Weather Blog – Major Winter Storm Will Impact KC

Hello bloggers,

A major winter storm will develop from Wednesday to Thursday and will have impacts on our region.

Current Thoughts

Rain, freezing rain, sleet and then heavy snow are all forecast. Thunderstorms are also possible, even if it is snowing. If this storm maintains its strength, thunderstorms could form in the colder air, which would increase snowfall rates. This is still one of the many uncertainties.

One big ingredient this storm will have that others we’ve had this winter haven’t quite exploited is the availability of air from the Gulf of Mexico! This map below shows that the Gulf of Mexico is wide open with a current of moisture breaking through our area tomorrow afternoon.

Gulf of Mexico moisture rise

Gulf of Mexico moisture rise

A storm system is currently digging south over California and it will begin to move towards our area. This is a very complex system as this strong upper level storm will weaken as it approaches KC. It is a factor, an important factor. Why? If the storm weakens six hours faster than the snow patterns predict, then the heavy snow will be further south and the northern edge closer. I think it will retain enough strength to put KC in the heavy downpour tomorrow night into Thursday. But it’s something I’m going to watch very closely. Most of our storm systems since October have lost the strength of those storm systems. That’s why we had the precise prediction of the expected snowfall for our last storm. So how fast will this storm weaken on Thursday? If that adds up those six extra hours, the snowfall total could double.

5:00 a.m. Thursday Forecast:

  • Dark blue is lighter snow
  • Pink colors show heavier snow
  • Darker purple shows freezing rain and sleet (frozen rain or sleet)
  • Yellow to orange shows the rain
  • Red shows severe, possibly severe thunderstorms
Valid 5 a.m. Thursday

Valid 5 a.m. Thursday

This model shows KC in access to very heavy snow, and possibly thunderstorms with snow. Snowfall rates could be heavier than we’ve seen in years if these thunderstorms form.

9:00 a.m. Thursday Forecast:

Powercast Valid 9 a.m. Thursday

Powercast Valid 9 a.m. Thursday

This model shows six to ten hours of snow, and if the rates are 1/2″ to 1″ per hour, that would be a lot of snow. Add possible thunderstorms where rates could be 2″ to 3″ per hour in the heaviest bands, then the amounts will be even higher.

Snowfall potential

Snow potential

Snow potential

I’m still writing and I’ll have this blog finished by 8:30……..

Accurate LRC Prediction:

Eleven days ago Jeff Penner wrote this blog entry: February 4th Blog and in this blog he discussed February 17th as our next winter storm chance and showed how that fits nicely into the cycling model . In October, this part of the pattern produced a very wet storm, our wettest storm of the season, but it was too warm to snow. And then, in the last cycle, that part of the pattern produced the horrific tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky, and there’s a chance of severe weather on Wednesday and Thursday. Here is an excerpt from what he wrote: ” 2 WEEKLY FORECAST:
The next chance we have of a winter storm is around February 17, plus or minus 1-2 days.”

It was actually a 120-day forecast. This is the part of the model that also produced the big lightning delay at Arrowhead in October. So what will he do this time? We’ll know more as new data arrives today!

Thank you for sharing this weather experience and spending a few minutes of your day reading the weather blog. Have a great day and we’ll go in depth on KSHB-41.

Gary


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