A Foggy Start To The Day

/A Foggy Start To The Day

A Foggy Start To The Day

Good morning everyone,

The day begins with fog and low clouds across all of Kansas City this morning  Low clouds that spread across the sky are called stratus clouds. Fog is a stratus cloud that is on the ground. You can see the extensive low clouds on the 2-4 satellite picture that can be seen at this link:  The 2-4 Satellite picture  Here is an explanation of the shortwave minus long wave IR:

  • Shortwave minus longwave IR:
    Shortwave IR images only scratched the surface of the importance of the shortwave IR channel data. It was stated that the shortwave IR channel is sensitive to both reflected AND emitted IR energy at about 3.9 microns. While the sun is illuminating clouds, a very large portion of the measurements MAY be contributed by reflected energy. I use the word may because it depends on many things. The amount of reflected energy depends upon the relative angle between the sun, clouds, and satellite. It also depends upon the reflecting material: ocean, land, sandy deserts, snow-covered ground, ice particles and water droplets in clouds. It is these last 3 items which we care about most. These data have potential to discriminate clouds composed of water versus those composed of ice particles. A general rule of thumb: clouds composed of water REFLECT much more shortwave IR energy than clouds composed of ice or snow-covered ground. The amount of reflection is dependent upon the size of the water drops and ice particles. At night, reflection is not contributing to the measurements and any differences between water and ice/snow are purely emission. The water drops EMIT less energy at 3.9 microns than at 11 microns whereas ice particles EMIT nearly the same amount at the two wavelengths. Therefore subtracting the shortwave IR data from the longwave IR data produces negative values for clouds composed of water and near-zero values for ice/snow clouds. So what? Well, if you work on aircraft icing problems like we do, this data can be a goldmine. These data are also useful in detecting low stratus clouds and fog.

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 7.20.09 AM

The dark colors show where the low clouds are located and the KC KSHB-TV viewing area is pretty much all encompassed by these clouds.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • This morning: Cloudy with fog. The stratus deck will stay thick through around noon. Temperatures near 50°
  • This afternoon: A south breeze increasing to around 10-15 mph will help move the clouds north and the sun should “burn” them off. The sun should come out with a high around 71°
  • Friday: Mostly sunny and becoming humid with south winds 10-25 mph. High:  83°
  • Saturday:  Periods of clouds with a chance of thunderstorms. The chance is 20% during the morning increasing to a 90% chance during the late afternoon or evening. High:  81°
  • Sunday:  Decreasing clouds with northwest winds 10-20 mph and decreasing by evening. Dry for the Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting KC games.  High:  60°

Saturday’s trend:


There has been a trend on all of the models for the storm moving across the middle of the nation on Saturday to just zip by very quickly.  This map above shows this trend well. The cold front will have already passed KC by around 6 or 7 PM and it would be moving fast. This would limit the chance of thunderstorms to a short window from 4 PM to 8 PM with the severe weather risk a bit lower due to the surface low forecast to be way up in Wisconsin. Let’s see if these models continue this trend today.

We will look into the pattern and the thunderstorm risk in tomorrows blog and on 41 Action News tonight. Thank you for sharing in this weather experience and let us know if you have any questions. Go to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


2017-10-13T07:54:48+00:00October 12th, 2017|General|21 Comments


  1. Austin October 12, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Gary, if you have time, could you tell me what to expect from the weather in Lewisburg, WV on Oct 25-28. I’ll be there for a Jeep Jamboree. Just wondering muddy or dry and warm or cold. Thank you sir.

    • Three7s October 12, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

      He won’t know for sure because the pattern is brand new. Until the pattern cycles, it’s anyone’s guess, and that won’t happen until December at the earliest.

  2. Urbanity October 12, 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Gary if the LRC is legit then is it possible we are seeing the writing on the wall? October looks predictable with a stagnant weather pattern developing as we speak. This weekends storm looks weak for 95% of Kansas, and the storm path has shifted far north. What gives? Have we just witnessed a pattern change with very little gulf moisture and no blocking, with a huge ridge setting up across western Kansas thru central SD? Is it possible to predict with at least 50% confidence that winter west of Topeka is already doomed to dryness?

    • Anonymous October 12, 2017 at 8:18 am - Reply

      We’ve had plenty of rain all year..that isn’t magically going to stop now. We’ll have a decent amount of snow for a change this winter.

      • Richard October 12, 2017 at 10:07 am - Reply

        Yes it can magically stop because it is a new pattern.

        Now, Gary says he “somewhat” disagrees. Which means he somewhat agrees ?

        Lets wait. Its always a waiting game.

        • Anonymous October 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

          Nonsense…we’ve had plenty of rain this year…that isn’t going to suddenly just stop. Silly. We will get plenty precip this winter.

          • Richard October 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

            Not nonsense at all. New pattern means new pattern.
            Who are you. Should put your name in

          • joe October 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply


            While the rain/moisture cannot “magically stop” the pattern can and is changing thus, the abundance of moisture we have been receiving will change to some extent, could be more of the same or less? Areas like St Joe will hopefully make up their deficit with such changes. As for myself, I am feeling confident in the signs so far in October that we will in fact experience a much more exciting winter. I don’t place much stock in the modeling of the AO and NAO as it is right now. If memory serves, last year, models continued to show both AO and NAO going deep negative of which, they didn’t with the exception of one or two times and for a short duration. Maybe Gary can fact check that last statement for me. regardless, it is fun to sit back, prognosticate and learn 😀

            • Gary October 12, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

              You are correct. The pattern didn’t favor AO or NAO negative. Will it this year? I believe we will know as we will be able to identify if blocking over Greenland is possible. It is still a bit too early to tall.


    • Gary October 12, 2017 at 8:41 am - Reply

      I am somewhat in disagreement with your conclusions here. Gulf moisture is going to surge in here tonight and Friday with dew points near 70 degrees in October, which is very high. This will happen by tomorrow night. We just had a storm system earlier this week, and here is another one. It is not just possible to predict what will happen west of Topeka, but we will do our best and likely be quite accurate. But, we can not make such conclusions yet. This storm coming our way appears it will zip by faster. But, it is not just one storm. It is the entire pattern that will cycle back through. So, as I always say, be patient. Let’s see how the rest of the pattern looks in the coming weeks and let’s try not to jump to conclusions on one storm or one week.


    • Three7s October 12, 2017 at 9:12 am - Reply

      I’m going to have to disagree here. I remember October last year being warm and bone dry, which was the writing on the wall for the rest of winter. So far, we’ve had days far colder than I remember last year and more rain than last year, which wasn’t hard to do as I was saying. If the pattern turns dry and warm for the rest of the month, sure that’s a problem, but just these few systems and cool days shows more promise to me than the last cycle completely.

    • Urbanity October 12, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Gary look at the stats below, has the weather pattern really changed at all??

      For Olathe, KS, last year there were 5 rain events for the month of October that exceeded .10″, curiously the rains occurred on the 4-7th and the 12th, there was a minor rain event on the 10th, then it went dry until a .25″ on the 26th, and one rain event on Nov 2nd of 1.23″. Those were all the events during the LRC cycle, Oct 1 – Nov 10. This year so far, even though the amounts are higher, the dates remain about the same.

      Last year in Salina, there was precip reported 9 times during October, total precip was 2.28″, precip totaling more than .10 occurred 3 times. In November there was one rain event of .10″ or more on Nov 7th (.46″). If it remains dry throughout the remainder of this month there will have been 3 precip events over .10 for the month, but again the dates are the same.

      It seems as if the pattern that produces weather hasn’t really changed yet, the strength of the systems have increased, but the duration and timing has not. How can this be? I mean how can a different cycle produce a 3 day weather event in October during the exact days one year prior? It may not mean a thing, just an observation.

      • Gary October 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

        The pattern has massively changed, and we will share more with all of you in the coming weeks. This is so very different from the past few years, but we are just a few days into this new pattern, only around a week or so into it.

        Good facts on the precipitation events. Keep monitoring closely. There is a lot more to it.


  3. jeffnks October 12, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Just wondering what your thoughts were on this Gary. The word is going around from several meteorologists / enthusiasts that a typhoon in the Pacific Ocean is going to recurve northeast and could dislodge a major cold air outbreak from the Plains east late month into early November.

    • Urbanity October 12, 2017 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Jeffnks, something like that happened in 2014, where did you hear about this going on now?

  4. Rockdoc October 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Some interesting information regarding the development of computer models and weather forecasting. There is a model that was developed by Panasonic, the electronics company, that did much better in forecasting Hurricane Irma 6 days out in terms of where she would hit. The model verified within 50-100 miles of the track! IBM is also developing a weather model called Deep Thunder. You can read more here about what’s new.


    One other tidbit for computer geeks. NOAA also has plans for upgrading the GFS, and “the primary and backup computer system is set to go from 2.8 petaflops to 4.2 petaflops of computing power. In addition, the agency is upgrading how the model ingests and processes weather data, which could yield big improvements.” Gotta love super computer term…..petaflops. It is the processing speed of the system “where a petaflop is the ability of a computer to do one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS). Additionally, a petaflop can be measured as one thousand teraflops”. Essentially it is like having a massive number of computers running in parallel and all working on the same problem.

  5. Richard October 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply


    The NWS Kansas City on their fb page has us in possible severe weather Sat afternoon/evening but no time frame shown.
    Do you know what time ? Earliest time

  6. Frankie October 12, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    18z GFS has a nice shot of cold air hitting the plains end of the month into Nov. Overall, it does look like the bottom third of the month will be colder

  7. Nick October 13, 2017 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Usually anything after day ten on the GFS I see as eye candy. the Roulette wheel is a spinnin’ where will the ball land?????????( if it lands on warm and dry again I’m leaving this casino, lol :p)

    • f00dl3 October 13, 2017 at 7:25 am - Reply

      Wait 6 minutes first. 😛

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