The LRC & This Major Storm

Good morning bloggers,

It’s Friday! And, after no sleep two nights ago I have caught up a bit and I am ready for the weekend.  For those of you who stayed awake anticipating our first snowstorm in 310 days you probably remember the moment the snow started rapidly increasing on radar just after midnight north and northwest of Wichita, KS. The storm went through the intensification and ended up producing 2″ to 6″ of snow across our viewing area.  Here is a visible satellite picture taken around 3 PM yesterday afternoon. You can see the cloud cover on the back side of the storm over the eastern half of Iowa and Missouri.  West of the clouds that is all snow:

While this snowstorm was developing a dust storm was in progress across western Texas/Texas Panhandle.  Check this out:

I would like you to open your mind to the potential of understanding the LRC.  This was posted by Mike Smith on his blog. This is in Lubbock Texas.  Has anyone been storm chasing in Lubbock?  I met Mike Smith in 1983. I wonder if he knows this? He had a Holiday Weather Hot Line in Wichita, KS. I drove my dad’s car up to Wichita Christmas week and it was COLD.  I worked the Holiday Weather Hotline as a junior meteorology student at the University of Oklahoma at his television station.

It was below zero, and my dad’s car wouldn’t start. I had to leave my car in Wichita. That’s a long story.  Anyway, that is how I met Mike Smith.  Take a look at these two pictures. The one on the left is before the dust storm. The one on the right is during the dust storm at 4:45 PM Thursday, December 19th, the day before Kansas City was to have it’s most significant snowstorm in two years.  A few hours later we had 50 mph winds and heavy snow.  This part of the cycling pattern will return this spring and will likely result in a major tornado outbreak. I have not yet figured out when this is likely going to happen, but I will be picking this out soon.

Where are we now in the LRC (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle)?  Take a look at Hurricane Sandy:

Hurricane Sandy blasted into New Jersey on October 29th. We identified the LRC cycle length to be around 50 to 55 days and we then made the forecast, many weeks ago, that this part of the pattern would return around October 20th. Take a look at what happened when Hurricane Sandy got absorbed into the overall cycling pattern:

For the past 50+ days I have known that this part of the weather pattern was going to return around December both. Well, take a look at the surface forecast for today. Do you really think it is just a coincidence?  Look at the map below and compare it to what happened the day after Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey shore.

West Virginia was blasted by a record 4 foot October snowstorm when Superstorm Sandy spun up. And, not too shockingly in this next cycle West Virginia is getting hit again by a snowstorm, not as big as the last one, with 1 to 2 feet of snow from this storm.

Next on the weather patterns cycle is a storm that will be approaching us early Christmas week. Let’s take a look:

You can click on any of these next three maps for a larger view.  On the left you can see a forecast for the 500 mb flow, around 18,000 feet up in the atmosphere, valid Sunday night.  The major storm that affected us and is now moving into southern Canada will still be spinning around over southeast Canada.  Energy coming into the flow will be moving over the Pacific Northwest Sunday night. This is energy that right now is way out over the Pacific Ocean so we will likely get many varying solutions on how this storm will evolve. A few days ago the models were forecasting a major snowstorm near Kansas City. I had very low confidence in those solutions, but they were fun to look at.

More realistically, this storm is going to dive southeast into the plains and intensify as it is passing our area.  This next 500 mb forecast is valid on Christmas Day at noon.  This model run shows a storm centered over southwestern Oklahoma and it is still digging southeast. Kansas City is somewhat in the circulation of this system as it spins by.  But, this is just a forecast. Let’s see how the models handle this system in the next few runs.  If it digs harder and sooner, then we would have very little chance of snow on Christmas Day.  If it starts to dig a bit later, then we could have a brief period of snow right on Christmas.

By the day after Christmas this storm is just zipping along and intensifying into one of the hot spots we described in the winter forecast.  This is falling into one of the long term long-wave troughs over the northeast.  A blocking pattern is being forecast by this computer model at this time. You can see that by looking at the two upper level ridges that I placed a blue H in.  These blocks are not handled well by the computer models at all, so let’s see how this forms as it will have an impact on the weather pattern as New Year’s Day, 2013 approaches.  When the AO goes deep negative and Arctic Air gets pushed farther south, the hot spots will be forced south which is one of the reasons we just had our storm system this week.

A storm is likely going to dig near the California coast next week and this very well may have a significant impact on our area as the new year approaches.  There is one thing I know for sure. I feel this winter is already much more exciting than all of last winter that left us so frustrated.  We will likely have three or four more winter storm systems to track in the coming weeks/months.

A few bloggers did break the rules of the blog yesterday.  This will not be tolerated and we will be watching closely in the next few days.  Here are the rules again:

  • The comments should be limited to the discussion topics of the day
  • No personal attacks are allowed
  • If you mention a competitor please mention them by saying “another station said”
We have had some really good conversations about our exciting weather in the past few days. Let’s continue to make this an great place to come in and share in the Kansas City weather experience.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog.  Have a great weekend.


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48 comments to The LRC & This Major Storm

  • mowermike

    Good morning,

    Great job on the winterstorm forecast and the constant updates. Your team did a very good job. However, you’re only as good as your next forecast, so good luck!! Good job too bloggers. I received .87 inches of moisture from this storm(rain,melted down snow) on the NW side Liberty. That’s 1.24 inches in less then a week with last Friday’s event.

    Gary, what’s your feeling on a potential colder and more active pattern? ECMWF longrange showing a colder outlet through the first couple weeks of Jan.

    • Mike,

      Thanks, and I am expecting a potential major Arctic outbreak during the first half of January. I haven’t issued an Arctic Air Watch yet, however. Next week we will get a pretty cold shot too.

      Have a great weekend.


  • mattmaisch

    Overnight data looked yet a little more promising regarding the storm next week. Still tracking too far to the south right now, but the track wouldn’t have to change that much for it it impact us. Also, the Euro showed the storm digging a little deeper than the GFS did, and closed the center of circulation off nicely. Both solutions are still too far south, but this mornings trends are far more encouraging than yesterday mornings were.


    • Matt,

      I will discuss that storm in the blog later this morning. This storm coming our way dug right over the plains in the last cycle and eventually formed into that second storm that blasted the northeast with snow a few days later. As it digs in this cycle we may get clipped by it in some way, but it would likely bottom out and intensify south and east of us. Let’s see how the models trend.

  • Curiosity

    For the sake of the LRC haters, everybody should mark their calendars for roughly 50 days from now (around Feb. 8) and see if we get a monster low that intensifies just after passing us by.

  • Freeze Miser

    Believe the LRC or not,
    Lezak nails it an awful lot.
    With snowy vest and smiles abound,
    Those frozen flakes will float around.
    No grumpy bloggers or sleepless night
    can keep the theory from being right.

    So the fans of rain, and storm, and snow
    will always have a place to go.
    ‘Cause weather is always awfully fun,
    When tuning in to forty-one!

  • Freeze Miser

    Of course, you can! I was hoping it might bring a bit of calm to the sometimes stormy (pun intended) blog.

    Thanks for all your hard work and for making the weather fun for so many of us.


  • yewtrees

    Gary. I am a bit confused about your LRC prediction. How could you predict the length based on Hurricane Sandy that blasted into New Jersey on October 29th? We wanted to know what the cycle looked like on Oct 29 here in KC that gave us the storm a couple of days ago. You did not show us that cycle comparison.

  • hobart

    Gary, are you still calling for above average temperatures this winter?

  • mukustink

    Why was yesterday’s storm not in the forecast until this past Sunday? It wasn’t on the 7 day forecast last Wednesday,Thursday or Friday. I would think this storm would’ve been in the extended forecast if it was part of the LRC.

    • Jerry

      My thoughts exactly. That’s why I keep asking how the LRC can possibly be useful if these forecasts still aren’t made until the storms are within model range.

      The biggest blizzard to hit IA in 15 years occurred yesterday…and yet, on October 29-30th, a hurricane hit the east coast and the two are considered the “same” part of the pattern. I don’t think anything eventful happened anywhere near IA October 29-30.

      • Jerry,

        How are the models useful? They are useful by using your knowledge of what they are showing and then making a forecast based on all of the information and data you can gather. It is then up to the forecaster to make a good forecast. The LRC is another tool that can be used to help make a forecast. Did I think Iowa was going to get hit by a major blizzard in this cycle? YES, I did. But, I wasn’t forecasting for Iowa. Did I think Kansas City would be impacted by this storm weeks ahead of time. Yes I did! I was expecting it to bring us a potential quick snowstorm as it formed into a monster storm after it passed us by. Guess what Jerry? It did exactly what I though it would do, and I knew about it weeks ago. So, does it help in forecasting? Absolutely.

        And, why wasn’t it in the forecast until early this week? Because I still rely too much on the models. The LRC can tell you where the models are likely wrong, or right? As we learn more in the coming days, weeks, and years, we can use the LRC better.

        • Jerry

          Seriously, you expect people to believe that you knew IA would get a historic blizzard and that KC would get a snowstorm, yet just 5 days before, you didn’t have it in your forecast?

          I get that you’re not forecasting for IA, but even this past weekend, you didn’t have a snowstorm in the forecast for Kansas City … yet you insist you knew a storm was coming “Yes I did! I was expecting it to bring us a potential quick snowstorm as it formed into a monster storm after it passed us by. Guess what Jerry? It did exactly what I though it would do, and I knew about it weeks ago.” SERIOUSLY? You knew weeks ago…and never put it in a forecast until even LATER than some other stations?

          There were other forecasters hinting at this storm late last week…when your forecasts showed no such event.

          I don’t buy it that you knew weeks ago, given that you just failed to ever mention it. I’ll buy it when you actually step up with a long-range forecast that holds water (or snow). The last few years’ long-range forecasts based on your theory haven’t panned out, but I’ll give you credit when it is due. If you present one that verifies, I’ll certainly recognize as much.

          • Jerry,

            No, I didn’t “know” that Iowa would have an historic blizzard. There was every indication, according to the LRC, that there would be an impacting storm intensifying as it passed Kansas City. I really don’t care if you buy it that I knew it was coming. Over the years you have already seen many that have verified. You even helped make a few in the past. Just go back and look at the blog entries. And, about ten days ago I said that the Superstorm Sandy part of the pattern was coming back. I thought that KC would have only minor impacts, if that, at the time, but I was relying too much on the models. So, we did talk about this storm way ahead of others.

            My goodness Jerry. Let’s take a deep breath and communicate it properly as we move forward. Happy Holidays!

  • mukustink

    Gary I find it hard to believe that you knew about this weeks ago. You are not shy about sharing your thoughts in your blog posts. There was nothing mentioned about any possible blizzard or minor snow storm for KC. As much as you “push” the LRC I would think that you would have mentioned this in a blog post. This is where people find your credibility to be in question because you always say I knew it was going to happen yet you don’t mention it to anyone until after the event. If you are so sure about the LRC then use it and say so. Don’t say I knew it was going to happen for weeks after an event has occured. I mean Iowa is not that far away.

    • I am just telling you the truth. But, again, I am not making any claims of making a forecast for KC weeks ago. I didn’t do that, but I have in the past. How will this storm impact us in February. I am not sure yet, but I believe it will be a major impact again in Iowa and into the northeast.

  • hunter

    This is my first time writing but do want to say that Gary may not of forecasted it weeks ago but he did say that we would get snow before Christmas weeks ago and that is exactly what happen. Dont know why everybody has to be so negative all the time. Who cares there are more inportant things in life to worry about.

    • mukustink

      Negative really? I call it a conversation based on facts that were presented and 2 sides that disagree upon said facts. Just because we don’t say yep your right and follw along doesn’t mean it’s being negative.

  • McCabe58

    So as it looks right now Gary, the best we could hope for Christmas Day or the day after is a brief period of snow? It couldn’t change between now and then to give us a couple if inches? Not wishcasting, although I’d love for that to happen, but I’m just curious to see if it could still change and give us a few inches? Also, are the models picking up on another storm near New Years? You said in the blog this one could possibly have a significant impact on our weather here.

    • As the system zips by we may have a period of light snow or flurries. The exact track is still unclear, but it looks very cold. The colder it is the easier it will be to squeeze out a few snowflakes. Last week at this time, this last storm was not looking like much for us either, so let’s see how this evolves.


  • Adam Penney

    Ya, its just about time to throw in the towel on next week. Models have been very consistent the past 36 hours on the track of this storm, taking it well to south of the area. It indeed, may snow here, but it will be very light in nature.

    Time to start looking towards New Years, although thats still over 200 hours out.

    • Kcchamps

      the 12z GFS seemed to be more north, did you see that also? maybe the 18z will be even further north?? :)

      • RickMckc

        I saw that, too, but still not very much. I think the cold air intrusion is going to be lot stronger than on those model runs last week and everything is pushed south. Of course, if the push isn’t as strong as it looks now (it’s still 4 days away), things could move further north.

        Even if it doesn’t pan out, it’s just nice to have some weather to talk about again!

  • melafinatu

    A little bad weather advice if your flying. Check with your airlines website for accurate flight info. I noticed yesterday flykci.com was all over the place. I think it’s ok usually, but not so great during bad weather.

  • melafinatu

    Flights are finally back on track today. It was a rough day at KCI yesterday

  • McCabe58

    Hey muku and Jerry could you guys post a picture of your met degree? :P jk lol… Makes me wonder though, if these “other stations” had a blog would you be on there criticizing them everyday? Because they sure are a lot less accurate than the 41 team!

    • Supercell

      Totally agree McCabe58. The other station that ends in a 4 is an embarrassment to the science of meteorology. Their chief met whiffed on the storm then backed up his whiff by saying “don’t believe your lying eyes; we really only just received a skiff of snow.” It’s honestly like watching Tariq Aziz, the old Iraqi Minister when he came on camera and said all is well when right behind him Hussein’s statue was coming down.

      It’s obvious some on this blog are put here by a competing station because the only way they can gain viewers is by discrediting Gary. That’s exactly why the chief met at the station that ends in 4 goes out of his way to say the OPPOSITE of Gary.

      The best we can do is know the truth. I don’t blog much anymore, but someone has to say something.

      • RickMckc

        “It’s obvious some on this blog are put here by a competing station because the only way they can gain viewers is by discrediting Gary” …

        … is a pretty strong claim to make and could rightfully be taken as a slam by Jerry and MUKU. They are asking good and fair questions and not in a disrespectful manner.

        Welcome back to the blog. We missed ya! :)

      • oh, I think that’s a little harsh to equate “he who must not be named” as Tariq Aziz.. lol yes, he was wrong on this storm for some odd reasons.. I sensed his co-workers disagreed since all them had different opinions. But he’s been right before, even with Gary was wrong. I think it’s VERY important for people to take in multiple weather sources when coming up with their own conclusions on what is going to happen. All this forecasting is personal interpretation of weather data.

        Plus, I don’t expect people to have to have weather degrees in order to comment on this board. The fun is seeing how others see and observe the same information that Gary and “he who must not be named” use. granted they have more experience, but that doesn’t mean that someone else see’s something different and gets it right.

  • just noticed NWS has put a chance of rain/snow in for a week for today…

  • McCabe58

    It was a joke lol… It’s perfectly acceptable to ask question and even question Gary about things. But EVERYDAY? I honestly don’t think ive seen Jerry give Gary credit once when he was right. I don’t want to start a debate about it though, I’d rather discuss upcoming weather events. There is nothing anyone can do about old forecasts.

  • stjoeattorney

    i do not like this upcoming bone chilling cold.

  • Emaw

    I’m with ya stjoeattorney. Are the 3 rule’s Gary stated above for all or just some, because 2 of them were broken in entries above. I’m just asking.

  • Supercell

    I may have been a tad harsh. I did just return from our Christmas party and I MAY have had one or two adult beverages that have yet to wear off. I don’t take back the Tariq Aziz comment, though. That was funny, I don’t care who you are…

  • mukustink

    Thanks to the few who prove my point. I asked some fair questions and as usual I get “attacked” for asking them and then people wonder why I or others get an attitude. Mccaabe where is your degree? When one makes claims that are open to debate then one should expect such a debate. If Gary wants to make claims everyday that are debatable then if I or others feel like debating those claims then we should be able to debate them. Sorry I’m not a follower. I ask questions when I feel like they need ot be asked. I’ve seen Jerry give gary credit before just like I’ve give Gary credit before.

    I find it odd that more people don’t ask questions. Gary is constantly pushing the LRC theory heck he even had a LRC website for a while where he made money from it. Don’t you find it odd that he didn’t blog about this storm but he knew about it weeks ago? He knew about it because of his LRC theory but he kept it quiet? Think. That’s all I ask is that you think and ask questions when things don’t make sense.

    I also find it odd that “loyal” or “favorite” bloggers are allowed to constantly “break” the rules of the blogs and are never called out for it by the leader. Think about it. Have a good Christmas everyone. Maybe if we hope enough that storm will make it here. I thought it would be near 50 on Christmas a couple of weeks ago. Looks like I’ll be wrong. Looks like weatherman bradly didn’t win the contest.

  • StormyWX

    Is it me or…did everyone seem really…quiet and mellow tonight on the news? Especially Gary. I mean it just seemed to be like everyone had been toned down some or something to the point that they all almost seemed really upset or really tired or both.

    Maybe I just got so used to everyone getting hyped about the snow we had yesterday for the past week and the big and busy weather coverage from yesterday.

  • McCabe58

    Absolutely question things like that muku. I find it extremely odd he never said anything about it. And to be 100% honest, I do not believe in his theory. There have been instances in the past where it seemed to “verify” for a couple storms. When it doesn’t there is always an excuse or something happened just a little differently and that’s why it didn’t happen. Idk I need some SOLID proof to believe and that will probably never happen. Weather is crazy and pretty unpredictable at times. Sorry if I seemed to attack you guys, was only in fun! I am seriously debating going back to school for a meteorology degree though. It’s one thing I’m pretty passionate about. It just gets to me sometimes when the same people are always on his case if he’s a little off or even when he and the team get damn close to their prediction. Gonna have an open mind from here on out because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Happy holidays everyone! Hoping for more exciting storms in our near future!

    • willy

      Ya know people who don’t have the wherewithall to understand patterns as related to the weather really need not to quite their day job. I find it humorous that people don’t see the pattern in life. Tides. Orbit. And yes, weather. It’s pretty obvious. Call it what you want, LRC? What ever. At least somebody called it something. Gee, it’s not like we’ve been in a historic droubt and about every system has just swooshed by with, if any thing, a few small drops that seemed to be almost the life blood of the system. I’m so tired of people trying just to be antagonists. Our country is full of divisiveness, as evident on the blog. Why?

      • Supercell


        I blogged a couple of years ago on this very subject. You are on the right track. In a nutshell, here’s what I wrote: There was a time when ocean swells were accepted as random. Then surfers came along and recognized that ocean swells are not random at all. By observing the swells, they found they come in sets. Through more time, surfers observed they could predict the length of the sets and determine how each swell in each set would appear. Through this constant observing and practice, a good surfer can accurately predict when the set with the wave they would like to ride would appear.

        What they discovered is not unlike the LRC. Weather definitely has a pattern. I believe strongly in this. Just like waves have a pattern on the ocean. What the LRC does is help us figure out the set (pattern), the length (cycle) and what waves will appear (storms). It’s all there for us, we just have to look for it.

  • Thanks for your hard work on the LRC & the blog, Gary & team! We are really hoping for a White Christmas here, so please keep us posted. Maybe we will get a little snow?!

  • melafinatu

    I for one appreciate Gary and his team. I don’t even come close to being an expert on weather. I love the anticipation of different weather events. I think we’d all do better to lay off the constant negativity. There are def weather patterns and science is never perfect. Enjoy the forum and hope Gary never leaves KC. Then all we’d be left with is “the other guys”

  • Adam Penney

    Model trends have held on the Christmas Storm. Its going to the south, we may get a few flurries or light snow, but thats it.

    Moving on, the latest trends on the New years storm over for a much further south trend as well. The 12z EURO had a completely different flow pattern towards 240 hours on its run this afternoon. Still a LONG way to go on that, so time for that to change.

    Bottom line, things are looking more bleak as of tonight for the next 10 days.

  • rred95

    That figures.. back to our regular scheduled programming of non eventful weather.