Summer Forecast Thoughts & Texas Tornadoes

Good morning bloggers,

I am asking you to participate in the summer forecast which I will discuss near the end of today’s blog entry.  Our summer forecast will come out on Monday night.

Texas tornadoes are the lead weather story this morning.  Severe thunderstorms erupted all around Dallas last night and there were a few tornadoes.  Granbury, TX was hit particularly hard and there are five or six fatalities. They new the tornado was coming, but likely didn’t expect it to be as strong as it was.  What has been a rather quiet severe weather season suddenly became deadly last night.

The severe weather risk will be increasing this weekend and Kansas City is one of the possible targets.  Here is a map of one of many surface solutions for Sunday and this solution may be too slow:


Most of the models have a faster surface solution in response to a stronger and negatively tilted upper level wave of energy ejecting out into the plains:


The wave of energy coming out on Sunday looks to be strong enough to force the surface features farther east, which would increase our severe weather risk.  Now, let’s remember that this set up is still three days away. I would like to spend a bit more time analyzing the parameters before super analyzing the potential scenarios, if that makes sense.  We will look into this on 41 Action News today and tonight.  Kansas City has missed almost every severe weather situation and set-up for over a year now, so let’s pay close attention.

day48probThe Storm Prediction Center has placed these risks over our area for Sunday/Monday.  “Medium-Range models remain in broad/general agreement that substantial severe weather potential exists days 4-5, Sunday 5-19, and Monday 5-20, and possibly into day 6.  However, rather pronounced differences in timing/location of short-wave features casts substantial uncertainty regarding details of the upcoming scenario”

I agree with what they are saying, and this is why we should wait another day or so until we spend a lot of time analyzing specific timing and details.  At the same time we will likely be turning on one of our red lights on our 7 day severe weather risk graphic tonight, unless the uncertainties continue.

What do you think the summer will be like? Answer these questions and add commentary if you would like:

  1. Will we have below, near, or above average temperatures in June, July, and August?
  2. Will we have below, near, or above average rainfall in June, July, and August?
  3. What are the chances of a major heat wave? Do you think we will have one?

Please let me know what your thoughts are and I will write up a summary of the bloggers summer forecast thoughts.  Thank you for participating and for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather Blog.


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61 comments to Summer Forecast Thoughts & Texas Tornadoes

  • brent.siemers

    Above average temp; below average precip; yes on major heatwave.

    Hope I am wrong on all three, but is has already been 100+ degrees just a few hundred miles north of us.

  • brent.siemers

    Also, I read stories about melting sea ice. Some climate models predicting a complete melt of all the sea ice in summer months starting as soon summer of 2015.


    I’m not interested in the politics of this; I am curious what you think the impact of this would be on the forecasting of weather? Directly, this would mean warmer atmospheric conditions. Indirectly, I would guess that 1.3 million square miles of melting ice would change atmospheric conditions through evaporation and reduced albedo.

    • Fred Souder

      It would not lower the albedo, as the very high latitudes do not get direct sun anyway, and water reflects light coming in at shallow angles. Melting equatorial ice (mountains and glaciers) would lower the albedo.
      Ice loss might cause the AOI to drop (producing cooler conditions over the continents and warmer over the poles). This is still being debated.
      Arctic Ice loss would for sure act to cool the planet, as the cap of ice prevents thermal energy from transferring from the ocean to the atmosphere then to deep space. It is a very strong negative feedback.

  • rkcal

    Above avg. temps, below avg. precipitation, major heat waves; in other words, the new average.

  • yewtrees

    Above average temperatures; below average rainfall; major heat wave in July and August. Drought continues!!!

  • Drought Miser

    Above average temperature and near normal to above average precipitation with two major heat waves in July and August 95 and up for three day stretches!!

  • frigate

    With this crazy weather pattern, its hard to say…a few weeks ago I would have said cold and wet but now since its dried out, actually had to water my lawn last night, I’ll go with below average temps, no major heat wave but also below average precip. Sure hope I’m wrong on the precip.

  • mgsports

    Very Hot,Heavy Rain and so on.
    Sunday and Monday might be more deadly then yesterday in Texas with more bigger cities affected maybe.

  • I’m going to go out on a limb.. :D Average temps, average precip. A couple of heat waves in late July and August. :D

  • Baseball Mike

    Good morning Gary–I sure hope it doesn’t turn dry again–thought the drought may have moved to the north–will go with average temps, average precip–a couple of “heat waves”–prayers and thoughts to the Texas Tornado victims-Thanks–Michael/Berryton/Topeka

  • blue8091

    Good Morning! The weather since last fall has been really unpredictable with quite a few record breaking events and I think it’s possible we’re in for a rollercoaster ride, with a lot of ups and downs. I might be wishcasting – slightly below average to average temps, average precip and quite a few spikes in high temps here and there but only 1 or 2 heat waves later in the season.

    I spent a bit of time last night at tornado alley live. I saw some video where the skies were so ominus and, while it looked familiar, I couldn’t recall where I had seen skies like that. Then I remembered the image I saw looking out the back window of our car as a little girl in June 1966 in Topeka. I remember asking my Dad what was that – he turned to me while driving and saying – that’s a tornado. He wasn’t kidding – we had been driving on MacVicar Ave just past 17th Street – just beyond Washburn University. All that on a day noted as risk being slight. Tornadoes under cover of darkness are scary. I ended up feeling guilty for watching severe weather going over areas you know are heavily populated.

  • Fred Souder

    Hot Dry summer:
    There is a loose correlation between solar cycle activity and the climate over the central US. The solar cycle lasts roughly 22 years, with periods of maxima occurring every 11ish. These maxima happened in the early to mid 1930’s, around 1955,67, ’77, 88, 99, and 2012-2014. These maxima last several years. All of these were hot dry years (or several years) in the midwest. Only the mid 1940’s avoided this trend. This latest solar cycle is progressing slower than the previous, so it has taken longer than the others to get ramped up (and it is weaker). But, it is currently at or close to the maximum, and so from a climatology standpoint we should see one or two more hot dry summers in the mid-west.
    Last Summers drought and high temperatures were predicted years in advance by climatologists using this model, lets see if they are also correct about this upcoming one…

    Note: These solar maximums to NOT correlate very well with global temperatures, but they do correlate well with temps and precip in the central US.

    • Fred,

      I don’t want to really get into a significant climate change debate with you, but it sounds like you are strongly in the direction of the solar cycles driving climate change? I think it is certainly a factor, but not sure if it is the reason for the ice melt?


      • Fred Souder

        No, that is why I included that comment at the end. I don’t think solar cycles have much of an impact on these short term temperature swings of the entire planet. However, there is evidence that solar cycles impact the weather in the central us (maybe via slight perturbations in ocean cycles or jet stream positions.
        My personal belief is that most of the changing climate (within our current inter-glaciation) is caused by ocean heat redistribution, and the primary driver of that is ENSO.

        • Fred, The world is in a “Pause” in global warming: What does that mean? The media mentions it frequently and global warming skeptics talk of little else: THE FACT THAT GLOBAL TEMPS.HAVE NOT GONE UP SIGNIFICANTLY DURING THE PAST 10-15 YEARS. Some scientist are suggesting that some of the recent warming was due to natural mode of variability(the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation)…What,s your take,,,,anyone? I can lead you to more information of this debate,if anyone requests.

          • Fred Souder

            It depends on who you ask. The Solar people say that of course the temperature has flatlined because the sun has quieted down from its record high output through the 20th century until 1998. The cosmic ray people say that it is because the sun had been putting out lot of solar wind, washing away the cosmic rays, and so the earth was heating. Now the sun is producing less solar wind, so the temp is beginning to fall.
            The ocean people are saying that the PDO stopped being positive around 2002, and is now negative so that the temps should start to drop.
            Enso people saying that Enso had been in a favorable El Nino phase for the last 30 years (1975-1999), and is now transitioning to a more la nina favorable cycle. So temps should level off, then start to drop.
            CO2 people are saying either
            1. Temp is still going up and up. See, last year was warmest ever. This decade is warmest ever, etc. By ever, they usually mean since 1930’s or since 1970’s.
            2. Temp is still going up, but it is currently being masked by the output of aerosol’s from china and 3rd world countries causing too much pollution
            3. Temp is still going up, but it is being masked by natural cycles which are only temporary and in short time it will warm up even more.

            • Fred Souder

              oops, that should say 1930’s or 1870’s. 1880 is a favorite time to start showing temperature trends because it was during a time of very low temps, so it makes it look like the temperature has been warming a lot.

      • Fred Souder

        According to NOAA, the ice melt in the arctic this last summer was caused mainly by an unusual storm last August that caused the wind to blow the ice farther south and break it up. I doubt the tiny changes in solar insolation have much effect on Arctic Sea Ice.

        One very interesting puzzle that has a lot of people mystified is the inverse teleconnection between Antarctica and the arctic. It is not well published in national media, but for the last 100 years as the ice in the arctic decreased the antarctic ice increased, and as the arctic ice increased, then the antarctic ice decreased. The current ice extent in the antarctic is near record high levels.

        That is why I think that the ice melt in the arctic must be related to ocean currents (maybe PDO?) and not solar influences (nor CO2).
        Some people are saying that this is because we are close to the end of our inter-glacial and this opposite polarity will be amplified until ice sheets start forming in northern canada and siberia, but I think those claims are tenuous at best.

    • ASickBovine

      So Fred, the sun doesn’t shine anywhere except the Central U.S.? I’d agree that the solar cycle has some affect on the earth’s weather, but to say that the one small area on the globe which happens to correlate with your politics is just that, politics. It’s time to wake up and admit that human activities affect the earth in many ways, including climate change.

      • Fred Souder

        What does this have to do with politics? I am just suggesting that there is a good correlation between solar peak and droughts in the mid-west. I am also saying that this solar peak does not correlate very well with global temperatures.
        So, I am saying that I don’t think that the sun is the primary driver of climate change. I am not sure how people are interpreting this as “humans have nothing to do with climate change”.

    • To answer Garys Question; It will be HOT,and Dry this summer,considering I invested $100 plus on reseeding,and other things to repair my lawn after the last couple of years of drought,and heat…. :(

  • jasonatt

    I agree with Scott. Average across the board. I think that there will be more extremes to lead to that average. If I were to hedge the bet it would be towards hotter and more dry. But I think there will be a 2-3 week window that is very wet and well below average.

  • I have no scientific basis for my summer forecast, but I think it will be slightly cooler than average and slightly drier than average except for one heat wave and maybe a big rain event from the leftovers of a tropical system.

  • Hockeynut69

    I will say above average temps, average precip because it doesn’t take a lot to be average during the summer, and 2 heat waves depending on your definition of what constitutes a major heat wave. Is it 100°+ temps and for how many days. What is the criteria?

  • McCabe58

    It’s going to be a hot summer. Above average temps, normal precip and definitely a couple of heat waves to deal with. This weekends storms are going to be pretty strong.. Idk why Brett has tornadoes as a low possibility on his Facebook post because I think we could have a tornado outbreak right around our area. Going to be fun to watch the next couple of days! Finally some severe weather!

  • Theo

    Hopefully the blog bully duo of Mikey and the Purple Hog will stay away.

  • blue8091

    I’m surprised there wasn’t more discussion on the “ice tsunami” in MN/Canada last week. Very strange and when was the last time something like that happened?

    • Weatherfreak01


      The ice “wave” up in Canada was amazing. I also looked at photos of MN’s ice. It was so cool yet so strange at the same time. The sound of all those ice needles just falling on top of other ice needles as it “rolled” onto land. And the damage to homes from the ice pushing in sliding glass doors, etc. Like I said, cool but weird.

      • blue8091

        Weather – I agree! Wind blowing so hard it blew the ice onto land and into homes. The video was an eerie thing to watch/listen to. Just like some of the other stuff we’ve witnessed this year and might not see again in our lifetime.


    Average to slightly above average temps. Average to slightly below average precip. 3 heat waves in July and August. My criteria is 100 degrees no precip lasting 5 days or more.

  • Jerry

    I’m going to say “near to above average temps” and “near to below average precipitation”.

    Each aspect of this forecast has roughly a 67% chance of being right, since I’ve just called for two of three options for temps (below / near / above average) and for precip (below / near / above average).

    It won’t be hard to get it right. I’m not using the LRC or any other theory.


    Jerry you forgot the third part. Heat waves. That adds a percentage of right an wrong and distributes those percentages across the entire forecast making your percentages not linear. That last variable of our guesses would lower your chances of probability of being correct.

    • Jerry

      OK, so I’ll say a “couple of heat waves.” Guaranteed.

      I’ll define those after the heat happens, but guarnateed, it’ll happen.

  • RickMckc

    I’m going to predict persistence of last year’s pattern (which started off with a wet/cool spring if my memory is correct).

    Above avg temps, below avg precip but not as bad as last year – no return of severe drought at least on the Missouri side. We will break 100 four times this summer.

  • John Sickels

    Average temperatures with one significant heatwave in early August
    Below average precipitation, with return of moderate drought conditions in some areas

    There will be an unusually strong summer severe weather outbreak July 1-3.

  • mmack66

    50/50, no

  • Brian

    I am going to predict lower average temps, above average rainfall, and 1 heat streak around the first or second week of August. Great discussion today

  • Punchy

    Gary —

    Back on April 30th (!!) a commentor wrote this:

    “Wow, don’t know if anyone is looking at the set up for May 20-22, but if this holds up, it seems like we are going to have the biggest outbreak of tornadic weather in Kansas City’s history. Fun times!”

    You responded with skepticism and astonishment. Maybe this guy and his model are damn good, eh?

    • RickMckc

      I’m dying to know – who made that comment????

      • Rock Hardon

        Thanks for asking Rick..here is my summer forecast

        You will continue to serve as Miss Manners of the blog

        KCPURPLEDOG will come out of the closet and admit he is Mower Mike’s alter ego

        Mower Mike will challenge KCPUPLEDOG to meet him somewhere and say that to his face

        Jerry, Theo, and a few others will continue to serve as a contrary (logical,fact driven,nonhysterical)hormonally balanced barometer to the Kool Aid Party Kids who somehow believe they are disciples of a mythical meterological God

        The weather staff will continue to profess that they possess clairvoyant powers and can predict the future

        In the immortal words of the Talking Heads…”Same as it ever was…..same as it ever was….SAME AS IT EVER WAS

        • RickMckc

          My question was not directed to you (nor about you or Theo) but about who posted the interesting WEATHER forecast. However, since you responded I will add a few more.

          1. Why are you here?

          2. Are you this obnoxious and hateful in real life?

          3. How does Theo serve as a meteorological balance to anything? In the time that he has been here (seems like an long slow eternity) he has posted at most 3 comments related to weather.

          4. Are you really Gary’s alter ego? I can’t imagine any other scenario in which he would allow you to continue to post.

          Have a nice summer everyone. I’m done.

    • PaolaWeatherNewbie

      I remember reading that.

      Whoever it was said something about a buddy that lives further south I think (deep south). His models were saying something about an outbreak, the buddy’s that is.

      I don’t remember who said it though.

    • PaolaWeatherNewbie

      Just went and checked. It was posted by Betterthanyou, first post on April 30th.

      There were a couple posts in response that were less than supportive. It was pretty far out to make a call but so far it is looking to be close. Dates are off by a day or few…isn’t too bad that far out.

  • PaolaWeatherNewbie

    My predictions…

    I’ll say the temps will roller coaster through the summer. Some really hot days, but maybe get a couple record lows knocked out too. So average, maybe slightly below average is my call. We’ll crack the 100 degree mark twice.

    Precipitation, not as dry as last year. I think we might get a couple really dry weeks in August, but still be on the wetter side through July.

    Heatwave is 95 degrees and up for 3+ days? Is that the definition? You’d think it was ingrained into my head after last year…

    I’ll say one heat wave (mid-late August), but a couple times that might as well be called that because it will be close (last week of July & end of the first week into the second week of August). Who doesn’t call for heat in August anyway! It’s August! :-)

  • Brocksmama

    OK.. I will put my 2 Cents worth in though I’m no Met by any means and am taking a wild guess. I’ll say below average temps for the most part with a few hotter than normal days sprinkled about here and there, average rainfall and no major heat waves…

  • Weatherman Kumke

    Since I’ve been perfect this year. I might as well go ahead and do it.

    Summer is going to do this.

    Below average Temps
    Above Average Rainfall
    1 heatwave of 4 days July 30th-Aug 2nd

  • McCabe58

    ^this kid…. -_-

    I also remember betterthanyou posting that comment. And I agree, pretty damn accurate besides being off by a day or two. Gary you did kind of scoff at that comment as I remember. How come you couldn’t see that possibility?

  • Eswar

    My Summer forecast:

    Near average temps
    Near to Below Average Precip (above average precip in Nebraska/Iowa)
    No major heatwaves, but 2-3 heatwaves lasting 3-5 days each

  • blue8091

    Great blog posts today :) The spring growth on my shrubs which normally happens in early April just blossomed over the last few days. I was beginning to think something was wrong with them.

    The severe weather outlook for Sun/Mon/Tue looks to be exciting. I’ve been looking forward to severe weather season and was frowning we might have another uneventful year. Perhaps it’s just running a little behind this year like everything else.

    • Drought Miser

      The Dogwood trees took forever also they just now are full bloom or just past full!

  • gwh64063

    Average temps, average to above average precip, and a couple of heat waves in July. With the weather pattern we’re in (LRC) and given the cooler than normal temps late Winter through Spring and the high specific heat of water / moisture in the ground, I think we’ll be average or maybe even a bit cooler than average for June but then it warms to average in July. I think the jet will dip a few times into or near this area (LRC) and bring with it a few storm systems and/or cool fronts with rain showers that, hopefully, will keep the drought away.

  • mukustink

    Well I say who knows. I could try the lrc but I don’t know what cycle to use 50_55 days or 50_57 days or 45_57 days. Also the lrc doesn’t always translate down to the surface unless it fits my needs. So I will say near average on everthing including heat waves.

  • Ok So what are other’s thoughts that have looked at the data on this severe weather setup for this coming Sunday/ maybe Monday. Looks to be to be very interesting with a high probability of some tornadoes for sure…

  • Average temp, above average rainfall, no heat wave. Above average rainfall will prevent us from a major heat wave. Unlike last year. The pattern that set up un late January will continue until early July. We’ll see. I’ve seen this before.