1,395 Days Since Kansas City Had 3 Inches Of Snow On One Calendar Date

Good morning bloggers,

My internet was out early this morning, so this will be a quick blog entry.  The dry weather pattern continues and it is addressed in our winter forecast.  Here is a recap of Kansas City’s winter forecast:

  • We are forecasting a drier winter with below average liquid equivalent precipitation
  • We are forecasting near to above average snowfall with my prediction of 21.5″ and our weather team at 41 Action News predicting 18.1″
  • We are predicting temperatures to come in below average, so a colder than average winter is in our forecast

How long has it been since our last date with even just 3″ of snow at KCI Airport?  1,395 days! It was February 4, 2014

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This picture is from that last date with over 3″ of snow. 7.5″ was officially recorded at KCI Airport on February 4, 2014. This was Stormy back then. She lived to almost 15 years old and Stormy loved the snow.  Sunny is my new dog, and she is 2 1/2 years old. Since she has been alive she has only experienced 2″ or less in any one storm system. My goodness.

A colder weather pattern is setting up in the next two weeks, but it still looks dry. I will go much more in-depth in tomorrows blog and on 41 Action News tonight.  Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.


The 2017-2018 Winter Forecast

Here is your winter forecast as of November 27, 2017.  As we publish this tonight, please go to Weather2020.com, click on the blog over there, and join in the conversation. Let us know if you have any questions at all.  A very complex weather pattern has set up, and it is cycling regularly. We have likely already started the second cycle of this years pattern, but we will confirm in the next two weeks.















According to the LRC, a unique pattern sets up each fall.  This pattern is as unique as any pattern I have ever seen.  We are trying to crack the code and accurately predict the future. Our team has learned a lot in recent years.  The take aways for Kansas City:

  • Expect below average precipitation, liquid equivalent; drier than average
  • Expect near to slightly above average snowfall
  • Expect below average temperatures.  December and February will likely be the coldest months.

Thank you for reading the winter forecast, and for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern. Let us know if you have any questions, or add in your own insight ifyou would like. Have a great day. The next blog will be issued Wednesday morning.

An Introduction Into This Years LRC

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Sunday: Mostly sunny with light winds. High: 65°
  • Tonight:   Clear and cool. Low: 44°
  • Monday: Mostly sunny. A near record high or maybe we will break the record of 71°.  High: 72°  South winds gusting to 30 mph.

MONDAY NIGHT at 6:30 PM:  The Wonders of Winter special will be broadcast on 41 Action News with our Winter Forecast!

This video just scratches the surface on the developing pattern. We go through the first LRC cycle which is most likely in the 45 to 51 day range.  Last night a snowstorm showed up on the 06z run. Is it fantasy of reality?

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 7.07.17 AM

The AO and NAO are forecast to stay neutral to negative. This will be discussed in our winter forecast that will be posted here Monday night.  This is what we want to see if you are interested in having some winter excitement and you are a weather enthusiast.

LRC Cycle 1 2017-2018 10-23This map on the left shows the pattern on October 23, and the one on the right shows the pattern on November 2nd. This part of the weather pattern brought a three week to four week stretch of colder than average temperatures. So, guess what? The chance of December being colder than average is very high. We are forecasting a cold December. Now, will it lead to above average snowfall next month? What about this winter? We will learn a lot more in the next few weeks.

LRC Cycle 1 2017-2018 11-2This has been staring us in the face for weeks now. As usual, it is easy to make too many conclusions too early. I have been trying to help you be patient.  I am somewhat excited about the winter that is about to begin.

Have a great day, and please join in the conversation on Weather2020.com tomorrow night into Tuesday as we discuss the winter forecast truth from the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.


Quiet Weather for Travel

Good Saturday,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the great November weather. This great weather will continue another several days which is good news for weekend travel.

It has been dry the last five weeks and there is a storm system to track for Tuesday-Wednesday, so let’s go through the forecast for the next several days. We are about 1.50″ of rain below average for November. But, we are still nearly 10″ above average for the year which is due to the 3-4 big rain events over the summer.


SATURDAY:  We are in for more great weather as we have abundant sunshine, a light wind and temperatures around 60°. This is great if you are hitting the highways for travel.


SATURDAY (NATIONAL): The weather will be mostly calm with showers increasing in the Pacific Northwest and a few rain and snow showers across New England.


SUNDAY: This is going to be another calm weather day across the USA. There will be rain from central California up the Pacific Northwest coast and a few lake effect snow showers in New England. Overall, the weather looks pretty good for travel and look how mild it is across the USA. 54° in Bismarck, ND?!?!


MONDAY: Wow! The storm system that will be approaching from the west will push even warmer air north into the middle of the USA. Yes, we could easily reach 70°-75° with a brisk south wind.  The Arctic air is stuck in Canada.


TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: The storm system will make it into the Plains and generate a decent area of rain. The latest data has the best rain chance across northern Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, leaving KC with clouds and trace rain amounts. This is a small system, so in order to receive meaningful rain it will have to take the perfect track. The track is not set in stone and it could easily come a bit farther north. Let’s see what it looks like after 24 more hours of data.


TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: The storm system will be heading into the southeast USA and you can see how small of a system we are dealing with as it becomes an area of rain for parts of Mississippi and Alabama.


It is finally around the corner, the winter forecast special, Wonders of Winter! It airs on 41 Action News, Monday at 6:30 PM. Gary will answer the $64,000 question.


Have a great rest of the holiday weekend.

Jeff Penner

Where Are We Headed In The Next Three Weeks?

Good morning bloggers, IT’S BLACK FRIDAY!

We hope everyone had a safe Thanksgiving.  Our team at 41 Action News presented the Plaza Lighting, the 88th annual, last night on television and live in front of a huge audience.  I did get to meet Alex Smith last night. Here is a picture:


We are purple because of the lights that were flashing around us. Look at that crowd behind us, as it went all the way as far as you could see.  Thank you for celebrating this tradition with us. The weather could not be better as there was literally no wind for the entire event.

The Arctic Oscillation:

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 7.40.57 AM

The AO dipped to negative 3 a couple of days ago. Now, where is it going to go from here? I like the trend of negative.  We must see where it actually goes, and not what the computer models show, as these computer models are heavily flawed. If you have been paying close attention, the models on one run suddenly show some exciting times ahead for us weather enthusiasts, but then the next model run shows nothing. What we are experiencing here are some models showing an AO positive run, some showing an AO neutral run, and then some showing an AO negative run. Take a look at the last two model runs for the mid-week storm system as an example:



It is a somewhat subtle difference. Can you see it? One model has a storm that would produce significant precipitation near KC Tuesday night-Wednesday, and the other model has it all stretched out.  One model is functional on this storm system and the ones that followed, and then the next model comes out with no functional storm systems at all. Could it just be this cycle that is not being functional, or will it turn the corner and suddenly be stormy?  It may depend on these other influencing factors such as La Niña, the AO, the NAO, and other factors. One model run may be that AO positive run that you see on the AO graph above, and then one run may come in with that deep AO negative run.  We are learning more about this pattern right now.

Our winter forecast comes out Monday night. We will have a big discussion then. For now, we hope you have a great Friday. 74 degrees would break a record high here in KC today. It will be windy.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your Friday reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to Weather2020.com, click on the blog, and join in on the conversation if you would like.



Happy Thanksgiving, A Calm Day Across The USA

Happy Thanksgiving Bloggers,


This is my bitmoji.  Do you have one?  It is a very quiet Thanksgiving Day across the United States. It may be one of the quietest Thanksgiving weekends for weather that has ever happened.  Here are todays advisories around the nation:

Screen Shot 2017-11-23 at 8.06.55 AM

I have a lot going on today as I am honored to be emcee for the seventh year in a row of the traditional Plaza Lighting Ceremony. Tonight is the 88th annual event and the celebrity flip switchers are Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson. I am looking forward to meeting these great NFL stars, and of course it will be a great moment for them and their families as well.  We will be picking a child from the audience, so watch the 6 PM special tonight. The weather will be fantastic.

One of our favorite bloggers Bill did one of his great write ups this morning in the last blogs comments section over on Weather2020.com.  I will post it here.

From Bill:


Happy Thanksgiving to you sir and to Jeff and all the 20/20 Bloggers!!! Hope everyone has a fantastic day!!!

This pattern will produce; now it most likely won’t be in the 2010-2011 or 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 (yes…just a few short years ago we were talking about snowapocolypse and snomagedden….not sure the climate has really changed that much in 3 years….now if we have these snowless winters for 50-60 years running then we can talk) but it will produce more than the past few years; can that be garunteed? Off course not this is eastern Kansas and Western Missouri….however, in my very humble hobbyist opinion there are enough players on the field in this LRC to give us close to normal amount. One caveat as has been stated before, eastern parts of the viewing area look to do better than the western parts. I will stick with my 13-15 inches for Lawrence but could see Lee’s Summit getting 8-10 inches more and places like Columbia to Saint Louis even better. I will even venture that Lawrence has a 40% chance of gpoing over 13-15 and only a 10% chance of going under. If I’m wrong and Lawrence winds up with 10 inche sor less, I will gladly put on the clown suit and eat the crow.

One other random thought…this warm and dry stretch right now should really not be surprising. We were not goiong to go from Halloween until March at below normal. We were bound to have 7-10 days of warmer than average temperatures. The good news for this year that really wasn’t present last year is the cold in the NWT; Yellowkinfe has had several days with bellow 0 for highs which is quite early. There is cold air in our cold air source this year which really was not the case last year.

The real question will be is what will that SW ridge do in the spring and summer….can we stay in NW flow most of the time and get some decent rain or will it retrograde east and set up shop over Oklahoma??

Again…have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!

Bill confident in this LRC in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence


Sunny and I are staying on the Plaza at the Residence Inn Marriott.  Have a great day, and try not to eat too much. Happy Thanksgiving.


Will It Snow This Winter?

Good morning bloggers,

We begin, on this Thanksgiving Eve, with a question. Will it snow this winter?  Well, the chance of it snowing in Miami is nearly zero, and the chance of it snowing in Los Angeles is likely zero. In Kansas City, we know it is going to snow. The least snowiest winter season snowfall total in KC has been 3.9″ in the 2011-2012 winter.  And, last winter was close:


Less then 5 inches of snow fell last year.  Only five days had any accumulation at all, which was likely a record low number of dates with measurable snowfall.  Kansas City has never gone three years in a row with under 10″ of snow in each season. So, the chance of KC having 10″ of snow or more would seem to be nearly 100% unless we have that historic 3rd year in a row.

There is no snow in sight. Here is a look at the weather pattern:


The pattern is being dominated by a rather large upper level ridge around 18,000 feet above the southwestern United States centered off of Baja, CA.  A storm is developing over the Gulf of Mexico and heading into Florida. The Pacific northwest and Florida will be the stormy spots on Thanksgiving, but the rest of the nation will be extremely quiet. There is a weak blocking upper high near the North Pole.

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 7.35.53 AM

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) has dipped to -3, which is pretty low, and there is some indication of blocking, but not in the right places to produce exciting weather at this moment. The AO is forecast to surge back to neutral, but then negative again in the next two weeks.  I will have a lot more to say about this in our full winter forecast write up that will be published here on the blog Monday at 6:30 PM when our Winter Weather Forecast special comes out.  We have learned a lot more just in the past few days to weeks, and we will share it with you after a bit more analysis.  What you want to see is for this AO and the NAO to stay negative and dip even deeper during the winter that is a few weeks away from starting.  The NAO is also trending to negative and staying there right now. I like this part of what we are seeing, but this weather pattern continues to be not so exciting at the moment.


This next map above shows the 500 mb flow valid Sunday evening. That ridge off of Baja moves inland to Mexico.  The trough coming into the west coast will be monitored closely, but as it moves out into the plains it gets all dysfunctional.  Remember last year, the storms that didn’t come together became much stronger just as spring began. Maybe this year, one or two of the cycles will have much more functional storm systems during the winter. For now, we continue to wait during a rather boring stretch of weather in November. I will take it for now, as I am the emcee of the Plaza Lighting tomorrow night and light winds, dry and temperatures in the 40s sounds good to me.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  High pressure settles in overhead with light south winds returning later this afternoon.  It will be mostly sunny with a few high clouds. High: 42°
  • Thanksgiving Day:  Clear with a few high clouds with a light breeze. High: 58°
  • Thursday night for the Plaza Lighting:  Clear with calm winds. A great night to come out and celebrate a KC tradition with us at 41 Action News.  Temperatures in the 40s.
  • Friday: Increasing south winds, sunny, and much warmer. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 7os with south winds 10-25 mph by later in the day.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.


Plaza Lighting Forecast Looks Great!

Good morning bloggers,

Well, yes, I went to New York City to see the Chiefs take on the New York Giants. I got back late yesterday morning.  The NYC experience was awesome. The game, not so much.  So, let’s move onto the Plaza Lighting where our special guest flip switches are Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson from the KC Chiefs.  The weather looks awesome for this event.  Between now and Thanksgiving Day there will be a cold front moving through.


This cold front is moving across the region this morning and by 9 AM it will already be clearing the Kansas City viewing area.  North winds will take over and be about as strong as Monday’s south winds.


There is some Arctic air building up over northwestern Canada and eastern Alaska. There is still no indication of when or if this air mass will eventually blast south.


La Niña is developing over the tropical Pacific Ocean. It appears it will grow into a moderate La Niña. There have been four previous moderate La Niña years. The most recent one was in the winter of 2011-2012, and that year Kansas City had 3.9″ of snow.  That was also a very positive Arctic Oscillation influenced winter as well.  This combination obviously didn’t work out well for KC.  Now, it does not appear it will be a positive AO year in combination with La Niña at this time. It appears it will be more of a neutral AO and NAO winter.  The other three moderate La Niña winters all had over 20 inches of snow.  Some things to think about as this all is still coming together.

If you want something to think about, look at the past 30 days ending November 18:

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 11.51.10 PM

This is something to take in seriously. These past 30 days, down the heart of the developing LRC, have been extremely dry from Mexico north to North Dakota and over all of the southwestern states.  The temperature anomalies are setting up into a very influenced La Niña look with the below average temperatures stretching from the Pacific northwest east southeast through the Great Lakes.

Our winter forecast will come out early next week.  Right now, remember again, we are in the classic “panic period”. So, please be patient for another week or two as this continues to evolve.

We are honored to bring you the 88th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony on 41 Action News locally, and we are streaming around the world on KSHB.com Thursday night from 6 PM to 7 PM.



Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling weather pattern.   Click on the blog over at Weather2020 and join in the conversation.


Quiet Weather for Thanksgiving

Good Monday bloggers,

On Sunday we went day by day through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and we showed how there was going to be no big storm systems along with mostly mild weather.  Well, that has changed little as we look at the weather forecast today.

The main weather issues for today is the wind. At 10 am there were gusts to around 30 mph and this will increase to 40 mph during the afternoon. We are in the middle of a corridor of stronger winds that extends from Oklahoma to Wisconsin as the pressure gradient is tight.


Here are the temperatures across North America.  There is a noticeable presence of Arctic air across Canada and Alaska.


It is rather cold up there, like we showed yesterday, with temperatures ranging from -40° to -20. At this time there are no big signs of it coming south. We will be watching this closely as we head into early December.


Here is the updated upper level flow for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Wednesday, the biggest travel day of the year, features a strong and big ridge in the western USA and a weak trough in the Great Lakes and New England. Remember this time of year, a ridge usually means dry and warm and a trough means colder with a potential storm system. The trough on Wednesday is not that strong, so there will be very few weather issues across the country.


The upper level flow for Sunday is also rather tame as the western ridge moves east into the Plains. A sharp trough in New England will bring cold air and lake effect snow, but the main storm will be offshore. The trough entering the Pacific Northwest will bring showers, but overall a quiet weather pattern.


Let’s go through the holiday weekend once again.

WEDNESDAY: There will be showers in the Pacific Northwest, Florida and the deep southeast USA along with a small system in the northern Plains. Otherwise, the weather is calm which is good news for travelers.


FRIDAY: Yes, it still looks like 70° on Friday here in KC and it may go higher. Temperatures across the USA are mild and remember there are no big storm systems.


SUNDAY: It will turn colder from the Great Lakes, Midwest to New England with a chance of lake effect snow. There will also be more showers in the Pacific Northwest.  Overall, more calm weather for travelling back home.


Happy Thanksgiving and remember DON’T DRINK & DRIVE.

Jeff Penner


Thanksgiving Holiday, Day by Day

Good Sunday bloggers,

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving week is here, but it is, and we will take a day by day look across the USA through next Sunday. There is building Arctic air and we will look at the chance of any travelling hampering storm systems.

It was a cold Sunday morning across much of the USA, but Arctic air is sitting over Alaska and Canada.


Look at these temperatures in the Yukon, -40° to -30°! When it gets this cold up there this time of year, we must watch it closely for a southward blast. At this time, however, we do not see it coming south anytime soon.


Here is the upper level flow for the biggest travel day of the year and there is a huge ridge in the western USA with a flat trough in the Great Lakes. This is a quiet weather pattern, which is good news for travelers. Remember, a ridge usually means dry and warm weather while a trough means colder air and potential storm system.


Here is the flow for the end of the holiday weekend, next Sunday. The ridge in the west has pushed east as a new trough sits over New England. This is still a calm weather pattern with showers for the Pacific Northwest and snow and rain showers for the northeast. It will be cold for the Great Lakes and New England, but the Arctic air will likely stay farther north. So, we do not see any big storm systems for the entire week of the Thanksgiving. We are going to go day by day with an emphasis on the temperatures.


Ok, here we go, seven maps, starting today.

SUNDAY, 11/19/17: The storm system from Saturday is already off the east coast which means dry weather for the Chiefs and Giants, but the wind may gust to 40-50 mph.


MONDAY, 11/20/17: It will be windy in the middle of the USA with showers in the Pacific Northwest and Florida, but the weather pattern is calm.


TUESDAY, 11/21/17: A cold front will be surging south, but the Arctic air stays in Canada. Highs here will be held to the upper 40s and low 50s. Rain is likely for the Pacific Northwest and Florida.


WEDNESDAY, 11/22/17: The weather will be calm for the biggest travel day of the year. There will be more showers found in the Pacific Northwest and Florida and right near or off the east coast. A small snow system is possible in the northern Plains, but overall this is good news for travelling.


THANKSGIVING, 11/23/17: Look at the warmth in the western USA. 62° in Billings, MT on Thanksgiving?  Wow! KC will be around 60° with 30s and 40s in the northeast. The Arctic air is bottled up in Canada.


FRIDAY, 11/24/17: Oh my, it is black Friday and we have a real chance of reaching 70° with no big cold air anywhere in the USA. 50s are possible in the northern Plains.


SATURDAY, 11/25/17: There is some data suggesting that a cold front from the north will be slower, which would mean KC has a chance to reach 70° again. There is colder air from the northern Plains to northeast, but this is not that bad considering the time of year and the fact that Arctic air is lurking in Canada.


SUNDAY, 11/26/17: Colder air will be heading south and our highs will drop to the 40s, but again the Arctic air is north of the border.  Also, remember there are no big storm systems, so in summary, the weather through the entire Thanksgiving weekend across the entire USA will be relatively calm and mild.  We will be watching the Arctic air closely as we enter December. We also expect the pattern to become more active.


If you are headed to the Plaza Lighting this Thanksgiving the weather is looking great with temperatures falling from the 50s to 40s, a clear sky and light wind. Two years ago Gary Lezak, Rhiannon Ally and Mike Marusarz had to stand out in a pouring rain with temperatures in the low 30s and winds gusting from the north at 30-40 mph. So, this year will be considerably better.


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and remember to NOT drink and drive.

Jeff Penner