A Chance Of Snow Enters Kansas City’s Forecast

/A Chance Of Snow Enters Kansas City’s Forecast

A Chance Of Snow Enters Kansas City’s Forecast

Good Morning Weather2020 Bloggers,

The year began mild and now we have a cold change that will last around five days. Severe thunderstorms raged through the deep south last night and one tornado struck a southern Alabama town killing four people last night, all from the same household. It was apparently a mobile home that got hit where these people lived. A mobile home is one of the worst structures to be in during a tornado and if there is any chance of significant severe weather, then I would make sure that the plan is to be in a safer structure during these events. It only takes a strong severe thunderstorm with a 70 mph wind to destroy a mobile home.

The high temperature in Kansas City was 43° at midnight, so today completes a fourteen day stretch of above average temperatures. The five day cold wave is now beginning and there is a chance of snow in the middle of this stretch from a fast moving wave of energy, and not a big storm. Kansas City has had only 2.3″ of snow so far and there is a chance of another small snow storm this week. Here is the European Model output for snow from EuroWX.com:


This is a disturbance that will zip across and it just happens to be targeting the Kansas City viewing area.  The other models vary from a dusting to up to 1 inch of snow, with the European model showing a bit more.

The New Data:

  • NAM Model:  The NAM model came out with snow spreading in from the northwest during the early evening on Wednesday.  This model has a dusting to 1/2″ modeled with a thin band of closer to 1″ possible near the north side of Kansas City
  • GFS Model:  The GFS also has a band of a dusting to almost 2″ of snow near Kansas City, centered on the north side. I would favor a little farther south position from this model depending on how strong the push of cold air ends up being.
  • Canadian Model:  This model only had a dusting of snow in our area
  • European Model:  The new Euro was slightly farther north, but still had wide spread 1 to 2 inch amounts near Kansas City, centered up near St. Joseph

Gary’s Forecast:  This is a very small fast moving system that will likely produce this band of snow. It is cold enough that the snow will immediately accumulate on the roads Wednesday night, so even a half inch could create a slick mess in the area. I am likely going to make the prediction of an inch or less is possible when I am on the air tonight.

I will post an analysis of the models here later this morning.

The Big Picture:

In analyzing this mornings weather pattern and data I noticed something rather interesting. Off the west coast of each major Northern Hemisphere land mass is a high over low pattern. This is a lot to look at and I want to show you what I just saw:


If you really look closely, then you can see the upper High on the top of the map is the one in the Gulf of Alaska, and the one at the bottom of the map is the one off of the Great Britain coast. It really is fascinating and this is affecting the pattern right now.  These two upper highs that have formed are being influenced by a seasonal effect of the land vs. sea contrast.  The larger land masses during the winter get much colder than the air over the oceans and this land/sea effect can help create this influence on the pattern at times. It still depends on the LRC and how this pattern has set up in the westerly belt. I just found this interesting this morning and decided to share it with you. These features are forecast to break down in the next ten days due to the next part of the cycling pattern that we are moving into around mid-January.

There are a lot of factors that affect the cycling weather pattern with the LRC as the most important, the centerpiece of the the big puzzle that we are showing as organization to the chaos in that river of air above us.


This weather pattern, the one we are experiencing now and this winter, is cycling regularly.  And, I think we can all agree that Kansas City is, for the third winter in a row, in a tough spot for weather excitement. So, we have to set our standards low.  This next system approaching just may very well become quite exciting for a few hours on Wednesday night. If it’s under an inch I doubt there will be many school closings, but if it gets into that 1 to 2 inch range that the European model showed last night I can see a lot of school closings on Thursday morning. The timing is from 9 PM to around 6 AM Wednesday night.

Thank you for participating in this weather experience. Let us know if you have any questions and we appreciate your comments.


2017-01-04T07:52:26+00:00 January 3rd, 2017|General|51 Comments


  1. Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Even though the amounts wouldn’t be large, the good thing about the cold snap is the snow will stick around for a while after it’s done falling.

    • Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Another thing I just noticed looking at the latest models is how cold it’s going to get over the weekend. Down to the 20’s as far south as northern Florida, and snow in Dallas, Atlanta and maybe even as far south as Baton Rouge and Charleston. Presuming the models are reasonably accurate, of course.

    • Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

      And last but not least, I could swear it seems like it’s going to snow outside.

  2. stl78 January 3, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Takin the kids to mall of America today. They r talking about -30 wind chill readings tom and thur

  3. Kai January 3, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

    This tiny snow event for Wednesday night into Thursday, is the set-up/ingredients at play similar to our last snow from Dec 17/18?

    • f00dl3 January 3, 2017 at 11:34 am - Reply

      More like Nov 7th. We had 0.02-0.1″ of moisture from that system. Given the colder air in place, matches better with a Dusting-2″ snow. This weekend/Monday was parallel to the Nov 2nd/3rd system – Nov 1st was 78 degrees. We had thunderstorms and fog with that system. Pretty familiar, eh? Timing not perfect but +/- 1 to 2 days between storms with the 59 day cycle.

      • Kai January 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

        Thanks, f00dl3. I do like reading your contributions on this blog and learn from you as well as others. Much appreciated.

  4. Urbanity January 3, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

    What does the LRC mean if the weather pattern changes every year, and yet, for the past 40 years we haven’t had the snow as it existed before the mid-1980’s (at least from Hays-Abilene)? To me, Kansas is set in a seasonal pattern, no moisture to speak of when cold, and 50% of the time plenty of moisture of when it’s warm. The LRC may be the yearly pattern, but isn’t there a 60 year cycle that is the grand daddy “LRC”.

    Gary, very interested to hear your thoughts about windmill energy fields, a research paper written by B H Fiedler and M S Buhovsky, from the School of Meteorology in Norman, OK, indicates a statistically significant rainfall fluctuation surrounding giant wind farms. I live near a wind farm in central Kansas and have seen the “pooling” affect to NW of our wind farm. Lucas, KS once received 8″ of rain (about 4-5 inches of hail) and the area within the wind farm less than .25″, even though the storms were tracking into the farm. Seen that happen to the NW and SE of the wind farm A LOT.

    Thank you for you awesome insight!

    • Gary January 3, 2017 at 10:53 am - Reply


      I will have to read that article before making any assumptions. You can email it to me if you want to [email protected]. That is interesting for sure, but I just don’t think I believe that the wind farms would have that kind of an effect. There I go making an assumption.

      There are likely longer term cycles. The LRC is literally a description of the current years weather pattern. The pattern is always cycling, however. But, each fall a unique pattern sets up and we are in it and experiencing this one now.


    • Kai January 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Not sure about wind mills, but there government programs around the country (and world) that are able to seed clouds and enhance precipitation as a storm passes over. If done incorrectly, can also considerably diminish precipitation. I see the “pooling” on radar that tend to form empty donut hole circles around select cities too, if that is what you meant by “pooling”?

      Watch the video and click on the links in its description. These things have been going on for many many years! So while you think the weather is all 100% Mother Nature, think again. Man can, and is, manipulating storms to produce and underproduce.


      • Urbanity January 4, 2017 at 8:29 am - Reply

        Interesting video, I had not heard that states were actively cloud seeding. I suppose this year with the northern pacific storm machine in full force their seeding efforts would not be needed.

        Regarding the donut hole, many times that is based on the limits of the radar, but having lived before in St. Louis I know that storms did tend to shift or weaken as they moved into the city area. However, in my opinion, storm momentum is more significantly altered near the wind farms.

  5. MIke January 3, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Just think only 9 more months of this less than active LRC.

  6. Kathy January 3, 2017 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Gary, I hope you are doing better. I love how you can make generally boring weather into an interesting blog. I know this is not a super active LRC, but it does have its interesting moments. Spring weather is my thing, and I think there are spots in this LRC which can give us some excitement. I look forward to those transition months of March-June to see just how it will produce. Even though we may have some warm, dry stretches, I hope that they can be tempered by the occasional cold front and storm. If so, I will be happyl.

  7. REAL HUMEDUDE January 3, 2017 at 10:18 am - Reply

    I can’t wrap my head around the notion of wanting snow to hang around forever. It gets so nasty after a short time, the pretty white turns to ugly brown slush. Salty residues over everything, YUCK! I get a craving for a BIG winter storm every year, but if they are going to be these tiny events might as well skip them altogether. If we do get a tiny snow I hope it gets vaporized by the sun as soon as possible. Bring back the warmer temps if we cant get a big storm, I was able to throw a few casts yesterday and even had a bass swim right up to the dock after my rattletrap. I am ready for Spring now………

    • Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 10:29 am - Reply

      I like to have things look “winter-y,” even if it’s just an inch or two on the ground.

    • Dobber January 3, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Unfortunately for you it’s the start of January. 2 months of winter left Hume

  8. Terry January 3, 2017 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Still plenty of time for us to get us one good snow events like Gray has told me in previous blog’s as he see we move to the end of January into February to be one to two good chances for us. Lets just take this small snow event.

  9. Hunter January 3, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Lol a 1/2″ blizzard is coming!!!
    I better get my beer before I forget.

  10. MMike January 3, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Latest GFS for next weekend if I’m reading it right has 60’s on Saturday and a strong cold front Saturday night? Storm developing Sunday sometime. 12 days away…let’s see how many solutions we get before the big game.

    I had a surprising .31 inches of rain yesterday, rained heavy in early afternoon. Drizzle the rest of the day. Wasn’t that much forecast as far as later Sunday’s forecast went, model data didn’t have that much either. Maybe we can over achieve tomorrow night on moisture.

  11. f00dl3 January 3, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    It’s bad when the signature storms of the LRC end up being dusting to 2″ events. Given we had DEC 18-19, JAN 5-7 already pretty much set in stone giving us a whopping total of 1-2″ in the city each event, small event on DEC 7 that quite honestly I’m shocked it even gave us what it did… the Valentines Day storm and Mar 3-5 are the only 2 more times our signature storm that matches the cold is due in, we may easily see another winter with under 8″ of snow. Sure there’s always the Christmas storm to cycle back through, but that thing pulled up a ton of warm air – was almost 70 degrees. That will probably translate to 55-60 when it comes through the 22-25 of FEB, and again, a tornado outbreak when it’s due back April 19-21st.

    Sorry to be negative – it’s just the LRC.

  12. f00dl3 January 3, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    We may have some good squall line setups this summer with a persistent northwest flow when these Arctic outbreak parts of the cycle repeat – that may counteract the anti-cyclone part of the pattern and if we are lucky prevent any major heat waves from establishing.

    That’s the interesting thing about this LRC this year – we are quite warmer than average here for 80% of the pattern if you compare to averages, but when we do get the below average we dipped sharply 15-32 degrees below average. The snow dictates where the Arctic air builds up – mainly to our north – but not much north of here. Wouldn’t take much if we do by some miracle get snowier in early to mid February for the Arctic air to dip the storm track further south and give us a few good snows – maybe even a blizzard – but something tells me with our climatology to favor a warmer solution – probably the same thing that December brought. One more good cold snap with 80% above average.

    But cooler air damming up north of here during the summer would create some good cold pool wind events.

  13. Terry January 3, 2017 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Hey Gary did you know there’s a ” Troll ” on here on this blog.

  14. Weatherby Tom January 3, 2017 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Have we already achieved our high temp for the day? Baby its cold outside!!

    • Gary January 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      The high was 43 degrees at midnight, but the sun will come out in full force. We will warm up to near 30 degrees or so.


  15. blue flash January 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Sharp clearing line approaching from the NW.

  16. tom January 3, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Gary we are looking to take out 7th and 8th graders to Snow creek in Weston some day towards the end of January or the first half of February. Could you give us a possible date where we could have some cold weather to ski in or for them to have made plenty of snow to be able to ski. thanks

  17. Clint January 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm - Reply
  18. Randy Keller January 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    thanks for everything Gary!
    so happy i found you on 810am, you make weather exciting and very educational.

    Go Sooners!

  19. Rockdoc January 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Good Afternoon Gary,

    I was curious about how the snow to liquid ration is determined, as well as how the temperature affects this. So in doing a little research I came across this gem. Some of it may be quite technical for some folks, but there is also some good information about determining the ratio. Appears that there are also 3 general ratios for our area depending on the direction of the storm. Check out pages 27-31 for some cool information about this. Also, there is a good discussion on types of snow crystals formed, and the upfront part has information on freezing rain, sleet and snow.


    Anyways, I thought some folks may enjoy this. Looking like we may indeed get some snow. If the ratio is higher then we could see about 2+ inches….but I have not looked into the temperatures/moisture of the various layers….to see what may likely occur. What are your thoughts on this Gary?

    Have a Great Rest of Your Day!

  20. MMike January 3, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    LRC from 3-4 weeks ago posted the forecast for the first week of Jan. Arctic air returning with a chance of snow… couldn’t be more perfect from that far out. WOW!!

    Then, it predicted a major warm-up the following week…that appears that it will hit also.

  21. Phillip January 3, 2017 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Pretty quite in here with guaranteed snow on the way!

  22. Ksukat January 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I agree.. pretty quite….

  23. Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Yes, it’s quite quite in here.

  24. Bill in Lawrence January 3, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply


    Good late evening to you sir.

    If I am reading the latest NAM correctly, it appears to have pushed the qpf field a bit further south and west on this run than any of the other runs. The heaviest is still NW but it appears to me the the qpf Field is broader. Of course on yesterday’s 12Z it had absolutely nothing just like the other models so this is only a 3 model run snow event but it is interesting that it seems the trend has been further south and west in those 3 runs. It seems that the NAM is digging the main energy just a bit more south and west. If only this could be just a tad stronger.

    I was going to go with just a dusting if that for my location but in looking at the NAM I now think we could squeeze out an inch plus even here SW of Lawrence. It will be interesting to see what the other models show and if they pick up on the overall expansion of the qpf as the NAM is showing.

    As others have stated earlier, this energy does fit so the possibility of snow looks reliable. If the NAM is corrrect, it will however give Lawrence more mositure in cycle 2 than. It did in cycle 1 when we just had passing sprinkles.

    As I said last night; how snow starved am I that I am getting excited and following every model output for a 1-2 inch at best snow event LOL What in the world will I do when we have a 3 plus inch event knocking on the door???

    Have a great evening

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  25. Bill in Lawrence January 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Happy Tuesday evening again.

    One other random thought that I have found interesting with this LRC is the big difference between rural and urban overnight lows. It just seems that this is really accentuated in this LRC and that is probably due to how how dry we are in parts of this year’s LRC. I am already at 15 here tonight but Lawrence is still in the lower 20’s. This will be my third night since Christmas with a low of 15 or below which is kind of interesting considering how warm we have been overall during the day.

    It will be interesting to see the colder parts of the pattern and some of the cold fronts in the warmer parts of the pattern come back through in cycle 4; I could see some rural areas having some late light freezes where the urban areas stay above freezing. I know this can happen in any LRC as this is a normal occurrence, but it seems more pronounced this year. Maybe something to watch.

    Have a great night

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  26. Hunter January 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Hide the women and children! Blizzard 2017 is a comin!

  27. Bill in Lawrence January 3, 2017 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Okay….so I am back to faculty meetings tomorrow so trying to avoid my last bit of class prep; thank goodness most of it has been done over the past 2 weeks. 🙂

    Looking at the AO forecast, a couple of the ensembles are taking it down to the negative 5 or 6 range in the 16-20th of January time frame. The last time through this upcoming warm period, the AO was climbing and then went positve. It will be interesting if this does indeed happen, to see what affect it will have on this warm period or what affect it might have in building the arctic air for the next cold phase in late January into February.

    Whatever the case, this could be one player acting a bit different in cycle 2 than it did in cycle 1 for this period of the pattern. I think??

    Okay..now I’m done LOL Have a great night

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

    • Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      I figured out the other day that the -9 degree temp (which appears to have been more like -7 around me) that we got the Sunday before Christmas was probably tied for the lowest temperature I’ve ever experienced (in Jan 1982 growing up in NJ it appears I also experienced a low of -7). So I’m hoping it goes lower than that so I can experience a new personal record!

    • Rockdoc January 3, 2017 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Bill, I wanted to respond to you a while back regarding the temp differences you see. Number 1, you are in a valley. Cold air will sink.
      2. Lawrence is also in a valley and they are always a degree or 2 below.

      Taking these two elevational differences together, this is what I suspect happens. Also why you may have slightly different weather. Call it localized microclimate.

      I bet if you set up a network 1/4-1/2 mile surrounding your property and recordinding daily you would see this.


      • Bill in Lawrence January 4, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply


        Happy Wednesday.

        I totally agree with you and that is for sure a factor. However, my house is actually on more of a ridge at about 800 feet and the top of the ridge is at almost at 900 feet so my house is not in the valley floor per se.

        My real point is that with this LRC we are seeing more optimal cooling situations at nights which I think can be a factor in April. Even the NWS weather station located at the Lawrence Airport which is in the KAW Valley has been warmer than my location; that area has also grown more urban over the past 10 years.

        In my very humble opinion, This LRC has really accentuated the urban and rural temperature differences even accounting for the elevation and geography.

        All that said, I fully agree with what you have posted.

        Have a good one

        Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  28. Snow Miser January 3, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    BTW, something which the GFS is showing, and which I think is escaping many’s attention, is the degree to which California is going to get hammered over the next 2 weeks. Will most of the state be out of drought by the end of winter?

    • Rockdoc January 3, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      Just because they’ll get a lot of rain does not mean they’re out of drought conditions. I suspect most rain will be run-off, thus flooding. THis does nothing for drought.

      To take care of it would require months of light drizzle so it can continually seep in. The groundwater levels would take decades to replinish. The rate of withdrawal is greater than infiltration and replenishment.

      The damage has been done. Only way for recoop is for usage to be significantly less than rainfall for many years.

      • Snow Miser January 4, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

        In terms of groundwater levels, you are correct. However, I do believe most of California’s rain comes from reservoirs, which should be in good shape with all the snow they’re getting.

        • Snow Miser January 4, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

          “I do believe most of California’s rain comes from reservoirs”

          Oops I meant, “most of California’s water”

  29. Bill in Lawrence January 3, 2017 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Snow Miser:

    I have been reading that they are about to have one of those Pinapple Expreess events. I’m not sure if it will reach LA or not, but it should for sure put a snow pack down in the Sierra unless too much warm air gets wrapped up into it.

    Sure does look like they are about to get some moisture. 🙂

    Speaking of low temperatures, the lowest I have experienced was minus 24 here in Lawrence in December of 1989 with a very miminal snow pack. We had a couple of mornings of 16 below here in January of 2011 as well.

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  30. Mr. Pete January 4, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Where is heat at? Snow is in the forecast….

  31. Alex Pickman January 4, 2017 at 2:05 am - Reply

    New Data is looking pretty interesting, and possibly exciting for me up here near St. Joe. I wouldnt mind a 2 to 4 inch snow!!

  32. Ksukat January 4, 2017 at 6:39 am - Reply

    What’s new data looking like for Olathe? Will we even see 1″ of the white stuff. Seems like snow is starting later the further south you go.

  33. Ksukat January 4, 2017 at 6:41 am - Reply

    These Dusting two inch forecast are horrible. When you run a business that pushes this stuff. It makes it hard to plan.

    • Three7s January 4, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

      The latest NOAA forecast is going with 2-4 inches. That’s much higher than what most of the models are saying. The absolute highest total I’ve seen in our area is 2.5 inches, with the average being 1-2 inches. Guess we’ll see when we wake up tomorrow morning.

  34. Steve January 4, 2017 at 7:23 am - Reply


    Your telling me. Most of my properties are downtown. Hard to plan!!

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