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Major Storm Systems Possible As Christmas Travel Week Approaches

Good morning bloggers,

A major change in the weather pattern will likely take place during the next two weeks.  This will likely result in some rather significant weather related travel challenges during the big holiday weekend and into the week between Christmas and New Years.  Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year. It is within three days of Christmas where the impacts may end up being the most significant.  Let us take a look at the trends in the pattern as this big change is still a few days away from getting started.

In this Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern known as the LRC for the past 15 years, we concentrate on Kansas City, but we also go in-depth into other areas of the United States and world as well.  Go to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.  Here is the link:  Weather2020 Blog

One very important area to monitor closely is over the Gulf of Alaska and eastern Pacific Ocean during the next three to four days. This is where the models have been making wild and huge errors and when these errors occur the model ends up showing a weather pattern that will not happen. This is what we experienced yesterday with a few model runs.  With our knowledge of the cycling pattern we have the ability to “know” when these models are likely accurate, and more often when they are flawed and can be thrown out.  Let’s take a look at this energy developing over the north Pacific Ocean by Sunday:

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The area to monitor closely in the next three days is that area I circled on this map. Watch this quick video:

 

Quick look at the area to monitor for next week from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

What happens next is then more likely, if that energy develops as is the trend in the models now.

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The trend is for a major amplification of the flow as you can see above, and then this pattern would produce a potential series of storm systems, one of which is forecast to develop around Christmas Eve as you can see below:

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Okay, now let’s be realistic. This is ten days away.  A series of storm systems does fit the LRC, the cycling pattern. There are other factors and influences we are monitoring and we will continue this discussion in the comments section over on Weather2020.com.

Between now and the big changes, a storm system with three parts trying to come together is approaching the plains. This set up is great for the Chargers/Chiefs game Saturday night at Arrowhead stadium as there is a stalled front forecast to be located well northwest of KC Saturday evening. This will result in unseasonably warm air and dry conditions for the game.  Go Chiefs!

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Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather Blog!  I will be going in-depth tonight on 41 Action News.

Gary

A Look Into The Series of Weather Developments

Good morning bloggers,

I have an early appointment today, so I will be checking in later to share with you as we look at the new data today.  The weather pattern today features a fast moving system across the plains.  Some snow will move across the Great Lakes states, while KC has another dry frontal passage.  In this video, I will discuss how important these next two storm systems, the one Thursday evening, and the one Sunday-Monday. And, then we will look into the Christmas week pattern.  These first two storm systems are important for KC.

Today’s Video: 

The 12 Days From Christmas Look Into The Weather Pattern from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Have a great day and thank you for watching todays video blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern known as the LRC. Let us know if you have any questions.

Gary

The Weather Pattern Is About To “Give” For The Holidays

Good morning bloggers,

There has been a rather fascinating trend in the models for around 12 hours.  We need to see this trend last a bit longer, but something is happening.  1.4″ of snow fell in Chicago yesterday bringing their total to 2.1″ for the season. The snowflake contest would have ended in Chicago yesterday from a thin band of snow that moved across the third largest city (population) in the United States.  Look at where the snowflake contest would be continuing:

Snow Amouts

As you can see, the snowflake contest would be continuing in Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis, Wichita, and even Goodland, KS.  Kansas City is not alone in this lack of snow to start the season, but could this be about to change in time for Christmas?  Now, a 12 hour trend is just not long enough to get too excited. Let’s look at the cycling pattern, the latest models, and then we will find out within two weeks if this pattern is about to “give” the weather enthusiasts who love snow a holiday present, or if the grinch is going to swipe it away.

Today’s Video Blog:

December 12, 2017 Thoughts On The Pattern from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

 

Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  We continue to have lively, educational, informative, and weather intensive discussions on the comments over at Weather2020.com. Go over there, click on the blog and join in the conversation.  Have a great Tuesday. Let’s see how the models trend today.

Gary

What Is Going On With This Weather Pattern?

Good morning bloggers,

Los Angeles – Denver – Kansas City:  Look at what has happened in the first 65 days of this cycling weather pattern.  The pattern likely set up around October 6th or 7th, so let’s just say October 7th is day 1 of this years LRC. Today is day 65 of this years cycling pattern that will continue through next September.  It may be a bit surprising when you see these results.

  • Los Angeles, CA (Downtown Civic Center):  L.A. has had 4.7% of their average rainfall in this early season, in these first 65 days of this years cycling pattern.  The rainfall total is 0.10″ with 2.10″ being average by December 10th.  Los Angeles had only 0.36″ at this point last year, but then got 10 inches of rain by the end of February.   The lowest rainfall year in their recorded history is 3.21″.  So, they have to get hit by a few storms eventually right?
  • Denver, CO:  Denver is having a very long snow drought to start the season. 2.8″ of snow did fall, however, at the beginning of this years LRC.  This happened on October 9th and it has not snowed since
  • Kansas City, MO:  This is a shocker.  Kansas City is actually above average on rainfall since this LRC began.  5.07″ liquid has fallen since October 7th, and this is 115% of average.  4.80″ fell in October since October 7th. Then, only 0.27″ has fallen in the past 48 days, a 48 day dry spell. Ouch!  It did snow with minor accumulations just north of KC on October 31st. A trace was recorded at KCI Airport. That is our sitting total for the season thus far.

In summary, today is day 48 of the current Kansas City dry spell. Regardless of what model you look at, the dry pattern seems to continue with variations from model run to model run making no difference. Something has to give eventually, or this will be an historically dry year with low snowfall totals in many spots.  I am expecting this to “give”, the next big chance is around Christmas week, or we will have to wait until January.

Snowfall since October1

I just saw this map, above, tweeted out. I need to spend a bit more time looking at this graphic, but wow!

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 7.03.49 AM

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Red Flag Warning (Fire danger warning).  The wind will shift to the northwest during the day with wind gusts up to 45 mph likely, possibly even 50 mph winds.  High:  54°
  • Tonight: Windy and colder. The winds gusting to 40 mph. Low:  25°
  • Tuesday:  Increasing clouds. High:  39°

The Developing Weather Pattern:

During these next ten days there will be a major transition in the weather pattern taking place, and yet look at this ten day precipitation forecast ending at midnight December 21st:

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These next ten days are forecast to be extremely dry from Southern California east to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  Los Angeles, Denver, and KC remain almost rain and snow free through these ten days.

Look at what is forecast to happen just two days after this ten day stretch:

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A blocking pattern is forecast to develop over the northern Pacific Ocean into the Gulf of Alaska. A storm is forecast to develop over the western states, but as I discussed, when it comes out, KC again was left almost high and dry. It seems almost impossible for this to happen, but we have experienced these things happening for years in a row now.  The surface map valid also at 288 hours or at midnight December 23rd, the storm is over the southwest. This is something we will be monitoring closely in the coming days.

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Can you see Stormy The Weather Dog? She was five years old. How do I know, because this is a picture from December 8, 2005.  Stormy loved the snow. Sunny The Weather Dog barely knows what snow is as she is only 2 1/2 years old. 11″ of snow had fallen in the KC metro area. What happened the rest of that winter? 3 more inches fell. The winter forecast that year was for 13″ to fall.  I thought on December 8th that I had blown that winter forecast for snowfall. But, it ended up accurate.

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This picture is from Saturday morning when there was a bit of frost on the ground.  I think Sunny will love to play in the snow, as she does in the book “It’s A Sunny Life”. We have a big book signing Saturday at the Nebraska Furniture Mart at 11 AM if you would like to come and get a present for a family member or a friend.  In the book, she makes paw prints in the snow to make a trail for her family to find her.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.  Go over to the blog at Weather2020.com, it’s free now, and you can join in on the conversation.  Have a great start to the week.

Gary

Another Dry Storm System

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are looking at some great weather, considering it is December 10th in Kansas City. We will be having a westerly breeze from the high Plains, so the wind is blowing from higher to lower elevations, or also know as downsloping winds, a warming wind as the air sinks and compresses. Highs today will rise to 55°-60° with full sunshine. We are tracking a storm system now in southwest Canada that once again originated as a large and wet storm system in the Pacific Ocean that had to track north over a big blocking ridge on the west coast. In this process, it lost strength and moisture. This storm will race by dry here, and become a large storm in New England. As a weather enthusiast, I can’t imagine experiencing the weather year after year in the northeast.

Let’s go through this dry storm system and look ahead 10 days to possible changes.

Here is the storm system we are tracking. Sunday morning it was topping the ridge in southwest Canada. It is about to make a southeast turn.

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The storm system will race southeast Monday, tracking northeast of KC, putting us on the periods of clouds, windy side of the storm system. There could be an evening sprinkle or flurry Monday. The system then turns east and northeast into New England where it will gather Atlantic Ocean and some Gulf of Mexico moisture to become a big storm system.

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SUNDAY: Highs will be 55°-60° from KC west and 50°-55° from KC east. It would not surprise me if we jumped to 60° at the last minute, before peak heating of the day ends. Highs will be 65°-70° in western Kansas.

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MONDAY MORNING: The day will start calm with a 10-20 mph southwest wind and temperatures in the 30s to near 40°. The southwest Canada storm system will be racing southeast along with it’s cold front.

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MONDAY 11 AM-1 PM: A cold front will be fast approaching, so we will see an increase in clouds and wind with temperatures rising to 50°-55°. There will be snow in the Great Lakes, far from our region.

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MONDAY 4-6 PM: It will be cloudy and very windy with gusts from the northwest to 40-45 mph as the cold front races away. Temperatures will drop to the 40s. We may see a sprinkle or flurry, but nothing significant.

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TUESDAY: There will be areas of clouds and seasonably cold with lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s.

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TUESDAY IN THE NORTHEAST USA: The storm system that races by here on Monday will become a big and wet storm system. The big cities on the coast may see just rain, but they will be close to the rain-snow line.

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Let’s look at the upper level flow and see if we can find any changes. This is the upper flow for today and you can see the huge blocking ridge on the west coast, so there is no change on this map.

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The upper level flow for Thursday is showing a subtle change as the big ridge is retrograding, or shifting west into the Pacific ocean. This is still dry for the middle of the USA as the ridge is still too close.

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Next weekend the ridge is in the Pacific ocean and much flatter and smaller. So, this is going to open the door to storm systems tracking into the western USA, which opens the door to the middle of the USA seeing better chances of rain and snow. It looks like the first system next weekend to move through the shrinking ridge may not be strong enough to bring any precipitation, but an upper low near Baja, CA will have to be watched around  the 20th and this looks to be followed by a few more storm systems.

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So, we have another 7-10 days of mostly dry weather and then a change is showing up and the door opens for us to see some rain or snow. The question is…Will we walk through the door?

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Have a great week ahead and remember the ongoing burn bans.

Jeff Penner

Dry Weather Pattern for Awhile

Good Saturday bloggers,

You do not need to be a meteorologist to know it has been dry around here as we have had .27″ of rain  since October 22nd. There are some signs of a change in the pattern that will open the door for some rain and snow in about 10 days. So, let’s go through this boring weather pattern for us here in KC.

SATURDAY: It will be mostly sunny with highs in the 30s, 20s to the northeast and 50s/60s to the southwest.

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SATURDAY AFTERNOON: We will be in the 30s, but warm air will be building around Edmonton and Calgary. This warmer air will head southeast for Sunday as our weather continues to move in from the northwest. This warmer air is a result of downslope warming and it will translate southeast Sunday.

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SUNDAY: Highs will be near 60° with near 70° southwest! The downslope warming is solely responsible and being aided by sunshine, very dry air and ground.

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What is going on? Why have we been so dry? Is there any chance of rain or snow?

We have been dealing with a blocking ridge on the west coast of North America, so these large, wet Pacific storm systems are forced north over the ridge into western Canada where they lose much moisture and strength. Then, they track southeast into the Midwest as small, fast-moving and moisture starved systems. They do not get their act together again until the head well southeast and east. This is also responsible for the dry California fire weather conditions.  This generates a surface high in the Rockies and with wind blowing away from high pressure you get the northeast, dry winds in California. These winds get forced in between the mountains, increase and become Santa Ana winds which spread fires rapidly.

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Is there any change to this pattern? We do see some hope in about 7-10 days. Here is the upper level flow for Saturday and you can see the big western ridge with a deep trough in the eastern USA. It was this trough that was responsible for the rare deep south snow followed by an east coast storm.

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15: We still see the big ridge on the west coast, but there is a subtle change. The upper level high is drifting west, retrograding. This is still keeping us in dry northwest flow, but a wave of energy is topping the ridge west of the Pacific Northwest and this will drop in farther west as the retrograding process proceeds.

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OK, here we go, next weekend. The ridge has shifted to the eastern Pacific Ocean and a storm system is in the Rockies. This will start a 7-10 day period where systems take this track, opening the door for precipitation in the Plains and in KC. This allows for Gulf of Mexico moisture to get pulled north farther west. When the storm systems drop over us or to the east, they do not gather moisture until they are way east. Now, the Rockies storm systems do not guarantee we see precipitation as they need to have some functionality. This data below has some potential to bring us rain or snow, but I would like to see a stronger system than what is depicted.

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Now, before we see a retrogression of the pattern, here is the snowfall forecast the next 7 days. We stay dry with perhaps some flurries or sprinkles, while the upper Midwest, Great Lakes to northeast USA have a series of snow systems. The really cold air stays to the east and northeast as well.

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So, we stay dry for another 7-10 days. We will be watching this change closely as could it bring us a white Christmas?

Have a great weekend and remember the burn bans across the area.

Jeff Penner

Fires Out West & Snow In The Deep South

Good morning bloggers,

Southern California is burning to a crisp with evacuations in neighborhoods that are being threatened, burning up, as a disaster is continuing out west. At the same time a rare southern United States snowstorm is in progress this morning.

noway

I saw this map that was tweeted out last night. It is titled, ” Days since Last Winter Weather Advisory by NWS Office”,  The zeros show the regions that were under an advisory last night or this morning.  What is disturbing? Look at the KC region.  My goodness!  Take a look at one of the model forecasts valid this afternoon:

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It is really a fascinating storm. Let’s remember this one for the next cycle as well.  It snowed in San Antonio and Austin, Texas as well.  And, this is the part of the pattern I picked to end the snowflake contest in KC.  Over 13,000 people participated in the contest, and KC has no sign of any snow in sight, but look at what is forecast to develop in the next two weeks:

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A rather large and cold Arctic air mass is growing, and within two weeks it is forecast to be rather expansive over almost all of Canada extending into Alaska and then across the North Pole.

While all of this happens, KC continues to be dry with no storm in sight.  We will discuss all of this on 41 Action News tonight.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let’s discuss any of this that comes to your mind over on the Weather2020 blog.

Have a great Friday!

Gary

How Dry Is It Getting?

Good morning bloggers,

Is it possible that Kansas City is going to have another very dry winter?  In our winter forecast we forecasted a dry season, but how dry could it be? Take a look at the past 30 days:

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.44.57 AM

Just look at these two maps above.  It has been an incredibly dry past 30 days across large chunks of the United States. And, it has also been a warm past 30 days as you can see on the map on the right.  This pattern has now set up; it is firmly established and showing very little signs of being able to produce wet storm systems west of the Mississippi River, with the exception of areas out across the Pacific northwest.

Precipitation Forecast: Next 16 Days

gfs_apcpn_namer_52

This is a very dry weather forecast through December 20th.  Kansas City has been in, what could be called, a snow drought for three winters in a row already. Just look at last years snowfalls, only five measurable snows all winter. Could this year be worse?

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Here is a video:

Update on the cycling pattern from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Maybe there will be some twists and turns to this cycling pattern. But, right now it is about as boring as it can be? Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Go over to the Weather2020.com blog and join in the conversation. Have a great day!

Gary

A Northern Plains & Upper Midwest Winter Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Windy and unseasonably warm through 2 PM. Then, the wind will shift to the northwest with temperatures dropping later this afternoon. High:  68°

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The weather pattern is fascinating and also seemingly frustrating for the weather enthusiasts around Kansas City.  If you have been monitoring the computer models and waiting for something exciting to show up, then you are likely quite frustrated.  Oh, it is exciting today way up to the  north and we will begin with that, but farther south it is dry, getting drier, and there seems to be no major storm systems in sight.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 7.17.07 AM

This current storm tracking into the plains is right on schedule.  The LRC is coming even more into focus as we move through this first week of December. It now appears that the cycle length may very well be closer to 42-49 days (centered on 45.5 days), which was our first assumption way back in October.  In my 30 years of experience in tracking and finding this big piece of the atmospheric puzzle, it has usually taken until around December 10th or so before we can finally narrow in on the cycle length. This storm looks awfully similar to one from 42 1/2 days before Tuesday night. Take a look:

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 7.30.51 AM

If you are new to the LRC, then let me introduce it to you.  According to the LRC:

  • A unique pattern sets up in the fall between October 1st and November 30th
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established (anchor troughs and ridges).  These large scale features are where storm systems will be reaching their peak strength most often, and the ridges are where they will reach their weakest strength most often. If you are near a one of the anchor troughs, then you have a much better chance of having an above average number of precipitation producing storm systems.
  • The pattern is cycling, and a cycle length becomes established by around the first half of December. This cycle length then is set, and consistent from the rest of fall, winter, spring, and through the next summer until another unique pattern sets up the next October

We have had a unique pattern, one that has never happened before, set up in the past few weeks. We make a lot of assumptions, but it is likely now set. The LRC itself is almost flawless. The accuracy of the cycling pattern is nearly 100%. The challenge for the weather forecaster is to make forecasts in the future from one day to up to almost 300 days from now and to get them accurately predicted. If you can get 60 to 70% of your forecasts predicted accurately, then this would be just incredible. This is what we strive for at Weather2020, LLC.  We have been increasingly accurate in the past few years, but 60 to 70% also means a 30 to 40% error rate.

Just look at our first true comparison from our first cycle to the beginning of the second cycle. These two maps are 42 and a half days apart. Just a week ago it appeared to be 49 days.  We will confirm the cycle length in the next three weeks. For now what does this mean? In KC, it is very dry. Our winter forecast is for it to be dry, but also for this pattern to produce some snow, 21.5″ in my forecast for the winter season.

Today’s Surface Map, from 7:43 AM central time:

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A strong cold front is approaching from the northwest.  The chance of rain with a few thunderstorms increases after the front passes by KC.  So, the chance of measurable rain is around 20% for a very brief window early this afternoon as the front passes by.

What happens next will be monitored closely.  Will it snow later this week? Kansas City has not had one snowflake yet on the south side of the city. KCI Airport did have snow on October 31st. But, for the rest of us, we are still waiting.

Have a great day, and thank you for participating and sharing in the Action Weather Blog experience. Go over to Weather2020.com and click on the blog over there to join in the conversation.

Gary

A Big Change to Cold, Any Snow?

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today is going to be another mild day with highs 60°-65°, but the differences from Saturday will be more clouds and an increasing south wind. The Supermoon will be visible from time to time tonight as it will not become totally thick overcast until after midnight. However, even before midnight there will be times of total cloud cover. The moon rises at 5:28 PM and sets Monday at 8:12 AM.

Let’s go through the changes and see if we can find any precipitation.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The wind will be increasing with areas of lower clouds moving north underneath eastward moving cirrus clouds. So, we will see the sun from time to time, filtering through the high clouds. The wind will be increasing to 10-25 mph from the south and southeast.

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MONDAY MORNING: The day will start mostly cloudy, very windy and mild with temperatures 60°-65° along with a shower and/or mist. The first cold front of the week will be racing southeast across Nebraska as a snowstorm occurs in the Dakotas, heading to Minnesota.

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MONDAY NOON: The cold front will be on our doorstep with temperatures 65°-70°. The record is 69° set in 2001, we will come close. There will be a few showers along with gusty south-southwest winds. We need the rain, but Monday will bring only a trace to .05″.

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MONDAY EVENING: The front will already be near St. Louis and the little showers that were along the front in KC will become a nice line of rain and thunderstorms as the front heads east. It would be good to see a nice line of rain here in KC, but the front is moving too fast. Our temperatures will be in the 40s falling to the 30s as this front is more of Pacific origin. So, this front will take us from unseasonably warm to where it should be for this time of year.

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UPPER LEVEL FLOW FRIDAY: After the early week storm tracks across the northern Plains it will lift north into eastern Canada and evolve into a deep trough extending from the North Pole to Midwest. A tall ridge will form on the west coast of North America which in combination with the trough to the east turns the flow from Alaska and The Yukon right in to the Midwest. KC is on the western edge of the serious cold which means we will see in and out of the very cold.

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FRIDAY NIGHT-SATURDAY MORNING: Our coldest night this week looks to be Friday night into Saturday as lows will drop to 5°-15° in our area with below zero likely in Minnesota. You can see 32° in Valentine, NE which not only means we are on the edge of the cold, but it will warm up after this Arctic plunge. However, this Arctic plunge will likely be followed by more shots of cold the following week.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST NEXT 7 DAYS: Monday and Tuesday, as the colder change begins, there will be a snowstorm from the Dakotas to Minnesota with 1″ to 10″ of snow likely. Then, as the Arctic air heads south there will be a series of southward moving disturbances that will bring a dusting to 4″ of snow from the northern Plains to Iowa, Missouri and points east. The heavier snow will be east of the Mississippi river.

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Could KC see any snow? Well, on Friday, as the coldest air blasts south, flurries are possible. A dusting to 1″ is possible in eastern Missouri and there is a chance this could shift west.  We will know more as we get closer.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner