Michael Destruction & Possible Snowflakes In KC

/Michael Destruction & Possible Snowflakes In KC

Michael Destruction & Possible Snowflakes In KC

Good morning bloggers,

“It feels like a nightmare,” Linda Albrecht, a councilwoman in Mexico Beach Florida, said of the catastrophic damage in her town. “Somebody needs to come up and shake you and wake you up.”

Major Hurricane Michael is the top weather story.  Fatalities appear to be very low, and this is incredible given the strength of this system. As of my writing this story, only two deaths were reported. Unfortunately the destruction is considerable in many cities as Major Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 8.53.26 AM

Michael began forming in the old LRC on October 2.  It then got organized just as the new cycling pattern was settling in, and it then got caught in the new cycling weather pattern that we will be experiencing for the next year.  It was fascinating to watch unfold as it entered this years Weather2020 forecast hot spot for the season. All four land falling named storm systems hit the predicted hot spot from last December.  Now, the jet stream will be strengthening and dropping south in the next few weeks as winter approaches. There will likely be two or three more named storms this season, and the chance of another one hitting the United States will get lower and lower as the weeks go by.


This map above shows the 500 mb flow valid Saturday morning.  This developing pattern has my attention this weekend. Could Kansas City see some early snowflakes this year?  There is a disturbance forecast to develop and intensify over Idaho and drop south.  Some separation in the flow is predicted by some of the models as you can see below:


Separation in the flow develops, and an upper level low tries to form just west of Denver, CO on Sunday.  This puts KC back into southwest flow.  If there is enough separation, and that trough (almost upper low) strengthens just a bit more, it will create an organized band of precipitation Sunday and Sunday night.  Some of the models, including this European Model below, is modeling a band of snow as the precipitation is coming to an end by early Monday morning. The blue shows the precipitation type as snow. Temperatures are forecast to be above freezing, so no accumulation would be expected, and we just need to watch this closely.


Before this storm arrives, there is another system coming our way tonight and Friday. It will be difficult to not turn on the furnace tomorrow. I haven’t turned mine on yet, have you?  Take a look at this:


This first system, on the heals of a very wet beginning to this years pattern, also shows some potential for snowflakes over northern Missouri Friday.  It likely will be too warm for this one. That pink dashed line shows where the 540 thickness line is, and that is often the rain/snow line.  We can also see Michael intensifying as it moves out over the open water of the Atlantic Ocean, and Sergio moving across the Gulf of California. What a fascinating pattern we have to monitor!

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  The sun should break out. It was down to 40 degrees early this morning with a few spots in the 30s.  Expect northwest winds 5-15 mph. High:  51°
  • Tonight:  Increasing clouds. A 90% chance of rain by morning. Low:  42°
  • Friday:  Cloudy with a 100% chance of rain.  Rainfall amounts up around 0.25″ are expected. High:  46°
  • Saturday:  Mostly sunny. High:  57°
  • Sunday:  Cloudy with a 90% chance of light rain, possibly mixed with snowflakes by Monday morning.  High: 41°

Have you read some of my forecasts in the past week. I haven’t written anything like these in years for the KC region.

Big Changes Next Week:


This last map shows the weather pattern on Sunday night, when the Chiefs will host a Sunday Night Football game against Cincinnati.  The Bengals come to town and I can only imagine how loud it will be as we cheer on our superstar Patrick Mahomes as he leads the Chiefs at home a week from Sunday. We have a big battle in New England this Sunday, and the weather looks good!

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog. Let’s share in our weather experience by going to the Weather2020 blog.  Have a great day!


2018-10-12T07:43:23+00:00October 11th, 2018|General|53 Comments


  1. Brad October 11, 2018 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Better start the snowflake contest a little early this year gary

    • Gary October 11, 2018 at 7:44 am - Reply

      The plan was to start it on Monday, I am not sure if it is set up yet.

    • Snow Miser October 11, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

      I was just thinking the same thing. Wouldn’t it be funny if we got measurable precipitation before we even had the snowflake contest?

      • Snow Miser October 11, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

        Oops I meant measurable snow.

    • Numb3rsGuy October 11, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Isn’t the snowflake contest for the first 1″ of snow? Or do they do a 2nd category for first flakes/trace too?

  2. Terry October 11, 2018 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Gary what’s the Big changes next week ? Is that good for us or what does that mean by when you say that ?

    • Tony October 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Huh? I’m lost.

  3. Snow Miser October 11, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Oops I meant measurable snow.

  4. Frankie October 11, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

    The FV3 is hanging on to sub-freezing temps and giving us a band of 1-3″ of accumulation. No other model is showing this, yet we are supposed to be referring to this as our new GFS. Should we give it any credibility? It has been persistent in this snow forecast before any other models caught on.

    • snowflakeparkville October 11, 2018 at 8:05 am - Reply

      I definitely want it to be true! Earliest accumulating snow on record and latest ice day on record in a single year! Let’s go for it!

    • Three7s October 11, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Nope, it has a cold bias, as mentioned before. We might get some flakes, but no way we get accumulating snow.

    • Heat Miser October 11, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply


  5. MikeL October 11, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply

    “Hi guys! Remember me?!?” – October Surprise 10/22/96

    • RossBo October 11, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

      I was there. Driving a school bus and fishtailing in the deep snow taking kids home from a late early dismissal.

    • Numb3rsGuy October 11, 2018 at 10:26 am - Reply

      I’m going to age myself a little here, but I was also there. I was a few days shy of my 4th birthday and my dad stayed home from work to play with me in the snow. He was pulling me on a sled in the backyard in near whiteout conditions, when we heard a cracking noise above us. Since the leaves were still on the trees the snow became too heavy and a sizable tree branch broke off above me and my father yanked the sled and flung me out of the way before it hit the ground. Although I was a small child, I still remember it vividly.

    • Kathy October 11, 2018 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Don’t wish for accumulating snow this early. I am old…and still working. Getting to and from work during the October surprise was a nightmare. Folks in established neighborhoods with big trees suffered not only power outages for days and weeks, but also damage to their homes. There are still a lot of leaves to come off those trees yet, and any accumulating ice or snow this early would be devastating. I don’t mind snow coming down which doesn’t stick, but hopefully the surfaces won’t be cold enough for anything sticking. On another subject, a few days ago the head forecaster on furry channel alluded to another “flamethrower” after this cold spell, yet I’ve not heard anyone else say anything. Just curious what model he could be looking at?

      • Johnny October 11, 2018 at 11:32 am - Reply

        That was a major ice event, this would be snow that would melt as soon as it hit the ground. Entirely different scenario

        • Gary October 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm - Reply

          As someone else mentioned, there was no freezing rain at all. It was all snow.

      • Heat Miser October 11, 2018 at 11:43 am - Reply

        Don’t want ice, but want some nice snow storms this winter

  6. GeorgeEKC October 11, 2018 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Any thoughts yet on how things are shaping up for the KC Marathon next Saturday morning?

  7. Kstater October 11, 2018 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Latest GFS still shows snow on sunday including accumulations of a few inches just west of Kansas City. It also shows quite the snow storm in southwestern kansas for this early.

    • Tim in Lone Jack October 11, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

      I watched that live. Freaking intense..

  8. Richard October 11, 2018 at 11:18 am - Reply

    That drought monitor. Hard to tell but is it showing WyCo in D2 ?
    And JoCo in D1 ?
    When I zoom in it is hard to tell since it does not show counties.

    • Snow Miser October 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Keep clicking on the map and you can get to each state:

      • A1hoops October 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

        I find it hard to believe we get 10-15 inches of rain in a week but yet still classified as severe drought

        • Heat Miser October 11, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

          lol..yeah, thats just silly…drought is over for our area

      • Richard October 11, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

        Most of JoCo (Olathe) in DO…abnormaly dry …we were 12 inches below norm up until lat Thurs
        North/west JoCo in D1
        And WyCo In D2 !
        Hard to believe there are any colors at all after all that rain.
        But drought monitor is subjective since not everyone gets rain.

  9. Nate October 11, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply


    • Kstater October 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      I mean is it an October surprise since it’s in the forecast? Last time it wasn’t forecasted that’s why it was a surprise….

      • Three7s October 11, 2018 at 4:02 pm - Reply

        It would still be a surprise because most forecasters likely wouldn’t take a snow chance seriously in October, even if the models are showing it like some are for Monday.

  10. KSU student October 11, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I was not born until 1998 so I have no memory of the October surprise in 1994. Does anyone have any idea if that snowstorm would have been accurately forecasted in 2018 with today’s knowledge and technology? Or was the forecast in 1994 just blown by the meteorologists?

    • Gary October 11, 2018 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      KSU Student,

      No, it likely would not be forecast today either. It was a very strong storm, a deep upper level low that tracked perfectly. It didn’t snow in Nebraska and Iowa, it was in a strip near KC. I was working that day, and I thought rain may change to snow. We hadn’t had our first freeze yet, and it did drop to 32 degrees while it was snowing like crazy, so our first freeze was that October 22nd afternoon. It then warmed up a degree or two during the evening, and 6 to 8 inches of very wet and heavy snow caused the trees to crash down, and thus all of the power outages.

      On that day, I was doing the noon show, and went for 1 – 3 inches after it changed over. I then changed it to 2 to 4″, and then finally to 4 to 8 inches after we got cup to 3″. It was a nowcasting situation that could not have been predicted before. It also rained over 2″ in that event before it changed to snow. It was a powerful storm.

      This situation is not even anything like that at all.


  11. Weatherfreaker October 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    October of 1996 was a snow event, not ice…the trees came down because they could not hold the weight of the snow on the leaves that still had not fallen. It was a mess. Massive power outages and closed roads.

  12. Nick October 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Yea there is another met in the KC market that loves the “flamethrower” terms for usually patterns with the jet stream that have a pacific flow of air and alot of down sloping from the Rockies, ( usually during the cooler seasons) the last map that Gary showed kind of looked like that a bit from a first glance, but I know in the past sometimes the other met would call out flame thrower one night and then a few nights later that pattern would never materialize. But we will see it is early in this brand new LRC.

  13. Snow Miser October 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Now the NAM is showing a bit of snow …. TOMORROW MORNING!!! 😮

  14. Anonymous October 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    whats the cycle? days? thanks

    • Gary October 11, 2018 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      We will not know for many more weeks. You must go through a complete first cycle and then verify the second cycle before we will know for sure. This takes until mid-December even though there will be many clues before then.

      And, bloggers, very interesting, as the GFS is coming in, for the first time in years I am doing a dprog/dT to compare the past few model runs. This run is already coming in a bit deeper on the Sunday system. In the past three or four seasons, it always went the other way around, where we would see the storm fade away, not increase. This is another good sign, and be very careful. As, there is a lot more to analyze in the coming weeks before jumping to conclusions.

  15. BSMike October 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    So this little rain tomorrow next time through could be a 2-3 inch kinda storm next time possibly.

  16. Johnny October 11, 2018 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Gerard did not seem confident at all on any potential snow

    • Heat Miser October 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Nobody is…the most I’ve heard is that some flakes might mix in with the rain.

  17. BSMike October 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    He never is! Don’t like watching him really. Just my opinion.

  18. Richard October 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Just saw mention of another trop. depression forming in the Caribbean ?
    Possibly hurricane Nadine. Will it take the same path as Michael?

  19. Tony October 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm - Reply


  20. Mr. Pete October 11, 2018 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Gary to answer your question, no I have not turned on my furnace yet.

  21. Stl78(winon,mn) October 11, 2018 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Saw our first flakes today and it was cold and blustery with WC in the 20s. Not ready for winter..want more fall!

  22. KS Jones October 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    The forecast from Weather Underground shows we could get from one to three inches of snow beginning noon Sunday.

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