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


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