No one will argue we haven’t had a Winter, and for the next 7 to 10 days, except a brief but dramatic warm up that may test your patience. We are tracking two, two potential winter storms that may bring us accumulating snowfall here in Kansas City and the surrounding region. One Friday and another early next week. If that seems like an overly confident statement considering the uncertainty of all winter storms, let me show you some of the signs that point to this very real possibility. First up, let’s look at Monday’s radar/satellite snapshot.
Monday was rainy and cold with sleet and freezing rain over northern Missouri. The moisture supply was again supplied by a furious flow from the southwest that is a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean. This won’t change over the next 7-days. Except on Wednesday and Thursday when the flow will be more westerly. The westerly winds will carry moisture over the Rocky Mountains. As the air sinks on the eastern side of the Rockies, the moisture will be squeezed out and mild, even warm. Some of us here in eastern Kansas and western Missouri will see a high near 60.
Now look again at the above map and notice the very cold air over the northern plains. Billings, Montana will be 15 degrees. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 17-degrees. A strong cold front will blast through Kansas City Thursday evening. This will draw frigid air back into the region. The cold air will meet up with a storm that will form east of the Rockies and move across the southern plains. This storm will help transport air from the Gulf of Mexico into the central and southern plains. This will set the stage for possible snow on Friday.
I think it will snow on Friday, but the question is how much? The European model and the Global Forecast System model both paint a two-inch swath of snow across our area. The Euro is slightly stronger and suggests up to four inches of snow is possible by Saturday morning. The Euro may be picking up on the colder air that will be in place and could enhance the snowfall amounts. Either way, a fresh snow pack will help to refrigerate the air over Missouri and Kansas. That means highs below freezing Sunday and Monday when the next storm system could arrive.
The cold air will stick around into early next week. Check out the graphic above and the forecasted position of the upper level winds Monday. A lobe of the “Polar Vortex” shifts into southern Canada. That sends a reinforcing shot of colder air into the Missouri river valley, including Kansas City. At the same time, another storm drops into the southwestern U.S. and sends a steady stream of Pacific moisture into the central and southern plains. Here we go again. Below freezing air, moisture from above and here you go another shot at accumulating snow late in the weekend and into early next week. Historically, a set up like this has led to a heavy band of snow somewhere in the central and eastern U.S. We will hammer out where, when we get closer to weekend. I told you the next week to 7 days would test your patience. Thanks for reading the KCTV5 weather blog. Remember to download our free app so you can check radar and temperatures frequently as weather conditions change.