Weather Blog | Record warmth, Arctic blast, snow today!

Posted at 6:43 AM, Feb 27, 2024

Good Tuesday bloggers,

We have been talking about this wild weather day for awhile and now it's here.

Not only are we likely going to have a record high and snow, but there is an elevated fire danger due to the low humidity and dry ground and warm temperatures and southwest winds ahead of the front.

There is a Red Flag (Fire Weather) Warning in effect until 6 PM and then a Wind Advisory from 6 PM to 3 AM as winds will gust to 40 mph behind the Arctic front.


Let's go through this wild weather day.

The front at 5 AM was roaring through Nebraska. The Dakotas were in the single digits and teens, we were in the 40s to low 50s with 60s across eastern Missouri.


Highs will climb to 75°-80° breaking the record high of 73° set in 2016 under a partly cloudy sky. The wind will be SW 10-20 mph. The very strong cold front will be on our doorstep.


TODAY (3-7 PM):
The wind will be howling from the north and northwest at 20-40 mph as temperatures plummet to around 40° with increasing clouds. An area of snow will be moving into north central Kansas.


We will not have to deal with any severe thunderstorms along and ahead of the front as the Gulf moisture gets deflected to the east. But, it is this time period where areas of severe thunderstorms are likely to form from eastern Missouri and points east.

There is a slight (level 2 of 5 risk) of severe weather along and east of the Mississippi River. Large hail, damaging wind and even tornadoes are possible.


TODAY (7-10 PM):
Temperatures will have dropped nearly 50 degrees to 25°-30°. We will also see areas of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow showers forming ahead of a band of snow. Some roads by 10 PM may get slick, especially northwest of KC.


It will be windy (NW 20-40 mph) with temperatures dropping to the low 20s as bands of mostly light snow cross the region.


The snow could stick to all surfaces even though it was in the 70s, eight to ten hours prior. We talked about this Monday.

Here is why it could stick.
1. It is occurring at night, so we do not get help from the infrared radiation from the sun which comes through clouds.
2. The temperature is dropping rapidly and to levels well below freezing.
3. The wind will be 20-40 mph and this can remove heat from surfaces faster.
4. It has to be a steady period of snow. If it is very light and patchy it will not stick much.
5. It still looks like a two to four hour period of steady snow that may start as freezing rain and sleet. Right now most locations and any surface could see a dusting to 1" coating of snow. And we have to watch for "flash freezing" causing a thin layer of ice under the snow.

Below is the latest snowfall accumulation map. Most locations will see a dusting, but really the snow will be blowing around. There will be 1-2 bands where 1/2", 1/2"-1" occur. It is in these bands where all surfaces will have the chance to be slick. The data below has the heaviest band from Manhattan, KS to southeast Iowa, north of KC.

This is not set yet as the 1/2"-1" bands could end up about anywhere as we are tracking a disorganized system associated with the very organized cold front.


The snow will exit 2-4 AM, leaving wind and very cold conditions into the morning rush hour. The extent of slickness will be in areas that see the most steady period of snow. By 7 AM temperatures will be 15°-20° with wind chill values in the single digits. This is 60 degrees colder on the thermometer and 70 degrees colder on the feels like scale.


The snow and thunderstorms will be near the east coast. We will see sunshine and less wind with highs in the 30s. The surface high pressure in the southwest Plains will shift to Ohio Thursday putting us in south winds and a return to highs in the 50s. The 70s return this weekend.


The strong front sweeps through 3-5 PM and the chance of snow, possibly starting as a mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow showers is between 9 PM and 4 AM.

A dusting to 1" is possible.


Have a great rest of your week.
Stay healthy.