EVENING: There is a chance of some drizzle and fog with temperatures in the 40s. You can see a snowstorm getting its act together in Wyoming.

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SUNDAY MORNING: It will be cloudy and cool with patches of drizzle and perhaps some fog as a snowstorm increases in Wyoming, Colorado and western Nebraska.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING: We will see lots of clouds with highs in the 50s. A few showers will begin to increase during the evening as a snowstorm is occurring in western Nebraska, northwest Kansas and northeast Colorado.

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SUNDAY NIGHT AROUND MIDNIGHT: Rain and thunderstorms will be increasing to the east while the snow continues in Nebraska. We may still have a few showers with temperatures around 50°.

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MONDAY: The storm system will be pulling away and we will see wind, temperatures in the 30s and scattered snow and rain showers. The 12Z NAM has come out with the upper low farther south, tracking right over KC on Monday. If this happens, then Monday afternoon and evening we will have a chance for a dusting to 1″ of snow. This is something to watch, but even that is just another one of our under 1″ snows since February 4, 2014. Our average snowstorm amount is 0.8″ since February 4, 2014.

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Here is the rain and snow forecast for the storm system this weekend and Monday. You can see the heaviest snow occurs from northeast Colorado to Nebraska and southern Minnesota. If you reference the 90 day percent average rainfall map above, you can see they need the precipitation as well. The heaviest rain occurs east of the Mississippi river and they do not need precipitation as bad we as we do west of the Mississippi. We are in the low precipitation zone as the dry slot takes aim on eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST: It will be quite a snowstorm with blizzard conditions in central and western Nebraska up to Minnesota.

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RAINFALL/SNOWFALL FORECAST: We will see a trace to .25″ of rain with a dusting of snow to the northwest. Now, remember, we still have some solutions where we could see a dusting to 1″. The upper low must track near or just south of KC to make that possible.

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Have a great weekend and let’s see what the data shows tomorrow.

Jeff Penner

The Trend Has Been South On This Next Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: Mostly sunny and much warmer. The snow will be melting with a southwest breeze blowing at around 20 mph or stronger at times. High:  55°
  • Tonight: Increasing clouds late. Low:  38°
  • Saturday:  Cloudy and cool. South winds 5-15 mph. High:  47°
  • Sunday:  Mostly cloudy & warmer. Temperatures rising to near 50 by morning with a high of 56°. Some light rain or drizzle is possible.
  • Monday: Windy and much colder with a chance of snow showers. High:  37°

Weather Discussion:

There has been a two day trend of this next storm tracking farther south. For it to make the weather very exciting in KC we would need this trend to continue.  It just needs to track just a bit farther south than the latest models show. Watch today’s short video for an explanation.  We will continue our discussion on the Weather2020 comments section.  Let’s look at the trend and let’s look into how this will be a severe weather set up around the 9th of March, or more likely around the 26th of April.

Todays Video:

Recording #139 from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Thank  you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the ActionWeather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

Fantasy Or Reality: Looking At Two Possible Storm Systems

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern is quite calm across the United States this morning.  The deep south is having a winter to remember, while in KC the frustrations “somewhat” continue. I put somewhat in quotes because since winter began on December 21st Kansas City has actually had nearly 5″ of snow. This is in less than a month, which is actually close to average for this first month of true winter.  But, at the same time we are having an historically long period of time without a 3″ snow storm. If we make it to February 4th, then it will be four full 365-day stretches (years) without even one storm that produced 3″ of snow. There is a chance that Kansas City will not quite get to this 4-year record, which is over 400 days longer than any other stretch of the lack of a 3″ storm in KC recorded history.  There are two candidates, the second of which has perhaps a chance of breaking the streak, albeit a very low chance. Is it just another fantasy storm? Let’s take a look.

Today’s surface map:

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This first map in today’s blog entry features a very calm weather pattern across the United States. The Arctic air is in the process of a massive retreat north back into Canada. It will be lurking up there, however, so we are far from done from having another few Arctic blasts this winter.  But, for now, this is great news as I think we all need to thaw out a bit. This morning is 22 degrees warmer than yesterday morning near KC already.  The focus will shift out west to that big Pacific storm system. The bottom part of this storm will begin breaking off and forming into a storm that will emerge out into the plains this weekend.

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The energy that is going to produce this weekend’s storm system is not even a storm at all today. It is at the base of the big eastern Pacific trough as you can see above. This is very important. Why? This means we are far from having the correct solution from the computer models for Sunday and Monday.  The energy will eventually break off and form into the storm that will impact the plains states later this weekend. Take a look at the GFS solution, but once again there are other solutions out there and new solutions to come when the models come out in the  next few hours.

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The GFS model has the storm forecast to be centered near the Kansas/Nebraska border by 6 PM Sunday. The European Model has been farther south. This farther south solution makes a huge difference on what will happen where you live. For KC to have snow from this storm it will need to track farther south by around 1/2 of a state and then we will have a rather lively discussion within a day or two.  But, we are so used to getting missed we just have to keep our expectations low.  The energy that will potentially produce the storm in ten days is also showing up on this map. I tracked it back and it is in the area I am pointing to over the Pacific Ocean.

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The map above, and the forecast snowfall below show a solution that would end the history journey with no 3″ snowfalls. But, it is just another fantasy storm? Look at this! I might as well show it.  The chance that it is fantasy is very high!

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So, here is your question today. Is this fantasy or will it happen? Let’s vote in the blog today.  There are no in-betweens. Vote for “The storm will happen and break the KC 4-year streak” or “The storm is fake, and it is another fantasy storm that will never happen”, at least in KC.  Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern known as the LRC.  Here is the link to the blog on Weather2020 so you can join in the conversation:  Weather2020 Blog

Have a great Thursday! Tomorrow, we will look at how the first three cycles have produced, or not produced!

Gary

An Historic Record For Lack Of Snow In Kansas City

Good morning bloggers,

The weather enthusiasts that live near Kansas City are experiencing an historically incredible record for lack of snowfall. The last time Kansas City had 3″ of snow in a storm was February 4, 2014. This is almost four years ago.  As of yesterday this is 1,442 days without one storm that produced only 3″ of snow. This breaks the old record long streak for this lack of a 3″ storm of 1,018 days.  This is over one year longer than the previous record.  Incredible.

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KCI Airport didn’t really come close on Sunday with two systems moving across the area in less than a day.  There was an Arctic snowfall with temperatures in the teens in the morning, then a wet snowfall with rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow across the KC metro area on Sunday evening. I live on the south side and it was so frustrating to have rain, yes, rain was the main type of precipitation in one small area of the KC metro area, while snow was the main type just a few miles away. And, considering just south of KC it changed back to all snow with Joplin, MO receiving their first 3″ snow in 4 years breaking their streak, as they had 5″.

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Just as incredibly, in these last four winters, including this one, there have been 39 days with measurable snowfalls, and these 39 snows have added up to 32″ of snow. This means that each snowfall has averaged under one inch of snow.

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Kansas City is now just 0.2″ from last years winter total, so I guess that is a good thing for us winter weather fans.  Think about being “weather geek” in Amarillo Texas. Today is their 96th day in a row without any measurable rain or snow. That is right, Amarillo has not had any snow this season and their last measurable rainfall was October 13th when 0.01″ fell.  Houston, San Antonio, Austin, an other areas of the Lone Star state have all had multiple measurable snowfalls. Schools are closed in Houston, TX today due to icy roads and cold. Wow.

So, what is going to happen this weekend. Well, read the title of yesterdays blog entry. The most likely scenario is another miss, but we still have to monitor it closely. The big thing now is the warm up beginning this afternoon as the Arctic air retreats out of the United States by Friday. Let’s see how the models trend with this next storm coming into the west coast.

Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Have a great day and join in the conversation!

Gary

More Storm Misses Likely In KC

Good morning bloggers,

We begin this January 16th blog entry with a discussion of the Frigid conditions. It is below zero in KC this morning:

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.32.06 AMThe temperatures have dropped to below zero in most locations.  An Arctic high pressure area is expanding out over the United States this morning and pressures are very high. The pressure on this current conditions posted here is 30.71″ and it is rising. I will explain this high pressure area on our weathercasts tonight that you can always watch streaming live at KSHB.com at 4, 5, 6, 6:30, and 10 PM.  The storm system responsible for the Texas winter weather this morning, is really just a “jet dynamics” system. There is no big storm heading into San Antonio, TX in the upper levels of the atmosphere, and yet they have had an extremely dramatic weather change in the past 24 hours.  It was 70° in San Antonio yesterday afternoon, and this morning they have freezing rain and it is in the upper 20s. It is very rare for them to have freezing rain, sleet, and snow, and this has happened multiple times this season in this part of the country in this years cycling pattern. Take a look at the current conditions in San Antonio as of 7 AM this morning:

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.41.42 AM

From 70° to 29° and freezing rain in San Antonio……pretty amazing.  Let’s take a look at how our winter forecast has been panning out as of this week:

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.37.09 AM

The weather pattern is cycling at around 44 to 51 days centered on a 47-day cycle.  Let’s find where we are now by watching this video I made this morning:

Video:

Let’s look At Where We Are In The Cycling Pattern from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

This next storm system is right on schedule for this weekend.  Will it miss Kansas City? Has Kansas City had a major winter storm this season. The answers are likely Yes it will miss, and Yes, there has not been a major winter storm this season. Will one or two come together in this cycle 3, or in cycle 4? There is hope. The jet stream reaches its peak strength across the Northern Hemisphere in late January and early February. We may get some blocking after it gets to its peak. I would like to see the AO and NAO dip negative. We have had all of this cold with no real negative Arctic Oscillation this season.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog and sharing in this experience featuring the cycling pattern, the LRC, and Weather2020. Go over to Weather2020 and join in the conversation. Have a great day.

Gary

Arctic Air Blasts In Again

Good Morning Bloggers,

We just experienced a rather fascinating weather day in Kansas City. We went from a fluffy and dry snowfall in the morning, with temperatures in the teens, to a big warm up to above freezing with a mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow during the late evening hours. The high temperature reached 33 degrees at KCI Airport. And, then an Arctic Blast arrived early this morning and now temperatures are crashing as you wake up and read today’s blog entry.  It was a bit frustrating, but in the end fascinating and fulfilling for myself last night. I experienced rain, freezing rain,  sleet, and then snow. The different types of precipitation went back and forth for two hours before finally ending with around a half inch of snow leaving a sheet of white on everything, and it is beautiful this morning.

Kansas City Snowfall:

  • 2.1″ fell yesterday at KCI Airport between the two winter weather precipitation events
  • 4.7″ has now accumulated this season, which means we are now just 0.2″ away from last years total

High pressure is building in from the north and our pressures will be going way up peaking on Tuesday.  A WIND CHILL ADVISORY has been issued and it will begin tonight at 6 PM.  Very cold wind chills will happen tonight and this could cause frostbite in 30 minutes or less to exposed skin. Wind chills are expected to be as low as 25 degrees below zero.

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A 1052 mb surface high is forecast to weaken to a still large 1045 mb surface high near KC by 6 PM Tuesday.  This is equivalent to a 30.86″ pressure, which is quite high.  Look closely, as there is only low pressure left in Canada, so the Arctic air is basically emptying out  and expanding into the Gulf of Mexico.  The pink and purple shaded area shows mixed precipitation all the way down to the Gulf coast again. This has happened multiple times in this years pattern already.

Later this week we will be seeing a rather big moderation and retreat of the Arctic Air.  South to southwest winds will be blowing from Texas into southeastern Canada:

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We will then be monitoring a storm system moving into the western states, which is right on schedule according to the LRC.  It appears this next storm will produce winter weather again, but most likely north of KC later this weekend. This something we are monitoring closely and will go more in-depth with in blogs later this week.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: Falling temperatures steadying out in the single digits later this morning. Windy, with northwest winds 10-25 mph adding a strong “bite” to the cold air and creating dangerous wind chills.
  • Tonight:  WIND CHILL ADVISORY. Wind chills will create dangerous conditions and time outdoors should be limited to minutes. Wind chills 25 below zero are possible. The low temperature will drop to 3 below to 10 below across the area

Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go to Weather2020 to join in the conversation by clicking on the blog over there. Have a great day.

Gary

Snowflake Contest Finally Ends: Another Small Snow Event Blankets Kansas City

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

It is official: The snowflake contest ended at 8:35 AM, the last few snowflakes pushed it over the top. 41 Action News meteorologist Nicole Philips measured 1″ at 8:35 AM this morning as you can see below:

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Well, it happened. We are getting the weakest possible version of what we have been monitoring for days. It is snowing this morning around KC, and everything is coated. Take a look at this 5 AM radar image showing most of the nation being dry, with this small system zipping by. An Arctic front is organizing to the north this morning, so let’s take a look.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 5.08.47 AM

This disturbance will be moving by fast leaving a likely under one inch once again near KC. Areas to the south and west have a better chance at getting an inch of snow.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 5.16.30 AMI have been up and down all night watching this developing very small snowstorm take over KC.  Temperatures have been so cold that the roads were the first surfaces to get snow covered.  The grassy areas finally started getting covered around 4:30 AM and now accumulations of 0.1″ to 1.0″ are accumulating from near the Kansas/Missouri border extending out to the west and south. The highest accumulations may actually exceed two inches two or so counties southwest of KC, maybe near Ottawa to Lawrence or just south of this area. The purple areas shown on this radar image are indicating where the snowflakes grow from very tiny to decent size.

After this system zips by this morning, it will warm up to 30 degrees or possibly near freezing ahead of the strong Arctic front that will be blasting in from the northwest tonight. This next system is faster, and this is not a good thing for Kansas City if you want an organized area of snow. The faster push of the colder air tonight will cause more sinking of the air just as our next chance of precipitation arrives. There may be an additional dusting to 1/2″, but what had looked like a good chance of an inch or more is now fading a bit.  To end the snowflake contest, we will likely need this second band of snow tonight to at least be organized.

6 AM Monday Surface Forecast:

This surface map shows the strong Arctic front blasting south. It will be rapidly moving across Oklahoma into Texas on Monday morning (Martin Luther King Day).

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With a little snow on the ground, there is a very good chance that it will drop to below zero by Tuesday morning:

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Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. This pattern has not been very kind to us, but at least it is snowing today. Let’s enjoy the moment and take in the beauty of the white snow cover this morning. Let us know how much snow you had and go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

Two Snow Chances and an Arctic Blast

Good Saturday,

We are tracking two snow chances and it looks like they will each come through with accumulating snow in our area. The second snow will be accompanied and followed by an Arctic blast, almost as strong as the one from New Years day.

Here is where we stand for snowfall this winter in KC (readings taken at KCI). We have seen 2.6″ of snow and average is nearly 11″ by the end of the month. We will add to this total, but by how much and when. Let’s go through the MLK weekend forecast.

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SATURDAY 3 PM: It will be dry and mostly cloudy with highs around 20°. Our snow system will be getting its act together around Rapid City, SD.

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SATURDAY 10 PM: It will still be dry in KC with temperatures in the teens. The snow will be entering southeast Nebraska and north central Kansas.

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SUNDAY 5 AM: The light to moderate snow will move into eastern Kansas 1 AM to 3 AM with temperatures in the teens along with a light wind.

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SUNDAY NOON: The snow will end by noon with flurries lingering. Notice how the temperatures are in to the mid and upper 20s as after the first system exits, a warm front will get close.

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SUNDAY 3 PM: It will be dry and mostly cloudy with highs ranging from 30°-35° south and 25°-30° to the north.

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SUNDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT: The second round of snow will be increasing from the northwest along the leading edge of an Arctic blast. Temperatures will be in the mid 20s.

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MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY 3 AM: The second band of snow will be tracking south across the region. At this time it still looks like the heaviest will be west of KC, but a shift 50 miles farther east is not out of the question. Temperatures will be mostly in the 20s and this looks like the warmest of the day as the Arctic air will be ready to blast in.

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MLK DAY 7 AM: The band of snow will be racing south as the Arctic air does the same. Temperatures will range from 5° to 10° in northern Missouri to the mid and upper 20s to the south. The Arctic air will be coming in on north winds 15-30 mph.

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MLK DAY 3 PM: The snow will be over as north winds blow at 15-30 mph along with temperatures dropping to the single digits. This puts wind chill values around -15°. There will be blowing snow if we can get more than 0.5″. So, the $64000 question…How much snow are we looking at?

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SNOWFALL FORECAST, SYSTEM #1: It looks like most locations will see 1/2″ to 1″. So, yes the snowflake contest may very well end on the morning of January 14th. It will be a close call.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST TOTAL, SYSTEM #1 + SYSTEM #2: Right now it looks like a total of 1″-2″ through KC, 1/2″ to 1″ northeast and 2″ to 4″ southwest. Again, we will be looking for shifts east or west, as 50  miles either way can have a huge impact on snowfall totals in your location.

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Here is a summary for the two snow chances and an Arctic blast, sounds like the name of a movie! The snowflake contest should end Sunday morning or Monday morning as we just need a 1″ snow depth at 41 Action News. If it does not end, well, then there is more wrong with our weather pattern than we could ever imagine!

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner