Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Changes coming to Kansas - close call on snow

This will probably come as no surprise after all of the warm weather we've had this month, but look at some of these stats:

16 days this month with highs above normal
5 days (counting today) with record highs reported in Kansas
Wichita - tied for 4th warmest
Dodge City - 4th warmest
Goodland - 3rd warmest

Wichita - 6 days in a row with highs above 60° (record in Feb. is 9)

California has been blasted with so many wet and powerful storms. Take a look at the radar estimates and you can see that parts of San Francisco and northern California have had over 5/6 inches of rain. This is important because that western storm is headed for Kansas by Thursday. Once it gets here, our weather will be changing and colder weather is headed back.

We will be on record watch the next few days. At least for today, here are the numbers to watch. Most records will be in western Kansas.

Warm temperatures continue Wednesday, even with a front starting to slide down into northern Kansas.

The storm coming into Kansas on Thursday will increase the wind and the clouds. There's a good chance we will have some rain showers over northern Kansas Thursday night. It could be mixed with some brief periods of snow too, but the majority of the snow will likely miss us to the north in Nebraska.

The next 10-15 days look pretty active in the Plains. Along with the stormier pattern will come more big swings in temperatures. March could be coming in like a small lion.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rainfall amounts - changes on the horizon

Good Monday morning and to go along with the weird February temperatures, how about the thunderstorms? We didn't have any severe weather here last night, but stronger storms were reported just south of us in Oklahoma City and into Texas.

Rainfall Amounts - through 6 a.m. Monday:
Winfield: 1.65"
Wichita (Eisenhower Airport): 0.80"
Emporia: 0.68"
Jabara Airport: 0.64"
Newton: 0.57"
Hutch: 0.13"
Salina: 0.02"

This latest storm system is out of here and for the next two days, our focus will be on the potential for record highs.

Two storms late week:

The first will arrive on Thursday, producing near blizzard conditions in Nebraska and parts of the Dakotas. There could be a 30 degree spread in temperatures around Kansas Thursday afternoon, with a chance for rain/snow mix over northern Kansas Thursday evening. It doesn't look like a major storm for Kansas, but could be a travel mess just north of us.

Storm #2:

This system will be nearby on Sunday. Again, not likely to be a major storm, but it does bring another chance for some light rain AND much chillier weather to start next week.

Bottom line is that we are seeing a return to near normal weather after what has been an amazing stretch of spring weather in the Plains. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Next storm for Kansas & cold air back on the map

Finally Friday and this weird, warm February rolls on into the weekend with no sign of an end.... yet! We had at least 6 record highs set yesterday because we are 25-30° above average. I don't want to be pessimistic about this sunny, calm weather, but with temperatures staying so warm for so long, trees are budding and before we know it, our plants and crops will break dormancy. This is WAY too early for that.

Next Storm:
This will be pushing closer to Kansas by Sunday. Clouds will likely take over, but even if we don't get much sunshine, I still think we will top 60 in the afternoon. Again, this is so bizarre for February.

Rainfall amounts won't add up to very much. I would expect less than .25" - this is not a very organized storm and the moisture is limited. Hearing thunder in February might be more impressive than the rain.

Cold air on the maps:
There should be some much chillier air coming around the end of the month. Mother Nature sometimes has a way of leveling things out, so after a very warm spell this month, I do look for temperatures to trend back to normal or below here soon.

If you take a look at one of the computer models out to February 25/26, you can see the gates are opening up to Canada, which will likely mean a return to winter temperatures. Some of the computer data shows some snow too, but we will have to wait and see on that one. This just hasn't been the winter for snow around here. There will likely be some snow off to the north of Kansas late next week (even blizzard conditions possible in Nebraska and the Dakotas)

Interesting snow statistic (courtesy Dodge City National Weather Service):
We know some big snows can come late in the winter season. In fact, 40% of major snowstorms come after the middle of February. So there's still plenty of time for snow lovers to hope for a big storm. However, as we get into March, it's less likely for it to hang around very long.

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