The Winter Weather Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Mostly sunny. High: 43°
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy. High:  41°
  • Sunday:  Mostly cloudy early with a snow flurry possible, then sunny and warmer. High:  44°
  • Monday: Sunny, breezy and much warmer. High:  55°

Will this be Kansas City’s 3rd straight winter with below to way below average snowfall?


Here in Kansas City we are sitting at 4.5″ of snow as the third straight January comes to an end with less than 3″ of snow this month. Take a look at the month by month totals from the past two winters:



What is going on? The Ridge! As the new LRC set up in the fall we experienced the long term long-wave ridge that formed over the middle of North America. By early to mid November I realized that this ridge was one of the strongest I had ever seen, but it was still a subtle feature and something that is hard to explain. There are many symptoms of this ridge and I still have to do more analysis to back up what I am trying to explain here. How many major winter storm systems have there really been across the United States. Let’s take out Lake Effect snow storms. Let’s take out mountain snows. How many have there really been? A 6 to 10 inch snow near the South Dakota border in another winter would have been a 22″ snow. The ridge is showing itself more than you know.

Here is what I wrote in November. We are bringing you this breakthrough technology and sharing it with our members at Weather2020.com.  Our team at KSHB and Weather2020 have increasingly become more accurate over the past two decades.  For my winter snowfall prediction to verify this winter, we will need ten more inches of snow. These next three slides are from the winter forecast:




If you read these slides closely it really showcases what has continued to happen during the winter.

  • On the second slide I wrote, in referring to the Arctic Oscillation: “If the index doesn’t dip deeper into negative territory, then the number of stormy and very cold days will be quite limited”. The ridge is a bigger factor when it is combined with an AO positive. We have had that first 10-14 day cold spell. There were a couple much shorter ones. Now, will there be one more 10-14 day stretch in February? We will be moving into that part of the cycling pattern in the next three weeks.
  • On the first slide I wrote: “On these maps you can see various forms of the Pacific storm systems, and the ridges that developed over the middle and western parts of North America. These are the biggest reason for the early season warmth and it will be a big part of this years cycling pattern.” This part of the pattern has quite obviously influenced January, as forecasted.
  • On the third slide I wrote: “Arctic air masses formed on the other side of the Northern Hemisphere (Siberia south through Asia and northern Europe) in this early part of the pattern. This will likely happen again with each of these set-ups. Will it form on the North American side of the Northern Hemisphere in these winter cycles? It likely will and it is something we will be monitoring closely. This is also an indicator of the development of a negative AO and NAO.” This is something to monitor closely in the next seven days. One of those big ridges will form. It is right on the LRC schedule. How will it influence the development of the Arctic air mass is one question, and how strong will the Pacific Storm Generating Machine be in this third cycle is another question?

These are three of the big take aways from how the pattern set up during the critical LRC development period in the first cycle of this years pattern. Take a look at the Arctic Oscillation Index as of today:


Once again, if this index does not dip deeper into negative territory, then we can expect to continue to experience what we have experienced this winter and the chance of getting up to ten inches of snow this winter will be a struggle. There is no sign yet of this dipping into that deeper negative area. The middle of February will provide the best chance of this happening.
We are proud to be the official meteorologist of the Kansas City Royals. One year ago today the Royals were defending World Champions. We are now one year removed from this as the Chicago Cubs won it this past year. The Royals had to deal with a tragedy this past week with the death of Yordano Ventura, their young star that could have been a true superstar, but we will never know. What will happen in 2017? Well, we will find out in the next few months. I will be signing books of “It’s A Sunny Life” out at this event. Come on by and say hello if you have a chance. Bring the family. This is really a great event!



Thank you for reading todays blog. We hope to see you at Fan Fest this weekend!  Sunny and I will be there broadcasting from 3:30 PM through 7:30 PM.


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