Winter Begins Tonight

/Winter Begins Tonight

Winter Begins Tonight

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Winter begins tonight at 10:48 PM central time. Spring is just 90 days away and we are forecasting a rather active severe weather season this spring with this storm track that developed earlier this fall according to the LRC. We will discuss spring in a few weeks. For now, what will this pattern bring this winter? It has started out quite warm in many parts of the United States. In our winter forecast we predicted a warm winter season. We also predicted a dominant storm track #1 which I pulled from our winter forecast and posted below:


This storm track is once again forecast to develop in the next five days. Let’s see how it evolves on the latest GFS model:

1Here is the flow aloft, 18,000 feet up, forecast for this morning.  The flow is unblocked and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is peaking in the next two days. I will show this AO index in just a minute. There is energy coming into the Pacific northwest this morning and this will help carve out a trough to over the middle of North America by the middle of this week.

2On this second map you can see the deeper trough that extends from the southern Canada south into Mexico by Wednesday.  If you look closely, in the upper left corner of this map on the right, you can see some new energy coming in, and this is the energy that will begin dropping into the big, highly advertised storm system for the end of the week.

If the AO weren’t so positive, this middle of the nation trough would likely be producing snow in Kansas City, but instead the warm trend and bias in the pattern just goes on and on.


This next map shows the energy dropping right into our forecast dominant #1 storm track.  This is a  deep trough that will pull up tremendous amounts of moisture into the plains and eastern half of the nation later this week.  What happens next with this storm has had the models producing all kinds of solutions.


Here is one of those solutions. By Sunday night you can see a “kicker” coming into the west coast and it will help eject out the slow moving storm by Sunday night.  Notice how the northern stream, the northern branch of the jet stream is completely separate from this closed off system moving across Oklahoma late in the up coming weekend.  This means that this storm will lose it’s cold air source.


Okay, so what does all of this mean? It really is rather complex. Just using this year’s LRC, we are expecting the warm air to be pulled into the system. There will still likely be a rain/freezing rain/snow line developing. There may be some severe thunderstorms and a spring element to this storm as has been the case with the earlier version of this part of the pattern in LRC Cycle 1. Let’s see how it sets up. We should narrow in on the solution in the next two to four days.

Have a great Monday. And, thank you for participating in the LRC Forecast Experience Blog! Let us know if you have any questions. There is a lot to discuss this week!


2017-01-16T07:07:32+00:00 December 21st, 2015|General|0 Comments

No Comments

  1. FDRLincoln December 21, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Gary: I assume that when this same storm comes through in the spring with plenty of heat to work with that a large severe weather outbreak would likely result?

    • Gary December 21, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

      This is one of many candidates for a severe weather outbreak.


  2. Will December 21, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

    It seems in recent years Gary, you have explained that severe weather is most prevalent in Oklahoma because it is almost always warm enough there to support severe thunderstorms. But here in KC it is only sometimes warm enough. So with this warm lrc pattern do you think it would shift more of the severe weather farther north because of the increased temperatures in the Midwest?

  3. Michael Casteel December 21, 2015 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Had .23 up here in Maryville. Was very strange watching lightning and hearing thunder at two in the morning a day before winter. Strange weather pattern. I was at Sporting Park Sat. night to cheer on my Bearcats! Never been there before, very nice stadium. Thanks KC for a great venue! Go Cats!

  4. LS Mike December 21, 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

    It hailed at my house (Lakewood / 470) around 2:00am this morning

  5. Clint December 21, 2015 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Looks like the last run of the GFS has figured things out and unfortunately its going to be a lot of rain. Bummer!

  6. Kathy December 21, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

    My husband said that it was really storming around 1:30 a.m., but I totally missed it. I would have loved to seen a radar shot at that time. Is there somewhere I can go to see one? Also, another meteorologist hinted last night that Sunday’s Chiefs’ game could be another mess weather-wise again. It seems like the last several games have been in the pouring rain. Does anyone see that as a possibility again? Not that it would affect our winning streak…just feel badly that we have to have lousy weather, although I’m sure the stadium will be packed regardless of the cruddy weather.

  7. Dale December 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain! Looks like a toad strangler this weekend. Btw, no snow in sight! Incredible!

  8. f00dl3 December 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Wow! 7 to 10 inches of the clear wet stuff for St Louis. A slight shift north in the storm track would put 7 to 10 inches of the wet stuff here, with maybe a flurry on the back end as it moves out!

  9. Morgan December 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    To me a pattern isn’t that interesting when we know what the outcome will be given this warm pattern. Amazing how central Texas can see two feet of snow while we’re stuck with yet another rainstorm. Hopefully the second week of January gives us our first flakes of the season.

  10. Jason December 21, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I read this blog every day but rarely comment but today, I have a confession to make. Two years ago I bought a snowblower for my very long, wide driveway after multiple snowfalls of up to a foot. It hasn’t snowed enough to use it since. I fear I have jinxed us all. I may have to sell it before we can get any measurable snow.

    My apologies

    • Jason December 21, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      Sorry for the typo in first post

      • Will December 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

        Jason, I’m in the same boat with you, I got a snowblower last year and have not gotten to use it. Just wait till mid January, snow will come.

    • Gary December 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply


      Finally, we have someone to blame. It’s you! One of these storms just has to get us. There are a lot of them that will produce heavy precipitation this winter, so let’s keep monitoring each storm.


  11. f00dl3 December 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I picked the third week of Jan for the snowflake contest to end. Looking good so far! Would be right on the back end of the Thanksgiving storm!

    • Alice December 21, 2015 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      I picked Feb 6

  12. HEAT MISER December 21, 2015 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    ZZZZZzzzzz….huh, wha….? All rain???? ZZZzzzzzzzz

  13. Jason December 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I would love to be able to use it at some point. I have joked with my wife I am going to sell it just so we can enjoy some snow. Such is life. I will continue to hope.

    Thanks for the daily blog updates. I always look forward to reading them and am a believer in the LRC. Weather enthusiast at heart.

    • Rockdoc December 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      We’ll call it the “Jason Storm” when it hits…lol! We may need you to come and blow out all of the snow too:)

  14. Rockdoc December 21, 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Gary, the Thanksgiving Day storm system is beginning to show up about the 4th/5th of January. Looking at the 500mb and vortex map, the low looks to close off and sit and spin over the southwest. It also appears that a high is trying to form over the low, but that is over the west and Intermountain region. If I remember, you showed a figure pointing this out. I’ll need to go back into archives on this one. Not saying all ingredients are there, it just popped so we have a ways to go. Models are trying to grab onto something.

    • Gary December 21, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply


      That would be ten days too early. These storm systems are all related. Looking at anything beyond around seven days has not been worth it. These models have been just horrible.


  15. Rockdoc December 21, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I know its ten days early, however all I’m trying to say is the GFS appears to be trying to grab ahold of the setup. It has a somewhat similar appearance. That being said, we know that models 280+ hours out are, well, just ?. Just reporting on what I observed?. Plus it keeps the ❄❄❄ lovers hoping ?

    • CRW December 21, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Models are awful at this time. Not even worth the time to read them so many days out.

    • Rockdoc December 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Plus, I hope you will be here to report on this storm. You will be back from your Away Vacation, and we know how much you love snow⛄❄⛄???

  16. Mr. Pete December 22, 2015 at 12:31 am - Reply

    I think a mid Jan Whopper snowstorm is coming. Like around the 15th.

  17. rickmckc December 22, 2015 at 12:34 am - Reply

    0Z GFS actually retrogrades the surface low this upcoming weekend. That will be something to see!

Leave A Comment