Good Tuesday morning bloggers,

The Models:

  • European Model: This model came out and has gone back to a major ice storm over parts of the plains. It was colder and a bit farther south. It is quite different from it’s previous run
  • Overnight GFS Model:
  • Overnight Nam Model:

A series of very wet storm systems continues to batter the west coast with the next one aiming at Southern California. What is going on with this weather pattern as this wet storm forming in the next three days may also target the drying out region over the plains?

Today’s Weather Topics & Headlines

  • Huge warm-up over night:  The temperature in Kansas City warmed up from 41° at 7 PM to 57° by 7 AM
  • California storms have filled reservoirs with 350 Billion gallons of water with tremendous rains and higher mountain snows
  • The storm that forms near Southern California Friday is being monitored closely for a potential ice storm over the plains

While California braces for the next storm and there is discussion of how this storm will impact the plains with a possible ice storm, Weather2020 is forecasting that a drought will continue to grow as we move into spring and summer. Where will it be the strongest?  This is something we are still identifying.  Take a look at this drought monitor as of last week:


If you look closely you may be able to see the LRC mean ridge on this drought monitor.  There is a broad ridge aloft, a long wave ridge that has been dominating the pattern since it began in October.  Just imagine drawing a mean lean through the drought areas that have been steadily growing. I will try to draw in that line and then repost this map.

Okay, the drought monitor shows increasing drought over the United States.  The drought is quite obviously taking a major “hit” this week in California, and there is a chance that one wet storm may emerge over the plains states this weekend.  There are many questions with this next storm system.

The storm system coming developing over Southern California in the next 72 hours will be fascinating to track as it moves out into the plains states. Another big factor is this strong cold front that will be moving across then northern plains tonight and the central plains on Wednesday. Temperatures will warm up ahead of this front:


Where you see 60 degrees, it could be closer to 70 degrees.  And then the cold blast will arrive and this will become a big factor in the potential ice storm this weekend.

Let’s look at the weekend storm system:

The models are all over the place. Seriously, ridiculously, all over the place. The European Model just came out with this ice forecast:


Look at what this same model had in one of the runs from yesterday:


Look at these two forecast maps I just posted. The European Model went from modeling a major ice storm down to a much more minor one.

We have to pay close attention to this possibility because the ingredients are there for an ice storm.  I wouldn’t necessarily start preparing for a major ice storm yet. We have time to see where the models are trending.  By Wednesday or Thursday it should become more apparent how this storm will be coming together. Right now it is just too early and there are way too many different model forecasts with widely differing forecast results.

LRC Thoughts

Some of you have asked me to go more in-depth into this weekend storm system, and I am trying to, but to get specific at this point is just impossible. And, others have wondered about the LRC and how it helps. The LRC is doing incredible. The pattern is cycling regularly. It is just absolutely fascinating and it does help. Weather2020 forecasted this potential storm system, but we just don’t know the specifics until we get closer. The LRC is capable of helping us with major impacting events.  Last year our automated system forecasted the extreme flooding event in Louisiana.  The part of the pattern cycling through in this next week is directly related to the part of the pattern  that cycled through in mid-November.  And, then there was a big warm-up before and afterwards, and there is a big warm-up  forecast afterwards again for next week, and of course we are in the big warm-up ahead of this system this morning.  My point is that the LRC is an incredible tool, but when there is a storm such as this next one we will still have to use other methods of forecasting in combination with our knowledge of the LRC to make the most accurate forecast possible.

The “Players” For This Storm

  • Player #1: A strong cold front will develop and blast south on Wednesday into Thursday
  • Player #2: The Southern California storm that forms on Friday has to be monitored closely
  • Player #3: Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico

How will this all come together?  Let’s begin with this mornings Pacific cold front:


This blue line shows the cold front approaching KC this morning. A cold rain was in progress near the Missouri/Iowa border as I was writing this at 7 AM.  This front will move through, but then it will incredibly fall apart and dissipate later today and tonight in response to another wave approaching the plains.

The stronger front will be organizing tonight and Wednesday. Kansas City could jump well into the 60s ahead of this developing front. And, then the front will blast south Wednesday night placing a much colder and drier air mass in place ahead of the storm system.


You can see ingredient #3 in my list on this map. There is a tremendous amount of moisture available for this system for a mid-January storm.  These are the dew points in the 60s with even higher dew points over the Gulf of Mexico. This storm will not lack moisture.

So, the other ingredient on my list is the storm itself in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Where will it track? How strong will it be? These factors will decide what the temperatures will do and what impacts this storm will have and this is something that will come more into focus in the next day or two. Tomorrow I will get more specific on timing and other features.

Have a great day. I think we can all say that this system has our attention. Thank you for participating in this weather experience.