Here Comes Another Storm System

Good morning bloggers.

The active weather pattern continues.  The next storm is lining up for this weekend and it begins forming today.  Let’s take a look, but let’s begin with the Kansas City Weather Time Line:

  • Today:  Some fog this morning lifting with a chance of some sunshine returning. The wind will shift to the east at 5-15 mph later in the day in response to a low pressure area forming over the southern Rocky Mountains region.  High: 41°
  • Tonight:  Cloudy with a chance of rain or freezing rain. No ice accumulation expected. Low:  33°
  • Saturday:  Cloudy, breezy, with an increasing chance of rain. The chance of rain is 70% for a few hours. High:  50°
  • Sunday:  Sunshine returns. High:  51°


The rain, that you can see on this map above, is the beginning of another excessive rain event spreading towards Missouri and Arkansas.  The northern edge of this may sneak into Kansas City Friday night. What happens to this developing storm next is fascinating.

3An upper level storm is going to track out of the Rocky Mountains east out into the plains.  We are monitoring this closely as it may have some impacts close to Kansas City. Most likely, any snow will fall way to the north. Some of the models sneak it south into northwestern Missouri,  which is possible, but the only way it gets as far south as KC is if it is more organized into an upper low and tracks farther south. It is the next system that we have watch closely as well for next week. But, we know what has happened this season as we are still sitting at under 6 inches of snow for the snow year.

A surface low, being generated by this upper level pattern Friday, will intensify and move out into the plains Saturday.  Where this low tracks will decide many things. How warm will it get Saturday depends on the track of this system. If the low stays south of KC, then 40s will be all we can reach Saturday. If the low tracks northwest of KC, then there is a chance of 60 degrees or higher. Here is a closer zoomed in look at last nights track:


Here is the GFS precipitation forecast for the next five days ending Tuesday night:


The highly advertised blocking upper high begins forming in this next seven day stretch. There will likely be influences. Amarillo is still sitting at 0.00″ of snow for a reason.  Wichita, KS is still sitting on 0.3″ of snow for a reason. Dodge City’s 1.1″ of snow so far is shattering a record. This could all change quickly if just one storm can target the area, but it will be difficult. The blocking must force the jet stream south at just the right time for something “out of the box” to form this season. You can see a discussion of the block in yesterdays blog entry.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Let’s continue our great discussion and share together on the Weather2020 blog.


A Block Begins Forming: Let’s Look Into What It May Mean

Good morning bloggers,

There is a lot to discuss today.  Is it any real surprise that the freezing rain that the models had shown did not verify, not even close?  Every model, and I mean every one, did horrible from the European model to the GFS and everyone in between such as the Ruc, HRRR, NAM, Canadian….it didn’t matter which model you looked at, as they were all just horrible as guidance.  Warning signs that we were not going to get much measurable precipitation showed up as early as around 3:35 PM yesterday when the GFS model came out and literally had no measurable precipitation in KC until this afternoon with the next band of rain.  I did not ignore it. I started showing on the air where we needed to see development as nothing was forming yet. And, then it never materialized. On the air I began hinting at this, but it took me until around 9 PM when I was live on Facebook when I went way down on the ice prediction. NOW, PLEASE READ THIS NEXT STATEMENT:  I went way down from 0.10″ to 0.01 to 0.05″. Think about that. Take your two fingers and make 1/10th of an inch and try to go to 0.01″ of ice accumulation which is about what we got on the south side of the city. We were predicting a very small amount of ice anyway, and a very small amount of ice accumulated. This second system was not supposed to be as strong as the first one two days ago, and it wasn’t.  But, here we are in Kansas City, and here we are trying to predict these small little systems. We are still sitting at under 6″, 5.8″ of snow, for the season. Kansas City has never in its recorded history had under 10″ for three consecutive years. And, it may not do it. There are chances showing up. There is a blocking pattern developing. But, will we be left in the dusting again?


This map above is a forecast for the 500 mb level, 18,000 feet above us, in 168 hours, or next Thursday morning.  A blocking pattern is developing in these next 7 days.  You can see the block by looking at the upper high forming over Greenland. This is forcing the jet stream to energize and shift south. And……IMPORTANT…….it will be a pattern that the models have a horrible time predicting. This may benefit KC, or again leave us in the dusting, if  we are lucky. How could it benefit us? If it forces the jet stream far enough south, the block would need to be slightly stronger, and then maybe one of these systems will be forced to track farther south as well and then we will be in a major snowstorm. Can you imagine? I sort of can, but realistically, I will be shocked if it begins happening.  Look at this map above again. I pointed to a storm that is forecast to develop one week from now, and you can see the AO and NAO indexes showing the first deep dip in the pattern, and the biggest dip since late November. We are actually moving into cycle 4 of this years LRC, which lines up well with the first cycle in October, and is directly related to the second and third cycles as well.  We know what has happened in this pattern in KC: 5.8″ total in many small snowfalls.

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 7.47.02 AM

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 7.47.18 AM

So, what does this mean? Well, we need next weeks storm to track a bit farther south. Look at last nights GFS forecast model:

GFS Snow

GFS Rain

Let’s see how the models trend as this block sets up.  It could suddenly get very exciting in KC, but as of this moment, the models refuse to show much snow potential.  So, this is next weeks storm. What about today and this weekend?  Is this about to wear you out?


This map says a lot. Snow over Nebraska, western Iowa, extending north into South Dakota.  This is a forecast for noon on Saturday.  A storm system will track through. This storm is directly related to the October 7th, part of the pattern or right at the beginning of this “great” pattern we have been experiencing, this frustrating pattern for those of us near KC and surrounding areas. It certainly has been entertaining. But, I would rather predict large storm systems and not these small precipitation events. If you step back, you will see that we at 41 Action News and within this blog have predicted most of the storms accurately. There have been a couple of clunkers in there for sure. We have some more challenges ahead.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Freezing drizzle changing to drizzle or light rain with temperature rising to above freezing this afternoon.
  • Tonight: Fog developing late with light winds. Some drizzle and mist possible. Some freezing is still likely 60 to 100 miles farther north.
  • Friday:  It will be cloudy and foggy with light winds and some drizzle possible
  • Friday night-Saturday:  A chance of rain with a storm moving by. Highs in the 40s or possibly even the 50s if the storm tracks farther north
  • Next Week: An interesting pattern to track

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go click on the blog on Weather2020.com and join in the conversation.


A Second Icing Event Of The Week

Good morning bloggers,

We are having our second icing event of the week at just after midnight.  Take a look at the radar at 12:25 AM:

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 12.22.37 AM

The most significant precipitation has been targeting areas north of I-70, but the echoes were increasing as I was writing up this blog entry.   The evidence was pretty strong earlier this evening that this was going to be a bit farther north and west, but there is still some wide spread glazing and a small icing event in progress. Let’s see how this develops in the next few hours.

Have  a great night. I will start another blog by 8 or 9 AM.


New Data Has Not Much! This Is How This Pattern Performs For KC!

Good evening bloggers,

The new data is rolling in…..take a look:


This is the NAM model total precipitation ending at 9 AM Thursday. Look closely:  0.01″. Yes, almost nothing. So, this weather pattern may once again be about to make us meteorologists look “silly” to some.  Am I shocked? Just a bit, but not really. This is this year’s pattern, and this disturbance can be argued to have always been suspect.  Now, there still should be a light glazing at least. Let’s see how this really trends as there are radar echoes increasing as I am writing this.

I will be analyzing this closely and likely doing a Facebook Live around 9 PM.  If we see a trend towards more icing or sleet we will discuss overnight.


Sleet, Freezing Rain, or Snow Tonight?

Good Morning Bloggers,

We had a nice precipitation event yesterday with over 1″ liquid accumulation in the KC metro area. Lee’s Summit, MO recorded 1.20″, while KCI Airport had 0.85″. We are now moving into fourth cycle of this years cycling weather pattern. It was wet in the first cycle and it is certainly “trying” to be wet again. In between it has been a rather dry pattern, and excessively dry with the drought developing out over the western high plains.  These precipitation events, such as yesterdays, helps keep that drought area from expanding. It is something we continue to monitor.  And, now we have another precipitation event to track tonight.


There is a rather big trough draped across western North America.  Waves of energy are being generated and they are rotating out of this trough. The main trough will swing across over the weekend, but out ahead of the main trough are two more waves that can be seen to be rotating out towards the plains. One of these will arrive tonight.


The map above shows a forecast for precipitation at 3 AM tonight. Now, what type of precipitation will it be? On the air last night I argued that it could start as snow.  Some of the models are showing all snow, but we live in KC and there has not been a 3″ snow storm in over four full years now. That is just nuts, and the longest such streak in KC recorded history.  So, we know the challenge of getting it to be all snow will be high, even though it is really close. It will be interesting to track tonight, but we have already done this a few times within this interesting pattern that started last October. In those experiences, there has been a rain/sleet/snow area near KC a few times.  I expect this same thing to be the most likely scenario tonight. There have even been at least two times that I can remember where it snowed and accumulated in parts of the KC metro area while it only rained just miles away. So, we have a history of this, and it may very well be that way again tonight. By noon Thursday last nights data produced these next two ice and snow forecasts:



So, what is going to happen? Here is the Kansas City Time Line:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy with thickening and lowering clouds later in the day.  High: 28°
  • Tonight through 9 PM:  Sleet, snow, freezing rain, and a mixture of all three developing and spreading northeast.
  • 10 PM – 6 AM Thursday:  A mixture of precipitation likely.  Accumulations of sleet, freezing rain, snow of under 1″ likely. There is a chance that some areas could see higher snowfall accumulations, but only if it stays in the form of snow. This is unlikely to happen, but some areas may have a longer period of snow, with the farther north locations the most likely areas to have more snow.  Low:  24°
  • Thursday:  The mixture of precipitation ends, but there will be a chance of drizzle, freezing drizzle, or light rain later in the day.  Total accumulations of under 1″ likely causing slick and hazardous conditions.

Matt Dobbins shared this great picture with us yesterday (MatthewDobbins.com).  We will likely be having a rare ice on top of ice event tonight, or could it snow? Well, we will find out soon:


We will discuss all of this, the trend in the models, and the weekend storm system in the comments section over on Weather2020.com. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.


Ice Storm Warning Today

Good Morning Bloggers,

An ICE STORM WARNING has been placed over the KC metro area this morning:

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 5.34.51 AM

6:25 AM Radar:

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 6.22.14 AM

This is a rather significant area of freezing rain and it is heading directly towards KC early this morning. A line of thunderstorms is on the leading edge, an unusual line of heavy thunderstorms considering it is below freezing this morning. Let’s look at some of the details and your KC weather time-line is posted below.

Here are the graphics I showed last night on the 10 PM news:



A cold surge is arriving this morning, and in combination with an upper level disturbance tracking overhead we are expecting a significant band of freezing rain with a chance of freezing rain thunderstorms to spread up the I-35 corridor. These accumulations I showed last night are possible. I am expecting between 0.10″ and 0.50″ in most areas near KC.  Power outages don’t usually begin until around 1/2″ accumulation happens on the power lines and we will likely fall just short of this potential danger. There is also a chance of sleet before it is over. If it does sleet, then the roads will get covered. If it does not sleet, then most of the roads that are treated will mostly be wet. It will be quite tricky today. Last night we targeted this I-35 corridor to be the center of this system, and it appears to be lining right over this region, which is directly over Kansas City.

Kansas City Weather Time Line:

  • Now through Noon:  Freezing rain spreads over the area and becomes heavy near I-35.  Ice accumulations are likely.  Freezing rain thunderstorms are possible. In these thunderstorms sleet may fall which would coat roads.  Temperatures dropping a couple more degrees into the mid to upper 20s.
  • Noon to 3 PM: The heavy band of freezing rain may change to sleet before ending. The band will slowly shift to the east.  Temperatures in the 20s. Total accumulations of 0.10″ to 0.50″.
  • 3 PM to 6 AM Wednesday:  Temperatures drop a few more degrees, so there will be more freezing of any standing water
  • Wednesday night-Thursday:  Freezing rain and sleet again are likely. Some snowflakes may mix in
  • Friday: There is a chance of rain or freezing rain
  • Saturday: A major winter storm is possible with snow near Kansas City, or just north of the region. We are monitoring this storm closely.

As we showed in yesterdays blog, this part of the pattern is directly related to the first cycle of this years pattern in October. In this first cycle it was rather wet with 5″ of rain in KC. It is an incredible comparison to that first cycle. And, there is some major blocking developing aloft over Greenland. We will discuss this in tomorrows blog and on 41 Action News tonight.

Here is one look at the developing blocking upper high:


That big upper high, the blue H, will have some rather significant influences on the pattern. And, KC may end up with some chances for snow in these next 15 days, not to mention these ice chances.  That is a 575 decameter upper high, which is rather strong. But, it hasn’t formed yet.  This map is valid on March 1st. Let’s see how this evolves.

Please be cautious today and provide a lot of extra time to get around if you have to get out. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.  Go to Weather2020 Blog and join in the conversation as we all learn together and share in this weather experience.


A Trend Towards A More Significant Icing Risk

Good evening bloggers,

There has been a trend towards two things:  Colder and wetter near KC.  This is an ice forecast that just came out from our in-house computer model. It lines up a bit with the Euro and NAM models.  I am on the air now, so I will update the blog with the new data later.


At around 3:30 PM I noticed a well defined disturbance ejecting northeast out of Mexico. It has my attention right now and it is likely the reason for the increase of ice on the models.  I found this disturbance and it is indeed heading our way:



A Rather Dramatic Front Is Drifting Southeast

Good morning bloggers,

The day begins with a rather fascinating weather pattern across the United States. Kansas City will, once again, likely going to miss any major winter storm systems this week. Last night on 41 Action News I described three to four storm systems that are lining up to affect KC. The most exciting weather will happen all around us, as has been happening the past few years, and a lot of times this winter.  There is a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of our viewing  area across northwestern Missouri and far northeastern Kansas.  Here are the advisories in effect as of this morning:

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 7.44.43 AM

I analyzed this surface map real quickly this morning. This is the 7:23 AM surface map showing a rather strong and slow moving cold front approaching from the northwest. Take a look at this:


This cold front is really strong.  Arctic air is located one state away. It was down into the single digits this morning with snow falling over parts of Nebraska. And, incredibly it was 63 degrees in Kansas City at 7 AM this morning. SIXTYTHREE degrees. Wow!  The ground has “sweated” once again and everything is wet without any rain falling as this warm and moist air flows north from the Gulf of Mexico.  What is going to happen with this front, with this pattern? What does this mean for our weather?

The Cycling Weather Pattern:

  • The weather patter is cycling Regularly
  • A unique pattern sets up each fall from around October 1st through November
  • Quasi-permanent anchor troughs and ridges set up in different locations each fall. Storm systems intensify as they approach and move into the anchor troughs, and storm systems are less frequent and weaker as they move through the anchor ridges
  • A cycle length evolves, and then continues through the rest of fall, winter, spring, and summer until a new and unique pattern sets up the next fall

We are currently in this “same pattern” that set up last fall, and we are about to end cycle 3 and begin cycle 4 of this pattern. Take a look at what is showing up on all of the models I have seen. The map comparison below shows the forecast from last nights European model valid February 25th.  Look at the incredible comparison.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 7.40.07 AM

On this map above, you are looking at the 500 mb flow, around 18,000 feet above us, showing the weather pattern that already happened in October, and then the forecast pattern for February 25th.  We have shown dozens of examples this season of the cycling pattern at around a 47-day cycle.  February 25th is exactly 141 days after October 7th, or 47 times 3 days ago (141 days).  This is exactly on cycle. You can’t make this up; pretty incredible.  So, what does this mean for Kansas City, for Chicago, for Amarillo TX, for New York City?  It just snowed again over the northeastern United States, over the big cities of Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. We predicted this past weekends storm system at the AMS conference in Austin, TX 47 days ago. There we go again, 47-days.  The same pattern continues to produce similar results.  Now, take a look at this.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 8.07.23 AM

Are we finally about to get the pattern to block up? Look at the Arctic Oscillation forecast to dip deep into negative territory for the first time in this pattern. Finally something just a bit different right? Well, this just has to mean good things for KC right? When the AO dips deep negative there is an increased chance of Arctic air blasting south and the jet stream gets forced farther south and is energized. But, will it impact KC?


It will still be the same pattern, but with a potential blocking influence for the first time this season. This map above shows the blocking high well forming near Greenland. We will discuss this more in the coming days.  For now, a strong cold front is heading towards KC.  But, look at what is forecast by 3 PM on Tuesday afternoon:


Are you kidding me? This is the latest NAM model showing all of the winter precipitation types will have shifted mostly into Canada by tomorrow afternoon.  Remember, there are three more systems lining up for later this week. Let’s take a look at the Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: Cloudy with a chance of showers. The wind will shift to the north with temperatures dropping from the 60s into the 40s, possibly into the 30s this afternoon.
  • Tonight:  Rain showers developing. The chance of rain is going up to 100% by morning.  Temperatures holding steady or possibly rising a bit.  The wind will shift to the east or southeast.
  • Tuesday:  Rain likely in the morning, possibly briefly changing to freezing rain or sleet before ending. Temperatures dropping into the 20s.
  • Wednesday – Thursday:  Mostly cloudy with a chance of freezing rain, sleet, snow, or rain showers.

Thank you for sharing in the Action Weather Blog Experience Featuring Weather2020 & The LRC. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Go over to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation. Have a great day. Let’s see how this trends.


A Storm Approaches: Any Ice?

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are looking at an active weather pattern this week as we track a wet storm Monday-Tuesday, chance of light snow Thursday and a new wet system for Friday-Saturday. We are going to focus on this Monday-Tuesday wet storm as it it quite complex, for multiple reasons.

Let’s begin with a  look at how the cirrus and cirrostratus clouds created a red sky this morning.  They can  bring some of the most beautiful sunrises as they are high in the sky and the sun can shine on them before it rises.

Here is an update on the rainfall statistics since August 1st. We had nearly 20″ of rain from August 1st to October 22nd and we needed a break from the rain. Well, be careful what you wish for as since October 22nd we have seen just 1.70″ with the average through the end of February being 7.21″. This puts us 5.51″ below average. We have a storm system for Monday and Tuesday that has a chance to double our rainfall total since the 22nd October.


SUNDAY: Today we will see high clouds with highs in the 50s along with wind gusts to 40-45 mph from the south. A wind advisory is in effect until 6 PM from around I-35 to the west.


MONDAY MORNING: Tonight we will see a moisture surge from the Gulf of Mexico which brings a low overcast and a temperature rise to around 60°-65° by morning. There will be a chance of drizzle and a few showers as a disturbance races in from the southwest.  There is the slight chance of a thunderstorm.


MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING: This is where it becomes complex. We will be tracking areas of drizzle, showers and perhaps a thunderstorm. Now, look closely at the temperatures. Low 30s are found in northwest Missouri with some freezing rain (liquid water freezing on contact with the surface) while 60s are found to the southeast of KC. We are in the 40s as the front slips in. Where will this front set up? Will it waver back and forth? Will it push south and not return as the heavier rain moves in Monday night? The answers to these questions will determine how much ice we see. Also, the answers to these questions are not known at this time as we have a major conflict in the data.


TUESDAY MORNING (5 AM): OK, this is crazy, but possible. The front on this data wavers north and our temperatures in KC rise from the 40s back to 60°-65° with periods of rain, drizzle and a few thunderstorms. The freezing rain is confined to a small area in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri where temperatures are around 30°. The colder air could easily be 50-100 miles farther south, making the rain, freezing rain. The NAM is the most bullish with this cold.


TUESDAY MORNING (7 AM): On this data, just two hours later the colder air is now heading back south. Temperatures now range from 37° at KCI to 64° in Odessa with heavy rain moving through. Temperatures are in the upper 20s to low 30s in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, but the rain is over, limiting icing. The only way we have an ice storm is if the colder air pushes farther south and stronger, because it does look like the rain axis is fairly set.


RAINFALL FORECAST:  Some of the models are showing the biggest precipitation event since the 22nd of October whether it is rain or freezing rain. Rainfall amounts will range from around .10″ northwest to close to 1.50″ southeast. KC has the chance to see 1.25″, but I would not count on it yet as the models are still all over the place.

Here is the overnight NAM model, but the latest model run had a lot less, but then guess what????  There is a second system Wednesday that needs to be monitored closely.


Have a great week and when you see a meteorologist on the street, be kind. This is not going to be an easy forecast with chances of rain, freezing rain and snow. Also, our temperature forecast may be off by 30 degrees depending on what block you live on.

Jeff Penner


Snow, Sleet, Rain, Sun, 50s all Today

Good Saturday bloggers,

A mix of snow, sleet and rain moved across the region with most snow north of I-70 and rain to the south. We had a few reports of snow on grassy surfaces in north KC. There were little to no slick spots as air temperatures were near to above freezing and pavement temperatures stayed above freezing. By the way, St. Louis is having 1″ to 2″ of snow.

Here is the radar from this morning.


There is the chance of a wetter storm system Monday and Tuesday, so let’s go through the next few days.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: It will become totally sunny with highs in the 50s along with a southwest shifting to northwest breeze 10-25 mph.


SUNDAY: The day will start in the 30s with a light wind. Then, it will become rather windy from the south with gusts over 30 mph as highs climb to around 60°.


MONDAY MORNING: We have an interesting storm system to track Monday and Tuesday. First, Sunday night and Monday morning we will have a surge of moisture so temperatures by morning will rise to 60°-65° with a chance of showers and drizzle.


MONDAY AFTERNOON: A cold front will slowly drift southeast across the area as the flow aloft come from the southwest, parallel to the front. The set up is there for some decent rain with amounts at least .10″-.50″. There is a trend in the heavier direction, but we know how things have gone this year. The one thing in our favor is that the pattern is acting like the start of the first cycle back in October and we had 5″ of rain during that part of the pattern and it was mostly from Lawrence east. So, this upcoming situation does fit the LRC.


MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY: The cold front will slowly drift southeast across the region with temperatures ranging from the 20s northwest to 60s southeast. If the precipitation lasts long enough and the colder air comes in stronger we could see freezing rain and sleet Tuesday morning. As is, northwest Missouri has a better chance to see freezing rain and sleet.  This will be something to monitor.


Have a great weekend

Jeff Penner