Another Heavy Rain Event & The Cycling Pattern

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

Jeff Penner and I just measured 4.78″ of rain here on the Plaza. I measured 3.05″ at my place in Overland Park. Wow! And, once again there were spots that got missed. St. Joseph officially had 0.21″ of rain from the entire event.  The same spots keep getting hit, and the same spots that have been missed keep getting missed.  Our weather team has been using our knowledge of the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis and other weather forecast tools and methods to accurately make predictions for these big rainfall events.

Here are the radar estimated totals from this last big rain event.  Remember, these are radar estimates, so your rain gauge will very likely read differently.

The heaviest rain in Kansas City occurred from Bonner Springs to Lee’s Summit with amounts 4″ to 7″.  Despite these high rainfall totals, we avoided a major flood catastrophe as the rain ended midnight to 2 AM.  If it ended 2 AM to 4 AM we could have had some big issues around the city as creeks and streams were at their brink by 2 AM.  The other reasons we avoided a huge flood mess  is that the rainfall rate was just a shade less than the event from July 26-27 and the rain, overall occurred over a longer period of time.  It was just enough to avoid a major Indian Creek flood.

August 5-6 Rain South KC

The northern part of Kansas City received 2″ to 3″, except northeast Clay county that saw .25″ to 1″.  These seem like smaller amounts, but remember the whole month of August average is 3.89″ of rain

August 5-6 Rain North KC

These rainfall totals will not seem small.  Look at these amounts from south of Warrensburg to around Osage Beach, 8″ to nearly 11″!

August 5-6 Rain South MO

When you look at the state of Missouri, amounts ranged from 10″-11″ in the Ozarks to none-.10″ in northern sections.  This is why giving us a hard time on the forecast may be fun, but frankly, it is a waste of time.  We did quite well forecasting this event with a 2-3 day lead time.

August 5-6 Rain Wide

Now, what is next?  Let’s go through the week ahead.

Today will see lots of clouds, but the rain is over and any showers in northern MO will end.  Most of the rain will move into Arkansas and the Tennessee Valley.  Highs will be in the 70s.


MONDAY-WEDNESDAY:  We will be tracking weak disturbances moving east out of the Rockies.  They will bring areas of showers and thunderstorm to the western Plains, but by the time they reach our area they will be reduced to producing clouds as a surface high pressure brings comfortable east to northeast winds. Highs will be in the 70s to low 80s.  A few showers and thunderstorms may sneak in Tuesday night and Wednesday.


THURSDAY-SATURDAY: These will be the days with our next chance of bigger thunderstorms.  It is too early to tell ff this will become an excessive event.



How does this fit into the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis? There are many of you out there thinking that we can not predict events like the one that happened last night in a forecast from weeks to months ago, but this is simply not true.  Here is what I wrote a few days ago.

We have just started the sixth cycle of this years weather pattern. A unique weather pattern sets up every fall according to the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  The pattern usually begins between the 5th and 10th of October. The pattern that sets up, then evolves, and becomes established during October and November. By December we can see and experience the pattern repeating. Incredibly, the pattern then continues through the rest of fall, winter, spring, and summer with a regular cycle.  This years cycle fell into the 56-61 day range centered on 58 to 59 days.  Let’s look at what happened around this week in each cycle:

  • Cycle 1, around October 13th:  Kansas City was close to having an early freeze on October 13th.  The low was 35 degrees with a high of 58. Just four days later it was 87 with a low of 71, then it was back down to 38 degrees on the 21st
  • Cycle 2, around December 11th (59 days later):  Kansas City had a low of 20 degrees with a high of 44.  It dropped to 13 on the 12th, and then to NINE DEGREES BELOW ZERO on the 18th.  2″ of snow fell on December 17th, 2 of the whopping 5.3″ of snow this past winter.
  • Cycle 3, around February 8th (59 days later):  The low was 15 degrees with a high of 27. IT WAS 69 degrees just two days later. INCREDIBLE warm up. And, we know how dry it was in February
  • Cycle 4, around April 8th (59 days later):  It was 34 degrees for a low on the 7th, then it warmed up to 77 degrees on the 8th, and then back down to 37 degrees  on the 11th
  • Cycle 5, around June 6th (59 days later):  It was 82 degrees with a low of 65, but wait a second.  It dropped to lows of 59, 58, and 56 degrees on the 7th-8th-9th
  • Cycle 6, around August 4th (59 days later):  It appears we will be in the 50s for lows again later this week which will be close to record lows.  Also, on Saturday we set a record for the coldest high on August 5th and we tied for the 5th coldest August high ever.


What makes these cold period so amazing in this year’s CPH, is that they were somewhat extreme in a few of the cycles during what was otherwise a warm and snow-less winter.

We did not predict this event that just happened, but we could have done it by using the second cycle.  In the second cycle of this years pattern, during the December 11th to December 18th time frame, Kansas City had the coldest temperature of the season and our first inch of snow.  The temperature dropped to 9 below zero on the 18th of December. How will our forecast improve in the future by using the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis? We are actually doing it now and testing it  out by blending the cycles. The December results blended in would have been a strong indicator of thunderstorms during the first week of August and a near record cool period. We just set two record lows.  It was not forecast by our team, but we could have had it in there. As we learn more, these forecasts will only get better. We have a peer review paper that will be submitted to one of the top journals in weather science this year. We will be sharing this with the rest of our scientific community soon, and of course we have been sharing this with you for around 15 years now in this blog and in the Weather2020 blog.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary and Jeff

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