At A Glance

Image of Special Weather Statement: A strong storm system will move through the region Friday night into Saturday. Before this system moves through, there will be freezing drizzle, freezing rain, and freezing fog Thursday night into Friday morning. More widespread precipitation and significant impacts are expected Friday night into Saturday. Freezing rain will gradually change to snow Friday night into Saturday morning. After the snow begins north winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph will develop. There is a lot of uncertainty on exactly how much ice and snow will occur with this storm. This will be determined by the track of the storm. No matter what, the combination of ice and snow accumulation, blowing snow, and very windy conditions will create hazardous travel conditions. It is even possible that power outages could occur.

Special Weather Statement issued by Goodland NWS 02/21/19

Quite a few in the meteorological community have been watching this next storm system for some time. It’s been pretty consistent in the models that the system which will start affecting the region tonight will have a pretty potent punch. Just what and where is still inconsistent on a run-to-run basis and between the various models.

Jump to:
GFS: Pressure & Wind | GFS: Precipitation | GFS: Snow Depth
NWS Situation Reports | Selected Community Forecasts

Discussion

As of this morning, the low pressure system that will be responsible for this system is near the California/Nevada border. Here is the official NWS forecast for its path from this morning through Saturday evening:

Surface Low Forecast path through Saturday 6pm CST

The various colors and shapes denote each model’s prediction for the center of the low each 12 hours between now and then. The black line is the “consensus” of all the models. I’ll mention this several times during this discussion, but look how little it moves Friday night to Saturday morning while it strengthens in the lee of the Rockies, then how fast it moves across Kansas between 6am and 6pm Saturday! The forecast is an average of 45 miles an hour through that timeframe.

It’s also supposed to deepen (strengthen) substantially as it moves from near Liberal at 6am Saturday to near Great Bend at noon. That will crank up the wind to the west and northwest of the low center, into the 35-45mph (sustained) range. With snowfall expected at that time, blizzard to whiteout conditions are a real threat.

The worst of the storm will be only a few hours in any one location, as once the low reaches its deepest around Great Bend, it’s off to the races…6 hours later the center is forecast to be in north central Missouri.

Jump to:
Top of Page | GFS: Precipitation | GFS: Snow Depth
NWS Situation Reports | Selected Community Forecasts

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Here’s the same model’s forecast for precipitation through the same timeframe:

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How much snowfall may that leave behind (if anyone can really measure it because of the drifting…)?

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The slideshows are based on the GFS model run at midnight CST this morning (Thursday 2/21).

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Top of Page | Discussion | GFS Model | Selected Community Forecasts

NWS Situation Reports

The National Weather Service offices which cover Kansas produce briefing packets that discuss the system in more detail, along with their thoughts on timing and extent of the risk.

Here are the full PDF files of each report from this morning:

NWS Goodland Situation Report

as of 2/21/19 10am CST (hover to see page turning controls)
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.ksstorm.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GLD-SitRep.pdf” title=”Goodland SitRep”]

NWS Hastings Situation Report

as of 2/21/19 10am CST (hover to see page turning controls)
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.ksstorm.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GID-SitRep.pdf” title=”Hastings SitRep”]

NWS Dodge City Situation Report

as of 2/21/19 10am CST (hover to see page turning controls)
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.ksstorm.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DDC-SitRep.pdf” title=”Dodge City SitRep”]

NWS Wichita Situation Report

as of 2/21/19 10am CST (hover to see page turning controls)
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.ksstorm.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ICT-SitRep.pdf” title=”Wichita SitRep”]

NWS Topeka Situation Report

as of 2/21/19 10am CST (hover to see page turning controls)
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.ksstorm.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/TOP-SitRep.pdf” title=”Topeka SitRep”]

Jump to:
Top of Page | Discussion
GFS: Pressure & Wind | GFS: Precipitation | GFS: Snow Depth
NWS Situation Reports

Forecasts for Selected Communities

Finally, here is a more detailed forecast (via Weather Underground) for several Kansas communities. Don;’t get too focused on the hour-by-hour at this point, it’s more important to look at the pattern.

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Look for an update tomorrow morning, and coverage on Twitter and Facebook throughout the storm.

Oh, about that title:

What winter fanatics wish for…

What we may get