Weather Blog: Every degree matters in snow forecasting

Wednesday 10pm Snow Forecast
Posted at 12:57 PM, Feb 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 16:04:30-05

It was a wet, sloppy, slushy start to Thursday across the Kansas City metro as heavy rain transitioned to heavy snow overnight.

It was the change of 2° from 1-2 a.m. that caused rain to change to snow as the temperatures went from 35° to 33°.

Overnight Temperatures

Minute(s) later at 2:01 a.m., the temperature fell to 32°.

Near white-out conditions settled in as visibility was less than a mile for four hours.

KSHB 41 meteorologists Cassie Wilson and Lindsey Anderson have a great explanation about how you can think about this small change having a big impact.

Science is amazing.

A 2-3° change in temperature is very hard for us to feel, but when it comes to states of matter( solid, liquid, gas), every degree counts. That's what happened Thursday morning.

A 3-degree change in temperatures was a ~3" change in snow.

If you were caught off guard by the snow-covered roads in the morning, you were not alone as the crashes were piling up, causing the closure of Interstate 29.

KSHB 41 forecasts

In the days leading up to this snowfall event, we did not have high confidence in the snow sticking to the pavement as this scenario played out several times this winter — it just hasn't been cold enough for much of it to stick to the roads.

But we knew there was potential for heavier amounts as Jeff Penner blogged earlier this week.

It became apparent Wednesday evening that the snow was going to be heavier as temperatures would become colder.

So, Chief Meteorologist Mike Nicco adjusted the forecast for the 10 p.m. news.

Wednesday 10pm Snow Forecast

How does it compare to what happened?

Snow Verification

Leading up to snowfall events, it's important that you watch for updates because if the temperature changes a little, the accumulation changes a lot.

As we get closer to the onset of snowfall, we get a better picture of what the atmosphere is doing at that moment.

Thursday night

Anything that doesn't melt this afternoon will refreeze overnight as temperatures will likely fall below freezing.

There is another shot of some light snow near and southeast of Interstate 35 tonight. Mainly light snow is expected, but a quick little burst isn't out of the question. Accumulation will likely be less than an inch with it sticking to all surfaces.

Next chance of heavy snow

Part of the reason we had the cool down this morning was due to the track of the lower pressure as it moved near the Interstate 44 corridor.

There will be two systems that try to pass by next Tuesday-Friday.

The second system is the one to keep an eye on for more accumulating snow as it will follow a similar track to the one that just came through.

Low Track

Thanks for reading, bloggers!