Suchan Says: 11:55pm Winter Storm Update


We have a mixed bag of precipitation reported across the area.  Currently as of the 11pm hour, the sleet into snow transition zone is just south and crosses over Highway 36 from Kansas into Missouri.  Areas further south are mainly freezing rain with some sleet mix.

Here are two atmospheric soundings showing why this is occurring now.  I dropped a pin in this chart just south of Highway 36 and you can see very little if any “melt layer” aloft which allows snow to survive the trip to the surface.


Atmospheric sounding just south of Hwy 36 showing a mainly snow with a touch of sleet profile

Further south into the KC metro, much more freezing rain with occasional sleet is being reported.  Reason for this is a subtle layer of air aloft that is just above freezing and is melting falling snow which is refreezing into sleet or remaining rain which then freezes on contact at the surface (freezing rain).


Atmospheric sounding just south of downtown KC showing more freezing rain / sleet potential because of warm layer of air aloft

The overall trend through tonight will be to support snow, sleet and freezing rain from the KC metro especially as you go west or north from the city.  Further east, the air is slightly warmer to support rain with occasional pockets of freezing rain or sleet.  This trend continues into Monday morning before the massive upper low pivots by pulling in colder air.  Everything across the area will end as snow during the afternoon to evening as it tapers off to flurries.

Plan on slick travel across much of the area.  Areas that should hold their own with warmer temperatures are east and southeast of the KC metro (Clinton, Sedalia, Butler, Marshall in Missouri and some of Miami to Linn Counties in Kansas)


Early tonight forecast map


Monday early morning forecast map


Midday Monday


Monday Afternoon forecast map


Snow & Sleet accumulations (more sleet holds down accumulations… opposite is true if more snow)


Forecast Ice accretion (keep in mind this forecast range combined with strong gusty winds will bring down some tree limbs and cause some power outages)

Chris Suchan
Chief Meteorologist

Twitter:  @ChrisSuchanKCTV
Twitter:  @KCTV5Weather


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