Tracking The Next Two Storms & Looking Deeper Into The Cycling Pattern; A Reason For The Northeastern Storm Systems

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern is absolutely fascinating today, so let me open up a discussion.

IMG_2734I am here in Cancun, Mexico, where the resort is beautiful, but the threat of danger being what it is we  have decided to stay on the resort.  This is somewhat disturbing to me, and one of the reasons I think Hawaii trumps all areas of Mexico.  Maybe you will disagree, but I like to get around a bit, and I just don’t fe el safe, but it is from what you here, so I am not sure what to believe, but I am being safe none the less.  This resort is beautiful, staying at the Marriott properties where the JW Marriott attaches to the Marriott on this beautiful strip.

It rained more in my first few hours here in Cancun, than it has rained in Kansas City all winter. The sun is rising now, so today may be our first sunnier day. It has been pretty much cloudy the entire time thus far.

As I started the blog, we are experiencing a fascinating weather pattern this year, this past fall and winter. It has left most of us in KC frustrated, but that is not the case in many other places.

The Current Weather Pattern: What Is Causing It?


The jet stream got energized and was forced south when the AO dipped into negative territory a couple of weeks ago.  What caused this? What caused this weather pattern that we just experienced during the past few months?  There are news stories out there right now discussing a potential reason why the northeast was bombarded this winter by some majorly impacting snow storms.  In a study published in the journal Nature Communications titled, “Warm Arctic episodes linked with increased frequency of extreme winter weather in the United States”, shows that severe winter weather, later in the season, has increased over the eastern United States since 1990. And, this seems to be coincident with the warming of the Arctic region near the North Pole.  It has been warming up there faster than any other part of the world.  The article then goes in directions that do make sense, but they are missing the biggest piece of the puzzle, and it is now published in the peer reviewed paper, “Cycling Patterns of the Northern Hemisphere; 70 years of research and a new Hypothesis”. The LRC!  The LRC is the largest and most important piece of this complex atmospheric puzzle:


The warming Arctic is just one influence on the pattern, but it was not the reason why the northeast got bombarded again this winter. It is not the reason why Kansas City had ups and downs and a record third straight winter below 10″ of snow. It is not the reason why Amarillo is at 150 days with only 0.01″ of rain and had practically no winter at all.  The warming Arctic is likely third or fourth down the list of influences on this cycling pattern. It is trumped by the weak La Niña winter we just experienced. The biggest ingredient is the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis, known by the bloggers here as the LRC.  Here is the link to this recently published scientific paper: The Cycling Pattern Hypothesis

Weather2020 made this bold prediction utilizing knowledge of the LRC:

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 11.50.50 PM

This forecast was made at the AMS conference in front of the meteorologists in attendance in Austin, TX. And, it is a forecast that was spot on, a long range forecast that verified for the big cities across the northeastern United States.  How can a forecast like this be made and then verify?  By having an understanding of the cycling pattern. The most recent northeastern storm systems were definitely influenced by a blocking pattern, where the Arctic Oscillation dipped deeper into the negative this season. This did influence the jet stream, strengthening it and dropping it farther south.  This, in turn, energized the storm systems. One of the main aspects of the LRC is that these quasi permanent anchor troughs and ridges set up within the cycling pattern. The northeast was near one of these features and thus they were in a spot that was influenced by the LRC first, then energized by the negative AO second, and also influenced by the La Niña currently in progress, amongst other factors.

Two Storm Systems:

1There are two storm systems lined up to affect the United States over these next five days. The map on the left shows the storm systems as of 7 PM tonight. These maps are modeling the 500 mb flow, around 18,000 feet up in the atmosphere.  500 mb is close to half way up through the atmosphere in weight. The top of the atmosphere has zero weight, and the pressure near the surface is around 1,000 mb at sea level; the average sea level pressure is 1013.25 mb to be exact.  So, 500 mb is about half way up and the best level to track these storm systems.

2Storm #1 does something that is a symptom of the entire season.  The storm moves northeast, just north of KC, then it turns southeast. This is actually showcasing one of the problems that existed in storm production in the heartland of the United States, near KC.  This storm then weakens, but then storm #2 is going to be influenced by some of the blocking that is left.  Storm #2 is likely going to be more functional and track south of KC.

3Storm #2 will take a track that “should” provide Kansas City with its best chance of wide spread precipitation in a very long time.  But, it likely still misses Amarillo, TX, and Dodge City, KS.

6This next map on the right shows the precipitation forecast over the next 5 days from the overnight GFS model. As you can see, 1 to 3 inches are now in the forecast near KC, but it is still modeled to stay bone dry over the Texas Panhandle, just incredible as they go past 150 days in a row with only 0.01″ total.  This storm, however, has a great chance to be more than just a rain producer in the plains. It will likely produce snow, and Kansas City may see some snow from this system as well.  But, temperatures will likely be too warm for any accumulation, but it must be watched closely, which you know we are all over this part of the forecast.


This surface forecast is valid Monday morning.  This is a sturgeon surface storm system and a rather strong upper level storm system helping create the conditions for this storm.  Let’s see how all of this evolves in the next few days.  Last year, it was around this time of the year when the rains arrived near KC after a very dry 2016-2017 winter season. Is it about to happen now, or is this just our one storm that seems to be lining up?

We also have storm #1, which is intensifying today at the surface, and then by Friday evening it looks like this below on the latest models:


Two storm systems to track; some exciting weather in KC.  I will be heading back to the United States safely on Saturday.  We will continue this discussion on the Weather2020 blog.  Click here to go to that site if you want to read the comments or join in the conversation:  Weather2020 Blog

So, as I started the blog, I am currently in Cancun, Mexico.  It rained again on my walk along the beach yesterday evening, and we had a deluge of rain when we first arrived Monday afternoon. I likely saw more rain Monday than I experienced all winter in KC.  Jeff Penner makes most of the forecasts for the 1Weather app in our 12 week forecasts. We forecast the weather for Cancun, and his prediction using the LRC was for it to be a cloudy and cooler week with rain. This forecast was made 12 weeks ago. Pretty good, and yes, I knew it would likely rain on this trip, but I am hoping for sunshine these last two days.

The pattern continues to cycle. It is fascinating, and this next ten days will be interesting, maybe even in KC.  Have a great day!


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

Comments are closed.