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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.

Snowfall since October1

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

gfs_apcpn_namer_52

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

A Northern Plains & Upper Midwest Winter Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Windy and unseasonably warm through 2 PM. Then, the wind will shift to the northwest with temperatures dropping later this afternoon. High:  68°

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The weather pattern is fascinating and also seemingly frustrating for the weather enthusiasts around Kansas City.  If you have been monitoring the computer models and waiting for something exciting to show up, then you are likely quite frustrated.  Oh, it is exciting today way up to the  north and we will begin with that, but farther south it is dry, getting drier, and there seems to be no major storm systems in sight.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 7.17.07 AM

This current storm tracking into the plains is right on schedule.  The LRC is coming even more into focus as we move through this first week of December. It now appears that the cycle length may very well be closer to 42-49 days (centered on 45.5 days), which was our first assumption way back in October.  In my 30 years of experience in tracking and finding this big piece of the atmospheric puzzle, it has usually taken until around December 10th or so before we can finally narrow in on the cycle length. This storm looks awfully similar to one from 42 1/2 days before Tuesday night. Take a look:

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If you are new to the LRC, then let me introduce it to you.  According to the LRC:

  • A unique pattern sets up in the fall between October 1st and November 30th
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established (anchor troughs and ridges).  These large scale features are where storm systems will be reaching their peak strength most often, and the ridges are where they will reach their weakest strength most often. If you are near a one of the anchor troughs, then you have a much better chance of having an above average number of precipitation producing storm systems.
  • The pattern is cycling, and a cycle length becomes established by around the first half of December. This cycle length then is set, and consistent from the rest of fall, winter, spring, and through the next summer until another unique pattern sets up the next October

We have had a unique pattern, one that has never happened before, set up in the past few weeks. We make a lot of assumptions, but it is likely now set. The LRC itself is almost flawless. The accuracy of the cycling pattern is nearly 100%. The challenge for the weather forecaster is to make forecasts in the future from one day to up to almost 300 days from now and to get them accurately predicted. If you can get 60 to 70% of your forecasts predicted accurately, then this would be just incredible. This is what we strive for at Weather2020, LLC.  We have been increasingly accurate in the past few years, but 60 to 70% also means a 30 to 40% error rate.

Just look at our first true comparison from our first cycle to the beginning of the second cycle. These two maps are 42 and a half days apart. Just a week ago it appeared to be 49 days.  We will confirm the cycle length in the next three weeks. For now what does this mean? In KC, it is very dry. Our winter forecast is for it to be dry, but also for this pattern to produce some snow, 21.5″ in my forecast for the winter season.

Today’s Surface Map, from 7:43 AM central time:

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A strong cold front is approaching from the northwest.  The chance of rain with a few thunderstorms increases after the front passes by KC.  So, the chance of measurable rain is around 20% for a very brief window early this afternoon as the front passes by.

What happens next will be monitored closely.  Will it snow later this week? Kansas City has not had one snowflake yet on the south side of the city. KCI Airport did have snow on October 31st. But, for the rest of us, we are still waiting.

Have a great day, and thank you for participating and sharing in the Action Weather Blog experience. Go over to Weather2020.com and click on the blog over there to join in the conversation.

Gary

A Big Change to Cold, Any Snow?

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today is going to be another mild day with highs 60°-65°, but the differences from Saturday will be more clouds and an increasing south wind. The Supermoon will be visible from time to time tonight as it will not become totally thick overcast until after midnight. However, even before midnight there will be times of total cloud cover. The moon rises at 5:28 PM and sets Monday at 8:12 AM.

Let’s go through the changes and see if we can find any precipitation.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The wind will be increasing with areas of lower clouds moving north underneath eastward moving cirrus clouds. So, we will see the sun from time to time, filtering through the high clouds. The wind will be increasing to 10-25 mph from the south and southeast.

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MONDAY MORNING: The day will start mostly cloudy, very windy and mild with temperatures 60°-65° along with a shower and/or mist. The first cold front of the week will be racing southeast across Nebraska as a snowstorm occurs in the Dakotas, heading to Minnesota.

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MONDAY NOON: The cold front will be on our doorstep with temperatures 65°-70°. The record is 69° set in 2001, we will come close. There will be a few showers along with gusty south-southwest winds. We need the rain, but Monday will bring only a trace to .05″.

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MONDAY EVENING: The front will already be near St. Louis and the little showers that were along the front in KC will become a nice line of rain and thunderstorms as the front heads east. It would be good to see a nice line of rain here in KC, but the front is moving too fast. Our temperatures will be in the 40s falling to the 30s as this front is more of Pacific origin. So, this front will take us from unseasonably warm to where it should be for this time of year.

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UPPER LEVEL FLOW FRIDAY: After the early week storm tracks across the northern Plains it will lift north into eastern Canada and evolve into a deep trough extending from the North Pole to Midwest. A tall ridge will form on the west coast of North America which in combination with the trough to the east turns the flow from Alaska and The Yukon right in to the Midwest. KC is on the western edge of the serious cold which means we will see in and out of the very cold.

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FRIDAY NIGHT-SATURDAY MORNING: Our coldest night this week looks to be Friday night into Saturday as lows will drop to 5°-15° in our area with below zero likely in Minnesota. You can see 32° in Valentine, NE which not only means we are on the edge of the cold, but it will warm up after this Arctic plunge. However, this Arctic plunge will likely be followed by more shots of cold the following week.

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SNOWFALL FORECAST NEXT 7 DAYS: Monday and Tuesday, as the colder change begins, there will be a snowstorm from the Dakotas to Minnesota with 1″ to 10″ of snow likely. Then, as the Arctic air heads south there will be a series of southward moving disturbances that will bring a dusting to 4″ of snow from the northern Plains to Iowa, Missouri and points east. The heavier snow will be east of the Mississippi river.

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Could KC see any snow? Well, on Friday, as the coldest air blasts south, flurries are possible. A dusting to 1″ is possible in eastern Missouri and there is a chance this could shift west.  We will know more as we get closer.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

A Dry Change to Winter

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are in for an unseasonably warm weekend as highs reach 60°-65°. This means that if you have not put up the Christmas lights or cleaned up the leaves, this will be a great weekend for those activities.  It is also going to be great weather for Christmas light viewing in locations such as the Plaza, Longview lake, the Overland Park Arboretum and Deanna Rose or anywhere else.

A colder pattern arrives next week, so let’s go through this change. It has been rather dry and we could use some moisture, but you will see this change does not hold much hope for precipitation in our area.

SATURDAY: What a great day with almost no wind.

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SUNDAY: Low clouds will move in tonight and areas that are cloudy will see lows in the 40s Sunday while clear areas will see lows in the 30s. All locations Sunday will see more clouds with highs climbing to 60°-65° along with more of a breeze from the south.

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MONDAY EARLY AM: This is the day of transition as a cold front will be rapidly approaching from the northwest early in the morning. Temperatures will likely be 60°-65° early in the morning around here as we have strong south winds, low clouds and possibly a shower. A snowstorm will be ongoing in the Dakotas.

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MONDAY NOON: The cold front will be on the doorstep of KC with temperatures in the 60s, a strong south wind, and possibly a few showers.

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MONDAY EVENING: The cold front will be racing east and as it does move east showers and thunderstorms will be increasing, so eastern Missouri has the best chance of meaningful rain. We may see a trace to .05″ as the front zips by. Monday night will be clear, windy and cold with temperatures in the 30s, colder yes, but nothing unusual for December.

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UPPER LEVEL FLOW THIS WEEKEND: The flow will still be from west to east like it has been for a few weeks. This flow keeps the Arctic cold bottled up across Canada and Alaska as Pacific air flows in behind each front.  This is going to change this week.

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UPPER LEVEL FLOW FRIDAY: The weather pattern will feature a large and tall ridge on the west coast of North America and a deep trough from the North Pole to Midwest. This turns the flow from north to south out of western Canada into the Midwest. So, the Arctic air bottled up in Canada and Alaska will become unleashed and head south.

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END OF NEXT WEEK: The very coldest of the air will be found from the northern Plains to Midwest, northeast of our area. Lows may reach -10° in Minnesota while we see lows in the teens with highs in the 30s. We will be on the southwest edge of the cold, so it will be in and out of our area, so we will see some days with highs 45-50 and lows 25-35 into the second week of December. The data is trending drier and drier. So, not only will we not see much rain with the Monday cold front, but the chances of snow with the cold air is rather low for the next 6-10 days.  This may change, but the trend is drier.

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

How Dry Has It Been?

Good morning bloggers,

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In our winter forecast we showed a forecast, and we basically used persistence, what has happened should continue to happen.  There will be some twists and turns from cycle to cycle in this weather pattern we are beginning to experience. There are no signs of this changing at this moment.

Kansas City November Stats:

  • Highest Temperature:  72° on the 24th
  • Lowest Temperatures:  16° on the 22nd
  • Total precipitation:  0.27″ (1.88″ below average, 13% of average)
  • Total snowfall:  NONE, average is 1″

The Developing Weather Pattern:

1The weather pattern is about to amplify big time, and how it amplifies will help determine how cold it will get, and where winter storm systems will form. In the past few years KC has almost always been in the wrong spot. Are we going to have to deal with this again for the fourth winter in a row.  I sure hope not. This map on the left is showing the latest model run from the GFS.

2The map on the right is showing a model run from a few days earlier showing a big upper high forming near and over Greenland.  This is when we thought there could be a deep negative  AO and NAO index developing, leading to blocking, which could benefit winter weather enthusiasts by strengthening the jet stream and forcing it south. But, even when these solutions came out the models have not even been able to produce what some of us call “fantasy storms” since they are only on the models, then never come to reality.

The trend on the models is for this amplification to happen, but what does it really mean? We are in a very dry weather pattern right now across many areas.  The most likely region to start getting blasted is east of Kansas City and centered on the Ohio River Valley northeast to New England. Kansas City is on the back edge.

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The NAO is forecast to head slightly positive, then dip a bit in the next two weeks, while the Arctic Oscillation (AO) never dipped as much as was being forecast, but it is still staying on the negative side of neutral.  There have been a few studies of the NAO and AO and what they will mean for a cold or warm winter ahead. The NAO going negative has shown to be a better indicator of whether or not it will be cold. Let’s see where these trend in the next few weeks.

For now, the dry weather continues. Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Let us know if yo have any comments as our discussion continues over on the Weather2020 blog.

Gary

A First Look Into The First LRC Cycle

Good morning bloggers,

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This map above is a 16-day forecast from the GFS model (06z or midnight central time).  There are many interesting things to ponder by just looking at this one map.  The most obvious is the brutally cold air mass that is forecast to blast into the middle of the nation.  The second thing is where it is located.  Something you do not see here is that our LRC computer model has had this predicted for a few weeks already to arrive around mid-December.  Fred Broski, who used to be a weathercaster in Kansas City, has become a good friend of mine and he is just such a funny and insightful guy. He isn’t even a meteorologist.  He did the weather and entertained audiences for years on television for many years here in KC. He has explained to me many times when I complained a bit about how dry it is, etc; “Gary, of course the weather is doing exactly what it is supposed to do”.  Think about that statement. This first cycle was fascinating. The weather in the second cycle will be equally as fascinating. As the weather pattern repeats, and cycles through this winter two more times before spring gets here, the weather will do exactly what it was supposed to do. We are trying to predict it, and we have learned a lot in the past few years, but we are still predicting the future. We have made our forecast for the winter. Let’s see what actually happens.

Here is my video that may explain a little bit of this.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go click on the blog at Weather2020.com and join in the conversation.

Gary

Gary