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.


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.


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:



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 (  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 Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.


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  1. Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

    That upper level flow map is a great display of the incredibly large trough that has consumed the western US this week.

    This is where I once again have to respectfully disagree with any notion of a “47-day cycle” to the upper air flow.

    When you look at today’s map compared to that of 47 days ago, the two could not be more opposite.

    Today features a huge trough in the west and a ridge off the east coast.

    47 days ago was the exact opposite: a huge ridge over the western US and a trough over New England.

    Here’s the visual comparison:

    • Gary February 21, 2018 at 7:52 am - Reply

      Snowflake, I will show you the comparison. This part of the pattern has happened and the biggest example is the trough that formed, quite similar to this one, as the weather pattern began developing in late September and early October. The transition period of the LRC is from around the moment the sun sets at the North Pole, or around September 23rd, and then the pattern is in massive transition until it truly begins around that first week of October. I recommend looking at October 1 through October 7, 2017 and compare it to now. It is almost identical.  October 2nd and now line up well.  How far apart is October 2nd and February 21st?  The answer is 143 days apart. What is the cycle length that we have shared with you from around my first use of an early harmonic in October? 47 to 48 days! 143 divided by 3 is 47.6 days. So, this is right on schedule. So, do you still “respectfully disagree with any notion of a 47-day cycle to the upper air flow”? It is really incredible Snowflake. It is there, and this weekends storm is truly directly related to the October 7th storm, or again right on schedule, and that set up is exactly 47 times 3 days apart. What do you think? Check it out. It is a complex puzzle for sure.

      As you go check it out, remember there is a seasonal difference. early October is one week out from summer, and right now we are just past the peak of the strongest jet stream strength and in the middle of winter. And, on your assessment of being polar opposites to 47 days ago, you should slide the comparison back and forth a few days and the puzzle will come together for you. I did it last night in each cycle, but the best comparison is that first one.

      • Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 7:56 am - Reply

        You make a strong case for a 143-day cycle asking me to compare October to now, but you’ve always been discussing the 47-day cycle, so shouldn’t those same features line up roughly every 47 days?

      • Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

        Following up —

        If this weekend’s storm is related to October 7 – 143 days ago (47 times 3), then where was that storm in the two intervening cycles? That would have been around November 23 and January 9.

        And your cycle theory expressly states that the upper level flow patterns are the same each cycle…and really, the upper level flow of today and 47 days ago couldn’t be more opposite. I even played around with a few days before and after January 5, 2018 (47 days ago) to see if a 45-day or 49-day pattern, for instance, could be found, but it isn’t there. The pattern in the first week of January was a strong persistent ridge over the western half of the US. And this week, it is a strong, persistent trough – the polar opposite. That stark contrast is why I fail to see a 47-day cycle.

        • JoeK February 21, 2018 at 10:10 am - Reply


          You have to look deeper into the LRC. The pattern is set and cycling. Each cycle will not be the same as these systems react differently in each cycle. This is the “same but different” affect. Look at October prior to the jet stream strengthening and compare it to now as it is beginning to weaken. Nov., Dec., and January were more similar and if you go back and look at the weather maps, the systems materialized and right on time only they were much weaker and generally stayed North of us. If you go back into the blog, I have long suspected that this cycle would mirror October and it seems to be heading in that general direction. If you do not believe in the cycle, how is it these systems are right on time?

          • Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm - Reply

            How are they “right on time” when the systems didn’t even exist 47 days ago or 94 days ago?

            • JoeK February 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

              The systems were there, they were just different. When I have time, I will lay it out for you to show the direct connection between each system. Going to take time as weather is not my life, just a hobby

        • DanT February 21, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

          Snowflake, Are those ridges and troughs showing up in different locations based on seasonal differences? What I have noticed is exact location of upper level pattern features can move around some. It appears that something has made a shift to this current more active events. More active meaning to what we had in cycle one.

          • Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm - Reply

            Seemingly ‘seasonal differences’ would track the position of the jet stream…when it is the strongest in the winter, it is further south…and in the summer, it retreats far north into Canada.

            So a “seasonal differences” explanation would indeed cover an instance in which a trough or ridge is amplified either farther north or south with a different season, but these maps I posted do not demonstrate.

            Rather, the maps clearly demonstrate the huge trough in the west this week was not simply north or south back in January – it was entirely absent: the west was dominated by the meteorological opposite of a trough; a huge dominant *ridge*.

            And the same is true for the east: this week, the east is dominated with a massive ridge–higher heights–and is experiencing a wealth of record highs today as a result (80s in DC!) but one cycle ago — early January — it was consumed by a massive trough that brought temperatures 15 to 20 degrees *below* normal. Again, not the same as the current cycle; very much the opposite.

            • Anonymous by choice February 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

              Snowflake, I think your posts are fantastic. Like you, I have yet to see an explanation that can be backed up with actual, empirical evidence. I read lots of defenses like “seasonal differences” and “the same but different”; however, their implication is that there is an identifiable feature to compare between cycles (“just not producing this cycle” or “it’s just not in the right place this time”). Your argument (or observation – could be either) is that there is nothing there this time through – in fact, it’s just the opposite. And yet, people are on here trying to find a solution that isn’t there. Occam’s Razor (when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions) leads me to believe that the LRC, if true, is not ~47 days.

              • DanT February 21, 2018 at 4:44 pm

                What if there is more than one cycle in the LRC? We can see evidence of storm systems cycling on a certain cycle. However, we see this larger pattern shift and evidence of potential blocking pattern that has not occurred yet. If we are seeing a large scale pattern shift that was there in October and now in cycle 4 is returning, that is a different cycle while storm systems remain a 47 day cycle.

      • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

        I thought this year’s LRC was claimed to have started around Oct 10th.

  2. Mr. Pete February 21, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

    I can’t figure out why the schools closed today. Roads are dry.

    • Grambo624 February 21, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

      I teach in KCK, but live in Lee’s Summit. Roads were not in good shape in LS, but much better over here.

    • Melanie February 21, 2018 at 8:21 am - Reply

      I was thinking the same thing. I guess it is because some of the side roads are still a bit slick, but most of the roads seemed to be in good condition in my opinion.

    • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 8:21 am - Reply

      LoL…there’s a patch of ice on a road somewhere. Schools close at the drop of a hat these days.

    • JoeK February 21, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

      It is not just about roads, it involves sidewalks, parking lots and vehicles. Schools have to take total safety into consideration when making the decision. Difference between today and 30 years ago, most are quick to blame and sue so if one kid slips and falls on a sidewalk or parking lot and is injured, the school is liable or blamed.

    • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Society of wimps. I can remember walking a half mile down a country driveway in a blizzard to get to a school bus that was following a road grader.

      • Fred February 21, 2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

        Was that before or after they installed the wind mills?


        • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 12:54 pm - Reply

          Fred, I wish it were after. I lived south of Manhattan at that time, we had some doozy’s back then.

      • JoeK February 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm - Reply


        Agreed , but like I said, we have also become a society of lawsuit happy people

  3. Fred February 21, 2018 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Schools close for a variety of reasons. In reference to today, local school districts sent home custodial staff yesterday around 1:00 PM and the morning shift wouldn’t arrive until 6:00 Am today. Understanding the length of time spent with freezing rain yesterday, custodians and grounds crew wouldn’t have the time to get the parking lots cleaned and the sidewalks taken care of. Further, busses sat all day yesterday in the freezing rain, and were probably coated in ice…limiting their usefulness until some melting occurs, both naturally and with assistance.

    Further, the side roads in many of the larger suburban areas are not very good. Cities tend focus on main arteries first and secondary roads after…which is what they should do. In fact, in my neighborhood, we received quite a bit of sleet and I didn’t see a truck until this morning. It would have been tough getting a bus up and down the street.

    Also, so much more goes into closing schools…we see dry roads and school leaders see their attendance and lack of state aid. Sometimes, school districts look at their attendance numbers and believe that they will better served to cancel than to lose state funds due to poorly attended classes. It is easier to go in May and have 95% attendance than in February and have a 85% attendance. With state aid tied to school attendance (90% or students must attend school 90% of the time), districts often look at money lost when deciding. And, believe it or not…a number of parents don’t send their kids to school on days like today….it’s too cold (wind chill) and dangerous (ice), so they keep them home.

    Finally, it is smart of school districts to err on the side of caution. Send kids to school (when you have the choice to cancel), a bus slides off the road and kids get injured…school districts are at fault and people are lining up to sue the district for negligence. It’s a just a safer choice to cancel when you can.

    Anyways, back to tracking this weather for tonight and tomorrow. Thank goodness KC is back in the game!

    • KellyinLS February 21, 2018 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Well that was interesting! I hadn’t thought about the attendance factor, but that makes perfect sense, and would explain in part why we see districts cancelling quicker these days than in the past. I work in the Raytown district but my kids are in LS, wonder how tonight’s storm will affect schools tomorrow.

    • Mr. Pete February 21, 2018 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      I think the attendance part may backfire then. Closing today means that they will need to attend a day after Memorial Day now (at least in my district). Can’t imagine how many will be skipping that extra day to start early summer vacations.

  4. Tim February 21, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

    The main roads were pretty clear, but secondary roads and parking lots were probably the worst I seen in the last 5 years. In lee’s summit– Todd George north of Colbern was ice covered and almost impossible to turn onto Strother. In Independence, we had someone in our parking lot slide completely off into a field.

  5. Hockeynut69 February 21, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Gary- I was curious about this system compared to others. Many of the other systems were quick moving and it kept any accumulations to a minimum. This one seems to be much slower and therefore the event lasted longer. It appears to be creeping along to the east. Is there a blocking mechanism that is slowing this one compared to others?

    As for the school closures, most of them are south of the river where the event started later, was a bit heavier in intensity, and moved on later. The streets in south land look much worse than northland from what has been shown on TV. I was pleasantly surprised how good the roads were near Liberty even in the country yesterday afternoon.

    • Gary February 21, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply


      I believe this one is also a fast moving system. I wish it wasn’t but it likely is. It may be creeping along as it shifts east, but it will move fairly fast. For the amount of ice accumulation, which I lean to more than snow, but there may be some sleet too like yesterday, it will depend on where the band lines up as the wave approaches. That axis is important. I will try to pick it out on the newscasts at 4, 5, and 6 PM and maybe post something here, or start a new blog if I feel inspired to do so around 5:45. The other day I saw the wave that lead to the ice storm yesterday, and I found it 12 hours before. Let’s see if we can clearly identify the wave this evening.


      • Hockeynut69 February 21, 2018 at 11:44 am - Reply

        Gary- thanks for the response. The interaction and weather knowledge is what makes this such a successful blog. I will watch with interest this afternoon and evening. My guess is, my kiddos will be home tomorrow with me. At least they went back today, no reason for them to be home today but again that is the Northland and not the other areas still dealing with the remnants of the storm on their streets.

  6. David February 21, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

    I agree schools cancel too much. I teach in KCK, we are open today.

    • Mr. Pete February 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      Make you wonder how any of the schools up in Minnesota even stay open in the winter!

  7. Tim February 21, 2018 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Looks like 12z NAM and RAP pointing to ice event only. 12z NAM (regular) has around .25-.3″ of ice, Hi-Res NAM is pointing toward .1-.2″ of ice. So is this going to be another event where the models just need to be tossed out? LOL

  8. Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 8:44 am - Reply

    The GFS and the NAM are very intriguing. Both show 3-4″ of snow/ice/sleet combo.

    • Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Even the EURO is on board. We need to monitor the trends closely today…

    • f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Be very careful if your using TropicalTidbits for your snowfall maps. They have errors in their formulation. During our ice even yesterday I peeked at the snowfall output from the NAM high res and Tropical Tidbit’s snowfall map showed the Kuchera method giving Kansas City 26 inches of snow Tuesday.

    • f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Tropical Tidbits uses ALL precip at or below freezing in their calculations – 10:1 and Kuchera – so those snowfall estimates include precip falling as ice assuming a snow form.

      • Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

        Yes, their snowfall accumulation doesn’t include ONLY snow, it includes all forms of winter precip which is what is worrying. 3″ of mixed precip, whether it be snow, sleet, ice, etc.

    • f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply
  9. Clint February 21, 2018 at 8:49 am - Reply

    12z NAM getting close to producing a snow storm here Sat night.

    • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 9:13 am - Reply

      can you provide a link?

      • Tdogg February 21, 2018 at 9:16 am - Reply

        Hey Robert Racy….stop wasting taxpayers dollars and get back to work. I can contact your boss if you want me too. I can email him the screenshot of your name on here too….get back to work!

      • Terry February 21, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

        Heat I think I could post that link

        • Clint February 21, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

          Thanks buddy it’s been a busy morning. It wouldn’t take much more cold air for that to produce snow.

        • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply


  10. SnowDays February 21, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Fred, really appreciate your reply. I think another thing that is lost on most folks is just how many people we are talking about in these big districts like BV, SM and Olathe. There are some 20k students and 2k plus employees in BV. The chances of something happening to one of those people and then them tying that to a lawsuit, not to mention why endanger a kindergartener or who honestly wants a 16 year old who has just learned to drive trying to get to school if the roads are bad…you’re talking about a wide, wide array of people and a very large amount of people as well. Better safe than sorry.

    • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 9:12 am - Reply

      and boy do they play it safe

      • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 10:39 am - Reply

        Lawyers and politicians, the scourge of the earth.

  11. Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Forecast discussion from NWS is interesting:

    The tricky thing about this forecast is
    of course the precipitation type. With the warm nose advancing
    with the majority of the precipitation, only snow isn`t likely,
    at least for areas south of HWY 36. A little snow could mix in
    though for areas as far south as the MO River. Right now, it looks
    like sleet will be the dominate precipitation type initially, as
    the warm nose temperature will be just above freezing with the
    introduction of cloud ice. However, the warm nose temperatures
    should increase with time, while the introduction of cloud ice
    decreases, so we should see a change over to freezing rain. A
    freezing rain/sleet mix is likely before we see only freezing rain
    though. This scenario is different from what we saw yesterday in
    that, this is a longer duration, stratiform event with less QPF
    expected, which is actually more ideal for ice accretion. That in
    conjunction with an additional 0.10-0.20 of an inch of ice
    expected tonight, and not much, if any, melting today has lead to
    a Winter Weather Advisory being issued for the entire forecast

  12. LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 9:03 am - Reply

    A nice drink of water yesterday and as I suspected the impacts weren’t that bad (unless of course you were one of the ones unfortunate enough to slide off the road, hope everyone here made it safely to wherever they were going). I doubt I got even .1″ of ice in south OP seemed to be mostly a sleet event, same where I work in midtown. I was surprised by how vigorous this storm was, more so than I originally thought. The ice amounts being thrown around on this blog Mon. night though were just insane. I realize less sleet would have meant more ice but not what some folks were throwing out. JoeK said I was wrong when I had posted earlier we wouldn’t get 2″, .8″, .5″ of ice as some had been suggesting, actually I was right about that and wanted to make sure he stood corrected on that one. Anyway another interesting night ahead, curious to see what amounts will be thrown around here today. Sometimes that’s the most entertaining part of reading this blog. Stay safe!! P.S. Got about .6″ liquid equivalent at my place.

    • MMike February 21, 2018 at 10:23 am - Reply


      You may have had only .1 inch of ice, but other parts of the city had much more. I’m a snow contractor and I know all conditions reported by my drivers from Blue Springs, up to Kearney, back to Platte City, and down to Overland Park and everything in between.We had a variety of reports around the city from our drivers having to plow out at the Legend’s, Tiffany Springs down to Barry Road(a lot of sleet accumulated there) to several applications of ice melt and salt around other parts of the city. Road conditions were very bad in the northland late morning yesterday. The biggest ice total I found on the trees was around a half inch in the northland. I had close to a half inch on my trees west of Liberty.(didn’t have much sleet up that way though) My White Pine trees were drooping down to the ground yesterday due to the ice.(can’t take any more tonight)

      I’m not defending JoeK at all, just stating that conditions were quite different around the KC area.
      I know parking lots and sidewalks were really bad as all my crews had to treat twice yesterday. So the impacts were very high around the city with all the sleet and freezing rain. Matter of fact, there are still many road ways(back roads) that are icy right now.

    • JoeK February 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Lyitc41….Let me correct you, I said you were wrong about saying it wasn’t possible to receive that much when in fact, it was very possible and while I have yet to look at the amounts received, we came close in some areas. The point to my post was that anybody that comes on here with an absolute prediction is doing it out of personal opinion and not science. If every meteorologist in the region including the NWS service, struggled with that forecast, how could you know with certainty? It was a good guess or calculated post, I will give you that. My concern was with the many people that come here for solid and factual weather information, I didn’t want them reading your post or some others and not taking the potential of the system serious.

  13. Michael Casteel February 21, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I recorded .29″ of liquid equivalent of a combination of rain, freezing rain, and sleet! Yuck. Maryville schools closed yesterday too! Stay warm Bloggers!

  14. Jack February 21, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Latest NAM looks like it gives the city a lot of sleet with freezing rain towards the end… GFS is has the same band moving through but less QPF.. Gary you do not seem to be very concerned with this. Do you believe we will see more in the form of sleet and snow than freezing rain? Because if the NAM was correct and it was all freezing rain, some people could wind up with a half an inch of ice.

    With temps being lower I would expect maybe a sleet fest with snow further north. Let’s monitor the next model runs.

    • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Sleet can be really treacherous to drive in too

  15. Fred February 21, 2018 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I don’t trust anything the GFS says. The NAM has done really well with the pattern, especially the past few storm systems…it has been on point.

  16. LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Incredible rain shield down in Arkansas and N Texas right now. This is a wet one!

  17. Nicole February 21, 2018 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Any thoughts on Friday night into Saturday morning??

  18. Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Still no model forecast for precip from Amarillo to just west of Salina, always just east west north and south. Can’t penetrate windmill alley.

    • Roger February 21, 2018 at 11:07 am - Reply

      Yep. Yesterday Hutchinson recorded 0.03 and Salina 0.01. On the Western fringes. Drought continues to worsen.

    • MMike February 21, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply


      Did the windmill alley exist back in 2015?? Or was it just installed?

      Reason I ask, Amarillo up to where you are west of Salina had above average Nov.-April periods with regards to moisture for the winter seasons of 2015-16 and then again in 2016-17….so the last two years were above average on moisture.

      If the windmills were there those years, how did your area finish above average on moisture if your thoughts of low moisture this winter is due to the windmills.

      I’m not denying or agreeing with you on your thoughts, just talking with ya.

      • LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 11:33 am - Reply

        Wildorado’s been there since 2007 (the one west of Amarillo)

      • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm - Reply

        MMike, not sure where you got your information from, I live here and can tell you the winters or 2015-16, and 2016-17, did not produce any precipitation. Not saying that some areas didn’t get some because I don’t recall for areas I don’t live near, but we haven’t received any winter precip since the winter of 2014.

        When analyzing the effects of wind farms, there are many variables to consider. If we have a wet year, a slightly above average year lets say, who is to say that wouldn’t have been a year like 1993 had it not been for the wind farms? Under certain patterns even a wind farm gets rain, but I strongly believe and have provided evidence from studies that I have posted on this blog that the presence of wind farms can greatly alter precipitation patterns. Because the saturation of wind farms has increased in the last 5 years it will take some time for observation sites to differentiate the precip patterns. But having lived near one I have seen firsthand the impact on large storms that have strong winds associated with them as they move into a wind farm area.

        Finally, if you graph total precipitation across Kansas in 2015, 2016, or 2017 and superimpose that over a map that includes the wind farms, you’ll see dramatic reduction in precipitation over the wind farm area, it’s even very noticeable over the lone wind farm located east of Wichita. In my humble opinion there is no denying the effect. If you want to push it into the political arena, you can be assured the powers that be who are driving out the use of fossil fuels would deny the negative effects of clean energy wind farms, they would deny it all the way to their grave.

        • MMike February 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm - Reply

          I got the totals from the NWS for Salina and for Amarillo.

          Both were above average for the time frame of Nov.-April in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

          • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

            Salina isn’t near a wind farm, they did have some big rains that fired up from just west of McPherson thru Salina, yet 20 miles to the west it didn’t rain. There is a large pond 20 miles west of salina that at its peak you could ski on, today you can walk across it and not get your knees wet. Amarillo was below average in precip for 2016, but whatever.

    • Hockeynut69 February 21, 2018 at 11:41 am - Reply

      I would also like to know how the windmills didn’t blow away the precipitation that occurred during much of the fall in Amarillo. They had many work stoppages for construction in that area due to weather up until the precipitation shut off. Many that I deal with in that area expressed how wet it was and not normal for that area. Likewise, they are saying how dry it is now. Not buying that theory because it push all storms away, but nice little story.

      • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm - Reply

        Hockey, if they had so much precip why are they nearing exceptional drought? Maybe you meant a wet a spring because the fall was dry.

        I really haven’t spoken specifically about Amarillo, they could be in a favorable position relative to the closest wind farm for precipitation. So many have gone up in the last 2-3 years it’s hard to say where they are. The verdict is still out, some studies clearly indicate the effect, but regardless, from what I have witnessed at our wind farm there is definitely an effect, and precipitation has “backed up” in areas where they have received record amounts on either side of the wind farm, whereas within a certain parameter that same type events consistently produced very little precip even though the sensible track of the storms would have supported high output in the wind farm area.

      • Troy Newman February 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

        I don’t think the lack of precip in the SW Plains has anything to do with wind farms. Now perhaps there is a local effect where one location gets less than another, I don’t know. Most of the land does not have windmills on it. I have often thought that small scale geography can have an impact on rain, especially convection. I live inside an irrigation district that covers the Western 1/3 of my county. All the corn increases humidity, decreases high temps and usually increases rainfall compared to areas right outside the district. There are some hills to my West that seem to be where convection tends to fire up a lot as well. It is plausible that wind turbines have some type of impact on a location but I can’t see how that would cause a drought in multiple states. That has to be caused by the weather pattern.

  19. LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

    KAMA-Chances (albeit slight) for rain -FZRA, and sleet, SWS issued for their area for the aforementioned-must be going to turn off the wind mills today for a bit.

  20. Phillip February 21, 2018 at 11:44 am - Reply

    The whole wind mill theory is completely and utterly bogus

    • LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply


    • Clint February 21, 2018 at 11:58 am - Reply

      The next thing your going to tell me is that the world is not flat. lol

    • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is employed as a nested regional climate
      model to study the effect of a giant wind farm on warm-season precipitation in the eastern
      two-thirds of the USA. The boundary conditions for WRF are supplied by 62 years of
      NCEP/NCAR (National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric
      Research) global reanalysis. In the model, the presence of a mid-west wind farm, either giant or
      small, can have an enormous impact on the weather and the amount of precipitation for one
      season, which is consistent with the known sensitivity of long-term weather forecasts to initial

  21. Georgie February 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Anyone have any maps or numbers for tonight?

  22. Craig February 21, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 1:03 pm - Reply

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

      • Tdogg February 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

        Back to work Racy!!!

    • Urbanity February 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      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… the liberals who troll these blogs.

      • Insanity February 21, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

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

  23. Jsquibble February 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    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?

  24. LYITC41 February 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    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!

  25. Roger February 21, 2018 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    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.

  26. KS Jones February 21, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    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.

  27. f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm - Reply

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

    • Ben February 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      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.

  28. Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      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 February 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

        Shh…promoting competitor is frowned upon here

        • TDogg February 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

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

          • Richard February 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

            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.

            • Gary February 21, 2018 at 4:10 pm - Reply

              It’s our blog! But, mentioning other blogs or stations by saying, “another station says”, or “another blog states” is fine with me.


              • TDogg February 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm

                I hope you meant its “our” blog as including the bloggers and not a reference to it being “your” blog.
                I also get were you are coming from, but obviously some are looking at other outlets for information. I just dont see the big deal in comparing different opinions. Its still weather related discussion…

  29. Kurt February 21, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    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 snow. The good thing was that there was enough texture to it to give some traction.

    Sleet falling on frozen ground tends tends to stay in it’s from and can blow around easier than freezing rain. Just depends on surface temps and how much freezing/thawing happens. I think the issue would be freezing rain, or snow/sleet layered on ice that catches people off guard. It’s going to be a nuisance and probably difficult travel in areas, but so far not warning criteria.

    Hey, it’s another opportunity for some good precip, beggers can’t be choosers at the point.

  30. Richard February 21, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

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

      • Richard February 21, 2018 at 3:33 pm - Reply

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

      • JasonAtt February 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

        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%.

  31. Mandy February 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

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

    • Clint February 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

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

  32. Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

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

  33. Mr. Pete February 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Radar sure doesn’t look promising at the moment.

    • Georgie February 21, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      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 February 21, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

        Don’t promote the competitor. 😬

      • Richard February 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm - Reply

        (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 February 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm - Reply

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

    • Richard February 21, 2018 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Promising ? You want the ice Pete ?

      • Mr. Pete February 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

        Did I say ice?

        • Richard February 21, 2018 at 3:53 pm - Reply

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

  34. RickMcKC February 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

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

    • Gary February 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      The latest GFS has only 0.01 over the entire KC metro. Wow! This weather pattern continues to drive us nuts. I will do my best at figuring this out. I have a few things I am showing on the air here soon that will make sense.


      • Heat Miser February 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm - Reply

        I thought models weren’t good at predicting amounts this close to the event?

        • Mark February 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

          Within what window of time are these models actually accurate?

  35. Snowflake February 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    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 hours, meaning the bulk of the precip will have just fallen during the morning rush, making it much tougher to be treated while the rush is ongoing.

  36. Tim February 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      What model do we trust here?

      • Clint February 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

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

    • Tim February 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Exactly my question LOL

  37. Josh February 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      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…

  38. Tim February 21, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

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

    • Gary February 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      The area to watch is near Wichita, KS. I am showing this on the air now, and nothing showing up yet, but it should begin showing up within four hours.


  39. Tim February 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      are providing*

    • Clint February 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      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 February 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

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


  40. Fred February 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    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 want to be a met today or tonight…

  41. Tim February 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

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

  42. Jeanna Vossmer February 21, 2018 at 4:22 pm - Reply

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

  43. Ryan February 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Is the weekend system going to be all rain?

  44. MikeL February 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    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.

  45. Lary Gezak February 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    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

  46. cindy February 21, 2018 at 4:55 pm - Reply

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

  47. f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm - Reply

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

      • Ryan February 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm - Reply

        Yes. I’m curious about Saturday as well.

        • f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

          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 February 21, 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

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

            • f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

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

  48. Georgie February 21, 2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 5:36 pm - Reply

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


  49. f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      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.

  50. Fred February 21, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    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.

  51. f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    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.

  52. Tim February 21, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    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..

  53. Fred February 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    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…

  54. Anonymous by choice February 21, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    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.

  55. Kstater February 21, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Can you post a link for the hrrr please? Thanks

      • Richard February 21, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

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

  56. Adam February 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    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 February 21, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

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

  57. Tim February 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm - Reply

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

  58. Josh February 21, 2018 at 7:31 pm - Reply

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

  59. David February 21, 2018 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    not looking as bad as first thought

  60. Weather Hobbyist February 21, 2018 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    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!

  61. JoeK February 21, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply


    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 weather information, is a bit irresponsible. You left no ambiguity in your assertion and as a matter of fact you stated “NOBODY’S gonna get 2″ of effing ice. Trust me on this one. Nobody’s gonna get .83 or .5 or anything like that. Ain’t happening.” So when you say nobody is going to get anything like .5″ and we have reports of just shy, How is that an accurate forecast? We dodged a bullet with the changeover to sleet ( kind of) and temperatures hovering around freezing for as long as they did however, some areas in the viewing area weren’t as lucky . Hopefully, you don’t misinterpret my tone as being attacking, that certainly is not my intention.

  62. Glennkw February 21, 2018 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Looks like this one will miss us now

  63. Heat MIser February 21, 2018 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Hey Gary, are you doing a facebook live tonight?

    • Ryan February 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

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

      • Heat MIser February 21, 2018 at 7:51 pm - Reply

        thanks…must go like it

  64. f00dl3 February 21, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

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

  65. Jon Behle February 21, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

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


  66. Phillip February 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    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

  67. Jack February 21, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    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.

  68. JoeK February 21, 2018 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    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

    • Gary February 21, 2018 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      This pattern stinks. Seriously, it is so bad. The latest data came out and arguably these models have nearly zero measurable precip. I started a new blog.

  69. Richard February 21, 2018 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Gary has New blog up !

    • Richard February 21, 2018 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Sorry…did not see Garys comment above me !

  70. Terry February 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Some rain is starting to fall in WY county Kansas

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