The Snowflake Contest Begins & 22 Years Ago Was The Snowy October Surprise

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern continues to set up for the season. The 2018-2019 LRC has a few more weeks to go before we will know so much more.  Where is the big western trough that created the conditions for 10″ of rain? Is that coming back? If you have been following our blog the past few years, then you know the answer to that question.  A unique pattern is setting up, one that has never happened before, and this is one of the more fascinating aspects of the LRC, and we have cracked the code.  The LRC just predicted the four named tropical systems to affect the United States (Alberto, Florence, Gordon, and Michael).  And, now what is going on with this pattern. We will look at the developing changes in the next ten days, share the link to enter the snowflake contest, and we will begin with a look back at 22 years ago today when Kansas City had the “October Surprise” and 6 to 8 inches of snow fell.

4This map shows the weather pattern on October 22, 1996.  A very strong upper level low was lifting out negatively tilted just southeast of Kansas City.  It turned just cold enough for heavy rain to change to heavy snow.  Two to three inches of rain fell on this day, 22 years ago, and then when the upper low took the perfect track it turned cold enough for the rain to change to snow. The first freeze of the season also happened that late afternoon, as the temperature dropped to 32 degrees during the snowfall, and then warmed back above freezing when the snow ended during the evening.  Look outside today, and imagine 6 to 8 inches of snow on all of those leaves.  The weight of the snow caused many branches to crash down into the power lines, and we had power outages for many days.  It was an expensive storm for Kansas City.  We were the bulls eye that day.

The weather pattern today is very different than that day, and some interesting changes continue to happen. Here is the 500 mb flow today:


Major CAT 4 Hurricane Willa is located off the west coast of Mexico, and it will be picked up by the westerly flow to its north and kicked out with all its moisture across some of the very wet flooded grounds of Texas.  The jet stream is getting stronger over the Pacific and eastern Canada, and big changes are ahead of us.


By Halloween a rather major change takes place. The models are all over the place on what will happen, and the trend has been towards a deeper western trough.  Confidence is still quite low on how all of this will play out in the next ten days.  It is just becoming more apparent that a big shift back to more of a trough west of Kansas City is likely within a week or so.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny and near perfect.  High:  70°
  • Tonight: Clear with light winds. Low:  45°
  • Tuesday:  Mostly sunny. High:  62°

Could it snow early this year?  Sure it could.  I still need to see a lot more as we prepare to issue our winter forecast in a few weeks. Here is the link to the snowflake contest:  Enter The Snowflake Contest



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