Good Wednesday evening, everyone. It was a downright windy day ahead of our approaching storm and especially the cold front. Even with that being one of the main weather headlines today, it allowed temperatures to turn quite mild with highs pushing into the upper 60s across much of the area. Ahead of the cold front, we saw some scattered showers early this afternoon. Now, we’re seeing more showers and t-storms getting going on top of the region and especially with the surface low to our southwest.
Upstairs, we also have the main upper-level low kicking across New Mexico and ready to work across the Central and Southern Plains.
The increasing rain and t-storms tonight and continuing into early Thursday morning will be strong with heavy rainfall. There is a slim chance that a few t-storms could push low-grade severe levels for 60 mph wind gusts and some hail up to an inch in diameter. We’re not expecting a lot of (if any) severe weather as the rain chances continue to pick up tonight. Plus, the temperatures at midnight and early Thursday morning… That will be as warm as the temperatures will be for the day.
As the cold front pushes through and the northerly wind allows the colder air to kick back in, we’ll have areas along and south of I-44 stay with rain. For areas north of there, we’ll see the rain switch to heavy freezing rain and sleet as we get the morning drive started.
As we continue through the rest of the morning, we’ll have the last of the rain work out of our far southeastern counties and have everyone deal with freezing rain and sleet (snow in our northwestern communities). Given the fact that areas in southwest Missouri south of Lamar and Stockton Lake are under flood watches, we could see quite a bit of rain in just a short period of time across those areas and even the entire area. The rain tracker has much of the area picking up at least an inch of rain and some spots pushing up to two inches.
For those that aren’t a fan of ice with your wintry weather, it appears that we won’t have to put up with freezing rain for very long. Dropping temperatures at the surface and just above the surface will allow for mainly sleet and snow by 10 AM before we get a little bit of a break by the noon hour. Once we get into the afternoon, though, we’ll have the backside of the system work on through and bring mainly light snow showers across much of the area. It will certainly be cold enough for snow as temperatures at the surface will be in the middle 20s by the noon hour and dropping into the lower 20s by the middle of the afternoon.
Looking at the overall timeline of this storm system, everyone will mainly have rain and t-storms overnight and right up to the start of the Thursday morning drive at 6 AM. After a relatively short period of freezing rain and sleet (thundersleet and thunder freezing rain that will be heavy at times), we’ll back down to light snow showers until we start drying out Thursday evening.
Even though the freezing rain won’t be around for too long, it will come down at a pretty good clip at times. That will allow for some areas to quickly pick up a tenth to two tenths of an inch on the low end to a quarter to almost four tenths of an inch on the higher end. This will lead to some tricky roads during the morning and into the early afternoon.
As for snow amounts, areas expecting more rain and freezing rain/sleet won’t pick up very much snow. Areas along and south of I-44 can only expect a dusting to almost an inch of snow. Once you start working north of the interstate, you can see the expected amounts picking up quite a bit with the heaviest amounts stretching from Howard to Neodesha, Fredonia, Chanute, Iola, Uniontown, Butler and up into central Missouri around Sedalia and Columbia.
After this system clears out, we’ll drop into the upper teens for Thursday night and Friday morning. Areas that will pick up most of the snow will drop into the single digits. Fortunately, we’ll rebound quickly for the weekend and stay dry with highs in the upper 30s on Friday, lower 50s on Saturday and middle 60s on Sunday. We’ll push into the upper 60s on Monday as we watch for another system to bring some scattered showers and t-storms our way. Behind that, it will be cooler for Tuesday with highs in the upper 40s and a few showers possible. Our next chance for a potential rain/snow mix wants to come our way next Wednesday with lows in the upper 20s and highs back near 40°. Doug has your updated long range forecast through the middle of March down below. Have a good night and a great Thursday!
Feb 24rd-26th: Slight rain/snow chances Thursday. Warming up by the weekend.
Feb 27th-March 5th: A mild start to the week with rain chances really increasing by mid week. Turning colder by Thursday with rain or snow chances and staying chilly into the weekend.
March 6th-12th: Rain and snow chances on Sunday and Monday. Then much colder the rest of the week. Rain or snow chances returning by Friday.
March 13th-19th: A cool start but most of the week will be mild. Thunderstorms chances increasing by the weekend.