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Watch for rain & tumbling temps on Sunday

For the first time in almost two weeks, our highs were above average in Kansas City today. And that was despite the cloud cover.
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Tonight I am expecting rain to move into the area while many of us sleep. There could be a few hit & miss showers overnight along with some drizzle. Temperatures will stay in the 50s so there is no threat of any frozen precipitation. At least, not tonight.

It’s looking to me like the heavier rain will stay just off to the East of KC on Sunday, but there could be one or two pockets of moderate rainfall that pass over us. As for amounts, I’m thinking we’ll see a range of 1/4 of an inch to about a full inch by the end of the day Sunday. Forecast models are not quite in agreement on how much rain will fall. The latest NAM & RPM are depicting higher amounts, while the 18z run of the GFS comes in much drier.

NAM Total Precip - via WeatherBell

NAM Total Precip – via WeatherBell

By 6pm Sunday, NAM suggests around a quarter of an inch in Kansas City. Meanwhile, just to the South & East, amounts around 1″.

RPM Rainfall amounts

RPM Rainfall amounts

The RPM is aggressive with heavy rain amounts in Kansas City, suggesting 3/4 to an inch in the city by 6p Sunday.

GFS Total Precip - via WeatherBell

GFS Total Precip – via WeatherBell

The GFS is not too giving with the rainfall, as it claims we’re lucky to even get a 1/4 of an inch. It is worth noting the GFS does pick up on higher rain amounts to the East and North.

The other story for Sunday will be falling temperatures. I expect us to start out in the middle 50s, then by about 4:00pm, cold air will push in and drop our temperatures into the 40s. We will need to watch and see if the true cold air (below freezing) can catch up to the moisture. I think it will do so Sunday night, once the precip is in Eastern Missouri. When this happens, there will be a little wintry mix to light snow in Eastern Missouri. But again, we’ll need to monitor this. Should the cold air catch up to that precip early, the mix and light snow will develop back to the West in Central Missouri. Obviously, I’ll have a better handle on this tomorrow afternoon. At this time, I do not see a threat for frozen precipitation in Kansas City this weekend. Snow-lovers will have to continue to wait.

Looking ahead to the holiday, we will have another shot of cold air knocking on the door. The forecast high for Thanksgiving will depend on which forecast model you believe in. As of this afternoon, the Euro model says a cold front will just pass through the area on turkey day.
EURO Sfc

Meanwhile, the GFS says that front runs out of gas and does not make it here until Friday.
GFS SFC

If you are a fan of the “numbers”, the Euro says our high on Thursday is 30°. The GFS says 45°. That’s a bit of the spread! Right now, I’m going to lean toward the Euro and put our highs in the middle 30s. As always, that is heavily subject to change depending on the placement and timing of the next cold front.

For now, we will focus on the rain for Sunday (free car wash) and that next shot of cooler air for Monday, as highs return to the upper 30s.
-JD

Corridor of Fog and A Sunday Change

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

The ground has been cold and warm/moist air has surged north overnight.  As the warm/moist air runs over the cold ground, the moist air cools and condenses near the surface.  This is creating the fog.  Most of the fog is in a corridor from northeast Iowa to northern Oklahoma, clipping the northwest side of the city.  This will continue this morning, possibly shifting east a bit before the warm and moist air takes over and the fog pushes away.

SATURDAY MORNING VISIBILITY:

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This afternoon and night will be mild with a high today of 60° and temperatures tonight staying in the mid to upper 50s.  There will be a few showers from time to time and some drizzle, but rainfall amounts will be a trace-.05″.

SATURDAY AT 3 PM:

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A significant change arrives Sunday as a storm system evolves over the middle of the USA as it moves quickly to the east.  Colder air will move in during the afternoon as rain and wind increase during the afternoon.  Could we see snow Sunday night?  If the storm really gets organized fast, we could see a period of wet snow before the storm exits.  One factor is that the colder air moving in has a mix of Pacific in it, so temperatures by Monday morning will be 33° to 35°.  So, it will take a heavy snow and stronger storm system for us to have an issue.  It is something to watch.  JD will have an update later today with new data.

SUNDAY AT 1 PM: You can see the colder air moving in and increasing rain.

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Enjoy the mild day and have a great weekend.

Jeff

Rain Today & On The Edge Of Heavy Rain Sunday

Good morning bloggers,

Do you have travel questions for the holiday week? This pattern is changing fast and I will answer your questions at 6:30 PM tonight. Here is the link:

The Chiefs lose in a game that was impacted by the weather. While the Chiefs were bland and being out played by a bad football team in the first half, it was raining, and it was raining hard. It had to impact their moods and play. Then, there was a very  bad call by the referee that helped Oakland’s game winning drive.  The Chiefs are in trouble now, and I know this isn’t a sports blog, but just wanted to vent.  Let’s switch subjects back to weather.  Temperatures will likely warm above freezing before the rain begins. We did go with a 90% chance of rain today, moving in later this morning into this afternoon.  Last night after the game I strongly stated, “there is no chance of any ice in the morning. You need to have clouds first”. And, I clearly showed the low level moisture surging across the Texas/Oklahoma border way to the south at 11:30 PM last night.  That moisture is definitely on the move but the rain will hold off until after it warms to above freezing.

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The temperatures will start well below 32° by 6 AM, but then the clouds will surge in and temperatures will rise above freezing before any rain develops.  By Saturday a much stronger storm will begin forming and we will likely see a few bands of showers, but the main storm won’t be forming until around early Sunday morning.

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By Sunday, here is one solution that does forecast a nice band of rain:

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We will keep you updated. Kalee Dionne is on this morning with JD Rudd helping out.  Have a great start to Friday!  Our preliminary look into winter will be on Tuesday night at 10 PM, and then our entire weather team will be making their snowfall predictions on December 4th on our Weathering Winter special.  And, JD Rudd will also be on Let’s Ask America on Monday at 3 PM. We have a lot going on! Good luck JD!

Gary

Major Changes Are Happening

Good late Wednesday night/Thursday morning bloggers,

Our weather team has been working hard at identifying this weather pattern and what it will mean for the winter.  We taped part of our Weathering Winter special that will be on December 4th at 6:30 PM.  We will finish that show by the 4th with our winter forecast revealed then. I will be going over the pieces of the LRC Puzzle that are coming together on Tuesday night at 10 PM and I will make a preliminary forecast for winter snowfall at that time.  But, the full winter forecast will be on December 4th. I have always wanted to wait until the first week of December and we are going to do it this year.

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There is a lot going on in the changing weather pattern, and it will have impacts on Kansas City the next few days. The cold air has been quite stubborn and on another cold shot arrived Wednesday afternoon. The cold air will finally retreat and the one spot that will welcome any kind of warm-up more than everyone else will be Buffalo, NY.  Over 75″ of snow in the past three days, are you kidding me. I wish I was there. What an experience, but also scary as seven people have been killed by the winter weather.  As you look at the map I posted, you can see many features. The cold and deep upper level trough is lifting northeast and the jet stream is flattening out.  A split is developing near the west coast and there are two storm systems to track between now and Sunday. Both of these systems will likely bring rain to our area. And, Friday has to be watched closely.  It will be 25° for a low early in the day and rain may develop as that lead little wiggle in the flow moves this way.  A second system is heading into California tonight and this will likely bring rain to Oakland and this will likely affect the Chiefs/Raiders game tonight, which is on your 41 Action News station at 7 PM.  We have an hour long special at 6 PM.  That storm will dig south all the way into northern Mexico, pick up some moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and we have upped the chance of rain to 80% Saturday night into Sunday.

What about Thanksgiving week? The models are all over the place, but I see two possible big warm-ups. Things are changing fast. Hold on for the ride and we will keep you updated on 41 Action News.

Gary

From the Freezer to the Refrigerator

Good Tuesday bloggers,

Well, as we forecast days ago, we smashed a record low this morning as we dropped to 6°.  The old record was 14° set in 1903.

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The coldest of the air is retreating, but today through Friday we will still see highs in the 30s with lows in the 20s.  This is still 10-15 degrees below average, but much better than what we just experienced.  Today’s high will reach 35° and this will be the first time we cracked freezing since last Tuesday.  So that will make 7 days below 32° which also smashed the previous November record of 4 straight days below 32°.

Highs Tuesday:

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Wednesday will see a cold front push through, but the thrust of the cold air will be more to the east than south as the deep eastern North America trough pushes east and flattens out.  So, our highs will stay in the 30s as warmer air builds south.  We will have to watch for low clouds from the north.  If they come in, then it will be a bit cooler that we are forecasting.  At this time, we will go with a sunnier solution.

Wednesday weather:

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We then turn our attention to a weekend change as a storm system drops into the southwest USA from the Pacific ocean.  This will do many things to our weather.

1.  It will pump warm air north and we will likely surge to the 50s this weekend as Gulf of Mexico moisture surges north.

2.  A large area of low clouds, drizzle and light rain showers will form Friday over much of the region as the warm/moist air heads north, up and over the current cold air in place.  So, Friday, before the warmer arrives we have a chance of  drizzle with temperatures in the 30s.

3.  We will then have to track the storm system closely.  The current data has the storm tracking too far south to bring us significant rain this weekend.  As is we will have highs in the 50s with a slight chance of light rain.  If the storm comes about 100 miles further north, we will have heavier rain with temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s.  We will follow this all week.

Friday weather:

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Have a great rest of your week.

Jeff

 

Record Long November Cold Spell

Good morning bloggers,

The snowflake contest would have ended in Maryville, Eagleville, Grant City, Mound City, Coal, Clinton, and Deepwater, MO.  Deepwater is on Truman Lake and they had around 3″ of snow yesterday morning. The Saturday storm shifted north, and then Sunday’s storm, that came almost out of nowhere, went just south of Kansas City:

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A band of snow on Sunday morning formed two counties south of Kansas City and this left the KC metro area with way under one inch of snow. Most areas had barely a dusting to maybe 1/3″ in spots.  The snowflake contest shockingly lives on as it was looking like it would be over by Saturday evening a few days ago. We just ended up in the wrong spot and in between both systems.

Luvsno posted this on Saturday:

Record Long Cold Stretch of 32° or lower in Kansas City In November:

We now have had 6 consecutive days with temperatures at or below freezing at KC. This is the earliest that has ever occurred. And, this has only happened 6 other times in the 127-year record at KC. Here are the other occurrences:

  • 11/27-30/1985
    11/24-27/1975
    11/18-21/1937
    11/27-30/1919
    11/27-30/1896
    11/23-26/1895

Today will be the seventh day in a row, and Tuesday will be the eighth day in a row of 32° or lower.  The longest stretch ever during this month of freezing or lower had been four days in a row six other times. So, we have now smashed that record, and we will also set a record low tonight:

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Later this week a major change in the pattern will allow for a big warming trend into the 50s by later in the weekend. And, then a storm may affect us early on Thanksgiving week. We will be looking ahead into the big holiday travel week on 41 Action News today and tonight. Thursday and Friday we will be having a live Facebook chat to answer any travel or weather questions. We will let you know the times soon.

Have a great day!

Gary

Record lows likely to be smashed Tuesday

Before we look ahead to the topic of the headline above, let’s quickly look back on the snow from the last 24 hours. We had another band move through overnight into early Sunday morning. As expected, the bulk of it went South of Kansas City. What about snow amounts? Here’s a look back at some of the highest totals we’ve seen from our area over the last 24 to 36 hours.
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There were other reports of 1-2″ in our Southern counties, but the greater Metro area only saw a dusting. Seems you have to move out of the city if you want to see snow! But don’t worry big-time snow-lovers, there is still plenty of season left to go. We’ll get the snow, whether the models call for it or not!

Now, moving forward, our attention turns to the cold air. Seems like forever since we’ve been “warm”, but it hasn’t really been THAT long… yet.
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We have been at or below freezing for five straight days now and that is a bit of a record. It’s the first time we’ve had a stretch like that this early in the season.
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And if you think we’re suddenly going to turn a corner and warm things up, think again! It’s only going to get colder over the next two days as another weak shot of air from the frozen tundra oozes this way. We’ll be lucky to hit the 20s for highs on Monday (after starting the day out in single digits). The worst part about Monday will be the wind, howling out of the Northwest at 15 to 25 mph. This means wind chill values near zero to five degrees.
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By Tuesday morning, we will likely shatter some record lows.
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Do I have ANY good news to share? Well, it looks like we *will* get that warm-up we’ve been searching for. It should arrive by next weekend but will also come along with some rain. Right now, we’re in the same boat we were in a week ago: One model (the GFS) says it’s only a few sprinkles and in the upper 40s. While the Euro says it’s about a half inch to inch of rain and highs in the upper 50s. As always, it’s not wise to go model chasing. For now, I’m going to TREND warmer and add in a chance for showers. The team will update the forecast as the week goes on. As for me, my weekend is about to start and I’m ready for it!

Hope you all have a nice week and stay warm!
-JD

Snow South and an Arctic Blast

Good Sunday bloggers,

We have been in weather no mans land this weekend.  Saturday we saw a snow system track to our north, bringing 1-3″ of snow to Nebraska, Iowa and far northern Missouri.  Now today we have a snow system tracking to our south that will bring 1-3″ to southern Kansas and southern Missouri. If you are south of a Pleasanton, KS to Clinton, MO line you may see 1″ of snow this morning.  This has amounted to a series of dustings for our area.  There are some slick spots out there this morning, so be careful.  Here is the radar from Sunday morning.

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Now we turn our attention to more cold weather.  An Arctic front will blow through later tonight.  Monday will be very cold with highs in the low 20s with wind chills in the single digits.  Morning wind chills will be 5 below zero!  We bottom out with a low of 7° Tuesday morning. Ouch!  The rest of the week will see a moderation in temperatures.  We may see 50 degrees in 7-10 days.

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Have a great day and stay warm.

Jeff

Saturday’s snow event…what happened?

Good evening bloggers,

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Some snow showers are developing and we  will be on after the Notre Dame game. Let us know if you see any snowflakes. This storm is not quite done yet, and we have to watch a system going to our south on Sunday closely.

The blog is alive and well it seems! Many are asking what happened or why this or why that. Let’s stop for a second and do two things: 1) Look at what did happen, and 2) Look at what was being said for days.

First off, as of 3p this afternoon there have been reports of one to four inches of snow in Northern Missouri, as well as various reports of light dustings. Bethany has picked up 1.5″ of snow and Maryville has picked up 2″.  Eagleville & Grant City both check in with 4″. Not bad for those who live in these areas!
Snow1

Okay, so what happened. As they say, let’s go to the video tape! …or in this case, the radar data.
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Looking closely at this radar image from this morning, you can see the darker blues that indicate heavier snow. Obviously, this went farther to the Northwest than anticipated a couple of days ago. However, we cautioned from the beginning that this was not a typical “storm system”. There was never a surface low feature to track; never an area of counterclockwise rotation on radar/satellite that you could say “ah ha! There it is, coming this way!”.

Matter of fact, looking back on a blog post I made on Thursday read what I wrote:
Blog Quote2

What we were doing was basically trying to find a needle in a haystack. We were expecting a wave in the upper atmosphere (that image above is the 250mb layer!) to develop and moved over us. From the get-go the placement was questionable and fuzzy. As I talked about in other blogs, models were all over the place with what it would do. Why? Because it was not a regular surface low feature, it was difficult to pin down where this thing would go. Kind of like trying to catch a greased pig.

Time and again I said not to focus on the snowfall amounts, but rather on the potential impacts. Many of our graphics we used on air said “potential impacts”. We also said over and over how this was still all subject to change based on newer forecast information that arrives about five times every day. While our confidence was high that we’d see snow, there was not much high confidence in amounts.

Going back to a blog I wrote last weekend:
Blog Quote1

I know I said on the air a few times: “I hesitate to throw out a number just yet because when I do, that will be the number everyone latches onto”. Additionally, once a number was thrown out, I said “do not get hung up on snow amounts”; as I was still concerned they’d be on the lighter side. I will fully and openly admit I initially went with 2-4″ for the KC area Wednesday at midday and was not totally comfortable with it. However, given the data at the time, it seemed to fit. And not that I check every other media source (because I do not, ever), through reading comments on this blog and Twitter I was able to find out that many of the forecasting entities in this area went with a very similar range.

As we progressed into Friday (even late Thursday night), the new forecast information was trending lighter and suddenly putting the best snow dynamics more to the North. The GFS–what had gone from saying nothing, to saying a few inches would happen along the KS/OK line–now started putting all the snow around the NE/KS line.

Our team started trending numbers down. And by Friday at 4p, Gary’s gut went to work and he really reworked the forecast and said we needed to scale back the snowfall amounts. As the day went on Friday, every new run of information backed up that conclusion. I will take responsibility for being the first at our station to go on air with a map showing potential amounts. Gary and I discussed it and heavily considered cutting them down. However, we looked over all the data on Wednesday and at the time, it fit. But again, as we got closer to the event, evidence starting showing up that we needed to scale back and we did. I cannot speak for other stations or entities and what they held onto. I realize there are many sources out there to get a forecast. We cannot control what others do with there forecasts. And now…. here we are.

So let’s look take a good look at some highlights from this event.
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Comparing the forecast from Wednesday and Thursday to what happened today, did we “miss” it? Yes. But we said over and over that the forecast would change (and it did) and that people would need to keep checking back. 18 hours before the first snow fell, we updated our forecast. That’s what you have to do; no matter what. Be it a Spring severe weather event, or a winter snow event. The best forecast data comes out RIGHT before the event happens! You cannot look at a forecast for snow days ahead and expect it to be exactly right.
There will be tweaks, there will be alterations, there will be updates. We had them this time, no question. Moreover, we are measuring with a microscope and cutting with a chainsaw here. In the Spring, if there was an area that picked up 0.05″ of rain and another that saw 0.25″, it would not be a big deal. But using a simple 10:1 conversion ratio for snow, that’s the difference between a half inch of snow and 2.5 inches of snow…which leads to even bigger impacts on the roads. A topic we stressed over and over again.

Despite some critics out there, we did get a lot right.
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In the long run, as I have learned over my decade of forecasting snowfall, nobody will ever be totally happy. There will be those always left wanting more snow and those left wishing it never happened at all. Snow is a cruel beast. We do no control the weather, but we do our best to predict the future. There are times where it’s pretty cut and dry, and “easy” to do. There are other times where it is a challenge. Today’s event was a challenge and something we can learn from going forward.
We thought early on we’d get at least an inch of snow if not two around the entire area. Now, this afternoon, we are left looking at the ground in some areas saying “well, that didn’t pan out too well, did it?”. All we can ever do is pick ourselves back up and carry on.

So that said… it’s not over. Another weak, small wave will pass over the area tonight. I expect most of that to pass to our South. But do not be surprised to see some very light accumulations overnight. However, it will not be a storm. No need to run back out for eggs and milk. I’ll explain more about this on our 6p and 10p newscasts tonight.

Thanks for trusting our team, for your supportive comments and constructive criticism here on the blog, and for knowing what we do is never easy but we always give it our best even if the critics are harsh.
-JD

Will The Snowflake Contest End Today Or Not?

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

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Will the snowflake contest end today? It may be close, or it may not even get over a half inch?  The news business can be rewarding and at times quite frustrating. Last night, beginning on the 4 PM newscast, we made the correct forecast for this storm taking the snowfall totals all the way down. I am certain we are the only forecast that took this north and reduced totals significantly. But, regardless of whether we were or not doesn’t make this storm any more or less frustrating and we are covering it as if it were a huge impacting storm. Once a plan is set in motion, even though we know that the forecast completely changed and we showed it last night there is nothing we can do to stop it.  Let’s see what happens today as it approaches. Here is the map I showed on the air last night at 10 PM:

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An area of snow is now increasing and heading in from the west. The main system is tracking to the north and there will be a band of heavier accumulations along and north of the main and fast moving upper level disturbance. Let’s see exactly where that goes. We are doing a webinar on KSHB.com from 7 AM to 8 AM before the 8 AM show begins live on 41 Action News.  We will go over all of the details on these newscasts and webinars this morning.  Let’s see where this area of snow goes.  I am getting on my snow vest! Have a great day!

Gary