Tracking the “Heat Wave Creating Machine”

Good Saturday,

We are in for a nice and typical summer weekend of weather.  We will go through the next few days and then use the CPH (Cycling Pattern Hypothesis) to track where the “heat wave creating machine”, anticyclone, is likely to go in the next week.

Here is the forecast for the next three days.

TODAY: This will be a nice day with highs near 90°, a light wind and a tad less humidity than what has been experienced the last several days.  Note, the red color represents temperatures 90° or higher.  Western Kansas will see temperatures in the 70s and 80s as a small system meanders out of Colorado and produces clouds, showers and thunderstorms.  We will be following this system and a cold front in the Great Lakes Sunday and Monday.


SUNDAY:  The small system in western Kansas will still be out there as it is moving quite slow, producing more showers and thunderstorms.  The cold front in the Great Lakes will surge south towards the Tennessee Valley, but stall as it tries to drift west.  There will be a few thunderstorms along the front.  So, our region will be caught in between the two weather features leaving us hot and humid with a light wind.


MONDAY: The small system in the Plains will be on the move and it will be located in southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas.  This system will move east and slowly fall apart Monday night and Tuesday.  So, our region has a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms at those times.  The front to the east is stalled and will be moving back east as a warm front Tuesday.  We will not be experiencing the refreshing air mass over the Great Lakes, 70s for highs in Chicago, while we sit in the low 90s with high humidity.


Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (CPH)


Let’s go through the rest of the week and analyze the 500 mb flow, the flow at around 18,000 feet, using the CPH to track the summer upper level high, or anticyclone, or “heat wave creating machine.”

Here is the upper level flow forecast for July 18, 2017:

We have labelled the four main features present in the flow.

1. Trough off of the west coast of the USA

2. The anticyclone.

3. Deep upper low, Polar Vortex feature around Hudson’s Bay.

4. A trough in New England.

Since the anticyclone is centered in the southern Plains it will be heating up in the middle of the USA with less rain chances.  We will go back to cycles 1 and 3 to see if the forecast upper level flow is realistic or should we throw out the model data.  Remember, this years cycle is 56-61 days, centered on 58.5.  This means a multiple anywhere between 56 and 61 days prior to a date in this years pattern we should be able to find a match in the pattern.  Now, that being said, you have to account for seasonal differences.


CYCLE 3 (MARCH 20, 2017, 120 days prior to July 18th, or two cycles ago.):

Here are the 4 features back in March.  It is rather amazing to see as you have the trough off the west coast (1), the ridge in the southern Plains (2), the deep trough around Hudson’s bay(3) and the trough moving through New England (4).  Feature #3 even has a similar shape as the one forecast July 17th.  Now, remember seasonal differences. The ridge in July is going to be stronger as it is hotter and the jet stream is more retreated.  So, it become a full blown upper level high.

500 mb March 20 2017 label

CYCLE 1: Now, lets go back 240 days to November 20, 2016, Cycle 1:

Once again we see the four features in basically the same locations.  You have 1, the trough off of the west coast. 2, there is the ridge in the southern Plains that actually was a small upper level high and shifted a bit south.  The third feature is smaller in this cycle as it appears more energy was distributed farther south in the main jet stream which makes feature number 4 stronger.

500 mb November 20 2016 labelled

So, based on this, we can believe the forecast data for July 17th as we see the matches.  This means it will be getting hot in our region.  KC has not reached 100° since September 8, 2013 and we will make another run at it this week, but high humidity, may prevent that from happening like last week.  You can go back to the other cycles and see these features at around 60 days, give or take 1-2 days.

Have a great week and stay cool.

Jeff Penner

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Comments are closed.