A bit slower, moderate consistency in the forecast track, but still a lot of time for things to change. Those are the main things I see in this morning’s discussions of the mid-week system. If the forecast holds as depicted in the latest update form NWS Dodge City, best chances for snowfall would stay north and west of US 56 into the Plains of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska – an area a bit larger than what’s commonly termed the Tri-State region. Areas along and east/south of US56 and K-96 would see a cold rain. The truly Arctic cold air looks to say held up in the northern Dakota and southern Canadian Plains, so while Kansas looks to break the warm spell we’re currently in, the air behind the front will only get western Kansas down to just below-average for this time of year. Truly cold air looks to get let loose right around New Year’s Day.
Right now, the experimental NWS products being tested by most of the Plains offices are only showing storm impact forecasts through 7pm Christmas night. I’m not terribly skilled at winter forecasting, so I really don’t have a sense for that the impact might be, beyond travel impacts from heavy snow in western Kansas (or more likely, eastern Colorado) as depicted in the NWS Dodge City Situation Report below. Though I’d have to wonder, if the timing is right, whether there might not be some potential for ice near the US-56 or K-96 areas in the western quarter of the state. Warm ground for the time of year would help to mitigate the travel impact of snow and ice, I’d think. For Wichita metro and most of the state east of a Pratt to Salina line, I’m pretty confident right now in a rain event, maybe even some thunder.
I’ll post an update sometime Monday or on Christmas Day.