Weather Blog: We experience record heat, then rain changing to snow in less than 3 days

Let's take a deeper dive into our next winter storm, lasting Wednesday through Thursday morning
Wednesday's Storm Timeline
Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 16:57:00-05

New data has been rolling in on the storm system we have been tracking for Wednesday and Thursday. Monday we saw a record high of 72°, today was calm and 50°-55°. So, it wouldn't be Kansas City if rain and snow were not in the forecast for Wednesday into early Thursday.

Rain will increase with temperatures dropping from around 45° to 35°.


The rain may become heavy at times 8 PM-midnight as we enter the comma head of the storm. That is the part of the storm where you can get the more consistent heavy precipitation. Severe thunderstorms will be found in the southeast USA. This is one well formed storm system.


We will likely be in heavy rain with temperatures just above freezing, but if you look close there are patches of pink and blue. That means we are seeing the rain mix with snow.


The comma head will be moving by as more rain changes to snow. If it changes to snow faster we could see a short period of heavy accumulating snow in KC. If it changes over faster, then KC will see no accumulation with more snow across northern Missouri. This is something we will be watching as the storm evolves tomorrow evening.

After 7 AM there comma head and storm will quickly exit. So, there is a window from around midnight to 7 AM where we could see accumulating snow.


This is our latest thinking and far from set. Grassy surfaces could see a dusting to 1" over a large area. There will be pockets of 1"-3" where it could stick to all surfaces as in heavy snow areas the temperature will be forced to drop to 31°-32°. Right now it looks like that will be northeast or north of KC. Again, a faster or slower change to snow will make a huge difference.


Regardless of how much snow we receive, we will see .40"-.85" of rain/melted snow. Over 1" of rain is possible just southeast of KC with less northwest of KC.


Have great night.
Hi bloggers and weather enthusiasts!

Thought we could start today by recapping the history we lived yesterday. Then our attention turns to our next winter storm.

Mother Nature brought the desert warmth to us Sunday and Monday. Our historic run of warm weather culminated with a new record high Monday. At 2:40 p.m. the thermometer read 72° at KCI. This bettered our old record of 70° from 1904, 119 years ago! And, was warmer than the 70° high in Glendale, AZ.
We also double our morning low of 36°. Usually, these large diurnal temperature swings are reserved for more arid climates like Glendale. Our average daily temperature change is only 20° this time of year.

Monday's Weather Almanac
Record warmth Monday!

Here's the challenge with our next storm, and frankly, all of our winter storms outside the two Arctic outbreaks. KSHB Meteorologist Jeff Penner's blog from Saturday talks about just how warm and wet Winter 2022-2023 continues to run. Storms outside of our two Arctic systems lack the cold weather from surface to above needed for snow production and accumulation. On top of that, this entire winter season our forecast models trend toward being too cold, complicating snow forecasting even more challenging.

Take a look below. The EURO forecast model shows a very shallow layer near the surface with an above freezing 34° temperature. We know if enough snow falls quickly it can accumulate at this temperature. The snow itself will cool items enough to allow accumulation.

On the other hand, look at the GFS forecast and it's larger and warmer air mass near the ground. Some snow melts to rain as it falls and the ground temperature likely never cools enough for accumulation.

EURO Forecast Model
Snow falling into above freezing air mass near surface
GFS Model Forecast
Snow falling and melting in a larger and warmer air mass near the ground

The EURO and GFS are our main medium range forecast models. Due to the extended number of days they forecast, their resolution is limited and limits our ability to be more specific about storm characteristics several days ahead.

Starting today, our shorter range and higher resolution models completely cover this storm's timeline. While they have the same cold bias, their finer resolution and increased data will allow us to better inform you about what to expect.

EURO Forecast Thursday 12AM
Rain changing to snow
GFS Forecast Thursday 3AM
All rain

At this point, I expect light to moderate rain moving in from the south Wednesday afternoon. The transition to snow occurs before we head out the door Thursday morning with a small accumulation on surfaces other than roads. Lesser traveled and untreated roads will accumulate some slush.