A Recap Of The Three Recent Storms & A Look Ahead

Good morning bloggers,

Who is worn out?  I know I am, and I am still energized by this incredible weather pattern that we have been experiencing.  There is so much to discuss today and I am trying to figure out where to begin.  Well, let’s begin with the snowfall total on the Plaza for our contest.

IMG_7292This was our third storm system in the past five days.  The first storm came through Friday and caused the conditions for the horrific multi-vehicle accidents on I-70, including the 47-car pile up near Oak Grove, MO.  This first storm produced 4.2″ in front of our studios on the Plaza.   And, then we had the second system come through on Saturday evening with the graupel, snow, and freezing drizzle.  The graupel was fascinating in its own right as it was being described as dippin’ dots.  I ended up getting a great video of Sunny while it was falling. That system did produce 1/2″ to 1″ of snow up north. On the Plaza it produced 0.1″.   Then, we had last last nights third storm in five days.  I measured in five spots that were cleared and had new snow, and the total is 2.9″ as of 6 AM this morning.  For our contest, this will end up being a total of 7.20″.   I will post all of the entries below.

I think we set the record on the number of comments yesterday in one blog.  Thank you for sharing and participating.  Many of you got the usual “modelitis sickness” and emotions were up and down based on every hour of model runs.  The most important thing to do on days like this is to monitor radar, satellite, and surface observations.  Remember rule #1 of forecasting:  Always look outside because you never know!  So, if you are immersed into the computer models, then you may forget rule #1.  It was quite difficult, as right before I left for work, the European Model had an epic failure on its snow modeling. It had zero accumulation south and east of around downtown KC, and it would have been easy to panic at that point. Then a few HRRR model runs came in with similar solutions early in the afternoon, and it was about that time I found one of the disturbances over Oklahoma that was strong enough to convince me those models were just “bad” data.  And, I updated you in the blog to try and help with your emotions.  That disturbance did track northeast into Missouri, and it put KC into the favorable spot, and yes, it was the disturbance we discussed in the days leading up this storm. The LRC helped with a specific forecast.

I-70 was shut down once again and closed east of KC in the 6 AM hour once again today, but it quickly opened up again with no reports of any major crashes.

A Look Into This Weather Pattern:


This map above is what I showed last night on the 10 PM newscast.  It was a modeling of one possible solution for the Saturday storm system.  If you have been following the LRC closely, then you know this is the “St. Louis storm” part of the cycling pattern in this third LRC cycle.  In mid-November there was a 9-inch snowstorm that hit St. Louis. KC had snow from this system as well, and this part of the pattern did produce another system in cycle 2 in early January.  Both systems tracked south, so a south trend on the models makes sense by just knowing how to use the LRC.  The models have had this south trend, and if they track this system just a bit farther south, it would potentially be a blizzard in the KC viewing area.

2As I just discussed, the trend has been for this system to track farther south.  This map on the left shows the 500 mb flow valid at noon central time Saturday.  Look at the little circle near Wichita, KS. This is the type of storm that the blizzard conditions would develop just north and west of this upper level low. So, if it tracks south of your location, then you would go into that snowstorm and blizzard threat.  Ahead of the upper low and to the south and east there will be a chance of thunderstorms.  This is a fast moving system that is being ejected out by another system moving into the western United States, near Seattle, WA.

The trend has been south, and we will just have to see how this third LRC cycle sets up. Remember, “it’s the same, but different”, as Gary England said to me ten years ago, a meteorologist in Oklahoma (was in the movie Twister as the featured weatherman warning the public).  He said this to me when he actually had a glimpse of the LRC.  He saw the complex puzzle that we share with you here, and he only saw it once, in that 2009-2010 winter when I was trying to explain to him why Oklahoma City would get hit by a major snowstorm. I discussed this with him around a week before it produced as it fit the pattern. Then, he has told me, he has never seen it again. This is how complex the LRC truly is.  I am on a tangent now, omg.  Anyway, this storm fits too, and it is “the same, but different”. So, we must see how this third cycle sets up this weekend.  The fourth cycle of the LRC will begin in around a week to ten days.


This next map shows the Saturday storm system. This is the NAM model that has its own solution. I don’t want to over analyze this system yet, as we just need to see how the models trend today.  For now, this storm is pulling away, and we get somewhat of a two day breather before Saturday’s storm approaches.

The Weather Blog Snow Forecasting Game Results:

  • Storm #1:  4.2″
  • Storm #2:  0.1″
  • Storm #3:  2.9″
  • Total:  7.2″

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Thank you so much for entering.  If you take Jeff Penner and myself out of the contest, then we have a blogger winner.  The winner gets the honor of being the “Best Weather Forecaster Of The Week” award.  The winner is Malarcky!  Malarcky, you are “THE BEST WEATHER FORECASTER OF THE WEEK”.  Congratulations! We should play another game. What would you all suggest?  The 7.20″ of snow that fell in the five days is about as much as what fell all of last winter, and more than the previous two winters before that. Wow!

Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the snow on top of snow with a snow depth of nearly 6″ here in KC:


Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Here is the link to the Weather2020 blog so you can join in the conversation, or read the comments from our weather friends as we discuss this fascinating weather pattern:  Weather2020 Blog

Have a great day. We will go in-depth on 41 Action News tonight as this next storm comes into focus.


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