A Christmas Arctic Blast Is Increasingly Likely

Good Sunday afternoon bloggers,

The blog is a bit later today. I went to the Chiefs game yesterday, a huge 30-13 victory. On Sports Radio 810 AM, at 7:55 AM Friday, I predicted two Marcus Peters interceptions, and it verified. So, now can we get an accurate Christmas forecast out there now, seven days away from Christmas Eve, eight days from Christmas Day?

GFS Model Forecast Valid 6 AM Christmas Morning:

Christmas Morning

The models are still all over the place when it comes to the specifics of what will happen during the next week. One thing that seems fairly certain; there will be an Arctic Blast over the northern part of the United States. How strong and how far south will this impact is still a big question, however?  Will there be a storm system:

  • The GFS Model: Has storm systems, but leaves Kansas City high and dry with just a few snow flurries. This GFS model appeared to be heading in the direction of a major storm and then it didn’t quite develop for KC.
  • The Canadian Model:  This model shows a major snowstorm/winter storm near Kansas City right around Christmas Eve
  • The European Model:  The Euro has around a 4 to 8″ snowstorm centered on KC on Christmas Eve

If you were reading through the comments Friday night, then you likely saw that I had gone through an extensive analysis of this pattern, and there were some really interesting findings.  As is, this pattern eventually just has to produce some snow.  But, also as is, if the cycles were exactly the same line for line, then it will be a struggle for one to come together. But, before we lose hope we must realize it is rarely ever line for line, although once in a while it almost incredibly lines up almost perfectly from one cycle to another. More often than not, however, there are significant seasonal differences, and there are enough influences from other factors that we can get some interesting twists and get a major storm in one cycle and almost nothing in another. It is important to have this understanding and realize there is hope for us weather enthusiasts. Just look at this next picture:


This is a picture outside my yard on December 7, 2005.  There was one of these twists that produced nearly a foot of snow in Kansas City in this December cycle, but in the next cycle there were different influences on the pattern and there were only flurries.

LRC Cycle 2 December 7 2005Look at the weather pattern for this big snowstorm on December 7, 2005. A huge upper low formed northwest of KC, but because an Arctic air mass was in place, this pattern produced the major snowstorm southeast of that upper low.  In the very next cycle, a wave came over the west coast ridge and never amplified into an upper low. It was the “same pattern, but different”, as Gary England said around ten years ago. The differences were enough to have huge differences in what we experienced at the surface, yet we can show you it was the same pattern.  That was then, and this is now.

Take a look at the weather pattern as of December 16th, yesterday.  The upper low over Mexico got kicked out and we had our little rainfall event.  This pattern, as shown on the actual analysis, not a computer projection that we keep looking at, shows a very different pattern than what was predicted just seven days before.  Here is yesterday:

LRC Cycle 2 December 16

Now, the forecast a week ago for today is shown on this map below.



The model did not do such a horrible job, but that upper low that just produced rain was not forecast to be kicked out at all a week ago. Look at  how different this actually was in just a one week forecast.  We will be in search of one of these differences in the next week.

It rained this morning, sort of breaking the “ice” on the very long dry spell we have been in, but only sort of; only 0.08″ fell at KCI Airport. Oh, a few locations and 0.30″ to 0.45″ but this barely breaks the ice, in my opinion, and we certainly haven’t broken the ice when it comes to snow.

I am hopeful that our conversation will be of excitement for the weather and snow enthusiast in the next week, and not disappointment again. Remember, the weather pattern is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Now, what is it going to be, we are trying our best to forecast this, and the LRC provides the best tool available in the field of meteorology to do so.  There are systems that cycled through in the past cycle, during November, but there was no Arctic air available. This “twist” is one of the differences that may end up helping, or hurting? We just don’t know yet.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day sharing in this Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in our conversation.


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