Good year! The New Year begins on a very wintery note in the region… plunging temperatures… declining wind chills… increasing winds… and so far a mixed bag of frozen precipitation in the region. Lots of sleet… maybe snow… and the mess expected on the roads in early 2022.
This “storm” won’t be the biggest snow machine in the end… but an increasing area of snow and sleet is moving through the area as I type this… and that will kick off the snow season in. the region. So far, the amounts of snow and mainly ice pellets have been less than an inch until 10 a.m. We could double or triple in some areas in the next 6 hours or so. (update… not happening… dry slot machine race in…)
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Saturday: A mixture of sleet then snow. Unpleasant cold and windy with temperatures dropping to single digits later in the day. The snowfall will likely end up before evening in the pavement 2 ″ south to north. Wind chills below zero.
Tonight: Light snow falls before midnight … then cloudy with clearing before dawn. Minimums close to around 0 ° … which may only occur after dawn
Tomorrow: Sunny and cold with highs approaching 25 °
Monday: Seasonal with highs in the mid-1930s above the snowmelt
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I didn’t like this storm from the start… and that hasn’t changed. It’s a stormy mess… in various pieces that combines with cold air… very cold air. There is a layer of “hot” air in the air, which sometimes makes it difficult to detect what is falling… and the end result is a general mess on the roads.
It’s still funny… all the expected impacts are happening as we thought they would all week… almost on time actually. Mixed precipitation developed overnight… in patches… covered the cold road surfaces… well…
The expected impacts were therefore well anticipated.
I am my worst critic when it comes to forecasting snowfall. I want to be so specific and so specific on the cards I show and post on social media. I kind of have my own way of doing things… sometimes they work really well… and sometimes they don’t… the life of a meteorologist.
So far we’ve had around 1 dusting in the metro. It was expected … and most of the snow that accumulates, especially for areas north and west of I-70 and 435/35, moves as I go. type this.
This group, as I type (around 10am) can add about 1 to the totals, especially in the favored areas west of I-35 and north of I-70 … one more times, as we have said many times this week. Behind that wave is a drier air gap that will shut things up for much of the afternoon I think. Then we’ll wait and see if we can add another 1 ″ or so tonight with the last part of the system entering the zone.
If the roads aren’t good now… they’re going to get worse over the next 2-4 hours.
The cold is coming too… in force.
The last map… showing temperatures in red… shows it well.
It is unpleasant cold air coming down the valley of the MO river. To the north where the air is colder and deeper (this is the key) through the atmosphere, more / all snow falls towards Maryville, MO
For the south and southeast part of the metro… there is still a warm layer (above 32 °) in the atmosphere that will keep the sleet on for a few more hours as I type this (10am). By the time this main wave of precipitation recedes… the atmosphere will be ready to fully support the snow… so now is not the best time for heavy accumulations in the Lees Summit area and south.
Further south, there is a lot of ice this morning and slippery roads.
Ultimately… it will become a 1-2 ″ system for most of the metro. Closer to 1 ″ or so far south side… if that… and maybe 2+ ”north of Platte County and north of Clay Co. Higher amounts are further north of KC. My first thoughts for most of the week were correct. I got a little worried about the wave coming in this morning… and I increased the values on the north side of the metro by about 1 or so… it probably won’t work.
It’s crazy when you think about how we get ice pellets as the temperatures drop to around 10-15 ° on the surface. It is this nose of “hot” air annoying above us which is at the origin of this headache. It happens here on occasion. The flakes melt in this layer and turn into small granules of ice as they descend into the arctic air at the surface. The depth of the arctic air at the surface… determines whether we have sleet or freezing rain… we’ve seen both overnight and this morning so far.
All the models were crap I think at different times. The GFS was probably the worst… EURO had its moments too… especially closer to the finish. NAM was also a mess a few days ago. There were nuggets of good total precipitation forecast though… and most models showed things were going to be different in terms of accumulation north of I-70 and west of I-. 35… and it still seems plausible.
There is another potential snow generator later Wednesday through Thursday with another spill of cooler air over the plains. We need to watch for early morning lows on Thursday IF we have new snow on the ground.
I’m exhausted… and I’ll take a blog break tomorrow, that’s for sure. I want to summarize the statistics for 2021 also on Monday or Tuesday.
Stay Warm… Be Safe On The Go… and Happy New Year.
Matthew Smith from the south with that cold image to start the New Year!
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