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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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