February begins with a quick cold shot followed by a return to dry and mild conditions

Finally some weather of note in terms of precipitation this weekend as the first notable system in quite a while moved through the area.  Significant rains are over for the district with some backside snows and flurries remaining to be dealt with, along with a temperature plunge.  Here are the mid day surface/satellite/radar map and the map showing just the fronts and the surface temperatures:

2015-02-01-1307-SATSFCRAD 2015-02-01-1308-SATSFCRAD

KANSAS CITY.... 1.27"
TOPEKA KS...... 1.20"
ST LOUIS....... 0.65"
SPARTA IL...... 0.37"


The rain has shifted into the Ohio Valley and temperatures are beginning to fall rapidly. West of KC and over to Topeka, readings have fallen into the 20s with teens and single digits over NE and KS. This will cause a issue where slushy wet snow (light accumulations in KC) and water on roadways may “flash” freeze creating slick spots.  Roads may have more time to dry off in STL/SEMO/SW IL but use caution when the cold air arrives tonight.   Quite an expanse of snow over IA/NE and N IL/N IN with heavy snows along the I-80 corridor and a swath of winter storm/blizzard warnings from NE to ME–and another big snow for NYC/Boston this week.


Additional snow forecast:


Again..travel plans may be impacted due to airport delays so check your carrier.

As for the week ahead, we’ll be dealing with cold weather to start and the period tonight through Monday night will be chilly.  Overnight lows tonight will tank into the single digits and teens.  Areas to our north with significant snows will be subzero.


Monday’s highs climb only into the 20s..and again colder over the snows to our north:


Increasing cloud cover Monday night should keep lows lower than those expected tonight.   Those clouds increase ahead of a weak weather system diving in for midweek.  This weekend’s storm has removed most of the moisture available in the atmosphere so we’re mainly expecting some light snow or flurries with insignificant accumulations at this time.  This map for Wednesday evening shows the light snow or flurries pretty widespread over the region.


Cold weather follows the flurries for about a day and a half..before we quickly return to mild westerly flow and a rapid return to warmth next weekend.  Next Saturday afternoon, we could conceivably see highs 10-15 degrees above average (mid 50s to near 60) should the current data verify.


The brown colors in CO/KS/NE are temps 20-25 degrees above average thanks to warm downslope winds off of the Rockies.  Outside of this midweek weather system, there does not appear to be any rain or snow making systems in our future for the next 10 days or so as we return to a rather mild and dry pattern, which has been persistent a majority of the winter.

The stratospheric Polar Vortex has reorganized and is camped out on the Siberian side of the pole in the Barents/Kara sea area. Remember that a strong polar vortex tends to be able to contain cold air better than a weaker or split polar vortex.


By mid month, the vortex remains intact, but has weakened a little and has shifted more over toward Greenland. This is still not in a position to force a major pattern shift.


No signs present in today’s suite of data suggesting a major or sustained shift away from our prevailing pattern at least through mid month, so not good news for snow lovers and continued good news for those who don’t like cold and snow.  We should point out that computer models are far from 100% accurate and it is possible they are not yet picking up on a feature which may change the longer range outlook to something different than discussed here today.  Its always possible this time next week we could be looking at a whole different scenario.

We’ll keep an eye on the midweek system and run out an update should it prove to be more significant than thought right now, otherwise we’ll have another weekly post next weekend.


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