Major winter storm hits Kansas City
We didn’t even have a dusting of snow until New Years Day this season, and all of a sudden we have a major storm targeting Kansas City. A WINTER STORM WATCH was issued for our entire viewing area. We expect freezing rain, sleet and heavy snow on New Years Day.
Our updated snow forecast:
There has been a trend on patterns for the center of this storm to follow just north of Kansas City. The above map will be updated as we get closer to Saturday, and at the moment we expect freezing rain and sleet south of I-70, and mostly snow north of I -70. It can start with sleet and freezing rain northward, then turn to snow, and precipitation is likely to turn to snow in most areas by Saturday afternoon.
This map shows the steep gradient of 1 “of snow to potentially a lot more. Look at what the models are predicting early this morning:
These are the projected totals for downtown Kansas City. There are fewer forecasts just to the south and a little closer to the north. The new data is coming now. Those numbers will change and the storm’s track is still a bit uncertain. I will discuss the scenarios below.
What is the difference between freezing rain and sleet?
As you can see from this forecast map above, there is snow, depicted in shades of blue and pink. And there is freezing rain and sleet, depicted in purple colors.
- Sleet: Sleet is frozen rain. Which means that the raindrop or melted snowflake freezes into a small granule of ice. It’s ice when it hits the ground
- Freezing Rain: Freezing rain is liquid to the surface where it freezes on contact with surfaces of 32 degrees or less.
New Year’s Day forecast at noon:
At noon, the US model (Model GFS) shows sleet and freezing rain continuing to the southeast of a Harrisonville-Odessa line. This will significantly reduce the total snowfall. Further northwest, however, this pattern changes it to heavy snow, which can sometimes reach 1 to 2 inches per hour.
What we follow:
It has been raining in Los Angeles for 24 straight hours, and there is up to almost 3 “of rain coming from this storm system. It is a rather unusual storm. It is unusual because it does not come from there. The Pacific Ocean. It followed straight along the west coast, staying offshore and picking up moisture. It blew up southern California as it “plunged” offshore.
This system developed off the coast of Seattle, then fell south to the coast of southern California this morning. This system is a big factor in whether or not Kansas City will have more than 1 “of snow or not. Models take this system and race after midnight Friday, just as we are ringing for the new year. Models next. phase it into the flow, but maintain enough force to create our areas of significant snow, sleet, and freezing rain.There is a main storm that’s much bigger pushing this system out.
What can go wrong?: If this system is expelled further north and west, then warmer air would be drawn over the surface and it would retain the precipitation type as freezing rain or ice pellets. We must therefore continue to monitor this possibility.
My instinct : I think it will move just south of KC, and that will change the precipitation to snow in time to get us within the ranges shown on our snow forecast map. We’ll keep you posted as it gets closer. So I’m thinking 4 “or closer to KCI and 2” to 4 “across town. Jeff Penner predicted those totals all morning.
Winter storm period:
- Now until Friday: A little haze this morning, then a possibility of the clouds breaking this afternoon. On Friday there will be southerly winds before the cold front and it will warm up in the 1950s
- Friday evening before 2022: Cloudy with colder air entering. Temperatures will drop to 32 degrees after midnight, maybe around 8 or 3 a.m. and it will likely stay dry.
- 3:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Saturday (Happy New Year): Freezing rain and sleet begin in the south with snow north of KC. The transition line will gradually begin to move south. Temperatures will crash into the teens and the roads will become slippery and dangerous.
- 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday: The mixture will turn to snow and it can get heavy. Accumulation of 2 “to 4” in town with 4 inches or more probably just north of KC. Slippery and dangerous conditions in most areas.
- 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday: The snow could continue but will gradually stop from west to east by Sunday morning. The temperature will drop to a single digit, to below zero Sunday morning!
- Sunday: GO CHIEFS to Cincinatti. There can be a few flurries with northerly winds at Cincy!
Thank you for sharing this weather experience and spending a few minutes of your day reading the weather blog. We’ll be digging deeper into KC’s most accurate forecast on KSHB-41 News today and tonight as new data comes in.