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Weather Blog: Winter storm comes into focus

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 18:10:18-05

Good evening bloggers,

A strong storm is approaching our area and the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Friday night and Saturday. This storm may still have Kansas City on the edge, but if it tracks a bit farther north, then we will have a lot of snow. Let's take a look.

The above graphic shows the watches that are going into effect. The Winter Storm Watch will be going into effect on Friday night and last through Saturday evening. This watch is being issued because 3-6 inches of snow are possible, and some ice accumulation is likely too. This will be upgraded to a Warning Friday if this trend continues.

The questions:

  • This storm is not powerful, but it is looking strong. If it is just a bit weaker and a bit farther south, then KC will be closer to the edge and amounts would be lower. So, the first question I have, is will it be a bit stronger and farther north. The computer models that have this have much more snow, closer to 10".
  • This storm has a lot of moisture available, and before any snow falls there will be some freezing rain and sleet. This could be a bigger problem near the beginning of the storm Friday night. How much ice will accumulate? If it is under 1/4" there is very little chance of power outages, so we will pay close attention to this.

There are other questions too, and we will sort them out for you. Here are a couple of the forecast maps I am preparing to show on 41Action News.

This map above shows the snow, mixture, and heavy rain Friday evening. And the map below shows the forecast map valid at noon Saturday. Even though it shows it missing far northern Missouri, remember the track will likely shift north or south, and we will identify these changes as soon as we see them.

Right now, we are forecasting 3" to 6" of snow by Saturday night, with some ice before then. There also may be a few thunderstorms tonight.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog. I will be doing a Facebook Live around 9 PM tonight as we look at the new data and answer your questions.

Have a great evening,