Happy Thanksgiving: A Cut-Off Low, Weatherman’s Woe

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Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The late Dr. George Fishbeck, Los Angeles weatherman in the 1970s, used this term, “Cut-off low, weatherman’s woe”, when I was growing up in Southern California.  This storm is already causing headaches for meteorologists, and as usual if you live near Kansas city it’s a nightmare of a forecast. Here are the advisories that have been issued:

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There are so many watches, warnings, and advisories, including a freezing rain advisory for areas just northwest of KC, but as usual KC is in the middle of, well, in the middle with all of the advisories all around us.

It’s not just the cut-off low that has our attention, how about one of the latest and strongest hurricanes ever seen at this time of the year.

Hurricane Sandra Forms:

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Here is a discussion from the National Hurricane Center:

“Sandra has intensified during the past few hours. The eye has
become quite distinct and is surrounded by an area of very deep
convection. CIMSS ADTs have been oscillating around 6.5, which
is the same as the T-number provided by TAFB. On this basis, the
initial intensity has been increased to 125 kt, making Sandra a
category 4 hurricane.

Most likely, Sandra has already reached its peak intensity, and
although the ocean is still warm, the hurricane is expected to
soon encounter very strong southwesterly shear, which should result
in rapid weakening. This is reflected in both the GFS and the ECMWF
global models which separate the mid-level circulation for the
surface center in about 36 to 48 hours due to shear. Sandra is
expected to be a weakening storm by the time its center passes south
of the southern portion the Baja California peninsula in about 48
hours. The cyclone is forecast to be a dissipating remnant low over
mainland Mexico in about 3 days.”

Moisture from Sandra will get pulled and injected into the flow around the cut-off low.

Not only am I emcee of the Plaza Lighting, where 100,000 people are usually coming out for this tradition, the 86th annual, but I am also the official meteorologist. Here is what I just sent to the Plaza Lighting team, and with this lightning map of the past hour:

Weather Forecast Time-Line:

Now-Noon: 62 to 64 degrees with a south breeze at 10-25 mph. A few light to moderate rain showers moving across.

Noon – 3 PM: Rain increasing just north and west of Kansas City and it will begin moving in. The wind will begin shifting to the northwest, but it doesn’t appear that the wind will increase until after the lighting. Temperatures begin falling from the 60s into the 50s, then into the 40s.

3 PM – 6 PM: We go into the heavy band of rain. A thunderstorm can’t be ruled out, but like what is on radar now there may only be one or two within the band. The heavy rain will be the main factor with the wind out of the north or northwest at 5-15 mph. Temperatures drop into the 40s.

6 PM -7PM: A 100% chance of rain, heavy rain is likely. A thunderstorm is possible. North to northwest winds 5-15 mph, not very strong, with temperatures dropping through the 40s, possibly down to 40 degrees.

7 PM -8 PM: A 100% chance of rain, heavy at times. Temperatures drop to 39 degrees with the northwest wind beginning to increase by around 8 or later.

This is how it looks. We can discuss this in our conference calls. As long as there is no significant lightning, I suggest having the show as planned. If the winds stay light at first, this would keep the stage under cover. We will just have to see how this all plays out. It is just incredible that these six hours are the hours of the worst weather.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 9.46.21 AM

Okay, so Happy Thanksgiving. We will look at the next few disturbances rotating around the cut-off low in tomorrow’s blog. I have to get ready to get wet.

Gary

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clint
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clint

6z nam gives Kc accumulating snow

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

Freezing rain advisory issued Johnson County KS. Through 6pm Friday.

Rockdoc
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Rockdoc

Indian Creek is now in flood stage advisory. Expected to go above 15 feet with flooding of low lying areas including walk/bike paths. Noticed the I-35 line for freezing rain on earlier runs,but it could drift eastward tomorrow night. I’m afraid the ice/sleet will be with us on and off through Sunday:(

f00dl3
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f00dl3

Now below freezing at +700ft altitude at KOJC Olathe Johnson County

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

The heavy rain is just now here from what I can see

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Check out the latest profiles.

KOJC has the following

~5.3k ft: Temp 46, Dewpoint 46
~3.8k ft: Temp 47, Dewpoint 47
~1.9k ft: Temp 42, Dewpoint 42
~700 ft: Temp 33, Dewpoint 33
Surface: Temp 35, Dewpoint 34

700 ft temps near freezing – would this cause sleet as the precip falls from 3800 ft where it’s near 50 into a shallow sub-freezing layer at 700 ft and then hits the ground just above freezing?

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Anyone else noticing that all the models are trending for I-35 being the cut-off line for icing – and a sharp gradient where Lenexa, Olathe, and Shawnee could have 0.5″+ of freezing rain while areas east of I-35 have just rain? Not saying this to hype it or anything – just a lot of NAM runs and now GFS runs are kind of agreeing on a area of heavy precip moving through in the AM hours and it being frozen along and west of I-35.

Thomas
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Thomas

You are right temps above the surface are warmer. http://www.weather.gov/rnk/Measure_Icing

Myles
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Myles

Curious here…with temps eventually dropping below freezing how come the forecast is only for freezing rain and not snow? Thinking it’s got something to do with the temps above the surface but not sure.

David
Guest
David

exactly that. Check out some soundings to look at temperature profiles. The NWS does this everyday at 12z and 00z. The closest NWS office for upper air runs near KC are Topeka and Springfield, MO. Look at the 850 mb to surface temperatures.. It will normally be above freezing for freezing rain and below freezing at the surface

Michael Casteel
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Michael Casteel

Got over an inch of rain so far and still coming down! Temps are now at 34. Getting close to the magical 32! Yikes
Michael

Rockdoc
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Rockdoc

Where you at Mike? Up north I assume? Gosh if it gets colder and there is good thickness of colder air aloft you could get some snow:)

Michael Casteel
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Michael Casteel

Maryville, MO

stl78
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stl78

Freezing rain advisory

David Wichman
Guest
David Wichman

It’s 33 degrees and raining steadily on the northwest side on manhattan as we speak. This will be interesting to see just how cold we get. 5 more degrees of cooling and roads are going to be a sheet of ice. Be safe everyone!

Thomas
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Thomas

Cold front coming through north Kansas city. Temp went from 63 to 46 in a matter of minutes.

Rockdoc
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Rockdoc

This suggests the cold front may be pushing in earlier than expected. Are the winds? picking up too? Heavy rain approaching from the south. Could be a collision set up soon ❄❄❄

Thomas
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Thomas

Winds are still light about 10 or so.

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

I was wondering the same thing. Would they really throw the switch in a pouring rain?

Ben
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Ben

Gary why not move the ceremony to tomorrow night? I know it takes a lot of planning and preparation for something like this but who wants to stand in the pouring rain?

Rockdoc
Guest
Rockdoc

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! Rain has already started here in South PV. Kitties finally came inside although a wee bit wet. Sure glad James Bond is running most of today since it is so dreary. Boy, I sure don’t envy Gary with this chaotic forecast on top of the Plaza Lighting. Maybe the weather Gods will come through and it will dry out for 2 hours or so? 12z model runs for NAM and GFS are pretty close for today, but heading into tomorrow they differ where the freezing rain sets up. GFS keeps most of KC in the clear while… Read more »

Jack
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Jack

Happy Thanksgiving, Gary! Are you not going to say anything about the ice to our west? Or if we have any chances to get into it? NWS has up to a half an inch of ice from Topeka and westward!

Michael Casteel
Guest
Michael Casteel

We are at 38 up here in Maryville. I hope the temps stay above 32, dont need any ice!
Michael

MikeL
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MikeL

My temp in SW Topeka is 42.6F at 11AM. It was 64F around 9AM, so a 22 degree drop since then.

Bill in Lawrence
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Bill in Lawrence

Quick observation….

The front has come through my little patch of earth…our temp. is now around 48 degrees with the wind from the NW but not real strong…maybe 10-12 MPH and we have some decent rain coming down. You can sure tell the difference outside!!!! Manhattan is currently at 38 degrrees so it will be interesting to follow the day!!!

Again…Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Bill in Lawrence

Heat Miser
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Heat Miser

Well, well, well…Freezing Rain Advisory for us here in Lawrence. I hope we don’t get ice as nobody, not even snow lovers like me, like the ice. There’s nothing good or enjoyable about it. Ice is kind of like the super annoying jerk who everyone knows and has to tolerate from time to time, but have just a little part of us who wouldn’t mind if someone beat the living hell out of. BOO, DOWN WITH ICE!!!!

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Hmm – Sandra, Patrica, LRC… hmmmm.

terry mercer
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terry mercer

Gary why do we sometimes get cut of low’s?

Rickmckc
Guest
Rickmckc

Hey Terry … take a look here for your answer.

http://www.theweatherprediction.com/blocking/

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mr. Pete
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Mr. Pete

Wow the radar is lighting up! Is is coming sooner than anticipated?

Bill in Lawrence
Guest
Bill in Lawrence

Gary: Happy Thanksgiving to you sir!!! The radar has really lit up between Lawrence and Salina and looking at the latest surface charts you can really see where the front is located. The front is through Manhattan which has a north wind and temperature of 41 and currently Concordia, Kansas is reporting snow and 35 degrees. Will be so interesting to follow the progress of the front over the next 12 hours or so…it is for sure not moving fast and furious but more like slow deliberate pace….kind of like a race between me and my youngest son!!! 🙂 Well..here… Read more »