Snow Chances & Models

/Snow Chances & Models

Snow Chances & Models

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy and dry. The snow will stay north and west of KC. High: 21°
  • Tonight:  There is a 90% chance of snow with a dusting to 2″ possible before midnight. This would form in a band from northeast to southwest between 6 PM and 10 PM.

Kansas City awakens to a high overcast this morning.  The temperatures are very cold, around 10 to 15 degrees, and anticipation is building for another small snow event. We have experienced 5.4″ of snow officially at KCI Airport in seven different snows so far this season, and the chance this one tonight turns into another small event is very high. There is still some doubt that we will get any snow at all, and some areas may completely get missed by todays “storm”.  In fact, I believe it has now been years since our last true major winter storm. We usually have two or three major winter storms in a season, but not in years now. So, what is going to happen today? Let’s take a look at the potential beginning with a look back at some of the models that we have been paying attention to.

  • The European Model: So many just love this model, but at least in KC this winter this model has done the poorest that I have seen. It modeled these amounts from five days ago until the most recent run:  5″, 6″, 5″, 4″, 4″ wide spread, 3″, 3″, 2″, 1″, then zero on last nights run
  • The NAM Model:  0″, 0″, 0″, 0″, 0″, then 0.5″ on the overnight run
  • The GFS Model:  2″, 7″, 4″, 3″, 2″, 2″, 1″, then zero

The reason for the models forecasting and then not forecasting snow has been dependent on that wave I discussed in yesterdays blog. Just a slight difference and we end up with zero. But, just slightly stronger and organized snow bands may form. So, where are the models today?


This model is the latest HRRR.  It shows a heavy band of snow, just like a line of thunderstorms, over the KC metro area at 11 PM. This line forms around 6 to 8 PM. Doesn’t it sound like we are forecasting a line of thunderstorms? Well, don’t be shocked if this is a nice line of strong to severe thunderstorms 47 and 94 days from now, or around the  first week of May. It will happen, because the pattern is cycling regularly centered at around 47-days.  This line is suspect still, so before we predict a line in early May, let’s see if this forms first. There are bands of snow early today to monitor, but the line that is on this model is something that likely forms this evening.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 7.55.13 AM

This radar map is from 8 AM this morning. The band is moving east-northeast. Let’s see where this goes, and how this evening evolves. I truly feel like I am tracking potential thunderstorms and not snow, that’s how this system is acting, which still makes it suspect.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation. It should be an interesting one today


2018-02-07T06:39:47+00:00February 6th, 2018|General|46 Comments


  1. f00dl3 February 6, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

    How do we know this is going to be a line of thunderstorms in April/May if the lines of thunderstorms in October did not materialize into heavy snow this winter?

    I know the upper level triggers are there – but the surface features don’t sync. How do we know we won’t have 30% relative humidity when the trigger is overhead versus 63 degree dewpoints with 70% humidity?

    • Gary February 6, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply

      Exactly! As I said, let’s see if this happens first. Now, Sunday’s system will likely be an MCS 94 days later in May from the northwest or west northwest!


    • f00dl3 February 6, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      30% or even 15-30% relative humidity values are a very realistic possibility especially with the growing drought. Really have to factor that in. As the jet stream shifts north, the SURFACE MOISTURE pattern that is producing the drought to our south will shift north with the jet stream, especially as storms try to syphon moisture from the relatively dry southeast US, regardless of how many storms are overhead with the UPPER LEVEL pattern.

  2. Ryan February 6, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Looking like a miss here in South Leawood

  3. Fred February 6, 2018 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Does anyone really believe we are going to see any snow?

    I mean, the forecast has changed so many times that I wouldn’t be surprised if we got nothing but flurries.

    Another bust for KC. LRC 2017…it just keeps going and going and going. Looking forward to the next LRC in October.

  4. LYITC41 February 6, 2018 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Amusing how the WWAs are north and south with KC right in the middle. Don’t believe any model for a second. Will it or wont it? Look out your window.

    • ClassyCat February 6, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

      You probably know, but the WWA south of us are not for snow. It’s freezing drizzle in southern Missouri. The snow that appears to be missing is will miss to the north and west or just fizzle out. Nothing to the south around Springfield and points east for snow out of this storm.

  5. Bsmike February 6, 2018 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Yawn!!!! Modelitis has bitten again. I even bet this weekend we don’t see anything! Horrible just horrible

  6. MikeL February 6, 2018 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Think of it this way…all of the models have been 100% wrong each and every time they have shown a 3″ or more snowfall in Topeka or KC (with possible highly localized exceptions) over the past 4 years. Wrong every single time over 4 years. That’s impressive!

  7. Matt February 6, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Next up on “Weathering The Future Blog”: What will it do today, we’re not sure?

    • Fred February 6, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hilarious. +1

      • f00dl3 February 6, 2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

        Either way you skin the cat, this storm was predicted 47 days ago.

  8. Stl78 February 6, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Dusting to an in for most of kc is my forecast. 1 to 3 points north of 435 corridor. An isolated 4 in not out of the question in a heavier band

  9. Steve February 6, 2018 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Looks like I will be pretty much in the center up here SWW Of Hiawatha. Nothing yet. Will let you know amount.

  10. Three7s February 6, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Gary says we average 3-4 winter storms per year. I wouldn’t go that far at all On a good year, MAYBE we get two. Of course, it depends on your definition of “winter storm”. For me, it’s the issuance of a Winter Storm Warning, which means at least 6+ inches of snow or the equivalent in ice. We just don’t get storms like that very much, certainly not 3 times a year, even beyond this snow drought.

    • f00dl3 February 6, 2018 at 9:15 am - Reply

      I remember very well that 1998-2007 winters were characterized much like the past 4 years but the only difference is we had one fluke storm each year that pushed us over 10″. If it was not for those storms we may have had 5 or 6 winters in a row back then with under 10″ of snow as well.

      It’s not that unusual – just a bit odd we haven’t had any storms hit us.

      I think we go in 6-7 year patterns. 2008-2014 were snowy, 2016-now not so much.1999-2007 not so much either. 1993-1999 were about average.

    • Heat Miser February 6, 2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

      His definition isn’t the same as yours.

  11. Jsquibble February 6, 2018 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Are the radar echos by Topeka and emporia reaching the ground?

    • Emily B February 6, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Not here in east Topeka yet…

  12. Terry February 6, 2018 at 9:18 am - Reply

    This weekends storm System is looking very interesting with Freezing rain/sleet/snow. It’s going to be very interesting. I think will get some snow today.

    • Tdogg February 6, 2018 at 9:51 am - Reply

      What about this one?

  13. Richard February 6, 2018 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Gary said last night that cloudy this morning would be good sign. Meaning the storm would be stronger.
    Its cloudy but it will be stronger north of us ?

  14. SnowCommander February 6, 2018 at 9:38 am - Reply

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, this storm needs to start winding up pulling the trailing snow located (on radar) from southern Colorado through the KC area in order for us to see any accumulation?

  15. Rod February 6, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Gary do you think that Columbia & Jeff City areas get missed. There was discussion last night on the local weather that there’s an area between I-70 & US 50 for that could get dry slotted wear bands of snow form north of I 70 and then down along interstate 44. In fact only forecasting half an inch to an inch max for my area near Ashland.

  16. DisappointedDad February 6, 2018 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I have “weather fatigue” at this point. I know there isn’t anything anyone can do about it, but please don’t tell me that climate change doesn’t have something to do with this. When you are seeing unprecedented weather, and we have now been keeping records for over a century, that HAS to have something to do with it. All I know is, I need to move north, because winter is my favorite time of year, and my kids have not had a real chance to sled or build a snowman in 4 years. Their childhoods are literally slipping away with no chance to enjoy winter weather.

  17. Michael Casteel February 6, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I recorded 1/2″ of snow from yesterday in Maryville with a water equivalent of .04″ It was 3 degrees this morning with cold air in place. I bet any moisture will produce high ratios, possibly 16:1 or more. Have a great day bloggers,

  18. KS Jones February 6, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

    At 4:26 AM, the NWS in Topeka changed their forecast a bit.
    It now shows a 2 to 3″, rather than a 2 to 4″ accumulation here (midway between Manhattan & Marysville), and the timing was changed as well.

  19. Phillip February 6, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

    We just aren’t in the right spot. Hate this feeling, but we really are all used to it with the Chiefs… hoping for a better Lrc next year 😐

    • Heat Miser February 6, 2018 at 10:20 am - Reply

      its okay, we ve been in the right spot a number of times this winter…they just werent big storms.

  20. Ben February 6, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Gary the bitter cold snap that hit the last week of December and lasted till mid January is scheduled to cycle back through pretty soon. Doesn’t seem like it’s showing up yet on any of the extended forecasts. Do you think we see another arctic blast in February? Thanks.

  21. DanT February 6, 2018 at 10:10 am - Reply

    So after another disappointment this winter I have decided to change the forecasting rules of meteorology for future events.
    1. Check the LRC if a storm even fits the pattern.
    2. Check the models but don’t believe anything they indicate until 12-24 hours before the event.
    3. Look outside and see what’s going on.

    • Gary February 6, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

      It is a bit expected, and majorly ridiculous. We may have had more snow yesterday from one snow shower at 4 Pm than we will have today. Again, this should have been expected. The models took many of us on another ride. But, go back and look at my last video posted, I think last Thursday. I believe I started the video by stating, “here is why we will likely get missed by this Tuesday storm”, something like this. I should have stuck with that the entire time.

      Maybe a trailing band of snow still happens tonight, but this is somewhat “cruel” by Mother Nature to get us this close.

      • Matt February 6, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

        You would have really earned some respect on here if you had “stuck to your guns”. If the LRC is the biggest piece of the puzzle, let it be your guide. You let fear put you in the same boat as every other met in this city. Sad!

        • Richard February 6, 2018 at 10:29 am - Reply

          Have to agree with that. Gary is the leader here, and gets too caught up in models sometimes. So we follow

  22. Bsmike February 6, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Next year we will be in sweet spot but no cold air. 🤭

  23. Clint February 6, 2018 at 10:24 am - Reply

    A few flurries falling in Warrensburg which is more than I thought I would get today.

  24. Richard February 6, 2018 at 10:24 am - Reply

    The storms fit the pattern. But the storms are not producing much.
    I think Gary based his 21 inches on these storms producing more.

  25. Ross February 6, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

    new blog

    • Gary February 6, 2018 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Yes, please watch and share the video. I “knew” this was going to be a miss. But, then what happened? Modelitis, that horrible disease. Now, let’s still track and see if anything develops as this system zips by tonight. The new blog is up.


      • Matt February 6, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

        Glad to see you own up. The real tell will be if you learn going forward or keep chasing models.

        • Morham February 6, 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

          But didn’t his video use models to call the “miss”? To me its like predicting the stock market, just so damn hard. You have to use models no matter what, its just a matter of when you feel like making the “call” and sticking with it. Love reading all the comments on here! Thanks everyone!

      • Steve A February 6, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

        So your saying this may miss us all together today/tonight for the KC downtown area. Also what are you seeing for the possible weekend system?

  26. f00dl3 February 6, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

    I think we all know at this point the storm showing up for this weekend we can call BS on. It’s not going to be that strong.

    In fact, the last time this pattern was around and it forecasted the big storm after Christmas then we only got an inch, didn’t it do this same, exact thing – show another storm on Dec. 27th?

  27. LYITC41 February 6, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Sorry for DisappointedDad feel bad for your kiddos. Seems like we had plenty of snow in the 60s & 70s and, though not a big fan now, we had a blast as kids with the winters back then.

  28. KS Jones February 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Started getting snow flakes (few and far between) at 1:25 PM. Radar shows we are getting clipped by the south side of the leading edge as it drifts ENE.

  29. Rodney Sherman February 7, 2018 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Only takes a stronger disturbance in the Northwest flow to produce a 4 inch snow. You never know what might happen this weekend!

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