Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

A major storm system is beginning to form today. The first huge batch of energy coming in to begin producing this storm is just now crossing the west coast of North America. The storm we have been discussing for days already does not even exist at the moment.

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I can’t stress this more. It is incredible that we have the computer model technology to even come close to predicting these storm systems before they develop. Meteorology has advanced so much in 50 years, just think about what will happen in the next 50 years. One of our Weather2020 meteorologists, Eswar Iyer, is a Masters student at the University of Oklahoma. He has a great grasp of the LRC and our breakthrough technology and he knows we are just scratching the surface at the potential computing power of an LRC model some day. We have some great things in the works. Eswar is working on some short range severe weather modeling currently and is doing a great job.  As we learn more about the next 24 to 72 hours in modeling where tornado producing storm systems may form, we are also learning a lot more about the longer range. One thing we can do with our knowledge of the LRC is to know when the models have a good chance of being right or not being right at all, if that makes sense. If there is a “fantasy storm” showing up 15 days from now, our team knows if it fits the pattern or not.  With that said, storm fits the pattern well.

2This next map, once again, shows the energy that is about to form into the big upper low. This map shows the noon forecast for the 500 mb flow, around 18,000 feet up in the atmosphere.  The lead storm system, a lead strong wave is forecast to move out across the southern Rocky Mountain states by noon Friday.  This will likely produce heavy snow at most of the Colorado and Utah ski resorts.  As it moves out into the plains it will drag a strong and impacting cold front south and east. This cold air mass is a big factor in what we are about to experience with this storm system Sunday into Tuesday.

The questions that pop into my mind: How strong will the cold air push be, and how low will the temperatures get Sunday into Monday morning ahead of the main storm system? And, where will that big upper low track?

I will finish the discussion of the big storm in just a minute and answer these questions, but first let’s take a break and look at the Arctic Oscillation.

AO Dec 23

The AO is really showing the conditions at the moment. As we have been discussing in this blog, and as you can see above, the AO has peaked way high into the positive at over plus 4.  There is usually a “lag coefficient”, a delay of a few days at how such a high index will affect the weather pattern. This storm is caught in that strongly positive AO which has been a factor with the modeling of this next storm by the GFS, European, Canadian models and others. Here is an excerpt from the winter forecast:

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 7.43.05 AM

This season has already been dominated by a positive AO and NAO.  Will this continue all season? Well, just look at the AO index. It is diving towards neutral right now. It is something to monitor as we move through LRC Cycle 2 into LRC Cycle 3 later in January. For now, we have a series of storm systems, and the latest big one is forming right now.

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By Saturday afternoon all of that energy will have dropped south and formed into a big upper low that may drop into Mexico before turning and moving northeast into the plains states and across Missouri River Valley. Take a look at the surface valid Saturday afternoon:

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The cold surge will be in progress Saturday. A deep surface low is forecast to develop way down in Mexico. This is a rather unique set-up and the models continue to have many solutions.

What do I think will happen? I am on my way to do my Christmas Eve workout, and then I will write down the time-line and impacts from this storm by noon today, so check back in.

Kansas City Weather Forecast & Impact Time-Line:

  • Now through Christmas Day: Dry with periods of clouds
  • Saturday:  Cloudy with a chance of rain. A thunderstorm is a possibility as well. Temperatures rising to near 50, possibly into the lower 50s before the cold front moves through.
  • Saturday night:  A chance of rain. Temperatures dropping to near 32 degrees, or possibly a bit lower by Sunday morning. Some thin icing is possible if the rain lasts long enough.
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a few breaks of sunshine possible. It will dry out by tailgating. Bundle up and wear layers as the wind chill factor will be in the teens. North winds will blow at 15-25 mph. The high will be near 34°
  • Sunday Night- Monday: Becoming cloudy again with a 100% chance of freezing rain, rain, or snow. It’s still too early to tell which type of precipitation it will be, however the latest trend is for some snow to fall with the KSHB snowflake contest most likely coming to an end by Monday night.

The GFS and Canadian models have come out with some snow in Kansas City. We will learn more in the next few days! Remember, this is a storm that hasn’t formed yet. It does not even exist. Think about that!

Thank you for participating in the LRC Forecast Experience blog. Merry Christmas Eve! Have a safe holiday. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Gary