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Weather Blog - From 40s to 80s to Snowflakes?

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Posted at 7:23 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 08:50:32-04

Good morning bloggers,

Did you know that the temperature outside has been between 40° and 46° for 48 straight hours? There is a chance we will rise up to near 50 degrees later today, but these clouds are not breaking up, until Thursday. On Thursday, a warm front will pass through and much warmer air will surge in. And, then another cold front will move through Friday morning. After Friday, there are some computer models showing our first chance of snowflakes by early next week. Let's take a look.

The developing weather pattern:

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This map above shows the 500 mb flow, or the flow around 18,000 feet above us. What is the 500 mb level? "mb" stands for milibars. A milibar is a unit of air pressure in the metric system, that we use in meteorology to measure pressure. The top of the atmosphere has no weight, or ZERO mb of pressure. The pressure, due to the weight of the atmosphere above us, is around 1,000 mb near the surface of the Earth. So, 500 mb happens to be almost exactly half way up in the atmosphere in weight, and this level is around 18,000 feet up above us. We look at this level to find storm systems, as what happens at this level and other significant levels between the surface and the stratosphere decides whether we have a good chance of rain or snow, or whether or not it will stay dry. This map, again above, shows that river of air, and then it also shows the strength and orientation of disturbances. This map, valid Thursday, shows strong energy over the northern USA, but this energy is streamed along the flow. This is one reason why it may still be a struggle for us to have rain. Now, there is a weak disturbance that may help trigger some rain Thursday evening, and boy do we need it.

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It has now only rained one day in the past 38 days. This is about as dry as it possibly can be in KC. This means, we have yet to see measurable rain in October. We are zero for October so far. What is measurable rain? For rain to be measurable we need to record 0.01" of rain. It is misting outside a bit this morning; some very light mist. This will not add up to 0.01", even if it misted all day long. That would not measure 0.01". Now, if it mists hard enough, we may break the spell a bit, as it is getting wet out there, and it could end up with that 0.01" threshold. There is a chance of rain on Thursday night as a cold front moves through:

Thursday Evening Surface Forecast:

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You can see where the front is located by looking closely at the red and blue lines. This forecast map shows 80s to 20s, wow! But, notice, there is no rain along the front. This is a result of that streamed vorticity I showed on the 500 mb forecast. As we move through the evening Thursday a line of showers and thunderstorms will likely form and we will have a pretty good chance of getting 0.01" to 1.00" of rain. By Friday morning, another cold blast will arrive, and then the weather really may get interesting. Could we actually have our first snowflakes by early next week? Yes: take a look!

GFS Model Forecast Valid Next Monday:

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This map is highly suspect at this moment, and we will discuss the possibilities on 41 Action News.

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This next map, shown above, is a forecast of the disorganization to the storm developing Sunday, west of KC. This does end up producing snow in KC on this model, but will it actually happen. I am not convinced yet. So, let's discuss today and tonight on 41 Action News.

Tropical Storm Epsilon:

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This record breaking hurricane season continues. Another named storm has developed over the Atlantic Ocean. We are now moving through the Greek Alphabet to name storms, and we are up to Epsilon, and there will likely be one or two more.

Our weather pattern is setting up according to the LRC. The weather pattern we will experience this winter, and for the next year is evolving before our eyes. We will discuss the developing cycling weather pattern in the next few days and weeks. For now, we are trying to get our first measurable rain of this new pattern.

Kansas City Forecast Timeline:

  • Today: Cloudy with some light mist or very light drizzle. The chance of measurable rain is 20%, but the chance of mist is nearly 100%. Expect light easterly winds shifting to the southeast at 5-10 mph. High: 49°
  • Tonight: Cloudy with some drizzle. Low: 44°
  • Wednesday: Cloudy and gradually warming up into the 50s.
  • Thursday: Some sun breaking out with a huge warm up into the 80s. Windy, with south winds 15-25 mph.
  • Thursday night - Friday: Cloudy with a chance of rain. The chance goes up to 70% for a few hours around midnight. Temperatures crashing by morning back into the 40s.

    Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog, featuring the LRC! Have a great Tuesday!
    Gary