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The Sun Returns During This Cold Weather Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

The month began with dense fog, lightning, thunder, heavy rain, snow, graupel, and cold.  In Kansas City we had precipitation fall the first four days of the month and we are already at 1.00″ liquid, and it has snowed 0.3″ after 0.1″ was recorded yesterday, so this total below needs to be updated to 8.1″ so far this season:

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We are usually waiting for our first inch of snow at this time of the year, and in recent years we have had to wait until January or February for that first inch of snow in KC.  The first inch happened the Sunday after Thanksgiving this year when 5.8″ of snow was reported at KCI Airport.  There are more chances showing up on the models including a slight chance of snow later tonight:

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The map above shows the chance of snow later tonight.  The chance is near zero up around Maryville; around 20% chance at KCI Airport; a 30% chance on the south side of the city; and a 50% chance around Pleasanton, KS to Clinton, MO farther south.  The chance opens up around 3 AM tonight into 10 AM on Thursday morning.  It will be caused by a wave in the northern branch of the jet stream and some jet dynamics.  The new NAM came out this morning with one thin band of snow that formed just south of I-70 and then moved quickly away.  This is a very difficult thing to predict, and this is why we have such a low chance of snow for this situation.

The Next Storm System:

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A winter storm watch is in effect for parts of Oklahoma, which now includes Oklahoma City.  I began my career working in Oklahoma after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with my Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology in 1985.  Some of my fellow students remember me discussing the cycling pattern with them in the early 1980s, and it was the huge winter of 1987-1988 when I began truly seeing and experiencing the organization to the chaos in the upper levels above us within the troposphere.  Oklahoma City rarely gets hit by major winter storms, and in 1987 there was a one foot snow storm in early December.  A second one foot snow storm hit around 45 days later that winter in January, and it was around that time I noticed that the storm systems tracked, produced, and looked quite similar.  It couldn’t possibly by a coincidence, and the seeds for the LRC began.  Let’s see what happens with this next storm.  As, this part of the pattern will be returning over and over again through next September as the pattern cycles.

Looking farther ahead:

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The North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation are suddenly being modeled to dip negative again around the middle of December.  I have predicted that there is a much increased chance of our first Arctic outbreak of the season around Christmas week to the end of the year.  And, this sudden shift on these indexes fit better than what it was showing yesterday, which was higher positives on these indexes.  The LRC would strongly support the conditions favorable for a big ridge forming off the west coast extending up to eastern Alaska and western Canada within a couple of weeks.  In the first cycle of the LRC, there was no build of of Arctic Air. This is no longer the case as temperatures have dropped up over the far northern part of North America, down to around 30 degrees below zero.  So, this time, when the pattern becomes favorable for high pressure to build at the surface, there will be a large Arctic air mass for it to pull from. I am still uncertain of the exact date range, however, and we will pin this down soon.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny and much warmer. Expect a southwest breeze around 15 mph.  High:  46°
  • Tonight:  Increasing clouds with a chance of rain-sleet-snow around 3 to 6 AM.  The chance is higher south and east of KC.  Low:  32°
  • Thursday:  Mostly cloudy with a few snowflakes and colder. Areas south of I-70 have a slight chance of less than 1″ of snow.  Temperatures dropping into the upper 20s or staying in the lower 30s with winds out of the north around 20 mph.  Wind chills in the teens.

Let’s see how the models trend today.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day! And, head over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

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