Cloudy and chilly today, snow chances move in for Friday

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Little to no sunshine is expected once again for today as cloud cover dominates. The gray sky overhead will keep temperatures in check as high temperatures aren’t expected to break beyond the 30s.

It will continue to stay on the cloudy side throughout the night tonight as temperatures bottom out in the 20s.

Sunshine will not be on tap for Friday. Even though it will be a dry start during the morning, an overcast sky will still be hanging out overhead. As the day progresses though, our next storm system will start to enter northeast Kansas.

Ahead of that system, a warmer southeast wind will kick up Friday morning, sustained at 10 to 20 mph. That will do a better job of getting the southern half of the region into the mid to upper 30s, with low to mid 30s to the north.

As precipitation spreads in Friday afternoon with spots in the mid to upper 30s, that will be warm enough to start things off as a cold rain, especially for central and southern areas. The further north you are, things may kick off as a freezing rain or even a wet snow due to the possibility that the warmer air just doesn’t reach far enough north.

However, the colder air will quickly catch up and spread across northeast Kansas during the evening. Since the subfreezing air is expected to overtake the warmer air in a quick manner, any periods of freezing rain or sleet will be brief before things completely transition over to snow.

As the evening progresses, the cold rain will completely transition over to all snow as this storm system pushes further off to east and eventually northeast. While the exact track of system is still a bit uncertain, where confidence is growing is in the quicker progression of this storm system, as well as some weaker tendencies within it.

Widespread snow is still expected for Friday night as temperatures bottom out in the upper teens and lower 20s. While the initial snowfall will be of heavier, wet snowflakes, the snow will become more powdery and light as the night goes on and temperatures fall well below freezing.

That lighter snow will be much easier for the higher winds to pick up and blow around. 25 to 40 mph gusts Friday evening into the overnight hours will create some blustery conditions as low visibility and blowing snow will be high possibilities.

Not only that, but those high winds will make it feel quite a bit colder outside. Albeit not as cold as first thought, wind chills Friday night into daybreak on Saturday will still get down to the single digits to right around 0°.

Some lingering snow showers will be possible for the eastern half of the region, crossing over into western Missouri, for daybreak on Saturday. As morning turns to afternoon, the snow chances will become less and less. Generally speaking, a widespread dusting to 3 inches of snow will be fair game for much of the region. Higher totals look most likely for the northeastern corner of the region, but locally higher amounts will be possible if any banding within the main swath of snow develops.

However, it will take a bit longer for those howling winds to really settle down. Wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph during the day on Saturday could still create some patchy areas of blowing snow as the freshly fallen snow will be light enough to still move around a bit. 

Even as the snow comes to an end, it will continue to stay mainly cloudy for Saturday as the colder arctic air settles in. Highs on Saturday will only get as high as the lower 20s, but wind chills will be confined to the single digits during the day due to that breezy north wind.

Some breaks in the cloud cover will be possible for Saturday night into Sunday, but that will only allow temperatures to fall even further. Overnight lows will drop off into the single digits. Winds will finally start to lighten up during the overnight hours, as well. Even so, a light breeze around 5 mph will be enough to get wind chills down to 0°, if not a few degres below that, by daybreak on Sunday.

Sunday could be the first day in about a week where some breaks of sunshine finally return. Any sunshine that does emerge for Sunday won’t do much to warm things up as high temperatures only get into the upper teens and 20s.

For those planning on heading out to Arrowhead Stadium to see the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots Sunday evening, make sure to dress warm! While it doesn’t look like it will be a record-breaking cold start for kick off at 5:40 pm, it will still be cold either way.

Tailgaters earlier in the day can also expect high temperatures in the low 20s for Kansas City, with wind chills in the teens due to a light breeze around 5 mph to 10 mph. Kickoff will start off right around 20°, before temperatures dip into teens by the time the game wraps up. However, that light breeze could get wind chills into single digits to right around 10° at times.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday will see a mix of sun and clouds overhead as temperatures finally rebound back into the 30s for highs.

Overnight lows on Monday will get down into the teens, with temperatures staying slightly below freezing for most on Tuesday with highs only in the upper 20s and lower 30s. That will be cold enough to support some passing snow showers as our next system pushes through late Monday night into Tuesday.

-KSNT Storm Track Meteorologist Christina Reis

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