Weather Blog - Snow Is Likely Early Tuesday

Snowfall Accumulation Forecast
Posted at 7:30 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 10:20:53-04

Good morning bloggers,

Who is really ready and excited for this snowfall in the morning? I think it is just fascinating watching this weather set-up evolve before our eyes. The ingredients are there for us to have our last snow of the season be a very late snowfall. And, why not? We had an early season snow as well with around 1" on October 26th.

Will the snow stick on the roads and cause problems? In areas that have more than 1" of snow, this is likely going to become a slick mess on the roads. Take a look at what happened in Iowa in this part of the cycling pattern in October:

From our blog on October 20th:

Wow! Here is a tweet from the National Weather Service in Des Moines at noon today. NWS Des Moines@NWSDesMoines URGENT - the band of heavy snow moving thru the Des Moines metro has resulted in several accidents - including this one near I-35. The mess up there is being caused by a relatively small band of snow. This dispels the theory that during the day, at 32 degrees, snow won't stick to roads. If it comes down hard enough, long enough it will stick.

This statement and tweet is from October 20th, but it almost could apply to this storm. They issued a "Snow Squall Warning" and the forecast went from maybe some accumulation to 9" of snow in three hours right near Des Moines. For those of you paying attention to my discussions of the LRC this year, then you know our pattern has been cycling regularly, and that Iowa snowstorm happened 184 days before Tuesday morning. What is 184 divided by 4 cycles? We are spot on cycle for this storm to happen. I would not have expected that snow to shift south into our area, but I did expect a chance of a late season snow right on this date in the plains, and here it is.

So, my biggest point here, however, is that if we really get into the significant band of snow, then we could easily have major travel problems at the worst time around 7 to 8 AM during rush hour on Tuesday. Here is our snowfall forecast as of 7:30 AM:

Snowfall Accumulation Forecast

I plotted in a few pockets of higher amounts. The exact location of these areas is still being determined, and I will show the updates as this storm approaches. Be sure to watch today at 11 AM, 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM, 6:30 PM, and 10 PM on 41 Action News.

Let's look at the set up:

7:45 AM Surface Map

This map above shows the surface map at 7:45 AM this morning. The cold front is already on our doorstep. This means our winds are about to shift to the north and temperatures will not get above the 50s today. South of the front, it will likely get into the 60s. The front is moving faster, and this may shift the snow areas farther south just a bit. It is one of the factors that is being monitored closely.

If you look closely, you can see the 20s up there over the northern plains. The last storm that had a chance of producing snow in March had warmer temperatures north of KC and we never dropped to below 37 degrees, and thus all of the precipitation stayed as rain. This is very different, and shockingly so for being so late. There was some blocking over the northern Atlantic Ocean a few days ago, and it provided the conditions for developing this colder air mass, cold enough to produce the perfect conditions to drop Kansas City to near 32 degrees by 6 AM Tuesday.

6 AM Tuesday Forecast

This is just a perfect set up for a late April snowfall. We are 100% confident that it will snow. As usual, we are not very confident on amounts. There is a scenario where we will have around 1/2" to 1". There is also a scenario that I can see 4" or more near KC. I lean towards that middle ground of 1 to 2 inches in most areas. There has never been a measured amount of 2" or more after tomorrow's date. In 1992 Kansas City had 2.7" on April 20th, so we would need to have 3" to break that late season record.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Expect sunny with increasing afternoon clouds. The wind will shift to the north at 20-30 mph and gusty with falling temperatures this afternoon and evening.
  • Tonight: Cloudy with a 100% chance of snow by morning. Temperatures dropping to near 32° or possibly a degree or two colder.
  • Tuesday: A 100% chance of snow before 9 AM with the chance going down to 0% by noon. Accumulations of 1 to 3 inches likely with some slick spots during the morning rush hour.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Gabbing With Gary blog. We will be doing a Facebook Live around 9 PM tonight as this storm approaches. Have a great day and start to your week.