Wavering Front & Oh No, Nate?

Happy Tuesday bloggers,

A cold front is slowly moving southeast across the Plains and will drift through KC tonight with a few showers and thunderstorms, but we do not expect a big rain event.   This front is pretty strong as it separates low 60s from low 80s, but the upper levels today are not set up for big thunderstorms.


The upper level flow features an upper low in the northern Plains lifting northeast into Canada and a second upper low over western Nevada.  The first upper low is forcing the cold front south.  The second low will head east across the Rockies, Plains and Midwest at the end of the week.  This second low will take our cold front and turn it into a warm front Wednesday night and bring a second cold front Friday night.  These fronts plus this upper low will be generating many areas of rain and thunderstorms, starting Wednesday night.  So, let’s go through the next few days.


WEDNESDAY: The front will make it to northern Oklahoma and southern Missouri.  It will be in the process of heading back north as a warm front during the afternoon.  So, this means we will have a cloudy sky with a light northeast wind and perhaps a shower.  Temperatures will be in the 60s to low 70s.


THURSDAY: The front will be back north as warm front and areas of rain and thunderstorms will be likely Wednesday night and Thursday.  There may be showers and thunderstorms south of the warm front as disturbances track in from the southwest. Highs will warm back to the 70s.


FRIDAY: A round of thunderstorms will be possible in the morning as the warm front lingers, then by afternoon the warm front will be well north as a new cold front moves in with the main system, the second upper low mentioned above.  This round Friday night has the potential to be very heavy and strong. Total rainfall through Saturday will be 1″ to 3″ with a few locations seeing 4″.  There is still time to seed the yard and/or fertilize.


—————————————————————————————————————————————————–TROPICAL UPDATE: Hurricane season officially runs through the end of November, and we have another system to monitor.  If it forms, it would be named Nate.


The tropical disturbance we are monitoring is east and north of Central America.


The latest data has this system moving north and affecting the Gulf coast next week.  If it does, let’s hope it is not much of a system.  It does not have to be a major hurricane.


This is the area to watch for early next week.  Again, let’s hope this not a major hurricane.


Have a great rest of your week.

Jeff Penner

Increasing Rain Chances

Good Monday bloggers,

We are having a very not October like day with highs in the 80s and high humidity.  A fall change is not that far away, but it is going to have a very tough time arriving.  The front separating the summer and fall air is heading southeast, but will stall.  Let’s go through the next few days and update the chance and amounts of rainfall.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: There is a decent cold front slicing across the Plains as temperatures range from near 90° in Salina to the 40s in Denver.  Rain and thunderstorms will form along this front tonight, but they will stay well northwest of KC.


TUESDAY: The front will be moving at a snail’s pace so eastern Kansas and western Missouri will remain in the warm and humid air, but due to thicker low clouds highs will stay in the 70s.  It will also stay mostly dry as the front is still well northwest. Now, that being said a brief shower is not out of the question.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: The front will head south and stall around I-70.  The exact front location is still unknown, but the location of the front will be key to who sees the heaviest rain.  So, this map represents these days, as areas of rain and thunderstorms will track along this front as disturbances track from southwest to northeast.


The front will head back north as a warm front Friday as a new cold front arrives Friday night as a main system in the western USA comes out into the Plains and Midwest.  If we are going to have severe weather this week, Friday night would be the best chance along the advancing cold front.

RAINFALL FORECAST: This forecast is still not set in stone as the front stalling location is still not known.  But, you get the idea that much of our region will see 2″ to 4″ of rain through Saturday.  If you end up in an area where the thunderstorms are training, you could end up with more than 4″.


Have a great night and Tuesday and GO CHIEFS!

Jeff Penner

Hello October!

Happy Sunday,

It is hard to believe that it is October! Since this is the first day of the month, it is the previous month’s statistics day.  So, here is a look back at September 2017.



AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: 71.1 (+2.9) August was 71.8, so September comes in barely cooler than August, but as of a week ago, September was actually running warmer than August which is not an easy thing to accomplish.

RAINFALL: 2.80″ (-1.82″)

There was one 90 degree day, which occurred on the 21st.


Now, what will October bring?  We have a pretty good idea for the first 5-7 days, but then, as we know, a brand new pattern is evolving so confidence is quite low.  We will have to follow these changes the next several days, weeks and months.  So, lets focus on the next 5-7 days.

MONDAY PM-TUESDAY AM: Warm and humid air will be surging north as dew points climb to around 70 ahead of an approaching front.  You will be able to feel the humidity for sure and you will be able to see the thicker moisture in the form of low clouds.  The low clouds arrive Monday night.  Highs on Monday will be in the 80s with south winds gusting 25-30 mph and increasing humidity.

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TUESDAY PM/NIGHT: The front will be a cold front and slowly moving southeast as southwest flow is set up aloft.  Tuesday will be a mostly dry day, with low clouds, wind and highs in the 70s here in KC and surrounding areas.  Thunderstorms will be forming to the northwest.

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WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: The front will be stalling from around New Mexico to northern Illinois.  The flow will be southwest aloft, parallel to the front. This will set up a 36-48 hour period where rounds of rain and thunderstorms will be tracking southwest to northeast from the southwest Plains to Great Lakes.  This is the recipe for a heavy rain event with minimal severe weather as the flow aloft and instability will be a bit weak.  The best chance of severe weather this week is from Nebraska to Minnesota tonight-Tuesday as the flow aloft will be stronger.

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RAINFALL FORECAST NEXT 5-7 DAYS: There is little change in the thinking from Saturday as 2″ to 4″ is likely from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles northeast to the western Great Lakes.  In these situations you can easily see small areas that receive 4″ to 7″.  This is going to be an interesting week of weather.

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Have a great week and the next blog update will be Monday afternoon.

Jeff Penner

Potential for Significant Rain Next 7 Days

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are about to turn the calendar to October and according to the CPH (Cycling Pattern Hypothesis) a new and unique weather pattern sets up every year in October and November.  Well, it is happening again and one way of seeing it happen is in the wildly changing models with every run.  This is the time of year when a forecast should be taken five to seven days at a time as confidence is rather low after days 5-7 due to the major pattern change.

So, lets look at the next five to seven days.

Here is the general upper level and surface pattern Tuesday through Saturday of this next week.  There will be an upper low over California and Nevada, while an upper high is centered in the delta region of the United States.  This high will extend from Texas to the mid-Atlantic states.  This creates a deep southwest flow from the Pacific Ocean to southwest USA to Plains and Midwest.  This flow will contain numerous disturbances.  While the disturbances are running southwest to northeast aloft, there will be a front stalled/wavering north-south across the Plains and Midwest.  Dew points will be near 70 south of the front which means plenty of atmospheric juice.  So, this is the set up for several rounds of rain and thunderstorms across the Plains and Midwest.  Flash flooding is a threat along with the chance of some severe weather.  Remember, we can have a second severe weather season from September 15th to October 15th.

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Here is a 5-7 day rainfall forecast. This is from the 12z GFS.  The 12z Canadian model and Friday night’s Euro model are in good agreement.  Let’s see how this looks tomorrow before we have total confidence in this set up.  If this happens, does it count towards the new pattern?  Well, yes and no as it is occurring right on the transition week.  As we go through the next few weeks and months we will see if the features from this week return or look similar.  This is always an exciting time of year for us as we are able to observe and forecast for a brand new pattern.

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Have a great weekend and let’s see how the rainfall forecast changes tomorrow.

Jeff Penner

A Massively Changing Pattern Begins

Good Friday morning bloggers,

I am heading off to South Carolina today landing in Savannah, GA this afternoon.  The weather is calm nationwide, so there shouldn’t be any flight delays, at least weather related ones.  Sunny The Weather Dog will be well taken care of, but there is no way to tell her that we will be gone for a week as she lives in the moment.  What is happening with the weather at this moment? Take a look at how quiet it is right now across North America:

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There are frost advisories in effect for northern Wisconsin into northern Michigan and northern Minnesota. This is not that rare for late September or early October.  The rest of the nation has practically no advisories at this moment.

There is a massive change going on in the weather pattern.  A new and unique weather pattern, one that has never happened before, is now beginning to evolve. When we analyze this developing pattern you will have to be very patient. Let’s say that it is close to a 60 day cycle again. Well, then we will begin seeing the pattern in the first week of October, but then we won’t be completely done with that first cycle until that first week of December. That is a lot of weather pattern to analyze. Now, it may be as little as a 4o or 45 day cycle, or it could be 65 or 70 days. We won’t know until the pattern truly repeats. It is a rather complex puzzle, but Weather2020 has spent the better part of 30 years getting better and better at making the seasonal predictions down to the specific forecasts for storm systems at when they will arrive and what they will do. Last year Weather2020 was excellent at forecasting the winter, but not very good at predicting the spring forecast. We hope to do much better this year at both.

IMG_1197The weather was spectacular in Kansas City yesterday and it will be another great day today.  We will look at the massive changes as we move deeper into next week. Day 1 of the new pattern usually is identified to be around October 5th to 8th.  Let’s see if we can find that first day of the weather pattern that is about to be experienced over the entire Northern Hemisphere this winter and all the way to late September 2018.

This picture is from yesterday afternoon where Sunny The Weather Dog played with this grasshopper for around five minutes before she got bored with it, but she did not attempt to eat it. I do think she thought about eating it, however. It was interesting to watch and I snapped this picture.

Have a great weekend. I will check in sometime next week. Jeff Penner is going to write the blog the next few days.  You can still enter the game we are playing on Weather2020.com. Go over there and leave a comment on when we will have our first snowflake reported anywhere in the viewing area.  It isn’t the official snowflake contest which will come later. The winner of this game will get a signed book of “It’s A Sunny Life”.  We have some book signings coming up in October. I will let you know when those will take place.


Great Weather Nationwide, But Look Closely

Good morning bloggers,


The day begins quiet, not just here in KC, but over most of the nation.  On this pond, at Nicklaus Golf Club in Overland Park, you can see the reflections in the water on this rather tranquil morning. There is even a touch of fog hanging over the warmer water this morning.  It will be a beautiful day here in KC.


Some of the models are producing a weak tropical system near Florida as you can see above on this GFS model.  59 days ago a system developed right there. Remember Tropical Storm Emily?  It formed very quickly, somewhat unexpectedly, near Florida.  It will be rather interesting to see if it happens again near the same spot this weekend. And, it really has my interest since I am going to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Has anyone ever been there? It will be my first time. We fly into Savannah, GA on Friday evening, then I am renting a car, and we will see a part of the nation I have never seen.

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There was a flash flood watch near the Rio Grand Valley of southern Texas, and look at that purple color over Colorado. What is that? Take a look:

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That is a winter weather advisory for the Crested Butte, CO area for some snow.  I am ready!  How about you? Have you entered the fun game we are having over at Weather2020? We are predicting when we will have our first snowflake, not our first inch, but our first snowflake anywhere within the KC viewing area. The winner will get a signed “It’s A Sunny Life Book”. When do you think it will happen? Go to Weather2020 and let us know. Click on the blog there and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.


Cloud Types As The Weather Pattern Begins Changing

Good morning bloggers,

The weather over most of the nation has calmed down as fall has finally started.  We have had Major Hurricanes creating Billion Dollar disasters that have set records in various ways the past few weeks.  Hurricane Harvey blasted Texas. Hurricane Irma blasted some of the outer islands and then moved up across Florida after hitting Cuba.  Hurricane Maria practically destroyed Puerto Rico and they are currently in crisis, and it hit some of the islands hard as a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Hurricane season is far from over, and in past active hurricane seasons we have experience the fact that it is not over yet. In the next six plus weeks there will likely be a few more named tropical storms.  But, today, at least the pattern has calmed down as Maria weakened and is now beginning to move away.  Hurricane Lee is harmlessly over the Atlantic Ocean and will also get ejected out as the weather pattern changes.


This forecast map above shows the weather pattern on October 7th. This is around the time that the old pattern has been wiped out and the new cycling pattern has started. This would not be a very good beginning for Kansas City as a rather broad ridge is forecast for form over a rather large part of North America, but hang on as there will be a lot more too it than just one day. Let’s be patient until the entire picture sets up, the entire pattern cycles through which will take us deep into November.

DSCN4525Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the clouds spreading across the plains this morning. These are altocumulus and altostratus clouds. The base of these clouds, or the ceiling, was around 10,000 to 11,000 feet early today which places the cloud types into the middle cloud category. There may be a few sprinkles from these clouds. They are streaming north from a rather large source of moisture over Texas and New Mexico extending south into Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.

The clouds will likely be streaming overhead the next two days, but they will gradually be shifting south.  By Monday there will be another cold front approaching with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Between now and then, Kansas City will likely stay dry

This next chart is from the book, “It’s A Sunny Life”. You can order one on Amazon.com and it has this cloud chart and a great section on clouds and weather. The basics of meteorology really begin with clouds and the weather forecaster that masters the cloud types will really begin to become a good weather forecaster as they provide a great insight into what will happen out there.

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Now, when is it going to snow? The official 41 Action News Snowflake contest has not started, but you can play the first snowflake game we are playing in the blog over at Weather2020.  And, the first snowflakes that we can confirm anywhere in the KC viewing area will end the contest. This often happens way before the first chance of that inch of snow, but not always. Good luck. You have until midight Friday night to enter.

Have a great day!


Is Is Too Early To Think About Snow?

Good morning bloggers,

Let’s have a little fun game with the winner receiving my book “It’s A Sunny Life”.  Now that it has turned cooler with what seems like our first fall change after a hot stretch of days, when do you think we will have our first snowflakes fall in the Kansas City viewing area. I mean, when we get a first report of official snowflakes anywhere within the KC viewing area this first little game will be over.  It could be the first flake in Maryville, MO, or it could be Pleasanton, KS.  When that first snowflake is reported someone will win my book, but you have to go to http://weather2020.com/blog/  and post your answer before Saturday.  I will compile the list of answers and we can monitor for the results.

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The weather pattern is just beginning to evolve according to our Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  A weak La Niña is setting up, but be careful. As is the subject of the paper we submitted for peer review, “Prediction the ending of the western drought”, El Niño and La Niña are just influences of something much bigger that is going on.  In  the strongest El Niño ever the drought in California continued. In last year’s weak La Niña the drought got obliterated. According to forecasts that came out the exact opposite of what was forecast to happen actually happened.  What is developing this year? Another weak to moderate La Niña. Now, look at this:

Snowfall in Kansas City in La Niña winters:

  • Weak La Niña years:  Average winter season snowfall:  16.5″
  • Moderate La Niña years:  Average winter season snowfall:  25.9″
  • Strong La Niña years:  Average winter season snowfall:  14.4″
  • Average for all La Niña winter season snowfall:  18.5″

Right now the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a weak to moderate La Niña winter is most likely, but this is not set in stone yet, but something to think about.  If you like snow, then it would appear you would want it to form into a moderate La Niña. We will discuss this more in the coming weeks.

Cooler air is moving in this morning with some rain showers. So, when do you think that first snowflake will fall? This is not the snowflake contest that will begin in a couple of weeks. That contest will be for picking the first inch of snow.  This is just for our first snowflake.  Good luck.



A Fall Change Finally Arrives This Week

Good morning bloggers,

In July, Kansas City had 20 days in a row 85° or hotter. This happened from July 6th to July 25th.  KC then went through all of August without even a five day stretch of 85° or hotter.  Today will be the seventh day in a row of 85° or hotter, but then the streak will end on Tuesday.  It has been a rather hot beginning to fall.  According to the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis a unique pattern is now beginning to evolve.  I recommend extreme patience over the next few weeks as we begin to see features that will be part of next years pattern. We are likely not there yet. The first week of October is when we must pay much closer attention.  For now, a fall change is on the way and a cold front is very slowly moving across the plains. It has already been in the plains states for days.


This 7 AM surface map above shows the nearly stationary front, that is actually just drifting southeast this morning.  North of the front there has been an area of rain with temperatures in the 40s with a very tropical air mass lies ahead of this front. By early Tuesday the front will finally be near KC:


The forcing mechanisms to cause heavy thunderstorms will be weakening significantly by Tuesday, so there is a lot of doubt as to how much rain will get to areas south and east of KC.  KC may be on the edge of the area that receives any rainfall amounts over 1/2 inch. This is already something a bit different than what we have been experiencing in the past year.

Hurricane Maria continues to spin off the southeast United States coast. It is forecast to weaken and then get ejected out to sea. You can also see Hurricane Lee on this satellite picture:


There are big changes taking place in the overall pattern and these tropical systems are caught in the transition period.


You can see how fast Maria ejects out over the Atlantic Ocean by the end of the weak and tracks well north of Bermuda.  Let’s track all these changes this week and open up the discussion to any questions you may have. Thank you for reading the blog today featuring Weather2020 and the CPH. Have a great start to the week. I am now on Sports Radio 810, WHB, so I will wrap up for today.


Change Around the Corner

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are in for yet another day of hot and humid very early Fall weather as much cooler and wet conditions are ongoing in the western Plains.  Let’s go through the change in weather and we will have an update on Maria.

This a pretty interesting Sunday morning satellite picture as we see Maria east of the Bahamas, snow in northern Utah and a band of rain and thunderstorms from Mexico to Canada in the western Plains.  We are in a clear, warm and humid  zone.


The band of rain is associated with a storm system in the Rockies and stalled front.  Temperatures are in the 40s and 50s with the rain.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The front will remain stalled with the 40s and 50s across western Nebraska and the 80s to near 90 to the east.  The front will finally start moving tonight.

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MONDAY MORNING: The front will be approaching Omaha and the showers and thunderstorms will be along and behind the front.  So, it looks like a dry Monday morning rush hour in KC (A brief shower is possible.).  Lows will be in the 60s to low 70s.


MONDAY AFTERNOON: The front will be edging into far northwest Missouri.  Highs in our area will be in the 80s once again with high humidity and more clouds, so it will be a few degrees cooler.  There may be a few showers and thunderstorms around, but the main activity will stay along and behind the front where the better southwest flow of disturbances is located.


MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY MORNING: The front will progress southeast, but the rain and thunderstorms will mostly stay to the west and northwest, where again the better southwest flow of disturbances is located. Now, that being said, there will be some showers and thunderstorms along I-35 with the front.


TUESDAY AFTERNOON: The front will be progressing steadily southeast and our area will begin to get in to the cooler air.  It will be cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms.  You can see the rain area is smaller as the energy aloft takes off to the north, away from the front.  So, the rain will not be as beneficial along and east of I-35.


TUESDAY NIGHT: The front will be moving away and most of the rain will be dissipated as the clouds remain. So, whether we see some good rain or not, cooler and less humid air will be flowing in.  Highs Wednesday through Saturday will be mostly 70 to 75 with lows 47 to 55.


RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH WEDNESDAY: This is just one run of data, but you can get the picture.  1″ to 3″ of rain is possible from Topeka, KS to Maryville, MO west.  Locations to the east will see .05″ to 25″.  Now, this is not set in stone as the rain may shift east faster or slower.  If you need to fertilize or have grass seed down you may need the sprinklers along and east of I-35 as this is the one rain chance for the next 7 days.




As of early Sunday morning Maria was a category 2 with 110 mph winds, moving north at 9 PM, east of the Bahamas.


Maria will continue north and slowly weaken to become a category 1. She will come quite close to Cape Hatteras , NC Tuesday and Wednesday.  We will have to watch this closely.  Whether she moves in to the outer banks of North Carolina or not, she will race out to sea at the end of the week.


Is there anything else lurking in the Atlantic that we need to worry about?  Lee has become a category 1 hurricane, but he will stay out in the middle of nowhere.  There are more disturbances coming off of Africa, but there is nothing imminent.  Hurricane season ends November 30th, so we are not done with this crazy tropical season, but it will be nice to have a break.


Have a great week ahead.

Jeff Penner