Monday, January 22, 2018

Snow reports - what's ahead for KS

The latest winter storm is beginning to wind down for Kansas, but not before dumping HUGE amounts of snow in northwest Kansas. Here are some of the amounts:

11" - St Francis (Cheyenne County)
9" - Goodland
6.5" - 13 NW Edson (Sherman County)
4" - Oakley
2.7" - Hays
2.5" - Norton

Wind Gust 63 mph in Dodge City
59 mph gust in Garden City

What's left with the storm: The big winter storm begins to move away later today/early this evening. The back edge of the snow should be along and east of the Flint Hills as we get to 6 p.m. this evening. This storm hasn't had a ton of cold air to work with, so the moisture content of the snow is higher than some of our previous storms this winter. For 10" of snow, one would expect about 1" of liquid moisture.

We will quickly warm up through the next couple of days, so anybody with snow on the ground today will see it melting soon.

Late week storm coming in:
Once again, we see another system approaching the Plains late in the week (likely Friday). Recent trends in the computer models suggest the rain chances are likely to go east of Kansas. AGAIN!! This is very discouraging, but nothing we can do. So many of our storms have come straight in from the WEST, and we need them to come from the SOUTHWEST.

Coming up later this week I'll talk about what happens with our long range pattern heading into early February. Have a good Monday.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Two storms on the way - here's what to watch

It's been a very, very long time since we've been able to say we are in an active weather pattern, but that just might be the case for the next 10 days. We NEED both of our approaching storms to drop moisture in Kansas and surrounding areas, but it may not work out that way.

Enjoy the warmth today:
Most of the state will likely get to 60 or above Friday afternoon.

Weekend Storm (#1):
So the problem with this first storm is that it's going to go right over Kansas. Sounds promising, but it's dragging in too much dry air with it and that's going to cut into our rain and snow amounts. What would be better for us is to have the storm go about 400 miles farther south, and the chances of that happening now aren't very good. So given the projected track, most of the snow will miss us to the north. But far northwest Kansas still has a chance of getting some 2-4" amounts by later Sunday night.

Next storm to watch (#2) - weekend of Jan. 26-28:
Another system will approach from the west and possibly develop into a nice storm just east of the Rockies. It's a little early to say much about the possible storm, but temperatures will warm enough as the storm closes in that I would expect a chance for rain to start, then maybe a changeover to some snow. This storm will be different than others because it may develop right over our heads. We will see.

This has been the year for snow in the deep South. Look at some of the snowfall amounts now halfway through meteorological winter. These areas only average about 1" of snow during the winter, but have had 3-4 times the normal amount. For Kansas, most of us are running about 5-8" below normal on snow, but that will change this weekend as the storm rolls on through. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January heat wave will be followed by a storm

Thanks for checking out the blog. If you are reading this for the first time, thanks for giving it a try. I do my best to keep you ahead of what we are seeing in the forecast models, both short and longer range.

Cold Now:
This latest cold snap covers almost all of the country, including the deep South. For the second time this year, places that don't normally get much snow are seeing it again. Look at this picture from Southside, AL (just outside of Birmingham). It's not much, but those areas don't normally see much snow. And huge flakes yesterday in Huntsville. These places average about .5-1" of snow yearly. And this is their 2nd good storm this winter. 

Warming Returns to Kansas:
We will see a big jump in temperatures for the remainder of the week. It's a little hard to imagine 60° weather after having so much cold weather this week. But it's a west-southwest wind that does the trick. Anytime you see the wind coming from the south, it almost always means a jump in temperatures.


Watching the weekend storm:
Good news - we see a storm on the horizon that (unless something MAJOR changes) should bring rain and snow to the Plains. Bad news - this storm is going to be a huge headache for the recovery efforts in California after the mudslides. They will get hit Friday. 

Based on the track we see now, this area of low pressure should develop and strengthen in the Oklahoma panhandle. It would then track toward Wichita before lifting toward KC. This storm will connect and intercept Gulf of Mexico moisture, so we could see higher snowfall amounts than with any other particular storm this season in the Plains. We still don't know the exact path of the storm (because it hasn't even formed yet), so when it finally begins to move over land into the weekend, we will be able to narrow down our forecast even more. But if you have travel plans this weekend, watch out. This storm could have some very big impacts on Kansas.

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