KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Good Monday bloggers,
The weather on Sunday evening proved even after five days in the 70s, one of which reached the 80s, the roads were not too warm to have snow or sleet stick to them.
These were the roads in southern Overland Park five to 10 minutes after it began sleeting. The main factor that allowed the sleet to stick to all surfaces was that it came down very hard. The rapid pelting of the frozen raindrops cooled the pavement rapidly to 32 degrees. This allowed a layer of sleet to form on the pavement which in turn allowed more sleet to pile on.
In South Overland Park the sleet changed back to rain and freezing rain with temperatures around 32 degrees. This allowed road surfaces to become wet to slushy. Trees got coated with ice as the branches are surrounded by 31 to 32-degree air. They cool just as fast as decks and overpasses, allowing ice to stick more efficiently. The main paved surfaces still retained enough heat to melt some of the sleet after the pelting ended. If temperatures dropped a few degrees below 32, the sleet on the roads would not have melted.
Kansas City International Airport, as of midnight, recorded 1.4 inches of snow — bringing their season total to 16.8 inches. Since midnight they may have seen a new half-inch. South of the river there was more freezing rain and sleet which cut down the snowfall totals to a quarter to a half of an inch. KCI did see 0.72 inches of rainfall and melted sleet/snow. That is the best news as we were getting quite dry. Melting ice and snow is the best way to get water into the ground.
What is next? As the title of the blog is one down, one to go.
The sun is coming out now, so today we will see highs in the 30s, which will lead to much better roads conditions for the afternoon and evening rush hour. A few slick spots will remain.
Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. This is just a bit cooler than average.
Thursday and Friday... well this is where the "one to go" comes in.
An Arctic front will move in as the first of two storm systems track out of the Rockies. This will create an area of heavy snow across Nebraska, western Iowa and Northern Kansas.
As the colder air heads south, the area of snow will track southeast. The question that has been asked many times this season is... How much of the storm will hold together as it gets to Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri? This will determine our snow amounts. If the precipitation starts faster, it may begin as rain for a brief period if the warmer air hangs on. But, most snow will occur with temperatures 15 to 25 degrees, so surfaces will be much colder than they were Sunday. This means it won't take heavy sleet/snow to overcome the warmer pavement temperatures.
The first system will be falling apart, so our area of snow will be dissipating. The second system, a much stronger one, will be creating a huge area of heavy snow, rain and thunderstorms to our south. Could we get into the northern edge of the second one? Yes, and we will be watching this closely. Regardless, an Arctic blast will be ongoing and this will make it rather cold into Saturday with highs in the 20s. This is 20 to 25 degrees below average.
The second system will become a major storm in the eastern U.S. as we become cold and dry.
How much snow could we see Thursday and Friday? It depends on the first system. The potential is there for widespread amounts of more than 2 inches of snow.
Let's end with some good news. First, early next week we will see highs in the 60s, maybe the 70s. Second, the time change is this weekend, "Spring Forward." Set your clocks ahead one hour this Saturday night (a good time to check smoke alarm batteries). The sun will set around 7:25 p.m. Sunday! Now, for the meteorologist, the data will be coming in an hour later, but it is worth the trade-off.
Have a great week and stay healthy.