The Next Few Days Have Big Ups And Downs

/The Next Few Days Have Big Ups And Downs

The Next Few Days Have Big Ups And Downs

Good morning bloggers,

At the end of March the pattern that was extremely dry with a growing drought suddenly turned wet across the plains.  This trend has continued and I hope it will last the rest of spring, but I still doubt it.  I am expecting the first half of May to have way below average rainfall, but not the last dozen days of April.

Forecast for the next month in Kansas City:

  • Last half of April: A series of storm systems with near to above average rainfall with near average temperatures.
  • First half of May:  Above average temperatures with below average rainfall

We will likely add to the surplus of rain that developed since spring began. May is one of our wettest months and even though that first half of May does look dry in my analysis, the second half of May could make up for it.

The Arctic Oscillation finally dips negative:

As this pattern began setting up last fall there was a lot of talk about it being an AO negative winter. It ended up being more of an AO positive winter and is likely one of the biggest reasons for the warmer than average temperatures in most of the United States.  In the past few days the Arctic Oscillation has dipped negative and it is forecast to stay a bit on the low side for another week or so.  We are moving into the part of the pattern that produced the Christmas storm system. That storm dug into the west and then lifted northwest of Kansas City producing some severe weather and thunderstorms. That part of the pattern is now cycling back through this week and the weekend storm can be traced to that Christmas storm system.

Huge Model Differences On The Rainfall Forecast

There is a huge difference between the European Model forecast for this weeks rainfall amounts and the GFS model output. Here are the two extremes:

This map above is the latest European model forecast. This model shows the upper level storm going through a transition and turning southeast. The GFS has a much more mature storm system that produces a very different output as you can see below.

At the Chillicothe, MO location it is a difference from 0.08″ to over 2.00″. We will be monitoring these developments closely.

The set up for the next two days:

Last night on the air I ruled out the thunderstorm potential for Tuesday, and the models are coming in with weak forcing and almost no thunderstorm development as of 9 PM tonight as you can see below:

By Wednesday conditions become a bit more favorable for severe thunderstorms. Storm chasers know well to look for where the surface  low is going to track, and where the other convergence zones are located. A convergence zone is a front or trough where the winds converge together. Let’s look for them on Wednesday evenings forecast map from the NAM model below:

The tropical point can be argued to be near that eastern Iowa low pressure area. Another low is forecast to develop over the northeastern Texas Panhandle. It is always just so difficult to forecast severe thunderstorms, especially when there is not even one radar echo as capping comes into the equation. There will be a cap today and tomorrow. I circled the most likely area to have severe thunderstorms tomorrow, but we still have to monitor central Kansas and where that front is located.  The models have the thunderstorms that do form dissipating before they get to Kansas City around 10 PM Wednesday night.

We will then move on to the weekend storm system. More on this one in the next few days.  Have a great Tuesday! We had a great event on Saturday. Here is a picture of our storm chasers and our weather team with Sunny. Jeff Penner had left a few minutes earlier.


2017-04-19T23:27:12+00:00 April 18th, 2017|General|18 Comments


  1. Urbanity April 18, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Gary, do you put any stock in the Jamstec predicting much colder than average across most of the US during this winter Dec-Feb? It’s a pretty stark contrast to their prediction of most the globe having much warmer than average temps until then. If the LRC can’t predict the AO, or PDO, MJO, or whatever, are there other mechanisms that can predict these kind of things that would give any credence to the Jamstec forecast?

    • Gary April 18, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

      No! El Niño is likely and this would increase the chance of a warmer winter. There are other factors, so we will see how the pattern sets up this fall. These forecasts that come out that are not related to the LRC are often wrong. But, they come out so they always get attention.


  2. Urbanity April 18, 2017 at 8:25 am - Reply

    BTW, did you mean triple point, or tropical point, in your write up today?

  3. Baseball Mike April 18, 2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Good morning Gary

    Despite the lack of snow and dry winter since January 1, I have recorded 14.91 inches which I also confirmed with a meteorologist and back radar echoes. Another Colorado State precip gatherer close to me confirms this as he also had very close to this amount. I just don’t put any trust in future radar forecasts as they have been totally wrong here in Topeka. Somehow over the past couple of weeks we are getting a lot of development from just to our SW. Wichita is 7 inches over for the year. Anyway, this “seasonal” development of the LRC has been a welcome change here. At a worst case scenario we will fall short of the seasonal 36 inches if your prediction of the LRC comes into fold. Even if we end up between 26-30 inches for the year that would be a little dry but no drought as we have finished the last two years with a surplus amount.

  4. MMike April 18, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Latest NAM blasts us with thunderstorms late tomorrow into night fall with temps high and dew points high….uh oh! Big storms??

  5. Urbanity April 18, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    More from Jamstec:

    Apr. 18, 2017
    Prediction from 1st Apr., 2017

    ENSO forecast:
    The SINTEX-F predicts that a moderate-to-strong El Niño event may start in late spring this year and reach its peak in winter. This probability is enhanced and we expect negative sea level anomalies in Micronesia and Melanesia. The frequent occurrences of El Niños in recent years suggest a decadal turnabout in the tropical Pacific climate condition to El Niño-like state after a long spell of La Niña-like state. Such natural climate variability may double the global warming impact as we observed during the period from 1976 through 1998. We need to be prepared well to this possible decadal climate regime shift.

    • Gary April 18, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Yes, El Niño is highly likely. We will be discussing this in detail this year. Remember, the extremely dry California in the strongest El Niño and the drought ending rains in what was supposed to be dry to to LA Niña.


      • Urbanity April 18, 2017 at 11:40 am - Reply

        Gary, if you read over the last sentence of the Jamstec report “We need to be prepared well….”. Who needs to be prepared and how do you prepare? Prepared mentally? Physically? Buy white robes? I thought that was an interesting comment because I don’t see how 1976 through 1998 made a hill of beans difference in anything we do regarding lifestyle. Are they suggesting that the heat will be EXTRA-ordinary?..or that weather will be much more violent? Just curious on your opinion of what you might expect in an El-Nino like perpetual state.

  6. turd ferguson April 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Yo Gary- NOAA just released this, do you concur? could my daughters 1st tball game actually happen at 10am saturday

    All models have taken an noticeable southward shift with this system
    over the past several runs, so at this time the highest threat for
    widespread heavy rain appears to be south of Interstate 70, and
    perhaps south of the entire forecast area across the Ozarks if
    models keep shifting south.

    • Gary April 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      I lean in the southward shift, but it’s a strong storm. Let’s see how it trends. The trend is definitely south. The European Model that I posted in today’s blog showed that much farther south solution, but it’s still only Tuesday.


  7. Kurt April 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Leave it to me to put down grass seed and the rain goes poof

    • REAL HUMEDUDE April 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Gonna rain up there tomorrow, never fear!

  8. Kurt April 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I could use a nice shower, had some rain around 7:00 Sunday morning and then some showers Sunday evening but suddenly trended drier up here in the little strip. Take what I can get, but only 2 wet weeks out of the spring isn’t enough lol

  9. f00dl3 April 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Remember – we had 2 weeks of winter too. We have 2 weeks of Spring… and that be it. Gary – stick with the gut! The wet / cool is a fluke in the pattern. Happens only every other cycle. And the January “Ice Storm” missed us – so the one this week should too. The next chance of this wet period should be around July 1st. I just hope we don’t go until then with little measurable precipitation or it’s going to hit 115 this summer.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE April 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      Foodl3- your forgetting the seasonal variations that will show up for Summer too. We can’t count on July to recycle as wet, something will be different then. I do think that every other cycle is a mirror, I called a wet cycle 4 LONG ago when Gary was preaching drought. It was only a hunch, I wanted it to get wet so it was a wish cast more than anything

    • MMike April 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply


      There you go again…

      Your last comment was about 3 weeks ago saying that the GFS forecast precip. will be wrong and every storm will struggle…..”I bet we don’t get 1 inch of rain in a storm until maybe May 15th” Immediately following that it rained for 2 weeks with several 1″ plus rains.

      Why doom and gloom all the time??? Last month was suppose to be below average on precip. and April was suppose to below average on precip…….Let me guess, May will be below average on precip.?? It just might.

      BTW, the ice storm repeat is not this weekend’s storm…doesn’t line up. Matter of fact, 58 days ago there wasn’t a wet storm anywhere near the projected path of this weekend’s storm. Very dry around the region at that time.

      • Gary April 18, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply


        This weekends storm lines up perfectly with the Christmas Eve-Christmas Day storm. In that LRC Cycle 2 version it went way north. This time it may go too far south. Let’s see what happens on the models Wednesday.


  10. MMike April 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm - Reply


    NAM wet tomorrow night? You thinking so?

Leave A Comment