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What Do You Think Will Happen This Winter

Good morning bloggers,

Welcome to the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  What do you think is going to happen this winter? Let’s test your LRC skills.  Go over to the blog here:  Weather2020 blog and let us know what you are seeing and I will share some of these on the air Tuesday night on 41 Action News. I will be providing a preview to the winter forecast Tuesday night at 10 PM.  The full winter forecast comes out two weeks from today.  The weather pattern is fascinating. According to my hypothesis, a unique weather pattern sets up every fall from around October 1 to November 30. The pattern then is established, cycles regularly, and continues through the next September.  As discussed last week, we are in the “panic period” where we are now still seeing parts of the pattern for the first time. What has happened in the past five weeks is of utmost importance, so when you make your prediction, think about that big picture.

The Developing Weather Pattern:

In 1982, my Junior year at the University of Oklahoma, I took Synoptic Meteorology and Synoptic Lab. We plotted so many maps back then and I got an A in Synoptic Lab. When you are plotting the 500 mb charts, you should draw in the 570 and 540 dm lines (dm stands for decameters).  The 500 mb level is half way through the atmosphere in weight. 0 mb, or no weight is the top of the atmosphere, and 1000 mb is near the surface.  This 500 mb level is around 18,000 feet up. I drew in these lines below:

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A trough is forecast to swing across the west coast later this week. This map above is valid at 6 PM Thursday evening.  The map below is folic Sunday morning, when the Chiefs will be in East Rutherford, NJ to play the New York Giants. I am flying into New York Saturday for a two day trip and I have great seats to see if the Chiefs can beat the Giants to get to 7-3. I will be wearing a few layers as it looks pretty cold. Look at what happens to the trough as it moves into eastern North America:

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Some blocking develops north of the upper low, and you can see this where I plotted the big H up there. The models continue to be all over the place after this period, and I still don’t trust them at all. Once we know the LRC better in just two weeks or so, we will begin to “know” when the models are right and “know” when they are likely wrong.

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The latest Arctic Oscillation Index came in this morning with the ensemble members of the models showing a very likely huge dip to negative that we have been waiting for, anticipating, and maybe it will actually happen. If this dip does indeed happen this week, the next ten days should become more unpredictable and if the pattern blocks up, the chance of an Arctic Blast will increase. Again, there are too many uncertainties at this moment.

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At the surface, you can see this storm beginning to intensify as it moves out into the plains states Friday.  As this storm moves east it picks up some moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a blizzard forms just north of the Great Lakes over southeast Canada.

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So, what do you think will happen this winter. Join in the conversation over at Weather2020 where we are sharing this technology with you.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading todays blog. Have a great start to the week.

Gary

Warmer Week Ahead

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today is day 17 in a row with below average temperatures as a warmer pattern lurks around the corner. We will be tracking a series of fast moving systems that will bring a pattern of fast changing air masses, but since the systems are tracking west to east there are no big cold air masses with the systems. We will be seeing mostly Pacific air.

Let’s go through the week ahead.

First, here is a look at our KC below average temperature stretch of weather. It started on October 27th and will end either Monday or more likely Tuesday.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The clearing line will be moving south into northwest Missouri. Highs will rise to 49°-53° in the sun areas and stay 45°-49° in cloud areas.  KC is on the line. This data has a high of 52°, but we are going 50°, again sun dependent.

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SUNDAY NIGHT-MONDAY MORNING: Low clouds will fill back in and there will be fog as well.  Some of the fog may be rather dense and if temperatures are below freezing we could see some black ice. However, the latest data is trending a bit warmer and every degree will make a difference.  So, tomorrow morning be aware of low visibility and possible slick spots.

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MONDAY AFTERNOON: There will be some sun and again, more sun highs will be 50°-55° and more clouds, highs will be 45°-50°. We are leaning in the cloud direction.

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TUESDAY MORNING: Our next system will be moving in and low clouds will cover all locations with some drizzle possible. Temperatures will be quite mild with lows 45°-50°. A south wind will be increasing to 10-20 mph.

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TUESDAY AFTERNOON: It will be cloudy, breezy and mild with a few showers or drizzle as highs climb to the 50s.

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WEDNESDAY: Lows will be in the 50s as south winds and clouds Tuesday night along with drizzle keep temperatures up. So, when a weak cold front moves by Wednesday morning, the sun will come out and our high will be around 60°.

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THURSDAY: It will be clear Wednesday night with lows in the 30s ahead of our next storm system. A new warm front will be surging north so more low clouds, drizzle, fog and a few showers will arrive Thursday with highs around 50°. The warm front will surge by Thursday night as the storm system is pretty strong and tracks to our north. So, our high Thursday may be reached at 11:59 PM and could be close to 60°.

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FRIDAY: Look at the temperature at 9 AM Friday, 63°. Yes, we may see our Friday high in the morning in the 60s ahead of another cold front as a strong storm system races along I-80. The front is not that strong (Pacific Air) so Friday afternoon would see temps mostly in the 50s. Next weekend looks calm after the storm system with highs mostly in the 50s and lows in the 20s and 30s.

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Total rainfall this week will be .05″ to .45″, so probably not enough in one event to get that fertilizer down. It is good to get a November lawn fertilization in before the winter sets in.

Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

A Cold Stretch and Rain Chances

Happy Veteran’s day bloggers,

We are in for a cold weekend with a very good chance of drizzle and light rain. Has it seemed cold for awhile? If your answer is yes, you are right. We have seen below average temperatures for 16 straight days, including today. Sunday and Monday will take the streak to 18. We do have warmer days in the forecast, Tuesday-Thursday will see highs around 60° as the humidity increases along with our chances of rain.

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Let’s go through the weekend forecast as we track a system coming out of the Rockies.

SATURDAY MORNING: At the surface there is a low in southwest Kansas with a warm front extending into north central then southeast Kansas. Temperatures were near 50° this morning in southern Kansas and over 50° in Oklahoma. This warmer and moist air is heading northeast into our cool air and this is going to cause low clouds, fog, drizzle and light rain as a storm system heads east out of the Rockies.

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SATURDAY (NOON): Drizzle and light rain will be increasing just to the west of the state line.

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SATURDAY EVENING: Drizzle and light rain will be widespread across the area with perhaps a few moderate showers. Temperatures will be in the low 40s, so there will be no icing, just wet to damp roads. Now, if there are wet leaves on the ground, that can make it slick, so keep an eye out for that.

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SATURDAY NIGHT: The drizzle will end after midnight, between 3 AM and 6 AM with temperatures around 40°.

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SUNDAY MORNING: The rain and drizzle will be over, with low clouds and some fog around. The roads will be damp to wet with temperatures around 40°.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The clearing line will move through and we should see some sun at least 1-2 hours before sunset. Highs will be 40°-45° if the clouds stay all day, but highs will reach near 50° if the sun comes out faster.

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MONDAY MORNING: This is interesting as the sky will likely be clear Sunday evening along with a light wind as a surface high pressure settles over head. This is the set up for fog and low clouds due to the moisture still hanging around. If the fog forms and gets thick enough and lows drop to 27°-32° we could see some black ice. The chance is 20%, but something to monitor.

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TUESDAY-THURSDAY: There will be two more systems to track as warmer and more humid air moves north. Highs will reach the 50s to low 60s these days with dew points similar. So, as these systems move by, more drizzle and rain showers will be possible later Tuesday into Wednesday and Thursday. This does look like a thunderstorm set up, but mostly for locations well east, as the systems are moving quickly and it will not totally get their act together until they reach the Mississippi river. Now, that being said, we could see .10″ to .80″ of rain total the next 7 days, including today. The heaviest rain will occur east of the Mississippi river as it has been mostly doing the last three weeks.

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Happy Veteran’s day and thank you for your service.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

The Leaves Begin Falling Faster

Good morning bloggers,

We had a very hard freeze in Kansas City this morning. It dropped to below 25 degrees and stayed there for six hours this morning.  This will cause the leaves to fall faster and also spark more trees to change color.  We had peak color this week, and there are still many gorgeous trees out there.  I got this picture of Sunny The  Weather Dog earlier today as the sun was rising:

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The weather pattern continues to set up for the season. We are now just over two weeks away from our official winter forecast. It will come out on Monday, November 27th. We will likely have a preliminary outlook in the next week.  We are still seeing more parts of this first LRC Cycle, so as I said yesterday, don’t panic as we are in the panic period. The models are all over the place. There has been one very consistent aspect to this pattern that continues from model run to model run. The fact that it has been dry out west, and it continues to be forecast to be dry out over the southwest.

16-day Precipitation Forecast:

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I just need a few more days to analyze this developing pattern. I will be spending a few hours this weekend going over all of the pieces of the winter forecast puzzle.  Have a great Friday Night In The Big Town and thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.

Gary

The Panic Period

Good morning bloggers,

We hope everyone is having a great Thursday.  It is a pretty quiet day across the United States.  There is a storm coming into the Pacific northwest, and this storm will then zip out over the plains states, and it will weaken considerably. It will help create some forecast problems this weekend.  As the Kansas City forecast problems are somewhat “boring” for us weather enthusiasts, we have to relax and be patient with this pattern. Could it be another year with less than 10″ of snow?  I believe that has never happened in KC history with three straight years under 10″ of snow.  I titled this blog, “The Panic Period” for a reason. Just when you think you have made some conclusions on the winter forecast, suddenly you see parts of the pattern that we have not seen yet. Remember, we are in this first LRC Cycle.  We are still experiencing it now.  I used to say that the pattern sets up from October 1st though November 10th, a cycle evolves, and then the pattern is set for the year. But, in reality, it takes until around the first week of December. This period of time from November 10th to November 30th used to be called the “Panic” period, as Jeff Penner and I have experienced over the years. But, to me it no longer is because we finally realized we are just experiencing more of this first cycle. The computer models are still mostly useless until we get another three weeks of pattern under our belt. So, I recommend, Don’t Panic.

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What is this? Wow! When we look at the GFS, the European Model, and others, we have seen very little blocking. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) have had these ensemble members of the models dipping deep into negative territory. For those of you who love winter weather, well, you want to see this big dip actually happen. I have been expecting it to happen around the 22nd of November. If it does indeed dip that low, then there is usually a lag coefficient where the Arctic air build up would be created days after this big dip, and then it could be an Arctic blast and an energizing of the jet stream due to strong temperature contrast. But, is this forecast dip truly going to happen? It didn’t quite happen in the first cycle, in early October, but it actually came close to happening.  Let’s continue to follow this index.

Kansas City Time-Line:

A Cold front is moving through today and a very hard freeze is likely tonight.

  • Today:  Turning colder with winds increasing from the north up to 15 or 20 mph. High:  45°
  • Tonight:  A HARD FREEZE! Clear with a low of 20°
  • Friday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds. High:  39°
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of drizzle or showers. High:  47°

Thank you for sharing and participation in the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the blog at Weather2020.com and join in the conversation.  Have a great day.

Gary

Mostly Calm Weather Pattern…For Now

Good Wednesday bloggers,

Today we will see a full sunny day for the first time in about 7-10 days as the weather pattern is not to active.  We have one main system to watch the next seven day, and it arrives this weekend. So, let’s go through the forecast into the weekend and discuss potential changes after the 20th.

Today we have a surface high pressure overhead, so we are in for sunshine, light wind and highs around 50°. A system is tracking across the southern USA and is producing some decent rain with the help of Pacific moisture.

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THURSDAY MORNING: It will be slightly warmer as we will have light southwest winds ahead of a cold front. Look at the low in Bismarck, ND, 10°!. This is a decent cold air air mass and has looked stronger as we have gotten closer to the front’s arrival.

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THURSDAY AFTERNOON: The front will be moving away quickly and our winds will be shifted to the northeast.  There will be no precipitation with the front, just a few clouds.  Highs will be kept in the 40s, staying in the 20s across the northern Plains.

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FRIDAY MORNING: We will start to see an increase in the clouds with lows around 30° as a strong surface high pressure moves into the Great Lakes. Our next storm system will be moving through the Rockies.

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FRIDAY AFTERNOON: This is looking like a cloudy afternoon with temperatures struggling to 40° as this cold air mass is really entrenched in the Plains.

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VETERAN’S DAY: The storm system is not that strong, but as it interacts with a shallow cold air mass it will create a complex surface pattern. But, all this means is that Saturday will be cloudy and cold with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s along with the chance of a shower or some drizzle. The system will exit Sunday, but clouds and drizzle may linger into the early morning. If the sun can return Sunday then highs will be 45-50, otherwise highs may get stuck in the upper 30s and low 40s.

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This is the upper level pattern next Tuesday which is representative of the weather pattern today through the 20th. That is, a pattern with fast-moving west to east systems that do not have much time to get their act together and produce much precipitation until they are east of the Mississippi river. This also prevents Arctic air from heading south into the USA. Yes, it will be cold Friday and Saturday, but this is not Arctic air.

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RAINFALL FORECAST NEXT 7 DAYS:

It has been rather dry since October 22nd and it will stay that way another 10 days. It is still good to do one more lawn fertilization in November and it would be nice to see .10″ to .50″ of rain/snow, but the next 7-10 days will be mostly dry, unless something crazy happens over this weekend.

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There are still signs of a change after the 20th as not only are the AO and NAO forecast to go negative which increases the chance of blocking at high latitudes (increases the chance of cold air farther south, lower heights and bigger/slower storm systems), but we also expect storm systems to drop in to the southwest USA as we believe the pattern is about to show it’s cycle of 45ish days. This means the systems from October 7-20 will be showing up and when coupled with negative AO and NAO could make for some interesting weather to round out November, just not on Thanksgiving.

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Have a great day and rest of your week.

Jeff Penner

 

The Changing Weather Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

We hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. The time change is so awesome for those of us fascinated by weather.  Why? For the simple reason that the weather data, the computer model data, still comes out at 00z, 6z, 12z, and 18z every day. Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time) does not change, so when the time changes to fall back 12z is now 6 AM instead of 7 AM and the data comes in an hour earlier. This is huge for me as Chief Meteorologist at KSHB-TV. The NAM model now will come in beginning around 8 AM and 8 PM, and the GFS model rolls in beginning around 9:30 AM and PM. This allows us enough time to make a quick analysis when a storm system is approaching, or for any day really. I would rather not ever change this time again. We should petition to keep it as it is now instead of doing the spring forward thing to what is somehow called daylight savings time. What do you think?

Wow! Look at the first evidence in on  this years cycling pattern. This is for the 30 days ending November 5th:

Precip Anamalies Ending November 5

It was extremely dry over California. Last year the forecast from the Climate Prediction Center came out for the winter season to be dry in California due to a weak developing La Niña.  What happened? The exact opposite happened; one of the wettest winter seasons ever recorded out there and many of the reservoirs filled up, but it also lead to a lot of dry vegetation this summer leading to the bad fire season.  The previous winter one of the strongest El Niño’s ever recorded was in progress. The Climate Prediction Center forecasted a very wet year in California two winters ago.  What happened? The exact opposite; one of the driest years ever with the drought worsening.  And, now we have this year with a La Niña possibly developing. It isn’t confirmed yet, however.  The index is below La Niña at the moment, but it is forecast to  become a moderate La Niña winter season.  More on this in the next few weeks. Why were these past two years forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center so far off baae? They are not including the biggest piece of the forecast puzzle.  The LRC.  One of the indexes we use internally is this Eastern Pacific Blocking Indexes:

The Eastern Pacific Blocking Index (EPBI):

EPBI November 6 2017 Final

Figure 1:  This is the EPBI from October 7th through October 31st. The black line shows the neutral line. When this index is well above zero, then storm systems will most likely be blocked and deflected north of California.  If the index is below zero, then this would indicate a much more likely period for storm systems to blast California and the western states.

In Figure 1 above one can see the past two Octobers and this October lined up. When this index goes positive, then storm systems will likely be blocked from hitting California. A very positive index implies high heights aloft near the west coast. This is the 500 mb index for Seattle, WA.  The yellow line shows the strong El Niño year and it was mostly positive in October.  The white line shows last winter, showing the unblocked west coast. And, this year is somewhere in the middle, the red line. But, even though this index has been in the middle with unblocked times and blocked times in the past month, it has been extremely dry to start this season.

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The temperatures over the past 30 days show a very warm beginning to this season, with the exception of the Pacific northwest states. Kansas City has been closer to average in the past 30 days. The eastern United States has been quite warm to start the season.

Now, let’s not underestimate a current trend on the Arctic Oscillation:

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When the AO goes deep into the negative, there is a very good chance of the blocking up of the flow over North America which would likely lead to Arctic Blasts.  As you can see above, the latest AO, and the NAO looks similar, forecasts show a big dip by around the 20th of November. Some of the models show this, and some of the models do not show this.  Let’s see what actually happens, but as discussed yesterday, the pattern may be cycling in the 45 to 48 day range, give or take a day or two.  If the early October part of the pattern does return, I can see this dip happening.  It didn’t happen early in October, but there was room for the blocking to develop. In other words some ridging near Greenland was close to happening in this first cycle, but it broke down before fully developing. Maybe in this next cycle it will form? I am not sure yet, quite obviously.  Let’s see what today’s models show us.

Right now, it has turned colder. Temperatures are below average. The weather pattern is still evolving and setting up. We will look ahead in the next few blogs!

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to Weather2020.com and click on the blog there and joint in the conversation.

Gary

The LRC & This Evolving Pattern For 2017-2018

Good morning bloggers,

This month is the 30-year anniversary of where I experienced the cycling pattern according to the LRC for the first time. I had thought about it in the early to mid 1980s, but in November of 1987-1988 I noticed and began documenting my hypothesis as I noticed s January snowstorm looked rather similar to the one that happened in December. And, this was in Oklahoma City of all places.  These were two snowstorms in the same season producing nearly a foot of snow. There were many other storm systems that winter producing snow and ice in Oklahoma including one in November and one in March. It was a few years later when I made my first hypothesis in the early 1990s. This is when I hypothesized that the period of October 15th to November 5th, these three weeks, showcase the pattern well. Since then I have expanded this very important formation period to be from October 1st to November 30th. I do not believe you can dip back into last years pattern, in August and September, to find the cycle length. The pattern is always cycling and regularly, but the new pattern needs to evolve in October and  November. But, there is something new we have found in the past year.  There are these harmonics of the pattern, somewhat like mini-cycles, half cycles, one third cycles, or a one third harmonic of the pattern. I notice that October 7th and October 22nd lined up very well.  We showed this to you a couple of weeks ago.  This 15-day stretch may have been a 1/3 harmonic of the pattern, or perhaps we have a 45 day cycle, give or take few days.  We can test this out later in the month. If I am correct, then beginning November 22nd or so, that October 7th, or day 1 of this years LRC, part of the pattern will return and it will get rather exciting near KC for around a 17 day stretch.

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Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  A few snow flurries north of KC this morning.  Partly cloudy with a light northeast breeze at 10 mph.  High:  46°
  • Tonight:  Mostly cloudy with a low near 32°
  • Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with a few light showers possible. The chance of measurable rain is 20%.  High: 43°
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny and slightly warmer. Light winds. High:  46°

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience and reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to Weather2020.com and click on the blog there to join in the conversation.

Gary

Early Week System to Watch

Good Sunday bloggers,

Cool air will continue to dominate today as winds come from the north.  It was 65 to 70 this morning from Springfield to St. Louis, but the cooler air is heading that way.  A disturbance has been producing scattered showers this morning across northeast Kansas and northern Missouri.  This will exit by the afternoon.

Here was the set up from 7 AM Sunday.  Dallas was 72° and the Chiefs play there this afternoon where it will be around 90°!

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SUNDAY: Our cold front will be approaching Dallas during the game, but my goodness, near 90°. There is still no reason the Chiefs can’t win, as long as they stop the run!

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SUNDAY: Now back to the weather and back to our region. We will have a cloudy and dry afternoon with temperatures hovering around 50°. The sky will be clearing from north to south.

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MONDAY MORNING: The week will start with a partly to mostly cloudy sky and lows in the 30s.  There will be a northeast breeze at 5-15 mph.  We will be turning our attention to the west as a small storm system moves into the Rockies.

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MONDAY AFTERNOON: Highs will be in the 40s with a northeast breeze 10-15 mph along with areas of clouds.

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TUESDAY: The system in the Rockies will be showing itself as an area of snow and some mixed rain in western Kansas.  Tuesday night and Wednesday this system will track southeast, so we will have to watch it closely as if it tracks farther north we could see a rain-snow mix Tuesday night and Wednesday.  The chance in our area is 20% at this time.

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We had the showers this morning with amounts trace to .10″, but since October 22nd it has been relatively dry.  So, we do not really need moisture as the event October 21-22 brought 2″ to 4″ of rain, but within the next 10 days it would be nice to see about .50″. There are chances, the one Tuesday-Wednesday and there is a possible system for next weekend. We do not see any big cold blasts or big storm systems at this time, however.

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Have a great week and GO CHIEFS!

Jeff Penner

Fog and Fall Back and 90° Weather

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are in a cloudy, but mostly dry weather pattern across the middle part of the USA. There will be quite a temperature difference in the Plains this weekend, but the main rain will occur from the Mississippi River and points to the east.

Remember to fall back tonight before you hit the hay. This is the only 49 hour weekend of the year, so enjoy it.

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Here are the sunrise and sunset times for the weekend and you can see the sun will be setting in the five o’clock hour Sunday. The sun will rise before 7 am, so next week most of us will not have to head to work and school in the dark.

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Now, let’s get into the weather and look at this weather pattern.

There is a trough near the west coast bringing some needed moisture to northern California and Oregon. This makes the flow across the USA from west-southwest to east-northeast which means we do not have any big cold/Arctic blasts in the forecast and no big storm systems.

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There is a warm front lying across Oklahoma and Arkansas and it now looks like it will move north, but not far enough to bring KC warmer air.  It may bring the I-70 corridor fog Sunday morning.

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There is quite a zone of fog from southeast Colorado to southern Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and southern Missouri along and north of the warm front. So, when the warm front nears I-70 tonight and Sunday morning the fog zone may shift north into our area.

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SATURDAY: Our area will be cloudy and cool with highs stuck in the 50s. 57° may be a bit optimistic and will only be achieved if we see a peek of sun. Highs will come close to 90° in north Texas. Wait until you see the high for Kickoff of the Chiefs-Dallas game.

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SUNDAY MORNING: A surface low will be found in eastern Kansas. The warm front will be near, but likely south of I-70. So, this puts our region in a zone where fog may be thick along with some drizzle and temperatures around 50°. Columbia to St. Louis will be 65° to 70° in the morning on the 5th of November!

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: We will be in the 50s as colder air heads south.  St. Louis to Springfield will be near 80° with a chance of T-Storms.  Dallas will be around 90° for the big game! Maybe the roof will be closed.  Wow!

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SUNDAY NIGHT: The wind will be coming from the north at 10-20 mph ushering in colder air. Early next week will see many clouds with highs mostly in the 40s and lows in the 20s and 30s.  There is a storm system to watch for Tuesday into Wednesday that could bring some light rain, but the chance is rather low. Basically, the next 5-7 days will be dry with near to below average temperatures as we have no big storm systems to monitor.

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If you have leaves all over your yard this will be a decent weekend to gather them up as there will be little wind and no big rain. It will be a bit cool and there will be some mist or drizzle from time to time. The wind will pick up from the north Sunday afternoon, so today is the best day to get this round of leaves up.

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Have a great weekend,

Jeff