What Is Going On With This Weather Pattern?

Good morning bloggers,

Los Angeles – Denver – Kansas City:  Look at what has happened in the first 65 days of this cycling weather pattern.  The pattern likely set up around October 6th or 7th, so let’s just say October 7th is day 1 of this years LRC. Today is day 65 of this years cycling pattern that will continue through next September.  It may be a bit surprising when you see these results.

  • Los Angeles, CA (Downtown Civic Center):  L.A. has had 4.7% of their average rainfall in this early season, in these first 65 days of this years cycling pattern.  The rainfall total is 0.10″ with 2.10″ being average by December 10th.  Los Angeles had only 0.36″ at this point last year, but then got 10 inches of rain by the end of February.   The lowest rainfall year in their recorded history is 3.21″.  So, they have to get hit by a few storms eventually right?
  • Denver, CO:  Denver is having a very long snow drought to start the season. 2.8″ of snow did fall, however, at the beginning of this years LRC.  This happened on October 9th and it has not snowed since
  • Kansas City, MO:  This is a shocker.  Kansas City is actually above average on rainfall since this LRC began.  5.07″ liquid has fallen since October 7th, and this is 115% of average.  4.80″ fell in October since October 7th. Then, only 0.27″ has fallen in the past 48 days, a 48 day dry spell. Ouch!  It did snow with minor accumulations just north of KC on October 31st. A trace was recorded at KCI Airport. That is our sitting total for the season thus far.

In summary, today is day 48 of the current Kansas City dry spell. Regardless of what model you look at, the dry pattern seems to continue with variations from model run to model run making no difference. Something has to give eventually, or this will be an historically dry year with low snowfall totals in many spots.  I am expecting this to “give”, the next big chance is around Christmas week, or we will have to wait until January.

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I just saw this map, above, tweeted out. I need to spend a bit more time looking at this graphic, but wow!

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Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Red Flag Warning (Fire danger warning).  The wind will shift to the northwest during the day with wind gusts up to 45 mph likely, possibly even 50 mph winds.  High:  54°
  • Tonight: Windy and colder. The winds gusting to 40 mph. Low:  25°
  • Tuesday:  Increasing clouds. High:  39°

The Developing Weather Pattern:

During these next ten days there will be a major transition in the weather pattern taking place, and yet look at this ten day precipitation forecast ending at midnight December 21st:

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These next ten days are forecast to be extremely dry from Southern California east to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  Los Angeles, Denver, and KC remain almost rain and snow free through these ten days.

Look at what is forecast to happen just two days after this ten day stretch:

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A blocking pattern is forecast to develop over the northern Pacific Ocean into the Gulf of Alaska. A storm is forecast to develop over the western states, but as I discussed, when it comes out, KC again was left almost high and dry. It seems almost impossible for this to happen, but we have experienced these things happening for years in a row now.  The surface map valid also at 288 hours or at midnight December 23rd, the storm is over the southwest. This is something we will be monitoring closely in the coming days.

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Can you see Stormy The Weather Dog? She was five years old. How do I know, because this is a picture from December 8, 2005.  Stormy loved the snow. Sunny The Weather Dog barely knows what snow is as she is only 2 1/2 years old. 11″ of snow had fallen in the KC metro area. What happened the rest of that winter? 3 more inches fell. The winter forecast that year was for 13″ to fall.  I thought on December 8th that I had blown that winter forecast for snowfall. But, it ended up accurate.

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This picture is from Saturday morning when there was a bit of frost on the ground.  I think Sunny will love to play in the snow, as she does in the book “It’s A Sunny Life”. We have a big book signing Saturday at the Nebraska Furniture Mart at 11 AM if you would like to come and get a present for a family member or a friend.  In the book, she makes paw prints in the snow to make a trail for her family to find her.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.  Go over to the blog at Weather2020.com, it’s free now, and you can join in on the conversation.  Have a great start to the week.

Gary

Another Dry Storm System

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are looking at some great weather, considering it is December 10th in Kansas City. We will be having a westerly breeze from the high Plains, so the wind is blowing from higher to lower elevations, or also know as downsloping winds, a warming wind as the air sinks and compresses. Highs today will rise to 55°-60° with full sunshine. We are tracking a storm system now in southwest Canada that once again originated as a large and wet storm system in the Pacific Ocean that had to track north over a big blocking ridge on the west coast. In this process, it lost strength and moisture. This storm will race by dry here, and become a large storm in New England. As a weather enthusiast, I can’t imagine experiencing the weather year after year in the northeast.

Let’s go through this dry storm system and look ahead 10 days to possible changes.

Here is the storm system we are tracking. Sunday morning it was topping the ridge in southwest Canada. It is about to make a southeast turn.

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The storm system will race southeast Monday, tracking northeast of KC, putting us on the periods of clouds, windy side of the storm system. There could be an evening sprinkle or flurry Monday. The system then turns east and northeast into New England where it will gather Atlantic Ocean and some Gulf of Mexico moisture to become a big storm system.

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SUNDAY: Highs will be 55°-60° from KC west and 50°-55° from KC east. It would not surprise me if we jumped to 60° at the last minute, before peak heating of the day ends. Highs will be 65°-70° in western Kansas.

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MONDAY MORNING: The day will start calm with a 10-20 mph southwest wind and temperatures in the 30s to near 40°. The southwest Canada storm system will be racing southeast along with it’s cold front.

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MONDAY 11 AM-1 PM: A cold front will be fast approaching, so we will see an increase in clouds and wind with temperatures rising to 50°-55°. There will be snow in the Great Lakes, far from our region.

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MONDAY 4-6 PM: It will be cloudy and very windy with gusts from the northwest to 40-45 mph as the cold front races away. Temperatures will drop to the 40s. We may see a sprinkle or flurry, but nothing significant.

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TUESDAY: There will be areas of clouds and seasonably cold with lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s.

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TUESDAY IN THE NORTHEAST USA: The storm system that races by here on Monday will become a big and wet storm system. The big cities on the coast may see just rain, but they will be close to the rain-snow line.

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Let’s look at the upper level flow and see if we can find any changes. This is the upper flow for today and you can see the huge blocking ridge on the west coast, so there is no change on this map.

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The upper level flow for Thursday is showing a subtle change as the big ridge is retrograding, or shifting west into the Pacific ocean. This is still dry for the middle of the USA as the ridge is still too close.

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Next weekend the ridge is in the Pacific ocean and much flatter and smaller. So, this is going to open the door to storm systems tracking into the western USA, which opens the door to the middle of the USA seeing better chances of rain and snow. It looks like the first system next weekend to move through the shrinking ridge may not be strong enough to bring any precipitation, but an upper low near Baja, CA will have to be watched around  the 20th and this looks to be followed by a few more storm systems.

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So, we have another 7-10 days of mostly dry weather and then a change is showing up and the door opens for us to see some rain or snow. The question is…Will we walk through the door?

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Have a great week ahead and remember the ongoing burn bans.

Jeff Penner

Dry Weather Pattern for Awhile

Good Saturday bloggers,

You do not need to be a meteorologist to know it has been dry around here as we have had .27″ of rain  since October 22nd. There are some signs of a change in the pattern that will open the door for some rain and snow in about 10 days. So, let’s go through this boring weather pattern for us here in KC.

SATURDAY: It will be mostly sunny with highs in the 30s, 20s to the northeast and 50s/60s to the southwest.

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SATURDAY AFTERNOON: We will be in the 30s, but warm air will be building around Edmonton and Calgary. This warmer air will head southeast for Sunday as our weather continues to move in from the northwest. This warmer air is a result of downslope warming and it will translate southeast Sunday.

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SUNDAY: Highs will be near 60° with near 70° southwest! The downslope warming is solely responsible and being aided by sunshine, very dry air and ground.

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What is going on? Why have we been so dry? Is there any chance of rain or snow?

We have been dealing with a blocking ridge on the west coast of North America, so these large, wet Pacific storm systems are forced north over the ridge into western Canada where they lose much moisture and strength. Then, they track southeast into the Midwest as small, fast-moving and moisture starved systems. They do not get their act together again until the head well southeast and east. This is also responsible for the dry California fire weather conditions.  This generates a surface high in the Rockies and with wind blowing away from high pressure you get the northeast, dry winds in California. These winds get forced in between the mountains, increase and become Santa Ana winds which spread fires rapidly.

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Is there any change to this pattern? We do see some hope in about 7-10 days. Here is the upper level flow for Saturday and you can see the big western ridge with a deep trough in the eastern USA. It was this trough that was responsible for the rare deep south snow followed by an east coast storm.

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15: We still see the big ridge on the west coast, but there is a subtle change. The upper level high is drifting west, retrograding. This is still keeping us in dry northwest flow, but a wave of energy is topping the ridge west of the Pacific Northwest and this will drop in farther west as the retrograding process proceeds.

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OK, here we go, next weekend. The ridge has shifted to the eastern Pacific Ocean and a storm system is in the Rockies. This will start a 7-10 day period where systems take this track, opening the door for precipitation in the Plains and in KC. This allows for Gulf of Mexico moisture to get pulled north farther west. When the storm systems drop over us or to the east, they do not gather moisture until they are way east. Now, the Rockies storm systems do not guarantee we see precipitation as they need to have some functionality. This data below has some potential to bring us rain or snow, but I would like to see a stronger system than what is depicted.

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Now, before we see a retrogression of the pattern, here is the snowfall forecast the next 7 days. We stay dry with perhaps some flurries or sprinkles, while the upper Midwest, Great Lakes to northeast USA have a series of snow systems. The really cold air stays to the east and northeast as well.

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So, we stay dry for another 7-10 days. We will be watching this change closely as could it bring us a white Christmas?

Have a great weekend and remember the burn bans across the area.

Jeff Penner

Fires Out West & Snow In The Deep South

Good morning bloggers,

Southern California is burning to a crisp with evacuations in neighborhoods that are being threatened, burning up, as a disaster is continuing out west. At the same time a rare southern United States snowstorm is in progress this morning.

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I saw this map that was tweeted out last night. It is titled, ” Days since Last Winter Weather Advisory by NWS Office”,  The zeros show the regions that were under an advisory last night or this morning.  What is disturbing? Look at the KC region.  My goodness!  Take a look at one of the model forecasts valid this afternoon:

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It is really a fascinating storm. Let’s remember this one for the next cycle as well.  It snowed in San Antonio and Austin, Texas as well.  And, this is the part of the pattern I picked to end the snowflake contest in KC.  Over 13,000 people participated in the contest, and KC has no sign of any snow in sight, but look at what is forecast to develop in the next two weeks:

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A rather large and cold Arctic air mass is growing, and within two weeks it is forecast to be rather expansive over almost all of Canada extending into Alaska and then across the North Pole.

While all of this happens, KC continues to be dry with no storm in sight.  We will discuss all of this on 41 Action News tonight.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let’s discuss any of this that comes to your mind over on the Weather2020 blog.

Have a great Friday!

Gary

How Dry Is It Getting?

Good morning bloggers,

Is it possible that Kansas City is going to have another very dry winter?  In our winter forecast we forecasted a dry season, but how dry could it be? Take a look at the past 30 days:

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Just look at these two maps above.  It has been an incredibly dry past 30 days across large chunks of the United States. And, it has also been a warm past 30 days as you can see on the map on the right.  This pattern has now set up; it is firmly established and showing very little signs of being able to produce wet storm systems west of the Mississippi River, with the exception of areas out across the Pacific northwest.

Precipitation Forecast: Next 16 Days

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This is a very dry weather forecast through December 20th.  Kansas City has been in, what could be called, a snow drought for three winters in a row already. Just look at last years snowfalls, only five measurable snows all winter. Could this year be worse?

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Here is a video:

Update on the cycling pattern from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Maybe there will be some twists and turns to this cycling pattern. But, right now it is about as boring as it can be? Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Go over to the Weather2020.com blog and join in the conversation. Have a great day!

Gary