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”