Sleet, Freezing Rain, or Snow Tonight?

Good Morning Bloggers,

We had a nice precipitation event yesterday with over 1″ liquid accumulation in the KC metro area. Lee’s Summit, MO recorded 1.20″, while KCI Airport had 0.85″. We are now moving into fourth cycle of this years cycling weather pattern. It was wet in the first cycle and it is certainly “trying” to be wet again. In between it has been a rather dry pattern, and excessively dry with the drought developing out over the western high plains.  These precipitation events, such as yesterdays, helps keep that drought area from expanding. It is something we continue to monitor.  And, now we have another precipitation event to track tonight.

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There is a rather big trough draped across western North America.  Waves of energy are being generated and they are rotating out of this trough. The main trough will swing across over the weekend, but out ahead of the main trough are two more waves that can be seen to be rotating out towards the plains. One of these will arrive tonight.

2

The map above shows a forecast for precipitation at 3 AM tonight. Now, what type of precipitation will it be? On the air last night I argued that it could start as snow.  Some of the models are showing all snow, but we live in KC and there has not been a 3″ snow storm in over four full years now. That is just nuts, and the longest such streak in KC recorded history.  So, we know the challenge of getting it to be all snow will be high, even though it is really close. It will be interesting to track tonight, but we have already done this a few times within this interesting pattern that started last October. In those experiences, there has been a rain/sleet/snow area near KC a few times.  I expect this same thing to be the most likely scenario tonight. There have even been at least two times that I can remember where it snowed and accumulated in parts of the KC metro area while it only rained just miles away. So, we have a history of this, and it may very well be that way again tonight. By noon Thursday last nights data produced these next two ice and snow forecasts:

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So, what is going to happen? Here is the Kansas City Time Line:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy with thickening and lowering clouds later in the day.  High: 28°
  • Tonight through 9 PM:  Sleet, snow, freezing rain, and a mixture of all three developing and spreading northeast, but staying just southwest of KC.
  • 10 PM – 6 AM Thursday:  A mixture of precipitation likely.  Accumulations of sleet, freezing rain, snow of under 1″ likely. There is a chance that some areas could see higher snowfall accumulations, but only if it stays in the form of snow. This is unlikely to happen, but some areas may have a longer period of snow, with the farther north locations the most likely areas to have more snow.  Low:  24°
  • Thursday:  The mixture of precipitation ends, but there will be a chance of drizzle, freezing drizzle, or light rain later in the day.  Total accumulations of under 1″ likely causing slick and hazardous conditions.

Matt Dobbins shared this great picture with us yesterday (MatthewDobbins.com).  We will likely be having a rare ice on top of ice event tonight, or could it snow? Well, we will find out soon:

We will discuss all of this, the trend in the models, and the weekend storm system in the comments section over on Weather2020.com. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.

Gary

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Terry
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Terry

Some rain is starting to fall in WY county Kansas

Richard
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Richard

Gary has New blog up !

Richard
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Richard

Lol
Sorry…did not see Garys comment above me !

JoeK
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JoeK

Take caution with the models this close to an event. This system has the potential to fill in as it gets closer. Adequate moisture being drawn into it. I will say, it has been both exciting and frustrating watching these systems roll through as it is complicated trying to get a handle on them 😀 The next few hours will be interesting to say the least

Jack
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Jack

HRRR is paints mostly snow KCI and points northward increasing as you move toward St. Joe. Area north of KC I think will receive mostly snow and sleet. For KC mostly sleet.

Phillip
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Phillip

Right?… not really supposed to be doing a whole lot until about 11 at the earliest. Give it a couple more hours and if it still looks the same radar wise then it may not do a whole lot

Jon Behle
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Jon Behle

Its starting as ice here in Wichita.. Probably not a good sign for the KC area later..

Jon

f00dl3
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f00dl3

Guess what – precip’s filling in. Models are useless now – let’s just see what happens outside.

Heat MIser
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Heat MIser

Hey Gary, are you doing a facebook live tonight?

Ryan
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Ryan

He did a brief one at 6 and said he would do another one at 9 if people “sent lots of likes.”

Heat MIser
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Heat MIser

thanks…must go like it

Glennkw
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Glennkw

Looks like this one will miss us now

JoeK
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JoeK

LYITC41 I responded above , but wanted to add to it. I agreed with you in that we wouldn’t receive 2″ or more. Where I stated I felt you were incorrect was with stating we wouldn’t get .5″ and you guaranteed that. Well, while I still have yet to see official totals, there were reports of .44″ and .47″ so aren’t we talking semantics when you stated you were right? respectfully, my point is that with our current pattern and what we have experienced, there are no absolutes and to guarantee such when people turn to this blog for reliable… Read more »

Weather Hobbyist
Guest
Weather Hobbyist

Radar and latest data are pointing to this being a minimal event, compared to what previous data had been indicating. This fits the “same thing” regarding the results for the pattern we are in. However, my kids are like caged animals at this point and could use a day at school tomorrow!

David
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David

not looking as bad as first thought

Josh
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Josh

Still thinking we get missed not much building to the southwest that see

Tim
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Tim

Last 2 runs of both RAP and HRRR have backed off quite a bit.

Adam
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Adam

If we are buying into the HRRR, the latest run(0Z)just backed way off on QPF.

Now similar to the 18z run of the GFS.

Uh oh…

Phillip
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Phillip

Hmm?… wouldn’t that be a good thing? No one wants ice

Kstater
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Kstater

The nam and gfs are irrelevant this close. The rap and hrrr still show what they are showing early so unless they change I would expect the exact same as earlier.

Waldo Weather
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Waldo Weather

Can you post a link for the hrrr please? Thanks

Richard
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Richard

There is one on the furry animal blog he left it on there for this system

Anonymous by choice
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Anonymous by choice

Meteorologists in this town are demonized for overblowing a forecast.
Meteorologists in this town are demonized for downplaying a forecast.
Meteorologists in this town are rarely thanked for getting a forecast correct.

Fred
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Fred

Sounds to me like furry channel is jumping on the latest weather models in making the forecast. I think the commute tomorrow is going to be tough going…

Tim
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Tim

Furry channel says glaze only for metro, with greater than .1 north of metro. To me it dangerous they downplay this as a non event here..

f00dl3
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f00dl3

Bet this whole area fills in with sleet and snow over the next 4 hours. I was outside and when I was finishing my run around 2 PM you could tell low level moisture was increasing rapidly.

Fred
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Fred

f00dl3–Thank you for your insight. I find you and several others (JoeK, Bill, etc) to be the voice of reason on the blog.

I am sure enjoying the active weather pattern, much better than the boring NW flow.

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Precip looks to be expanding near Wichita.

HRRR picking up on another wave of freezing rain forming in the same area again tomorrow afternoon – so THU PM to FRI AM could see another 0.1 to 0.4″? lol

Richard
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Richard

Yep. Another station was saying the same this morning.
I thought they were nuts because Gary did not say it here on the blog.
Now tonight on air Gary mentioned it.

Georgie
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Georgie

Gary was talking about the possibility of there being the same amount of ice in some areas as there was yesterday. Is there a chance that the winter weather advisory gets upgraded at all or do we not meet that criteria this time?

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

I was wondering the same. Sure might help the schools to make an earlier decision on tomorrow..

Pete

f00dl3
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f00dl3

Of interesting note is the NAM has us peaking for a high of 34 on Friday with the freezing line drifting further south with each model run. Friday’s event could be freezing rain and sleet as well…. lol

Clint
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Clint

Whats your thoughts on Sat. The NAM keeps trending south with that low as well.

Ryan
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Ryan

Yes. I’m curious about Saturday as well.

f00dl3
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f00dl3

My gut – and I hate to say this – probably more freezing rain. I mean when you get stuck in a pattern like this 90% of the time it’s rinse and repeat. Look at historical ice storms – 1998, 2002, 2007 – the common thing that happens is a storm track sets up for a week and it just constantly sends ripples.

Ryan
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Ryan

Do you think the daytime temps. will be below 32? NWS currently has the high in the low 50s.

f00dl3
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f00dl3

I really can’t say at this point this weather is too unpredictable 6 hours out less 2 days.

cindy
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cindy

what are the models saying what are the models saying. please please what are the models saying ?

Lary Gezak
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Lary Gezak

Keep in mind the GFS had close to nothing for Monday night’s storm. I didn’t even bother checking it that night, because it was so off. The HRRR and NAM should be watched, plus the radar obviously

MikeL
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MikeL

21z HRRR shows pretty much all sleet at my house in SW Topeka with a little snow. Doesn’t show any freezing rain hitting me on the radar simulation. Be interesting to see what happens.

Ryan
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Ryan

Is the weekend system going to be all rain?

Jeanna Vossmer
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Jeanna Vossmer

What’s the latest? Radar still showing precipitation for tonight?

Tim
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Tim

Both also have the accumulating snow line fairly close– within a county of KC.

Fred
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Fred

Jumping to conclusions by looking at flawed weather models. The GFS has been out to lunch all winter long, it hasn’t handled the pattern well. The latest NAM shows some rain, then transitioning to freezing rain, sleet, etc. Obviously, it isn’t handling the cold air. Looking at NWS forecast discussion, concerns relate to how cold it has been today and how the cold air is being reinforced, which has led to colder surface temperatures. Anything that falls from the sky will freeze. And, the HRRR is still showing significant freezing rain/sleet in the metro. All of this interesting…and I wouldn’t… Read more »

Tim
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Tim

21Z HRRR is showing exactly that.. area developing around wichita and actually reaching KC before between 10-midnight. Its remarkable how these two short term models and providing this solution to the complete opposite of the GFS/NAM. What gives?

Tim
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Tim

are providing*

Clint
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Clint

Thats what the short range models are for. I dont know why the medium and long range models are so bad inside 12 hours,

Fred
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Fred

You answered your own question…they are medium and long range models…

🙂

Tim
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Tim

And this latest hour RAP still shows around .3″ near KC

Josh
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Josh

I do not think we are going to get that much the radar shows this big bulk of precip that appears to be going to the southeast of the city

Tim
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Tim

RAP shows our precip coming from the pan handle of Texas and continually developing just NE of the Wichita area. This is precisely the area that the NWS said we needed to watch out for in the latest discussion…

Tim
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Tim

18Z NAM backed way off too. But the latest RAP and HRRR’s still showing a decent amount .1 to 0.3″ of Ice…

Lary Gezak
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Lary Gezak

What model do we trust here?

Clint
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Clint

Your window, the radar, and the HRR and RAP in that order.

Tim
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Tim

Exactly my question LOL

Snowflake
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Snowflake

Even if the precip totals are around the same for this event, I think the overall impact could be worse all because of the timing. Tuesday’s event wasn’t horrific because most people who needed to get to work were able to get there in the morning before the worst of the precipitation fell…and then crews were out working it all day and the precip shut off a few hours before the evening rush, allowing some time for chemicals to work and crews to continue cleaning. Tomorrow’s event, on the other hand, will be focused during the overnight and early morning… Read more »

RickMcKC
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RickMcKC

I can’t believe the NWS advisory begins at 6pm. Every model I’ve seen doesn’t have precip beginning until midnight or later.

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

Radar sure doesn’t look promising at the moment.

Georgie
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Georgie

Channel 4 had the HRRR model on their blog and it shows stuff forming down in central Kansas but Wichita and heading up this way later tonight

Richard
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Richard

Don’t promote the competitor. 😬

Richard
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Richard

(Admittedly I looked at it too.)
But it is understandably, frowned upon by Gary for us to mention it here.
That HRRR model is something I wish Gary or Jeff could put up when systems are heading our way.
JL also has the NAM high res with slider bar in there today.
Would be nice to see those here.

Heat Miser
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Heat Miser

I don’t think to mention it from time to time…just not regularily.

Richard
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Richard

Promising ? You want the ice Pete ?

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

Did I say ice?

Richard
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Richard

Sorry Pete. You said does not look promising,
I took it the wrong way. Apologies

Heat Miser
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Heat Miser

I wonder if any of that snow in central KS is hitting the ground.

Mandy
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Mandy

What time is the precipitation supposed to start tonight? How’s the evening rush hour looking?

Clint
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Clint

Should start after the evening rush hour I believe around 10 or so.

Richard
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Richard

Got my car scraped ! Now it wears a body suit ready for round 2 !
Great neighbor helped me it was solid ice.
He also gave me a car cover that covers my whole car bumper to bumper.
What a great thing to have ! So I am ready.
Just hope power doesn’t go out. But if it does, won’t be long duration hopefully.

Warmer weather on the way after tomorrow.
Stay safe everyone

Ross
Guest
Ross

Two parts rubbing alcohol to one part water in a spray bottle is a good assist to scraping.

Richard
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Richard

Is that so…thanks Ross !
Might give it a try next time.
So, the rubbing alcohol cuts the ice ?

JasonAtt
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JasonAtt

Might want to check the rubbing alcohol concentration first. I had to go to 50/50 with the last bottle I purchased. I think its concentration was 70% vs the 85%.

Kurt
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Kurt

I am not too sure that it would be worse, it’s going to be different because yesterdays event came with relatively warmer ground temps, so what fell as frozen wasn’t solidly frozen on all surfaces (pavement, gravel etc) until the temps continued dropping. Areas that I wanted cleared were easy to scoop off the slush build of of ice/sleet in quick fashion after it stopped (the back edge moved through my area around 9:30 a.m.). It was easy to remove, however where I didn’t remove it pretty much froze solid in about an inch layer of freezing rain, sleet and… Read more »

Lary Gezak
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Lary Gezak

Is tonight’s event going to be worse than yesterday’s event Gary? I’ve heard both. Models show worse… but mets in KC not too concerned about it. I know more sleet means more road issues tomorrow AM.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Wouldn’t say less concerned. Furry channel met has been pretty serious about amounts, tree issues, power lines, and travel problems.

Can’t speak for Gary, but think as the situation gets closer and he sees the issues developing, he takes it serious.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Shh…promoting competitor is frowned upon here

TDogg
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TDogg

Why is promoting a competitor frowned on here. This is not a KSHB blog…

Richard
Guest
Richard

It is Garys blog. And he considers other local stations/mets competitors.
Gary let me know last week. He asked me why I was promoting the competition when I mentioned JL.
I have accepted that he would rather us not do that since it is his blog.

f00dl3
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f00dl3

First it was global warming, then climate change, now windmill theory?

Ben
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Ben

Oh dear…let me start by saying that I haven’t done any digging on the windmill theory, so I’m not going to argue that one until I learn a bit more. But from what I can gather, almost 100% of the world’s climate scientists believe climate change is a thing, and that trends over the past century are at least partially due to human activity. Perhaps you were being sarcastic, and you don’t believe climate change is a hoax. If so, forgive me for misunderstanding.

KS Jones
Guest
KS Jones

The forecast from the NWS in Topeka (as of 5:17 AM) shows this area (between Manhattan & Marysville) will get mostly snow, whereas, less snow and heavier ice accumulations are forecast for areas southeast of here. This will be our 11th winter precipitation event (snow or freezing rain) since they began on Christmas Eve.
comment image

Roger
Guest
Roger

I do wonder if windmill farms affect cropland soil moisture on a microclimate scale (or a regional scale for that matter). I don’t totally discount this theory because lack of soil moisture means less evaportranspiration. Now I do believe that if a weather pattern is very active it wouldn’t affect things. We haven’t had a SW storm that was functional for a long time.

LYITC41
Guest
LYITC41

So many conspiracies, so little time! Take your pick-JFK, our men on the moon, 9/11, and, yes, chemtrails and windfarms. There’s plenty for all!

Jsquibble
Guest
Jsquibble

From looking at radar it looks like most of the moisture is pushing more towards SE of the metro. Is more development expected further west?

Craig
Guest
Craig

I can’t believe there are actually people who believe that a collection of windmills can somehow affect the weather.
However, there are also thousands of otherwise intelligent people that see jet contrails and claim that the government is poisoning us with gas from 35,000 feet so I guess nothing should surprise me anymore.
The crazy world of the internet…

Heat MIser
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Heat MIser

theres a very small fringe internet element that believe anything…just ignore.

Tdogg
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Tdogg

Back to work Racy!!!

Urbanity
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Urbanity

Craig and Heat, don’t get your panties in a bunch. It’s my opinion backed by a little science, nothing more. The blog is a good place to exchange thoughts and ideas, even with those who get upset when an opinion doesn’t fit in their box of ideas…..like the liberals who troll these blogs.

Insanity
Guest
Insanity

No one likes people that paint everyone with broad strokes, like those conservatives that are blithely dense.

Georgie
Guest
Georgie

Anyone have any maps or numbers for tonight?