Kansas City Snowfall Probabilities
Meteorological summer ended on August 31 and on Saturday we had the Autumnal Equinox, marking the official start of Fall for Kansas City and the United States for that matter. The colder air is already showing itself with low temperatures well into the 30s across parts of Kansas and Missouri Sunday morning. Colder air will continue to gradually work south and the usual rain (or lack thereof this year) will turn to snow! The extended range models agree with this idea, pushing strong arctic cold fronts into the Plains in early October. In the meantime though, I’ve gathered up a few snowfall facts for Kansas City as well as some daily probability graphs for snowfall in KC too for your enjoyment.
Earliest Snowfall - October 13, 2001 (Trace)
Earliest Measurable Snowfall - October 15, 1898 (3.3 inches)
Latest First Snowfall - Winter of 1933-34 on January 21, 1934 (0.6 inches)
Latest First Measurable Snowfall - Winter of 1933-34 on January 21, 1934 (0.6 inches)
Latest Snowfall - May 3, 1907 (1.7 inches)
Latest Measurable Snowfall - May 3, 1907 (1.7 inches)
Largest Single Day Snowfall - March 23, 1912 (20.5 inches)
Now onto some graphs, each graph contains the daily probability based upon data from 1889-2011 (123 years) as well as a 7 day moving average for a ‘smoothed’ line of these probabilities.
A few noteworthy details given by the graphics, January 25th and 26th are the days most likely to have snow with 25 of 123 years recording at least a trace of snowfall. Those two dates obviously fall around the peak of when snow is most likely in Kansas City for the winter season, late January into early February. There are three days which share the distinction of most likely for accumulating snowfall, January 26th, February 4th and February 21st all have a 19% chance of snow (23 of 123 days). Looking for those bigger snowfall amounts? February 28th has had the most snowfalls of an inch or greater since 1889; December 24th and February 23rd both have had the most snowfalls of 3 inches or greater.
There is a lot more you can discern from the graphs if you look at them closely. Have a question about the data or a comment, leave it here or send it to me on Twitter @SeverePlains.