Winter Begins: Arctic Air Is Bottled Up

/Winter Begins: Arctic Air Is Bottled Up

Winter Begins: Arctic Air Is Bottled Up

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

There is so much to discuss on this Tuesday morning, the first full day of winter. A series of weak storm systems will be followed by a major wet storm system during the next six days.

The Arctic Oscillation is peaking today, and as it does we are all wondering if it is going to snow in Kansas City anytime soon.  Remember now, Green Bay Wisconsin is still waiting for their first inch of snow. This fact is becoming more incredible with every passing day.  When the AO is positive, Arctic air is more likely to stay bottled up near the North Pole. Take a look at this forecast temperature map for the 28th of this month:

Arctic Air Bottled Up

Here is another way to look at it on this forecast for the morning lows on the 27th.  All of Canada is forecast to have below zero temperatures within the next week:

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 11.26.02 PM

A rather large trough has now developed over North America. This type of set up almost always would end up with snow in Kansas City, but most likely not this year. We still have a two disturbances to watch for Wednesday and Thursday, each of which will likely produce some snow in the plains, just most likely not KC.


At the surface there is one main surface low developing early Wednesday morning over Kansas.  Air from the Gulf of Mexico will be surging northward and showers, thunderstorm, rain, and snow will be falling, mostly lightly, over many states tomorrow.


One of the main disturbances will help push this Kansas surface low off to the northeast and a band of snow may very well form over Iowa. A second disturbance is taking aim on the plains for Thursday, but just as it looks like it may snow in Kansas City that second disturbance tracks to the north and falls apart. It is something that would just need to track a bit farther south and be a bit stronger and we could have a Christmas miracle with snowflakes early Thursday morning.  What happens next will be quite fascinating to track:


A strong and very wet producing storm system will be forming over the southwestern United States during the next three to four days, and then this system will lift out right over Kansas City Sunday into Monday.  Again, this is the type of storm that should produce a major snowstorm, and it still may, but most likely just northwest of Kansas City over parts of Nebraska? Let’s see how it develops.

This is a storm we have been targeting to develop between Christmas and New Years for weeks now, and it is right on schedule. The Weather2020 12-week forecasts are now available on IOS!  The 1Weather app was just featured on the Discovery Channel’s Newswatch:  The 1Weather App Featuring the 12-week forecast Now, we sent them the information showcasing the 12-week forecast accuracy at close to 75%, not the 98% they talked about in this article and video. It sounds great, but we know weather forecasts for the next day are not that accurate. It is what we strive to be, however!


Have a great day and thank you for reading the LRC Forecast Experience Blog. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Holiday Greeting From Sunny


2017-01-16T07:07:41+00:00 December 22nd, 2015|General|0 Comments

No Comments

  1. Waldo Weather December 22, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I just want to see snow!!! Maybe one of these days!!

  2. Mr. Pete December 22, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Temps near 50 next week. Looks like rain to me.

  3. Alice December 22, 2015 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Is it going to be a deluge’ of rain this Sunday, like it was on Sunday the 13th ?
    And what cycle is this ?

    Where does the Thanksgiving weekend storm/rain line up with Dec 13 and the rain that is coming this weekend. 3 instances of rainy weekends since Thanksgiving.

  4. Bill in Lawrence December 22, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Good frosty morning to you sir!!! Bottomed out at around 28 last night before the return flow took over. Still had lots of frost this morning which made for some fun bike riding on the trails!!!! 

    A couple of random things I have been thinking about that I a not sure are on the right track or not but here it goes:

    I am actually looking forward to the second half of cycle 2-I can see the eyes rolling and I for sure understand the take off the snow glasses comments but I think there are hints in the LRC that the January version of the end of this cycle can have a more winter component for this area. Granted, we are on the outside looking in on the storm for later this weekend (a line from Salina NW and then from Concordia, KS North could see a decent winter event out of this storm if the 0Z GFS is onto something)

    After that storm there should be a pretty strong cold front come through that will tap into some of that Canadian Polar (not arctic) air. Looking back in early November we had a fairly strong cold front that came through a few days after Halloween which coincided with another dip in the AO. The 12Z and 0Z yesterday picked up on this stronger cold front and the ensembles do show the AO heading to at least neutral around the 1st of January. So the colder solutions of the GFS yesterday after this weekend’s storm do have some support in the LRC.

    The other part I think that will be interesting is the Thanksgiving set up.(I think around January 14th??) The AO should dip again to neutral/negative a few days before this system develops and there is much colder air in Alberta and Saskatchewan for this system to plug into than in November -it will most likely not plug into the Territories but it shouldn’t have to. On top of that, there should be a clipper come through (as there was around the 20th of November) that could place some Canadian air in the area that may be harder to erode out than it was in November. Of course, the colder air could also suppress the whole system or as has been the norm with this winter it could very well erode out. All that said, with the cold air sitting just across the border, that November set up will have a larger cold air source to tap and since it most likely will not tap any true arctic air, that Canadian air may be able to do the trick.

    I would suggest, that there are some events to possibly mark that could still produce in cycle 2. That said, while I am looking forward to seeing how cycle 2 plays out, I am really do think that cycle 3 and even cycle 4 are going to have a stronger winter component for our area.

    It will be interesting to watch the next 6-7 days….the GFS and NAM have had some subtle differences with some of these vorts this week-the GFS has dug them a bit further south than the NAM but the 0Z GFS began to kind of fall in line with the NAM. Also, if that storm this weekend should happen to track from between Springfield and KC up over even Marshall, Missouri we could have a little bit different solution than what it seems now. Slim though it may be, it is still worth watching.

    Have a great day everybody!!!!

    Bill in Lawrence

  5. f00dl3 December 22, 2015 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I’m gonna keep saying this. Reminds me of those storms we tracked during the snowless winter of 2011. Seeing this thing giving parts of MO just to our south and east 7 to 10 inches of rainfall… I remember several times that winter of 2011 into 2012 that we had such wet storm systems that I was concerned the basement would flood when I first moved into my house as I didn’t know how well the foundation was!

    In the winter of 2011/12 we were in the perfect spot for rain from many storms. November 2/3 KCI had 1.10″ of rain, Nov 7/8/9th, KCI had 2.77″ of rain and a trace of snow. Nov 26 0.8″ of rain. Dec 2/3 1.12″ rain, Dec 19/20 1.35″ rain trace snow. January was dry. Feb 3/4/5 1.34″ rain 0.3″ snow. Feb 13 – our only snow – 0.23″ rain, 2.4″ snow. Feb 28 – 1.27″ rain, March 8 & March 11/12 – 2 1/2″ rain events, March 19-March 23rd wet period with 2.27″ rain. March 27/28/29 1.09″ rain.

    Although Winter 2011/12 was very wet, the problem is once April got here the jet stream started retreating north, and we only had 3 storms with over an inch of rain between April and September.

    This is why I think all the fears that our severe weather season this Spring will be bad are pretty much unfounded. It’s gonna dry up just like it did in April 2012.

    • Gary December 22, 2015 at 11:28 am - Reply

      It’s a very different pattern this year. We are forecasting a rather wet spring.


    • Mike Holm December 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Great post food, that was exactly my prediction. I thought this year would be like 2011 and 2004. I predicted no snow and no Arctic outbreaks. Don’t get me wrong I love snow, it’s my favorite. With the strong El Niño I just knew it was going to be warm. If were lucky it might be like it was a few years back with no snow until late January and then we got hammered.

  6. MikeL December 22, 2015 at 10:45 am - Reply

    12z GFS shifts the heavy snow track east to right on KC’s doorstep. I was surprised no one posted about that yet.

  7. Clint December 22, 2015 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Love it! another 60 miles east and we be diggin

  8. Bill in Lawrence December 22, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Indeed….the 12Z has the track about 50-70 miles further east than on the 0Z runs…it is running from say Wichita NE to between Columbia and Booneville. Looks like a similar track to the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 2009…if this track were to verify (huge if!!!) you would have Lawrence in the upper 20’s and Columbia in the 60’s. I would think for anyone say from Topeka to Kansas City to have any chance at all of seeing winter weather this has to be the track of the upper low or even a bit more NE track from Wichita. Any further west and we are in 50’s and rain.

    What will that ridge off of Florida do? How far south will the upper low dig before it turns north east? How many different tracks are we going to see between now and Friday on the GFS? What do the Ensembles show? What do the other models show? So goes the soap opera of how to see frozen precip. in KC with a raging positive AO….or really any winter in KC when you think about it !!! 🙂

  9. Dale December 22, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    No snow, just a warm rain. Calm down people. If you trust the LRC then you already know what’s going to happen.

    • Clint December 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Well that depends on what day you read the blog

    • HEAT MISER December 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      If Dale say says rain, it means a good chance of snow. WOO HOO!!!! (troll enjoys rubbing snow lovers into the rain thing)

      • Dale December 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

        I’m afraid you and Terry will be very sad come Monday. I hope you get to sled all you want but can you say rain? LOL

        • Gary December 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm - Reply

          Everyone should take a deep breath. Let’s begin by saying this one solution has less than a 10% chance of even being close. And, if it was exactly right it could be quite frustrating for many of us as there could be a strong shut off line from a foot to less than an inch over just a few miles.


          • Dobber December 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

            The snow always brings the trolls out. a “troll watch” should be put in place. Go Snow!

            • Dale December 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

              I’m still searching to find what you and Heat actually add to this blog besides the constant attacks on people who don’t care if it snows. Grow up guys. This blog is about discussion, not name calling or trolling. I have an opinion, if you don’t like it ignore it. Try adding something to the daily topics. I’m sure it’s too much to ask. But why do both of you pay to troll?

  10. Will December 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Gary, is this weekend,s storm related to the Veterans Day storm we had about 45 to 50 days ago. If so that storm’s precip tracked just north west of kc, which resulted in a tornado watch from kc to omaha and west. If only we could get a little bit of cold air to push the storm a little farther south!!

    • Gary December 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s related to that ten day stretch. And, the latest GFS alert! Latest GFS Model Alert! Hang on snow lovers as I am sure you will be posting snow maps soon. It blasts KC with snow!

      • Gary H December 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

        12 to 18 inches across KC metro per the 18Z GFS. Heavy snow line / zone has definitely been moving toward KC in the last few runs.

  11. Tim December 22, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    18z GFS look like we’re in 6″+ snow with over a foot across the state line.. getting more interesting!

  12. Shoedog December 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Tim, which storm are you commenting on, weekend storm or next week storm? Thanks

    • Tim December 22, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply


      • Gary December 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

        As I just said, the latest GFS blasts us with snow. Over a foot! Is it fantasy?


      • shoedog December 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

        thank you

  13. Tim December 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm - Reply


  14. Morgan December 22, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Where that high pressure sets up to the north is key to what track this storm takes. Further west placement means low tracks SE and further east low tracks further west I would think. Something to track nonetheless.

  15. Craig December 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    OK, do two consecutive model runs make a trend? I guess we’ll have to wait to see what tomorrow and Friday bring but this is certainly trending the right way for some snow here in KC. The latest run can be seen here:

  16. Tim December 22, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Well it showed the same outcome last Friday and early Saturday through 4-5 consecutive runs. The questions has been the location of the cold air and placement of the low. Obviously this run had the low in our most favored track to be dumped on heavily.

  17. stl78 December 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Hey where is terry? He should b here for

  18. Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    I’m concerned by the freezing rain showing up on Sunday, then followed by snow. If this puppy holds, it could get real ugly. Jeff will be head blog master, so I hope he is ready to feed us weather geeks lots of data, info and maps. We eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner:) The station will need to preserve some snow in the freezer for Gary…lol!

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Still waiting. Comment in moderation.

  19. Alex Pickman December 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Tim, the only difference between what it was showing the last time it blasted the region with snow for those 4 model runs, is it was over 300 hours out. This time it is around 5 days, so much closer in comparison to the earlier snowy runs, but none the less there will be many many model runs between now and then, and many different solutions. I still lean toward a rain event, but these maps are certainly eye catching for a snow lover such as myself. I wouldn’t not consider this a trend, but if it holds on to this potential by the 00z Run Wed night, it will be worth mentioning, imo. As of now, 5 days out, I’d continue to consider this a “Fantasy.”

    These maps do get me excited, seeing the impressive amounts of snowfall, and it certainly is possible we see a snowy solution from this strong storm system, but for now, I’ll remain reserved since we all know what kind of pattern we are stuck in.

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      I’m worried about the possibility of freezing rain. Looks like conditions could be right going through Sunday before switching to snow should the model verify.

  20. Jeff Wichitaks December 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    This out of dallas showing storm track south and east. Looks like I( I am in Wichita ks) might get our first snow of the year. Dodge City might see up to a foot. Lets hope this pans out. You think with this storm track you all in KC would get some snow on the back side.

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Noticed the same about SW Kansas, SE Colorado, Oklahoma panhandle and northern Texas. Hope the ranchers are prepping for their livestock. Could get ugly. Have not looked at winds to see if blizzard conditions are ripe.

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 11:04 pm - Reply

      Nice weather page. Better than what they post locally!

  21. Tim December 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    0z GFS showing 16-20″!!!!!!

  22. Alex Pickman December 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Hello 00z…I will do a dance if that unfolds LOL. 3 solid runs. Each of which, a bit more east each time. Terry will have a heart attack if he gets ahold of these maps lmao. Still 5 days out folks. A lot will change

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      Alex, I think there is something wrong with the snow totals. Maybe it’s the way that they add all types of precipitation up. In looking at the 850mb temps and surface temps on Sunday it appears we are more in line to get a mix of rain and freezing rain, at least here in the KC metro. We are straddling 32 degrees at the surface and 850mb. By late evening both go below 32 degrees so this signals a switch to snow. Don’t know that we get enough precipitation through Monday to justify that much snow. Wonder what ratio they are using? Any ideas? I think we are going to get “hit” with something, just not sure yet what it will be and how much. Whatever it is, the models have surely grabbed ahold. Question is what happens over the next 3 days. Just glad it does’nt strike on Christmas since ? would have tough night getting through the mess?

    • Rockdoc December 22, 2015 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      PS, I do hope Terry is OK. He has been MIA on this discussion. Maybe this will bring his dreams come true?. Terry, here’s hoping for you ❄⛄?❄⛄❄?❄

  23. Morgan December 22, 2015 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    GFS is on its own in terms of cold sector precip this far south. EURO and GEM from earlier had little cold air to work with anywhere west of a central NE to KS line. Not buying it as of yet.

    • Gary December 22, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply


      Let’s see if any other model picks up on this trend. As of 11 PM, only the GFS model is trending this way. The Canadian model had a different solution and it was too warm. So, let’s hang on here. Yes, it’s fun to look at, but in the end we want it to happen, not just be fun to look at.

      Good night. It’s been a long day and I will write up a new blog by 9 AM.


  24. Alex Pickman December 22, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Morgan, I think as of now, the GFS is in its own little fantasy world. Until we are within 84 hours and the other models want to pick up on the potential, it will remain just that…a fantasy

  25. Mr. Pete December 22, 2015 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I saw earlier where Gary predicted lots of rain this spring. Did I see that right??

    • Alex Pickman December 23, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

      Given this pattern, and the abundance of functional storm systems, I think we will see a very wet Spring, and numerous Severe Weather Set ups.

      Speaking of Severe weather….it’s going to get ugly tomorrow across Dixie Alley. Some people are nothe going to have a very good Christmas. Impressive parameters.

  26. Chris Paxton December 23, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

    I’m not new to this blog (I’ve read the nbc41blog for a couple years or at least until people…trolls began attacking basically anyone who posted anything, at which it became more or less unreadable) but this is the first time I’ve actually posted on here. It seems like the switch to a pay site has cleaned up most of those issues. Everyone on here seems to have a genuine intrest in all forms of weather, I certainly do. My question to anyone who cares to answer is, I live in Sedalia and what are the chances of this system Sunday/Monday actually sliding this far east and more importantly to me as I am a snow lover…will it be a winter storm or just another rain maker? Thanks for any thoughts you all may have!

    • Gary December 23, 2015 at 4:26 am - Reply


      Welcome! Yes I seem to never sleep. Sedaka has a lower probability of seeing the winter side of this storm. It would really have to take a farther south track. The latest model trends was for less snow in most areas. It’s only Wednesday!

      Happy Holidays!

  27. Morgan December 23, 2015 at 12:47 am - Reply

    EURO has nothing down here. More realistic and expected outcome.

  28. Alex Pickman December 23, 2015 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Euro is a little bit further east, but not much in terms of snowfall on the 00z run. Widespread 2 inches of rain. Excessive rain across the Ozarks.

    • Chris Paxton December 23, 2015 at 4:05 am - Reply

      Alex/Morgan…Thanks for the info, I figured we wouldn’t get lucky enough to see a snowstorm. I’ll continue to check up on what you all post, thanks!

  29. Alex Pickman December 23, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

    06z GFS continues to show a significant snowstorm. ECMWF and GEM were pretty quiet in terms of snowfall.

    Big Severe weather event down south. Thoughts for those down there, especially right before the Holidays. Looks like there will be a few big time tornadoes and a long duration event. Also a few of the models including the HRRR show clearing skies behind morning convection in Illinois. That should increase instability today, and lead to some severe thunderstorms, even a few tornadoes across northern and central Illinois given the strong shear with the surface low. Overall, it looks to be a volatile late December day.

    Amazing, Dixie Alley is looking at the potential of its biggest Tornado outbreak of the season on Dec 23rd, and we are still waiting on that first inch of snow. Fascinating weather pattern.

    Been raining lightly for a few hours here in St. Joe. Not much at all in terms of amounts. Just a wet ground.

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