Saturday, January 31, 2009

Big warm up!

Good Saturday morning! It will be a fantastic day today with unseasonably warm temperatures surging into the region. Here is my Saturday forecast high temperature map:

I think there will be a couple records broken today.

Now with these warm temperatures will come breezy winds between 10 and 20 mph. The air will also be dry with dewpoints in the low 20's. This will cause favorable fire conditions during the afternoon. For that reason, a Red Flag Warning has been issued for parts of the area.

Take a look at the severe weather map below:

The Red Flag Warning extends from Kansas City to points west and southwest. The warm, windy, and dry conditions forecast this afternoon will create exteremely favorable fire conditions. So be aware if you are camping or are using an open flame outside.
A cold front will push through on Sunday morning and temperatures will fall Monday night.
I will have a new entry tomorrow.
Alex Pickman

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cold streak ends...warm up?

Well I havnt posted a blog in a while, but at least there hasnt been much going on except cold weather. The last time we had temperatures above freezing was last Friday. Now, as a warm front approaches temperatures today finally rose above freezing with highs in the 30's around the area. Lows tonight will be in the 20's. the the warm air begins to filter in with highs in the 30's and 40's on Friday. Then a big warm up on Saturday with 50's and 60's around the area. This wont be a long warm up as Monday temperatures will be in the 20's and 30's again.

The winds will be breezy tomorrow and Saturday, probably in the 5 to 25 mph range.

I think a cold front will push through dry, and I am expecting the whole week to be dry. There is another big warm up expected next week, before another cool down.

I will have an update tomorrow. There is not much going on right now, so I dont think my blogs will be too long for a few days.

Alex Pickman

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freezing drizzle

The Kansas City area has been experiencing some freezing drizzle this evening. The light precipitation extends from eastern Kansas to North Central Missouri and south to I-70. It has produced a light glazing in many spots creating slick conditions on the roadways. The good news is the back edge is approaching the Kansas City area and the drizzle has transitioned to very light snow across the metro.

I wouldnt expect much from this snow, maybe a light dusting. There will another disturbence that will push through tomorrow and will aid in developing another area of light snow that will form south of Kansas City tomorrow morning and push northeast. By 10:00 AM, the area of snow will push into Kansas City with the heaviest band around Clinton, MO. The snow will continue its track north and east and should be out of the area by 2:00 or 3:00 PM.

I am expecting an additional dusting across northern Missouri to possibly 2 inches south of I-70 on Tuesday. This weather pattern has yet to put us in the right spot to get a substantial inter storm. There is still a chance, but I doubt it will happen.

I will have a new blog on Tuesday.

Alex Pickman

Snow update....Updated

There is an area of extremely light snow forming in Kansas, and if any of it is reaching the ground, it would be very very light and powdery. It is also sleeting right now in Columbia, MO. This is still not looking like a major event in any terms north on I-70.

I will have more later this evening.

We are dealing with a very disorganized storm system that is poised to affect the southern Plains. Last night I thought a general 1-3 inches of snow may fall through Tuesday with higher totals of 2-5 inches to the south. Here was my snowfall forecast from yesterday valid through Tuesday:

I dont this that will even be close to happening. We just dont have the right ingredients coming together for significant accumulations. There will be significant accumulations is southern Missouri where there are many weather advisories. Take a look at the current severe weather map below:

This shows the general track of the significant precipitation into the northeast where there could be a major snowstorm.
Here is my updated snowfall forecast through Tuesday for the area:

I am forecast up to an inch in northern Missouri, and gradually increasing the further south you go with 1-2 inches possible in central Missouri and 3-6 with locally higher amounts possible across southern Missouri. There is also an icing situation down south. How much will the ice accumulate? Here is my ice forecast:

This wil not be a major Ice Storm, but it will certainly cause problems on the roadways. There will also be some power outages with the heavier ice totals.
I will have an update later.
Alex Pickman

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday night update...snow potential

There has been a lot of talk on this next system and snow fall. I have heard people saying anywhere from a dusting to over 5 inches when all is said and done. Who will be right? There are still a lot of questions on when the snow will start? How long it will last? And how much will fall? I am going to try to break in on this right now.

First lets start off with what is going to happen overnight tonight. Skies will remain on the cloudy side and it will be cold with lows likely in single digits along and especially north of I-70 where there is a 1-3 inch snow pack from last night's snowfall. There could still be a couple lingering snow showers of flurries tonight, but there will be no further accumulation. Earlier this evening, there was an erea of flurries and light snow around St. Joseph that produced maybe a dusting to a quarter inch in some spots, but that has since fallen apart.

When you wake up Monday morning, temperatures will likely be in the single digits and rise into the teens to near 20 degrees around the area. So Monday will be very similar to today temperature wise, but what about the precipitation?
Here is a look at the 18z NAM and GFS precipitation forecast throug Tuesday:

This gives our area very little snow accumualtion with an inch or less. Areas southeast of Kansas City would get 1-3 inches out of this outcome. Here is the GFS:
On the contrary, this model gives our area 3-5 inches of snow with higher totals the further south you go. I am expecting something in between.

There are already Winter Storm Watches and even an Ice Storm Warning to the south in expectation for the inclimate weather Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Take a look at the severe weather map below:

You can see the Winter Storm Warning in southern Missouri and the small areaof purple on the Missouri/Arkansas border. That purple area is an Ice Storm Warning, where possibly over an inch of ice could accumulate in spots. That will make driving almost impossible and there will be tree damage and power outages, so people down south should take it easy. Areas in the Winter Sotm Watch will likely see periods of freezing rain, sleet, and snow. There will likley be moderate sleet and snow accumulations of 2-4 inches with locally higher amounts possibly reaching 6 inches in spots. Now this will not begin tonight, and I think the morning rush hour will be just fine for the people down south, but the problems will come in the early afternoon hours on Monday as the precipitation begins moving in.
Now what about us to the north? We will see some precipitation, but the forecast gets kind of tricky up here. Do you see the Winter Weather Advisory over in Nebraska on the map above? I am expecting that to possibly be extended southeast through central Missouri tomorrow. An area of snow will work its way northward sometime mid afternoon and make it way into Kansas City around 4:00 PM or so and eventually to the Iowa border. The snow may be moderate at times. The timing of the snow will be tricky as dry air is curently in place. Once the air saturates, the snow will begin to fall. If you live anywhere from I-70 northward, I would expect the snow to begin sometime mid to late afternoon.
Another area of snow will form Monday night in northern Missouri northward into Iowa and more accumulation is possible. The precipitation should push out of here by Tuesday afternoon.
The forecast snowfall is hard to put into words so here is my snowfall forecast through Tuesday:
The area will generally see 1-3 inches of snow. The snow will be heavier in southern Missouri where I think 2-5 inches in possible. I may remove the area of 2-4 inches to the north and include it in the general 1-3 inches. We will see how it looks tomorrow.

So overall, expect a cold cloudy day Monday with precipitation increasing during the afternoon and overnight hours. The precipitation will continue Tuesday morning and should be done by Tuesday afternoon. Light to moderate snow accumulations and significant ice accumulations in the warned area.

I will have an update tomorrow including a new snowfall forecast.
Alex Pickman

Cold and....snow?...Updated!

Good Sunday morning! Well the snowfall acted the way I though it would with 1 to 3 inches along and north of highway 36 with lighter accumulations to the south. This was the largest snowfall of 2009 in many spots as the month has remained quite dry.

I will have a new blog this evening on the snow potential for Monday and Tuesday as well as my snowfall forecast.

Well there are several disturbences rolling through the area this week, and we wil feel the affects of one of these disturbences Saturday night and Sunday morning. An area of snow will develop, and increase in coverage over southern Nebraska and work its way southeastward into Missouri. I think areas along and north of I-70 will see some accumulation. Areas south of Highway 36 will likely get a dusting to around half an inch. Locations along and north of highway 36 will likely see 1-3 inches of snow.

The snow will end early Sunday morning and the day Sunday will remain cloudy and cold with highs in the low to upper teens and lowers 20's around the area. Lows Sunday night will likely fall in the lower teens and single digits. I wouldnt rule out some light snow or flurries for Sunday night. I would say a 30 percent chance of snow.

Then the snow chance returns for Monday and especially Monday evening through Tuesday as there will be a disturbence to ou north and a disturbence to our south. There could be some accumulation with this, but it is still a bit early to tell. I think there will be light accumulations of maybe up to 2 inches.

I will have an update Sunday morning.

Alex Pickman

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Roller Coaster ride continues...Updated

This season's weather pattern will be remembered for one big distinctive characteristic - the big temperature swings. And what do you know, we are experiencing another one this week. Today (Wednesday) and Thursday, the warmer air will be spilling in. Highs today will be in the 40's and 50's around the area and 60's wont be too far to the southwest of Kansas City. Then Thursday, the warm air finally surges in and highs will be in the 50's and 60's. Kansas City should make a run in the low to mid 60's.

But as you can tell by this blog entries title and the fact that after every one of these big warm ups is followed by a cold shot, this will not last very long. The strongest Arctic high of the season is building up in Canada and it will push arctic into the Plains. By around 6:00 PM Thursday, an arctic front will be knocking on our doorstep. And fridays highs will be in the 20's and 30's. It will be cloudy Friday, but it should remain dry. Then Saturday through Monday will be even colder with highs in the teens and 20's with a chance of snow all three days. The ingredients are there for a major winter storm, but we just have not seen it come together all season.

Areas around the Great Lakes have been hammered all Late Fall and into Winter by havy snow and frigid temperatures. Around here, we have had a nice bit of snow, but it has come in several small disturbences. There is potential for it to come together this time around, but I dont think it will as this will be a positivly tilted system, like the storm around December 10 last cycle according to the LRC. The December 10th storm approached looking dry, but then right before it affected us it was able to tap into some moisture and get enough lift to produce our first measurable snow of the season with 1-4 inches around the area.

I am expecting something similar with the storm. If you look at the computer models, they are not showing much, and they have lots of errors, so I dont think they are even worth looking at until a day or two out. I think the 6z GFS has a better handle on this storm.

Okay, it is about 1:00 PM now, and temperatures are warming into the 50's right now. Take a look at the surface map below:

You can see the temperature span with teen in northern Iowa and 60's entering Kansas. I think much of the area will be in the upper 50's to low 60's. Areas south and west of Kansas City will likely be in the mid to upper 60's in spots.

Then we will have a change later this evening and overnight as another strong arctic front pushes through. Lows tonight will drop into the 20's and 30's and I am not expecting it to get too much warmer for highs tomorrow. Then the cold air really spills in Saturday through next Tuesday with highs in the teens and 20's and chances for precipitation.

The best chance for snow, sleet, or a mix would be Sunday night through Tuesday. I dont think will become a major Winter storm, but I wouldnt rule out 1 to 3 inch snowfall in spots. We will have to see how it sets up in the coming days.

Enjoy this warmth, as it is about to be taken away. I will have a new blog tomorrow.

Alex Pickman

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday night update

The little disturbence I talked about last night is heading south as expected. Last night, the area recieved some flurries/light snow and most got no accumulation, but there was a decent dusting in some areas.

Now just as I said last night, there are some snow showers and flurries around the area. None of the precipitation is heavy, and it will likely only last till about 3:00 AM. It will be hard to even squeeze out a dusting, but that is it - no accumulation to maybe a dusting at best.

Lows Tuesday morning will range from the teens to upper 20's. The sun will be out, and temperatures will be warming somewhat. Tuesday is more of a transitional day as warm air is trying to surge in from the west. Highs will range from the low 30's to the mid 40's around the area.

Then we really warm up Wednesday into Thursday as a warm front pushes through and winds increase from the west. Highs Wednesday will likley be in the 50's to near 60 degrees in spots. Thursday will be even warmer with highs in the upper 50's and into the 60's. Then an arctic front will push through and there is a chance of snow sometime Saturday night through Monday. Right now, the chance is slim due to the lack of moisture available at this point.

I will have a more extensive blog soon.

Alex Pickman

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Very exciting week of weather

Lets start off with what happened over the weekend. Friday, a very small disturbence moved through producing a decent little area of snow. It developed in Nebraska out ahead of an approaching warm front which provided the area with enough lift and moisture for precipitation to form. The area of of snow increased in coverage as it headed southeast. A band of heavier snow developed and trained right through the south side of Kansas City where I thought it would fall. In this narrow band, one to in some cases over 2 inches fell. Areas surrounding that narrow band had a very light dusting to 3/4".

The snow didn't stay on the ground for too long as the winds Saturday morning picked up into the 10 to 20 mph range and literally "blew" the snow away. The southerly winds warmed the area into the 30's and 40's. A weak cold front moved through during the afternoon and the temperatures dropped a few degrees, and remained pretty constant during the overnight hours. By this morning (Sunday) temperatures were in the low to mid 30's and highs today were in the 40's and 50's. The winds remained breezy. There was another very weak backdoor front that pushed through today. So today was very similar to Saturday.

Now what about this week. Well I can tell you it is going to be very exciting and interesting for sure. There is a broad area of low pressure developing near the Great Lakes, and we are located on the very edge of this storm. The low will linger there for a couple days and it will force in a couple of backdoor fronts this week. Along with these fronts, there will be little disturbences.

The first of these diturbences will push through sometime Monday afternoon or late Monday night. Take a look at the map below:

(click to enlarge)

This map is the 6z GFS 500 mb valid 1-20-09. Notice the upper low near the Great Lakes as I was talking about. Also notice the vort max in Iowa (the x), that will be the first disturbence around Monday that bring some flurries or snow showers mainly in Central and Eastern Missouri Sunday night through Monday night. Then a reinforecing cooler shot Monday night and Tuesday morning.

There will likely be no accumulation to a heavy dusting in spots through Tuesday morning.

Here is something interesting, and we have seen it several times this Winter - The "dominating" Eastern trough. Take a look at the map below from Gary Lezak's Winter forecast:

Can you see the comparison? It is not as defined as it was on January 13th, but it is there.

Now here is the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Lows Monday morning will be cool with temperatures in the low to mid 20's. It will remain cloudy as this disturbence approaches the area, and this will prevent maximum temperature rise. Highs will likley be in te 30's with near 40 south of Kansas City. There will also be an increasing chance of flurries and/or snow showers developing in the afternoon or Monday night, but they will likely remain in Central and Eastern Missouri if they do form. Then the backdoor front will push through Monday night, and temperatures will drop into the teens and 20's. But, warmer air will be trying to squeeze back in as we are right on the edge of the warm and cold air. Highs Tuesday will be a bit cooler, only in the 30's to possibly near 40 degrees around Kansas City. Winds will be in the 10 to 25 mph range Monday and Tuesday. But the good news is the warm air will win out as the upper low over the Great Lakes moves away.

Highs will jump from the 30's on Tuesday all way to the 50's and 60's Wednesday and Thursday. But then there will be a change. If you take a look at the 500 mb map I posted above, you can see a low well off the coast of California. This will likely be our next storm system due in Friday. Depending on the track, we may have rain, mix, or snow. But according to the LRC, we should get some precipitation out of it. If you want to know what the LRC is, go back to blog named Gary Lezak's Winter forecast.

Right now, I am not thinking there will be any accumulation, but this storm is still a ways away. After this storm goes by, there will be a chunk of arctic air that will push into the region. Right now, I am thinking teens and to mid 20's for highs, but if there is snow on the ground from this next storm, then the temperatures next week will be much colder.

Alex Pickman

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another cold night...AM snow?

Well it looks to be another frigid night with lows dropping between -5 and -10 degrees again tonight. Look at the surface map below:

As you can see, lows Friday morning will be similar to this morning's lows. The only difference is that the winds will be light tonight with a strong arctic high overhead. Do you see the warm front towards western Kansas and Colorado? Well that will be heading in our direction tomorrow. And with temperatures this cold, and the air this dry, it wont take much of anything to saturate it, and this warm front will provide plenty of lift to produce some snow in the morning between 4 and 9 AM from southern Nebraska, into Kansas and through the Kansas City area. There will likely be a this band 40 to 50 miles wide of an inch or just a bit more possible. Take a look at my snowfall forecast below:

I would say there is an 80 percent chance of snow tomorrow morning around the area, and that band of "heavier" precipitation could easily move further north or south. Also if the the diturbence weakens, the snow totals will be less and if it strengthens, they will be a bit higher. But overall, I would say a decent swath of light accumulations of a dusting or 1/2" to 3/4" to a thin band of possibly and inch to 1.5".

Once the snow moves through, the winds will switch to the south and highs Friday will be in the mid to upper 20's, so not as cold.

We will be experiencing a moderating trend next week especially into Tuesday and Wednesday where upper 50's to mid 60's will be likely.

I will have an update tomorrow morning.

Alex Pickman

Mid morning update

Take a look at the temperature map below:

These were this morning's low temperatures. They ranged from -5 to -10 degrees actoss cental and northern Missouri. And -10 to -30 degrees across Iowa! The reason Iowa has much colder temperatures than ares in Missouri is because they are further north, and they have a snow pack. If we had a snow pack down here, we would of made a run at temperatures between -10 and -20 degrees with windchill of -30 to -40 degrees or colder!

Okay, now on to this afternoon. We will have abundant sunshine, but it will stay cold through the afternoon with high ranging from 0 to 10 or 11 degrees around the area. The winds will remain breezy between 10 and 20 mph. This will cause wind chill readings to be between -5 and -25 degrees today. Thus the NWS has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for most of the area, and a Wind Chill Warning for areas in Missouri from Linn County to the north and northeast.

The winds will calm down later this afternoon and evening as the arctic high nears the area, so wind chill readings will moderate to probably between -5 and -15 degrees.

Tonight will remain frigid with lows Friday morning in the 0 to -10 degrees range again. Friday is a tricky forecast as warm air will be trying to surge into the area behind a warm front. With the air so cold and dry, it wont take much to saturate the air Friday. The approaching cold front will be enough to do the trick, and I wouldn't rule out the possibility of recieving a quick half inch to an inch of snow if it actually does develop.

The warm front should push through sometime late Friday night or Saturday morning and highs Saturday will likely be in the mid to upper 40's and low 50's around the area. This moderating trend in the temperatures will continue through at least Wednesday of next week. Highs Tuesday and Wednesday will likely be in the upper 50's and into the 60's. There will be a big change sometime next week as we near the more active part of the pattern due in Febuary.

I will have a new blog later.

Alex Pickman

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frigid temperatures pouring in..below zero?

Take a look at the surface map below:

As you can see, the single digits and brutally cold below zero temperatures are pouring into the area tonight. This next map is showing my below zero temperature forecast lows for Thursday morning.

Now with these frigid temperatures in place, there will also be some wind tonight and tomorrow between 10 and 20 mph. This will create dangerous windchill values. This is the reaso why the NWS has issuesd a Windchill Advisory for the area, and a Windchill Warning for areas north and northeast of I-70.
The cold weather will continue through the day tomorrow and tomorrow night. Most locations Thursday will not make it out of the single digits. The windchill will continue to remain -5 to -25 derees through the day Thursday, but they will modrate later in the day as the high pressure sets in and the winds calm.
Locations Thursday night will likely be in below zero again in many spots. Now Friday is a trcky forecast as warm air is trying to surge in. It will be in he 50's in western Kansas Friday, and highs in our area will likely be in the upper 20 to the low to mid 30's.
Warm air will continue to pour in next week with 40's, 50's, and 60's expected before a big change showing up.
Alex Pickman

Wednesday mid-morning update...Arctic air spilling in!

Southerly winds last night warmed the are into the 30's and near 40 in Kansas City as I expected.

Yesterday evening, the storm was just entering Iowa, and moving quickly east south east. I thought by 7:00 AM Wednesday, it would be in northern Missouri, just near the Illinois border. The storm was just a bit further north right around the Missouri/Illinois/Iowa border. The cold front at 7:00 AM was pushing through north central Missouri.

Now, the front has pushed further south. Take a look at the surface map I drew below:

There may be a couple snow flurries and snow showers this morning.

Notice the front is already about to push into Oklahoma, and you can see the winds blasting in from the north between 20 and 40 mph. Notice, the 50 degrees in northern Oklahoma, and the -6 degrees in Iowa. That is a 56 degree difference!

The temperatures will crash all day today and into tonight. By 7:00 PM Wednesday, I am expecting below zero temperatures, and single digits to already be spilling in to the area. With winds blowing between 20 and 40 mph, windhill values will be between -5 and -25 degrees. I think we will bottom out Thursday morning with lows between 0 and -10 degrees.

This cold air will continue through Thursday as the strong high pressure settles in. Highs Thursday will be between 15 degrees to the south and 0 to 5 degrees to the north. Winds will continue to be breezy Thursday, and beging to calm later in the afternoon. They eventually switch out of the south Thursday night into Friday.

Lows Friday morning will be very cold...between 5 and -5 degrees, but the southerly winds will take over, and we will be in for a big temperature rise into the upper 30's and low 40's. The warm weather will continue through mid next week into the 40's, 50's, and possibly even upper 50's and low 60's for Tuesday.

Iwill have an update on the frigid temperatures tonight.

Alex Pickman

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Arctic blast and warm up!

Well this morning was definitly cold with temperatures ranging from 0 to 10 degrees around the area. This was in response to the first clipper system that affected us Monday into Monday night. Highs Monday were in the 40's and low 50's. Then the front pushed through in the afternoon, and Tuesday morning lows were in the single digits.

Now the second of the two clipper systems this week is begining to affect us right now with winds picking up overnight out of the south. Take a look at the surface map I drew below:

Notice the 40 to near 50 degree weather out in Kansas and the warm front just east of the Kansas/Missouri state line. The southerly winds will blow to near 30 mph, warming the area into the upper 20's and low to mid 30's tonight.

The low tracking into Iowa will continue to track east southeast, and here is where I think the storm may be Wednesday morning around 7:00 AM. Take a look at the map I drew below:

This is likely going to be the strongest cold front of the season. The gusty southerly winds will continue overnight, and once the front pushes through tomorrow morning, the winds will pick up out of the north to 20 to 35 mph, gusting to 45+ mph at times.

There are a few flurries possible with this front.

Along with the winds, the temperatures will be plumiting from an early morning high in the upper 20's and 30's to a temperature range of 0 to -10 degrees. With temperatures like this in place, windchill values will range from -5 to -25 degrees, and even colder in stong wind gusts where it ay feel more like -30 degrees.

So here is the breakdown for tonight through Wednesday:

Winds will continue strong out of the south tonight warming the temperatures to near freezing. A strong arctic front blasts through Wednesday morning and winds will switch to the north and increase to speeds of 20 to 35 mph. Temperatures will crash throughout the day, and by 7:00 PM, it will be in the single digits, and continue to fall between 0 and -10 degrees overnight Wednesday. Windchill values will be between -5 and -25 to -30 degrees.

The brutally cold temperatures will continue trough Thursday as a strong high settles over the area. I think the computer models are overdoing the temperatures a bit. They have done this all season. So here are a few random city's where I will show my temperature forecast high for Thursday:

Kansas City International- 11 degrees
St. Joseph, MO - 8 degrees
Atchison, KS- 8 degrees
Chillicothe, MO- 9 degrees
Marceline, MO- 8 degrees
Trenton, MO- 6 degrees

Windchill values between -5 and -25 degrees will continue through Thursday afternoon.

Thursday night will be cold, and likely dipping below zero in many spots, but the winds will calm downand then shift to the south once again. By Friday afternoon, the high will be in the 30's and 40's. Saturday through Monday all look to be in the 40's to low 50's in spots! And Tuesday looks to be in the 50's and 60's around the area! So this wild weather continues with these wild temperature swings.

Now there will be a change at the end of next week as when you get a ridge like what is forecasted next week inland this time of year, it will always be followed up by a trough, and that is what is forecasted to happen. So expect another big temperature swing sometime next week.

I will have an update on the cold front tomorrow morning.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday mid-morning update

As expected, some precipitation has developed this morning just as the warm air is surging in out ahead of a clipper system. Along and north of I-70 it is mainly in the form of some snow and sleet, and south of I-70 it is changing over to all rain as the temperatures are rising.

The small band of precipitation is moving eastward, and will only last an hour possibly two. There areas that see snow in Missouri will likely pick up a heavy dusting at the most. We just are not in the right spot to get any signifivant accumulation. These storms have yet to track south of us this year, and it is the same case with this storm as the low is in Central Iowa where 4-6 inches may be possible in spots.

After the front passes through this afternoon, winds will quickly strengthen to 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 45+ mph at times. And with temperatures crashing into the single digits for most everyone, windchills will be well below zero.

So here is the breakdown for today. Some snow showers and rain showers through the rest of the morning with no accumulation to a dusting possible. A warm up to the upper 40's and low 50's before a strong cold pushed through this afternoon. Winds will increase this afternoon and overnight to 25-35 mph, gusting 45+ mph at times. This will create windchills well below zero.

It will stay cold through tomorrow with teens and 20's around the area. Winds will be breezy in the morning (10 to 20 mph) and become lighter tomorrow afternoon as high pressure settles in.

Alex Pickman

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Warm up then a frigid end to the week

Highs today (Sunday) were in the upper 30's to low to mid 40's with sunshine. Lows tonight will be in the upper teens to mid 20's. Now what about Monday?

Monday's forecast is very tricky as we are dealing with a surge of warm air, possibly some precipitation, and a strong cold front.

There is a storm system approaching the area Monday and by Monday morning, warm air will surging in out ahead of the storm system. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 40's to possibly around 50 degrees in spots. This warm air surging in poses some forecasting problems.

Right as the warm air begins to filter in, there will be some precipitation forming. With temperatures at the time near to a few degrees above freezing, there will likely be a mixed bag of precipiatation. The band of precip. will likely be in the form of some snow, sleet, and rain, but we will likely not know till it is right on top of us. There shouldnt be any problems as there is really only an hour or two for us to recieve any precip, and it will be on the light side. I am not expecting any accumulation, but if you are in an area that sees snow and/or sleet, there may be a dusting or a very small coating of ice pellets on the ground.

The next problem will be the timing of the cold front. The front, by noon, should be near or just east of Clinton, Sedalia, Columbia, and Moberly, MO. Temperatures wont fall much until late afternoon and through the overnight hours when they will fall pretty drastically into the single digits for most areas.

Winds will also be on the increase between 3 and 9 PM Monday. After the cold front passes by, the winds will increase to 20-35 mph, gusting to near 45 mph at times. This wind combined with temperatures in the single digits Monday night will creat for dangerous windchills between 0 and -10 degrees, and even colder in gusts. Highs Tuesday look to be in the teens and 20's with breezy winds in the morning between 10 and 20 mph becoming lighter as the day wears on.

After we get this storm over with, there is another, even stronger system for Wednesday. Again, temperatures will warm out ahead of the system, and there may some precipitation. Then later Wednesday, another strong arctic front will blast through, and temperatures will plumit into the single digits and negatives Wednesday night and only make it in to the upper single digits and teens on Thursday as high pressure settles in. Friday will remain very cold with highs in the teens and 20's.

I will have an update on the cold front and the frigid air later this week tomorrow.

Alex Pickman

Thursday, January 8, 2009

LRC and Gary Lezak's long range forecast

The “long term” long wave troughs and ridges set up across the northern hemisphere by early to mid October. And, now we are experiencing this year’s LRC in Spokane, Wa where they are setting snowfall records this winter. This years LRC is exciting for the weather enthusiasts across the Dakota’s through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and northern Illinois where Arctic air blasted in with many storm systems. Snow has fallen in locations that rarely see any snow at all like Las Vegas, Houston, and New Orleans. Other areas have been missed by the weather excitement. Even in our viewing area we are still waiting for our first major winter storm of the season. Rich Hill, MO and across the border to Pleasanton, KS have had less than an inch of snow this entire season thus far. All of this is directly related to the LRC which is the weather pattern that evolved in the fall and is cycling now.

The 2008-2009 LRC Cycle:

The “long term” long waves are of extreme importance when using the LRC to make seasonal forecasts. But, it is the cycle and knowledge of how the weather pattern is cycling in and out of its various phases that allows us to make much more specific forecasts. This year we have found the cycle length to be approximately 50 days give or take a few days. Last year the cycle length was closer to 52 days. In 2007-2008 the cycle length was around 45 days. Remember “the storm” that seemed to happen right on schedule every 45 days that year, and predicted by us weeks ahead of any computer model! So, each season has a different cycle length. We still haven’t found the cause of the cycle or the LRC, but we are doing ongoing research in this area.

To make this forecast we are using an average of around 50 days for the cycle length. If the cycle length is just two days longer or shorter at around 52 or 48 days then the dates below could be off by 5 to 10 days as we go into the next few cycles. Assuming the pattern began around October 2nd, 2008 and using the average 50 day length we can define each cycle below:

First cycle: October 2-November 21
Cycle #2: November 21- January 10
Cycle #3: January 10-March 1
Cycle #4: March 1-April 19
Cycle #5: April 19-June 8
Cycle #6: June 8-July 28

We believe the LRC weakens and falls apart back into more of a chaotic pattern late in the summer and gradually evolves and morphs into a new weather pattern each September and into October. We are also convinced the pattern never stops cycling with the cycle length going through a transition by mid-summer. This is something we are just noticing in the past two years.

The LRC Long Range Weather Forecast
Issued January 7, 2009

There are phases within the entire 50 day cycle that occur at regularly scheduled times. There has been a dominant eastern midwest into a Great Lakes trough, this is one of the phases the repeats quite often. There is also a phase that allows for a retrogression of the troughiness into the western United states, but even when these western storms did form they would still regenerate and intensify as they approach the more dominant trough. Kansas City has just been in the wrong spot for any major winter storms. We have yet to see even one upper low track south of our area. It is difficult to have a major winter storm in your area without an upper low tracking south of you. It can happen, but it isn't as likely. These conditions are continuing, but we will get a late winter twist to the pattern and it may produce that one or two bigger storm systems.

January 10-18th: North flow aloft from Canada develops, but should break down by the end of this period. Some rather strong blasts from the Arctic will fully affect the northern plains and the Great Lakes states. Kansas City will get two or three cold blasts from the Arctic build up that is just waiting to attack us. There may be some minor precipitation events with some small snow accumulations across the viewing area with disturbances coming in from the north and northwest.

The two maps below are quite fascinating. This first map was shown during our winter forecast on NBC Action News (November 24th). We were concerned that this trough would place us in an unfavorable spot for major winter storm systems. The second map below is the actual forecast for next week. This has happened many times in varying strengths during the season.

The map, below, is the GFS forecast for Tuesday, January 13th:

January 19th-23rd: A stronger storm system will likely form near the central plains states during this period, but it strengthened just east of us the last time through the cycle and I am concerned that this is another storm that will not quite get its act together here. Another strong cold front will move through but a warm up is likely in the transition that is about to happen into the next phase of the 50 day cycle.

January 24th-31st: We are expecting a drier period again across the central plains with Arctic air reloading across Alaska and Canada, likely stronger than at any other time this season. This will be setting the stage for a huge Arctic outbreak and the initiation of the active part of the pattern for our part of the nation.

The map below is the actual 500 mb chart from December 14, 2008. This part of the pattern will likely return around February 2-5th, and then again around the last week of March. This part of the pattern was the wildest and stormiest across the United States.

February 1st-15th: The active and stormy phase of the pattern will return with many opportunities for heavier precipitation. The two week stretch of December 11th to December 25th produced some rather exciting weather set-ups across the United States, but Kansas City did not experience a major winter storm. We are expecting one or two major winter storm systems this time across the Kansas City viewing area with the February twist. If we are going to see a major snowstorm it will happen in February this year.

February 16th- 28th: Arctic air still invades the United States with some huge temperature swings continuing. The active part of the pattern should end in the middle of the nation as we move through this stretch of days, but there still may be one more storm before it calms down and warms up by the end of the month.

March-April: As spring approaches the weather pattern will likely begin producing some very different results at the surface. The jet stream will be retreating and weakening very slowly during March. The active phase of the cycle will return during the last week the month of March and we are still analyzing how this LRC will behave at this time. Will the winter blasts return or will spring win out. April will likely begin wet and stormy, but the quieter part of the pattern returns for the second half of this fourth month of 2009.

Forecast for Kansas City:

Near to below average temperatures will continue
January will have below average precipitation
February will have above average precipitation
KCI will end up with around our winter forecast of 20-25 inches

Visit and for more on this forecast, and the LRC.

Alex Pickman

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wild weather continues

Sorry, I havnt had time to post a blog in a couple days, so lets take a look at what happened this weekend.

As a storm developed, temperatures warmed into the upper 30's to mid 40's on Thursday, and Thursday night into Friday, the southerly winds increased and the temperatures warmed into the mid 40's to low to mid 50's on Friday. A strong warm front developed late Friday, and pushed through Kansas City Saturday morning. The front did not make it that much further north as St. Joeseph remained in the 50's with clouds.

Wow, 50 degree weather even with out the passage of the front. So how warm did it get in the locations the front passed through? Well it got up to 69 in down town Kansas City and an incredible 71 degrees in Sedalia, MO. There were near 80 degrees temperatures in Oklahoma!

Then of course with the pattern we have seen all winter, a big swing in the temperatures was expected. And Saturday night a strong cold front pushed through the region, and temperatures dropped significantly. Here is a list a the temperature swings we saw during the month of December, and so far this January.

December 9: Temperature drop of 51 degrees. High: 60 Low: 9

December 14: Temperature drop of 54 degrees. High: 60 Low: 6

December 27: Temperature drop of 42 degrees. High: 65 Low: 23

January 3 to 6 a.m. January 4: Temperature drop of 49 degrees. High: 63 Low: 14

These temperatures were recorded at KCI. I am expecting these big temperatures swings to continue all Winter.

After temperatures did not get out of the 20's today due to the cold front Saturday, I am expecting more average temperatures early this week with mid to upper 30's pushing back in. This warm up will likely continue through Friday as another storm system approaches.

40's return for Wednesday and Thursday, and if the storm keeps its track north, we will see highs in the 50's again on Friday, with another potent front moving through Friday night.

I no there have been forecasts showing possible snow on Tuesday, but the disturbence will likley pass through dry, and not get its act together until it is well southeast of us, so I think we will remain dry. Even if it were to snow, it would only be flurries and/or a couple snow showers with no accumulation.

I will have an update tomorrow on the next warm up and COOL DOWN.

Alex Pickman

Friday, January 2, 2009

My top 5 weather events of 2008

Lets take a break from the future, and lets take a look back at what happened in 2008. Huge tornado outbreaks with large and destructive tornadoes, record hurricane season, record snow, arctic outbreaks and flooding rains affected te country this year. 2008 was definitly one wild ride.

I want to give you my top 5 weather events of 2008.

My #5 pick goes to te Parkersburg EF-5 tornado... On May 25, 2008, a large and destructive tornado formed over central Iowa, and traveled just north of Waterloo, IA. The twister first touched down near Butler, IA and rapidly intensified to EF-5 status in the town of Parkersburg, IA. The ½ mile wide tornado with winds over 200 mph destroyed much of the town. The tornado continued its EF-5 damage through the town of New Hartford, IA. Then it began to weaken and incredibly grew to just over a mile wide with winds of only EF-2 strength!

My #4 goes to the late Spring and Early Summer midwest flooding...During the months of June and July, storm after storm moved across the Midwest and dumped copious amounts of rainfall across the states of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, and Wisconsin. Many locations in these states received over a foot of rain both months. This extremely excessive rainfall resulted in flooding, that in some cases surpassed the 1993 flood.

I live in Linn County, Missouri and we had over 15 inches of rain in June, and over 10 inches in July. In both months, 5-9 inches fell in one night! This caused widespread flash flooding around the area. 2008 will go into the record books as the wettest missouriin recorded history, even surpassing the 1993 deluge. In 1993, 56.9 inches of rain fell. In 2008, the state was just under 56 inches, but a late December rain storm dumped a widespread 1-3 inches, putting the state just over 57 inches!

My #3 pick goes to the overlooked Tropical Storm Fay...A vigorous tropical wave tracked across the Caribbean, but Hurricane Hunters were unable to find a closed circulation despite Tropical Storm force winds. Then on August 15th, a closed circulation was found and the system was named a Tropical Storm.

Fay dumped heavy rains on Hispaniola and eventually made landfall in southwestern Florida with 60 mph winds and actually strengthened some over land. But winds were not the issue, it was the rains. Rainfall totals were up to 25 inches in spots causing massive flooding. The storm stuck with Florida for 9 days, and making 3 different landfalls in the state! Fay’s rainfall continued inland causing more flooding problems.

The system caused over 150 million dollars in damage and killed 12 people. Fay will go into the record books as the 2nd Tropical Storm, along with Allison whose name was retired.

My #2 pick has to go to the Feb. 5th and 6th Super Tuesday tornado outbreak...On February 5th and 6th a Winter tornado outbreak affected the southern states into the Ohio Valley. This was Super Tuesday with 24 states holding their primary elections and caucuses to select their presidential candidates. There were 87 total tornadoes causing 57 deaths and injuring many more. There were thirty one EF-0’s…thirty EF-1’s… sixteen EF-2’s…five EF-3’s…and five EF-4’s.

And finally....My #1 pick definitley goes to Hurricane Ike...Why Hurricane Ike? Well, the first reason was its long life span - developing west of the Cape Verde Islands out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, it held together all the way across Cuba, and into Galveston.

The 2nd reason was due to the shear size of the system in the Gulf of Mexico. At one point the diameter of Ike's tropical storm and hurricane force winds were 450 and 190 miles. This created a very large storm surge, that extended almost all of the Gulf coast line.

The 3rd reason was as he was only a Category 2 at landfall with winds of 110 mph. He ended up ranking as the 3rd costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

Then the 4th and main reason is due to the damage it caused deep inland. The remnants of Hurricane Ike combined with an Ohio Valley frontal system creating strong pressure gradients and led to widespread damaging 70 to 80 mph winds across Ohio. This was Ike’s final blow as it lasted for 3 to 5 hours in Dayton, OH causing major damage without even one drop of rain during the wind storm. Ike ended up being blamed for 174 deaths with 82 killed in the United States.

So there you have it- my top weather picks of 2008, now we will see what 2009 brings.

I will have an update tomorrow on this warm up and the next storm.

Alex Pickman

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years weather

Happy New Years Day! Take a look at the surface map I drew below:

(click to enlarge)

There is a cold front pushing through the region, and by 6:00 PM, it will have pushed off into southeastern Missouri. But as you can see, the winds really dont change direction much until after the front has pushed through, and the temperatures behind the front are almost as warm as they are out ahead of it. This not a strong front. It is just a weak pacific front associated with another Clipper system near the Canadian border.

Out ahead of the front, the winds are blowing between 10 and 20 mph, but they will diminish down to 5 mph after the front passes through. Highs today will be in the low to upper 40's and lows tonight will be in the low to upper 20's.

See the stationary front towards western Kansas? That will evolve into a warm front and work its way eastward. Highs tomorrow will be in the upper 40's in northern Missouri to the mid 50's in southern Missouri.

If the warm air can really get its act together, and surge in, we could be in the 50's again Saturday, but it will depend on the timing of a significant cold front. There will be a little disturbence moving through area, and with the warm front in place, drizzle and rain showers will be the result. The cold front will push through sometime late Saturday afternoon or Saturday night, and could cause the rain and drizzle to change over to a few snowflakes.

After that, the low 30's and upper 20's settle in, with a maybe a chance of snow around Tuesday. I will have an update tomorrow, and I will post my top five weather events of 2008 later tonight.

Alex Pickman