Old Man Winter’s got a firm grasp on us right now, but that will change soon. As for a new record low today, well, we missed it by that much.
This morning’s low temperature fell to 8 degrees at Kansas City International Airport, where official weather measurements for the city are kept. And that was just two degrees away from typing the record low set back in 1911. We almost hit zero in Bethany, Missouri.
This arctic blast brought morning lows that ran about 28 degrees below average. The afternoon high on Tuesday wasn’t much better, just 26 degrees. That’s only five degrees warmer than the coldest high temperature ever recorded on November 12th.
Back in 1911, the high reached only 21 degrees. This is a seriously abnormal pre-winter cold snap and it looks to stick around for the rest of the work week. There is a thaw coming but it will be gradual thaw.
Hold until Sunday. That’s when morning lows and afternoon highs begin to creep back above normal. And the warming trend looks to settle in next week. Starting Sunday, the weather pattern undergoes a massive transition.
Recently our winds have been coming straight out of the north bringing in copious amounts of exceedingly cold air. But starting next week the upper level wind flow becomes more zonal or west to east across the contiguous 48 states. You can see what I mean by looking at the graphic below.
Zonal flows are often associated with near or above average temperatures. Notice the darker shades of blue are retreating all the way to the Arctic Circle. Warmer air from the Pacific Ocean and Mexico begins to spread across the southern and central plains.
This means next Tuesday we could have highs in the mid to upper-60s across parts of Kansas and Missouri and it will likely be in the 70s throughout parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The Climate Prediction Center expects this pattern change to bring most of the country a better than 50-percent chance of above average temperatures for the week of November 18th to November 26th.
While it will be warmer it may also be wetter. A stalled area of low pressure in the Pacific will get absorbed into a larger storm that dives into the western U.S. during the middle of next week. T
hat larger storm, that will have some mild and moist Pacific air to work with looks to eject into the Midwest around November 22nd bringing a chance of snow for the northern plains and rainy, stormy weather for the central and southern plains.
At this time, most of Kansas and Missouri appear to be on the rainy side of the storm. That one storm alone could be responsible for the above average precipitation forecast between November 19th and November 25th.
So hang in there. It’s abnormally cold now but just give it a couple of days and Old Man Winter will ease up on his icy grip. At least for a few weeks. Winter is still about 40-days away at least now we know what to expect.