Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where's the Sun?!?

We've been going the past several days with mornings' filled with low level clouds and high moisture values leading to sprinkles and mist. Today is no exception, and it looks to continue tomorrow morning as well.  Yesterday during the late afternoon hours we were able to see the sunshine in Kansas City as the low level stratus finally cleared out, but the clouds made their return during the overnight.

A disturbance is going to slide north to south across the Northern Plains today, and over along the Missouri/Kansas border overnight tonight arriving into the Southern Plains by Wednesday morning. This disturbance does not have much for dynamics, and even less in regards to moisture to use for precipitation. This means we'll mainly see the cloud cover continuing, with a few rounds of sprinkles or light showers across  western Iowa, and Western Missouri. This will be out of the area by Wednesday morning, and we should dry out and clear out by Wednesday evening.  The clear skies will continue into Thursday and through most of Friday before out next storm system will bring in the next round of clouds and definitely a round of heaviest precipitation for the Central Plains.

This storm system for Friday and into the weekend is something to keep an eye on, as of yesterday morning it was the operational GFS that was the outlier showing a decent storm system. However, several models by the afternoon hours were showing a trend towards the operational GFS solution and the last 4 runs of the operational GFS have all continued with a similar solution. The surprising and questionable solution at this point is the amounts of snowfall that is forecasted with the operational GFS on the cold side of the system. Just for humor, last nights 00z operational GFS showed a surface low tracking along southern Kansas/Missouri leading to a swath of snow across western and central Kansas, into northeast Kansas and into northwest Missouri. With ~18" of snow in Russell as the maximum, but a solid swath of 6-10" across the remainder of the locations named above. For the Kansas City Metro this meant a gradient of 1-8" from south-to-north across the metro area.  Now keep in mind that I am not saying that this is going to be correct, as there is a lot of questions regarding the track and amount of cold air that can influx into the region. Also the ground temperatures are going to be quite warm after seeing temperatures near the 60 degree mark on Friday, thus if snow did fall how much of it would melt trying to get the surface temperature down to the freezing mark.  I'll continue to update this week as we near this storm system, the first one of Spring that has the potential to give us snow!!