Good morning bloggers,
The weather pattern is going through a huge change. We are at the end of the current cold wave. This is the third cold wave of the cycling weather pattern. You can learn more about this on the blog at Weather2020.com. We also have an announcement tonight, something that has been a 365 day effort. KSHB has won it’s 10th year at being the most accurate. I would like to congratulate our competitor, KCTV-5 for helping create such a competitive landscape. We, at KSBH-TV and KSHB.com, have lead in accuracy every week of this past year (all 52 weeks, as the season goes from March 1st to February 28th), and the final ratings just came out and I am proud to announce that our weather team is #1 for the 10th time out of the last 12 years! It is official, and I wanted to share it with you first.
The weather pattern continues to cycle. And, there has been a very well defined cold wave part of the pattern, and a very well defined warm phase of the pattern. We are just days from moving out of the cold wave and into the warm phase. Now, during the warmer phase of the pattern there were still some cold shots. And, now that it is March we will be paying close attention to these variances. Let’s take a look at the cold phases of cycles 1, 2, and 3 of this year’s weather pattern:
There will be a warm-up today, and then the last cold blast of this cold wave arrives Tuesday and exits Friday with a huge warming trend likely during the next ten days. Are you ready for a little spring fever and 70°?
Here are the forecast maps Jeff Penner is showing on the air through the morning. Another impacting storm system with a one two punch will be blasting parts of the south and then up the east coast this week. Kansas City will get the strong cold front, but we will likely only see light precipitation. The red areas will be some sleet mixed with the rain timed for late this evening:
The last map shows the huge precipitation shield developing Wednesday and this the “one” of the one-two punch. This forecast map is likely modeling the precipitation too far to the north. It is more likely around 50 more miles to the south and let’s discuss the new data after it comes in. Kansas City is likely going to have some mixed precipitation tonight, perhaps a quick moving wave of rain tomorrow, and then a dry cold blast later Tuesday into Wednesday. Then, it’s up up and away for the following ten days, perfectly timed for all of the Big 12 Tournament activities.
Have a great day, and I would like to thank everyone for helping raise close to $150,000 last night at the 15th annual Kansas City Pet Telethon.
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Like a hungry kid holding a cookie in one hand and a cupcake in the other, we’re left wanting more. A fair amount of snow blanketed the area Saturday into Sunday, yet some are already asking when the next chance will be.
Let’s list off some snowfall amounts. These are listed from highest to lowest and come from the official National Weather Service reports.
If you measured snow at your place and did not report it, nobody is going to know. The numbers passed along to the Weather Service are the ones that go into the record books. And as always, your backyard ruler may have shown something a bit different.
Given all the reports, this is the automated map drawn up via NOAA. I have added in some white lines and the range of amounts in those colors.
Comparing that to our snowfall forecast map from yesterday, and it wasn’t too bad at all.
Was it perfect? No. But nobody is perfect! Snow forecasting is THE hardest thing any meteorologist has to do. Remember how just a tenth of an inch of water can turn into one inch of snow.
This is like asking someone how many jellybeans they think is in a jar. Let’s say they guess 100 and the answer is 102. Would you say they totally missed it?
Or to ask someone what time they arrive at an event. Let’s say they tell you they’ll be there at 6:00pm. If they arrive at 6:02pm, are they late? It can be a matter of opinion.
All in all, this was a great forecast by our team. The Metro picked up exactly what we were thinking. That’s the other aspect of this too: the largest concentration of people that we are responsible for informing live in the Metro KC area. It’s critical to get that right.
As a small town Kansas boy, I know what it’s like when the “big city” ignores your area. Having been on this side of the TV for over ten years now, I can tell you that is never the intention. Trust me, in times of really nasty weather, we devote the attention to where it’s needed.
Let’s look ahead now, shall we? Those wanting more snow, you may have your shot sooner rather than later. Check out this timeline for the next few days.
Now I’m going to be upfront with you right out of the gate: I don’t trust the models. The models have struggled two to three days ahead of events. Yesterday, the GFS and the Euro were totally quiet for Wednesday.
Now today, the Euro claims there will be a couple inches of snow in Southern Missouri by late Wednesday. The NAM shows light snow almost in the same exact area (and amounts) that we saw Saturday. The GFS….well, it’s a cute little model. It says there is not a drop of moisture.
On the RPM, it depicts a brief little shot of snow early Wednesday morning.
At this time, I am going to hold off on showing the model outputs. It may wind up making things more confusing in the long run. But the inherited forecast I got today had snow in for Monday and for Wednesday. I cannot make a good argument to remove it from the forecast, so I’ll let it stand.
My thinking is: we’ll likely squeeze at least a little something out somewhere. But we’ll need to stay on our toes as we get closer to Wednesday. It could easily change.
Beyond that, it does appear that warmer days are ahead.
Keep in mind official Spring (the Equinox) isn’t until the 21st of March. However, Meteorological Spring started today. We use this for averages and record keeping; it’s easier! The annual temperature cycle plays the biggest role with this, since the coldest months are usually December, January, and February, we call that Winter. Spring is then March, April, and May. The warmest months are often June, July, and August, so that’s Summer. And then, of course, September, October, and November is Fall.
Sorry, I went down a rabbit hole there. Sometimes I ramble in these blogs. We are constricted on time when on TV (usually three and half minutes to say everything we need to say). With these blogs, there is no time limit!
Where was I.
Ah, yes! It will warm up Next weekend, the indications are we’ll see a mainly sunny sky and highs in the 50s.
I know some are excited for that. But it does not mean winter is done with us. Not by a long shot. There is still a bit more of the winter cookie left for us to chew on.
Enjoy your night and keep a close eye on us as we have something great to announce to you soon.
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Good Sunday bloggers,
There is one last batch of snow with this storm. It is tracking south of KC with snow showers, some very heavy. Some spots could see a quick new 1″.
RADAR FROM 715 SUNDAY:
The rest of today will be mostly cloudy and dry after this last snow area moves away. Our next storm arrives Monday night. We will go to the warm side of this storm, so temperatures Monday night will rise into the 30s. Then, Tuesday will jump close to 50° on strong south winds. We are not expecting a ton of precipitation with this storm as we will be in the developing area of the storm. It looks like most of this next storm will be rain and drizzle. The only way there is a mix or snow with this next event is if the precipitation starts early Monday night while temps are below freezing or hangs on into Tuesday evening as the new cold air rushes in.
Here is a time line of the next 2 days.
7 AM MONDAY: Watch for re-freezing tonight as temperatures drop to near 20°.
6 PM MONDAY: Temperatures fall to 30° after being up near 35°. You can see some light rain/freezing rain heading north. It should stay away until temperatures jump.
1150 PM MONDAY: The light rain/freezing rain moves in, but temperatures rise above freezing. There should not be any major issues, but it will be something to watch.
7 AM TUESDAY: Temperatures are above freezing with rain showers. There will possibly be a few pockets of freezing rain showers or snowflakes, but this should not be a major issue.
3 PM TUESDAY: Wow! 49° with rain showers. These rain showers are forming along the last Arctic blast, before Pacific air takes over. The only way we have a mix is if this precipitation is more widespread and extends into the new cold air.
Have a great day and week ahead.
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10:30pm Update Saturday
The first round of snow is still hanging on in the area as some new bands are trying to redevelop just to the Southwest of KC. These should pass through over the next two hours or so, moving to the East/Northeast, and then we’ll get a break overnight.
This activity may wind up adding another half inch or so to our amounts.
The latest guidance continues to suggest we’ll see a second round of snow move in from the West Sunday morning. This should be noticeable. Be sure to watch my web forecast video on our kshb.com/weather site to see it in motion and how it looks to play out.
Because of the snowfall amounts we have on the ground now…
…I am going to adjust our snowfall forecast totals a bit.
Overall, things haven’t changed too much except to account for the snow that’s on the ground already South of I-70. As I was told long ago: the only thing worse than a wrong forecast is putting out a knowingly wrong forecast. In a fluid situation like this, you have to adjust.
Still, for many areas, including the Metro, our original forecast will verify.
One last thing to stress yet again: please be careful on the roads. They are slick!
And please, make sure your headlights are on too. Stay safe on those roads. It may not be you that has a problem, but that fast-driving, texting, distracted idiot next to you could be the one that causes issues. Play it safe.
Jeff is back in Sunday morning and will have the latest radar for you as well as forecast. I’ll then be back in the afternoon with a wrap up on snow totals and a look ahead to the first week of March. Tomorrow is the first day of Meteorological Spring.
Original Entry – 7pm
Pieces and parts to construct snowmen* started falling from the sky around 7 this morning. I believe many of us call this “snow”; some say it’s the unnecessary freezing of water.
In any case, it was right on schedule from the forecast last night. Okay, maybe it was a half hour early. Forgive me.
As of this evening, that snow is winding down across most of our area. That is, for now. As the great Billy Mays used to say: But wait! There’s more!
Here is a look at the latest radar image.
You can see the bulk of the snow is done on the Kansas side for tonight. There are some heavier snow bands around Clinton and Sedalia. This is where some of the heaviest snow has fallen today. Those will continue to push to the Northeast over the next couple hours.
Take a look at just some of the select snowfall reports that have come in as of 6pm tonight.
Here at the studio, I measured 1.2” just before 5pm. Like always, your backyard measurement may vary slightly.
As we go through the next 12 hours, more snow looks to enter the area from the West. The high-resolution HRRR model is picking up on this.
The RAP is also picking up on this activity.
However, consulting some of the other models, such as the NAM, all I’m hearing is crickets. That bothers me a bit. The NAM has had a pretty good handle on this event overall, so I want to believe in it. Something tells me we have the chance still, but if it does develop, I think it will be small and quick. Not everyone will see the snow either. The best window would be from about 7am to 10am or so Sunday.
It’s kind of what I call the “weather lottery”. If you get the snow, you’re the lucky winner. Congratulations.
All in all, I think our overall forecast for snowfall will hold up (1-4″ across the viewing area). We did shift the higher range a little more to the South. And yes, there is a small area that has gone above the four inch mark. However, it was expected, to an extent. And small alterations to a forecast are normal and should be expected.
The darkest shade of blue would be the area that see amounts between four and six inches. Recall a few times Friday I said some areas may “challenge that 2-4 inch range a little bit”.
During any snow event I typically say there’s a “plus two”. One area always seems to get some bonus snowfall of about two inches. I’m telling you, it happens almost every single time. Adrian, that may be you if that next round Sunday morning happens to pass over and add another inch to your total.
When it comes to the overall forecast for this weekend, I feel we covered things very well. Our amounts were consistent all week and the message was on point too: be alert to hazardous travel conditions. I myself saw three accidents on the way to work. One included seeing a woman being loaded into an ambulance. The first thing I thought was: what more could I have said on TV to help this woman? How could I have helped to prevent this? Did I not say it clearly? Did I not say it enough?
This stuff effects us, on so many levels. I want to help people.
When all is said and done, I can only deliver the message.
As far as the amounts go, some are going to argue. Some will try to find a to criticize. But in my biased opinion, we stuck to our guns and had this one called days in advance.
Thousands of years ago, people KNEW the sun went around the Earth. Hundreds of years ago, people KNEW the Earth of flat. Months ago, we knew Russell Wilson would hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks would win the Super Bowl….
See, sometimes what we think we know, just isn’t true. And days ago, the models (and some forecasters) KNEW there would be a big snow event with ten inches of snow in KC this weekend. But here we are.
I hope you are able to enjoy the snow a little bit. Those who are sn-over it, just wait. Warmer days are coming. More on that in tomorrow’s blog.
Have a great evening and be safe on the roads,
*some assembly required; contents may have settled during shipping
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Good Saturday bloggers,
The snow is heading our way as if 7 AM. It will arrive between 9 am and 11 am. The snow will continue all afternoon, tonight, ending 8-10 AM Sunday. The intensity of the snow this afternoon will be light to moderate, 1/8″ to 1/2″ per hour. Then, tonight the rates will drop to 1/8″ per hour or less. So, this is a long duration snow, but mostly light intensities. Lets go through the forecast.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TODAY AND SUNDAY
1 PM Today: The snow will be in full force with the heaviest south of I-70
7 PM TODAY: The heaviest snow is moving off to the east. Light to very light snow will continue over much of the area.
8 AM SUNDAY: The snow is exiting to the east. Sunday afternoon will be dry and mostly cloudy with highs trying to go above 32°.
SNOWFALL FORECAST: We have not only been consistent on this forecast, but the only ones going for the lower amounts. 1″-2″ of snow is expected across the Kansas City area with 2″-4″ south and a dusting-1″ from Hiawatha to Maryville.
The pavement is cold and the snow will stick from the very first flake. So, roads will become slick rather quickly after the onset of the snow. Use caution if you head out today and tonight.
Sunday afternoon through Monday will be dry. Our next storm arrives Monday night and Tuesday. This will be rain and a few thunderstorms as temperatures surge to the 50s Tuesday. if the storm can be a bit more functional then we could see some light snow Tuesday night as Arctic air rushes in one last time.
Have a great weekend and stay safe. We will have updates all day long on our apps and on www.kshb.com/weather.
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11am Saturday Update
As I am sure many know by now: the snow has started. We’ll likely see two rounds out of this system. One round of snow this morning into this afternoon. Then another round later tonight into tomorrow morning.
The RPM model suggests this first round will end around 7pm or so tonight. This is the simulated radar for 6:30pm.
And then the next round will enter around 6am Sunday. Again, a simulated radar image, this for Sunday morning.
Overall, I feel the timing graphics I used on air for the counties–and showed toward the bottom of the original entry here–worked out pretty well. The timing may have been off by about an hour for the third area of counties. Either way, we have the snow. Little kids and big kids alike are excited, I’m sure.
For those curious about the new forecast model outputs when it comes to totals, I have those for you below. Going forward, the snow outputs won’t matter much because the event will be already halfway over and the snowfall will appear less on those outputs. Thus, these will be the last ones I post for this event.
First up is the 12z GFS idea of snowfall by 6pm tomorrow (when the whole event is over).
Then there is the high-resolution 12z NAM version, which continues to be low on amounts
The Canadian is sort of in line with the NAM, but a little more North with the “higher” amounts of snow.
And then this is the raw output of the RPM. It isn’t too far off from the NAM & Canadian.
The 2-4″ line is the turquoise color and it sits right along KC.
So the general consensus here is: the dress was blue and black.
Oh, and that the higher snowfall amounts will fall more in the Southern half of the area versus the Northern half.
Super short-range models like the RAP & HRRR can be useful on days like this. But you have to keep in mind their range. As of right now, the HRRR cannot see this whole event. So looking at its snowfall totals may be misleading.
Overall, our 1-4″ forecast for the viewing area should pan out. There will be localized spots that spill over a tad. I still think we wind up with around two to three inches in a majority of the Metro. Those a bit more North will see a little less. Lawrence area, around one to three. St. Joseph around one to two. Sedalia to Warrensburg, may be closer to three to four and half.
This is a light snow plus the wind will not be much of a factor at all. No blizzard conditions to deal with, thankfully. Just stay alert to slippery roads if you plan to travel today. There have already been a lot of accident reports this morning.
I am in house again this afternoon and will have a fresh forecast for you at 5pm & 6pm on air. I will also have a new blog update posted around 6pm or so tonight.
And hey, you aren’t helping to fill up the internet unless you send us the photos of snow at your place! Tweet, Facebook, email, carrier pigeon, pony express. Get them to us!
10:35pm Friday Update
Just to keep things fair, here is the 00z GFS output for snow.
It continues to trend lower with each new run and is showing half of the amounts it wanted just a couple days ago. Sometimes the GFS can be more stubborn than a mule. But I am glad to see all the guidance settling down a bit.
It still appears the majority of the snow will fall tomorrow night into Sunday morning and then the system is gone by Sunday afternoon. Like I said on air, if there is a lull in the activity Saturday afternoon, just wait. More snow will arrive. We almost have to look at this like a small conveyor belt of snow bands. One batch arrives in the 7am to 2pm timeframe. Then another will arrive later in the day. Yet another passes through around 3am-6am Sunday. Again, if there are a couple hours where it’s not snowing, don’t be surprised.
Jeff is in tomorrow morning and will have the latest updates for you on air and online. Stay with us as we track this winter system.
Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one: A new run of model data has arrived, the night before our snow event, and the numbers have gone a bit lower. Yep. That’s what the latest NAM is doing.
Here is how it looked at 12z (6am) this morning.
This is the new 00z (6pm) run.
It tightens up the overall snow region and pushes things a bit more to the South. No real change for those in far Northeast Kansas & Northwest Missouri. Ho-hum.
But hang on. This is just one model and one run of a model. The new 00z RPM has something to say.
Here was how the RPM looked at 12z this morning.
And this is the 00z version.
Like I said yesterday, I am not going to have a knee-jerk reaction and alter the forecast. There is still the 00z GFS to digest and the 00z Euro. We’ll stay the course; for now. This just serves as a reminder that this year has not been a good year for the models more than 24-36 hours out. I can’t even tell you have many times I written that line this season!
This is also why we’ve played it conservatively compared to what guidance was suggesting days ago.
Catch my forecast on air at 10pm for more.
Previous Entry – 7pm Friday
Someone find the guys from the 80s rock band Europe; tell them it’s time to play their hit song. The final countdown is on and our confidence is pretty solid in the snow event for this weekend.
Right off the bat, let me hit you with the snowfall amounts we are thinking.
Once more, we are staying consistent with one to four inches across the viewing area (keep in mind we do not just forecast for Kansas City). Overall, there should be a wide swath of 2-4” of snow. Yes, a few locales could challenge that range. But those would be the isolated exceptions, not the rule.
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 99% of our coverage area tomorrow, as you can see below.
While we pass along their weather alerts, we still make our own snow forecasts and it may differ from theirs. But generally speaking, we are on the same page.
There are college basketball games in Lawrence and in Manhattan tomorrow. This means people will be on I-70 and K-10 trying to get from point A to point B. I want to do as much as I can to break things down so you can plan safely.
Here is the overall timing of things for tonight into tomorrow.
To go a step farther, this is how I see it unfolding, county by county. The first counties the snow should hit will be to the West of Kansas City. I’ll call this Area 1.
Then the snow should push into KC Metro around the lunch hour Saturday. This is Area 2.
Our Eastern counties will be the last to get in on the action. Area 3.
A note here: counties along the Iowa border may not see much snow overall. This appears to be an event that will stay just along and South of I-70. Please keep this in mind if places like Maryville or Ridgeway only wind up with an inch of snowfall.
All of the snow will push East as the day goes on. I think we may be a lull in the snow in the evening for some. But another band will try to push in by Sunday morning. We’ll have to watch that one closely. I see it exiting from West to East by the late morning hours Sunday.
So, Area 1, the snow should start to wrap up around 7-9am Sunday.
Area 2, the snow will start to end around 8-10am Sunday, clearing faster to the NW of KC.
And those in Area 3, the snow should wind down from 8-11am Sunday with some bands holding on in the Southern & Southeastern counties until close to noon.
To clarify, those ending times would be for the whole event. There may be a lull in the snow. And if that second “blob” of snow does not happen, then we’ll be done by about midnight.
I say this simply for record too: things are still subject to a little change. Timings may be altered by a couple hours. But I do think our forecast amounts are in good shape. Keep in mind, we’ve been going with an overall 1-4″ for days now. You’ve probably seen higher amounts elsewhere.
The 00z forecast guidance will be telling. I’ll look that over and add in an update with what I see. In full disclosure, the door has not been closed on higher amounts, but it’s not far from being shut.
Kansas City has a high chance of walking away with at least two inches of snow from this, if not three. Four inches is also still possible, especially just outside of the 435 loop. But anyone looking for over five inches of snow, the odds are dwindling fast.
All of that said, I still think we need to focus on the impacts of the snow, not so much the amounts.
Something interesting that I noticed from the mid-afternoon run of the RPM… it’s pushing any kind of mix for Sunday more to the South. That will be something to watch. But let’s get through the Saturday snow.
Stay safe on those roads tomorrow.
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Obviously a lot of eyeballs on the weekend forecast. Plus a lot of fingers on keyboards talking about it. Guilty.
And now that we are within 48 hours, more short-range models (with higher resolution detail) can pick up on things. This is good!
With this post I simply want to show you the latest forecast raw outputs in an effort to decrease confusion. I am seeing comments about “one model is saying this” and “another model is saying that”, but the numbers some are spitting out are just wrong, frankly. Too much interpretation going on.
Here are the direct, raw numbers from the models themselves. NAM, GFS, & Canadian all using the standard 10:1 snow ratio. The exception is the RPM, which automatically adjusts its ratio to the temperature profile. I heart you, RPM.
12z high-res NAM says an area of 2-4” by 6pm Sunday
Notice that notch of lower amounts near Metro. We’ve seen that before, haven’t we?!
The 12z GFS is going high still, in the range of 5-7” for KC by 6pm Sunday
Once more, a word of caution about the GFS. It’s going through growing pains this season.
The 12z Canadian plays things on the low end of the scale, saying just a couple inches at best for KC by 6pm Sunday
On the high-res RPM, it’s an area of 2-4” by 11:30am Sunday.
The direct raw output does suggest some 4-6″ spots here and there.
Most of the snow should fall Saturday night into the wee hours of Sunday morning. What we have to watch for is a second band of snow that looks to rush through the area between 6am and noon on Sunday. That could be the one that tops off our snow amounts. But the question here is: will enough warm air be in place to make that a sleet/rain/snow mix, thus reducing the snow totals. That is where there is a difference between the GFS and the others.
However, I will continue to strongly suggest that we not get caught up in the number of trees in the forest. We should focus on how driving through the forest will impact us. For many, the difference between three inches of snow and four inches of snow won’t be noticeable to the eye.
With that in mind, I plan to put together a detailed timeline for various locations around our coverage area. From there I can breakdown how the snowfall–and its timing–may impact your plans this weekend, especially if you’ll be traveling. I know there is a game in Lawrence and in Manhattan Saturday. Travel may be tough leaving both of these games.
I am hoping to have this completed and posted here around 7pm tonight. However, with the other items on my agenda for today including on air work, it could get pushed back a little bit. Just keep eyes on the blog.
Earlier this morning an analogy hit me. And in case you cannot tell, I use a lot of analogies. I am but a simple man, so simple things work for me! Here goes:
Predicting snowfall is like trying to say who will win the NCAA championship…in February! Sure, you know what teams are good given their record. You also know what teams tend to do well in the tourney. But sometimes there is a that one team that comes out of nowhere. Yet, looking back, the signs were there all along. Basically: there are a lot of variables at work and saying who will win, even right before the event, can be very difficult. The uncertainty can be high.
This can be the same with forecasting. We all may think a #1 or #2 seed will make it to the finals, but sometimes that #16 seed squeaks in there. The NAM may be our #16 seed; the underdog. The Cinderella story. We have to be on the lookout for Cinderella at this dance.
See ya on TV,
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10 AM Update from Gary:
Good late morning bloggers. Kalee posted a blog below, and I am adding in some thoughts on this storm. There area still a few details to work through as this system approaches. There appears two be two waves of energy that will produce snow between now and Sunday afternoon. The first wave of energy will move across Saturday into Saturday evening. And, the second wave is due in early Sunday into Sunday afternoon. The models have varying solutions with the GFS consistently producing over 0.50″ liquid over a wide area, including Kansas City. At the same time, the NAM model, which often is the wetter model, is only producing around 0.30″ for the entire system. The European model will be out by 12:30, and the Canadian model will be out soon and we can fill in the blanks. JD Rudd is filling in for me again today. We will be working on the details of possibly increasing our 2 to 4 inch forecast, but we will take another few hours and some more data to look over first.
Model Forecasts for snow in KC:
- NAM Model: This model has come out with, once again, a lower total. Every single model run has around 0.30″ near KC for the entire event, and this morning showed a similar solution. In my analysis it would likely result in a 1-3 inch snow Saturday into Saturday evening, and potential additional 1-3 inch snow on Sunday morning. So, this model roughly has 2 to 5 inches across the KC viewing area. The NAM model had that 540 thickness line south of KC the entire time.
- GFS Model: The GFS model was colder on this run, and it was still wet enough to consider upping our snowfall forecast. This model has a weak warm advection zone in the first part of the storm Saturday, and then a stronger lifting zone for a few hours on Sunday. The total precipitation output from this model is around 0.50″ to 0.75″ liquid which would easily result in 5 to 9 inch snowfall accumulations.
- Canadian Model: This model is just trickling in with the first wave of snow at around 1 to 2 inches. I am still waiting on the data to move into Sunday.
Previous entry below:
Good Morning Bloggers!
We are having some issues with our video through the corporate website, so you may not be able to view our webcast for a little while. We are working on this and hope to have it fixed soon. Until then here is a quick update on the forecast for today and a look at the chance for snow on Saturday.
A beautiful, but cold start to the day with temperatures around 0°. We will see increasing clouds today, so temperatures will struggle to warm up this afternoon. We will top out right around the lower 20s, so more than 20 degrees below average. We will stay dry today, but heavy snow off to the southwest of us. If you are traveling to southwest Kansas or the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle you may have some travel problems. Our problems start tomorrow late morning when snow overspreads the area from the southwest.
The main time frame for snow will be Saturday late afternoon and evening, so you may want to keep plans at home Saturday evening. In regards to snowfall totals, 2-4 inches for the Kansas City metro area looks good. Now I think there could be a few spots that have 5″+ and a few spots that are at about an inch of snow, but most of us will sit between 2″-4″. Either way this looks to be the best storm for us in regards to snow accumulation that we have seen so far this season. We will keep updating as the storms evolves and moves into the area.
Sunday will be light snow with a heavy band that may push through late morning into the early afternoon. This could drop an inch on top of the snow from Saturday night in some places. Then the temperatures will be key with the precipitation Sunday. We will warm up near freezing and this means we could see rain/snow/sleet mix.
More updates to come. Have a great day!
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The wild ride is about to begin, I hope you’re buckled in and ready to go. Please keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle; we don’t need any accidents. And I hope you can stay with me on this blog. There is a lot to talk about!
This may turn into a blog for our more advanced readers and weather geeks by the end. Sorry in advance if I lose anyone. I’ll try to provide a couple markers along the way…
I know the biggest question right now is: who shot J.R.? No. That was something else. We’re wondering about snow. Yes, that’s the ticket.
To help set the stage for you, let’s look at what the raw guidance has been doing lately. This is part of the reason why nailing down the “exact” amounts has been troublesome, especially for model-chasers. This may be the part some of you skip; I understand.
The following graphics are via Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics (a great source) and provide us actual output from the models. There is no guess & check here or trying to convert liquid to snow. This is a simple 10:1 ratio. Remember you can click any of these photos to make them bigger.
Let’s go back to Wednesday afternoon. The 18z run of the GFS was posting some impressive numbers almost right over I-70.
Then last night, this is what the GFS wanted from the 00z run; deciding to go even higher with the snow in Kansas City.
Yes, it claims 10″ at KCI. Don’t get ahead of me here. You’ll soon see why.
Scoping out the UKMet model (this is not the European) from 12z this morning, it was suggesting something very similar with a broad ten inches around the Metro.
Yes, it’s going bananas with the snow too. But these really were the only two models to do that. The Canadian has been downplaying things. This is how it looked at 12z this morning:
A big difference from the GFS and the UKMet for sure.
The NAM has just come into range of this system. It too has been taking the lower road. This is what the NAM wanted as of 00z last night:
That would indicate about two to three inches for KC with the higher amounts slicing through St. Louis.
Okay, you want some more charts and model outputs thrown your way? I’ve been working on a new way to get some of this data in-house and display it to you. Were are working on some things behind the scenes, but I can share these new images with you. As of 12z this morning, here is what the GFS is now calling for…
Ah, that certainly looks a lot less impressive than what the 00z run last night wanted. The GFS continues to have an identity crisis after its upgrade sadly.
The NAM model from 12z this morning comes in looking like this:
And this is what the RPM wanted, but note that is only goes out through 10am on Sunday (that’s the range limit of this particular model)
Using some of our in-house equipment, I am able to show you the output from the European model in a way I never have before. This is the 12z Euro model and as far as I know, I am allowed to share this.
Now the Euro has had its issues too this season. But it continues to pick up on things well before the GFS when it comes to medium-range or longer forecasting. Matter of fact, looking back at my notes from this past Sunday, the GFS said Saturday would be dry while the Euro was calling for 3-5″ of snowfall in the area. I enjoy the consistency of the Euro model.
Okay. Stop and take a breath. Rub your eyes a little too. That was a lot to take in, I know. Hopefully the wide array of snowfall amounts from these outputs will give you a better idea of why pinning down amounts is not easy at all. Look at all the options out there! It’s like choosing a flavor at Baskin Robbins.
The problem here isn’t delicious flavors, just a lack of agreement from model to model and the amounts change from run to run. This is why it’s not as easy as just “picking a model” (we don’t do it that way) or knowing which one is right.
Something to look for is the trend. With each new run you look at, what is the model doing? Is it pushing things North or South? Are the amounts higher or lower?
In this case, there is a downward trend on the amounts. Overall placement hasn’t changed too much.
>>>Those who are skipping around can start reading again here<<<
So with all of that in mind, here is what I think you should know as we go into the weekend:
And to break it down more, this is what I think the odds are when it comes to seeing specific amounts of snow in the Metro:
A different way to think about things: you should have a plan B this weekend. This is where I rate this event on the “Problem-o-Meter” (how much of a problem will this be for you).
>>>If you don’t want finer details, you can skip this part<<<
To blab on for a bit more now, I know there are some wondering why outlet A says one thing and outlet B is saying another. The basic truth is: you’re going to see differences because we all interpret the data a bit differently.
We do not copy and paste other forecasts. We look at the data and make our own. We do not rip and read one particular model nor do we take information from the Weather Service and push it out as our own. We take pride in making our own forecasts. Anyone can regurgitate a model or some other source.
But making our own forecasts can be another reason why it can be difficult to sort out the details as a viewer, especially if you’re a source-flipper. We’d love to all be on the same page, but it’s like asking a friend what their favorite movie is. Ask ten friends, you may get ten different answers. And each one thinks theirs is right.
At the end of it all, meteorologists are their own worst critics when something doesn’t go right; trust me. We agonize over this stuff. I’m sure I have a few ulcers.
The other thing I want to touch on is something called “model fatigue”.
A lesson I was taught early on in my career was there is such a thing as too much information. Perhaps just looking over the above snow charts you’re feeling it at this point!
As a meteorologist, you can look at so much data, so many times a day, day after day. From different models themselves, to all the layers and parameters inside each different model… it can fry your brain! This clouds your judgement and can lead to decisions that may not make the most sense. Often times, this comes from chasing the latest and newest model every second.
Just because something is fresh and new, does not mean it’s the best, greatest thing. I’m looking at you, New Coke®.
So some will sit and wait for the latest information to trickle in and then subsequently alter their entire forecast based just on that one particular run of models. There are times where staying the course proves to be best. But in this day and age of new, now, and fast, that is easier said than done. Some meteorologists only believe in the 12z & 00z runs, calling the 18z & 6z runs “garbage”. There are some who strictly look at the 12z and that’s it. Once again, each forecaster has their method and ways. You learn through trial and error.
I try to keep model fatigue in mind when I forecast and I feel it helps me. Everyone is different, though and that should be taken into account.
>>>Okay, you can read again<<<
When it comes to what is going to happen this weekend, I think you’ll see a lot of outlets redo their snowfall forecasts over the next 24-48 hours, likely backing down on numbers. We are staying consistent with our amounts for snowfall.
And in this situation, I don’t think you should get stuck on the amounts for this weekend. You should really think about how this will impact your plans. Heavy snow falling on Saturday could limit travel at times. The sleet/snow/rain mix by Sunday could cause slippery roads and sidewalks. Those are factors highly important to consider, not just “how much snow am I going to get at my house”.
As you can probably guess, we’ll be all over this like cheese on a taco. It’s going to be a wild ride, baby. Hope you brought your Dramamine.
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What a difference a day can make, right? If yesterday was Dr. Jekyll then today must be Mr. Hyde. If only that good doctor could write the atmosphere a prescription to control these mood swings. I mean seriously, we drove off a cliff in terms of temperatures Wednesday night. This simple meteogram shows the dramatic drop for Kansas City.
For those wanting something a little more technical, geek out on this for a second:
Look at the pressure and the wind. Pretty fascinating.
Today, we have the sunshine but certainly not the warmth of yesterday. The visible satellite picture shows us the clear sky as of early this afternoon. Note the fresh snow in Iowa; you can see all the rivers there. Cool.
Generally speaking, today and tomorrow are the quiet days. I’m at the station and sitting down to go over all the forecast information as we speak (12:30p). From an early look at things, here’s my take: Saturday will become the cranky toddler we have to babysit. And to keep that analogy going, Sunday is the rebellious pre-teen and then by Tuesday, it could be the level-headed adult. I’m combing over all the finer points right now and will go into much more detail later tonight (look for an update by about 7p), but this is the 1000ft view going into this weekend and the first few days of March.
Saturday: Snow likely. Amounts still in question thus causing the endless biting of fingernails
Sunday: Rain/snow/sleet and even some ice possible
Monday: Some late-day showers, highs above freezing (snow melting)
Tuesday: Milder with rain a high possibility (more melting of snow)
Simply to address it: are some outlets already publishing snowfall maps? Sure. But I’m betting they’re also saying how much this can all change. It may not be a bad idea to keep copies of those maps and see how much they are altered over the next couple days.
Tonight I plan to show you some of the raw model numbers so you can see how all over the place it’s been lately. Last night’s GFS went overboard (I think) with snow (10″). But it’s been doing that this year. Whereas the NAM has been taking the conservative road. Seems the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde mentality has made it into the realm of the model guidance world too.
Sides are forming already between those rooting for snowfall and those looking for Spring to make an early entrance. We can wish and root all we want, but the atmosphere will do what it has done for thousands of years: whatever it wants.
In the meantime all we can do it gather data and analyze. From there we’ll do our best to predict the future for a tiny geographic spot on a 4-thousand mile wide spinning rock that’s hurling through space at the rate of nearly 67-thousand miles per hour. Hey, anyone with a computer & internet connection can do that, right?!
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