The Cycling Pattern: What Is Next?

/The Cycling Pattern: What Is Next?

The Cycling Pattern: What Is Next?

Happy Friday bloggers,

There is lot to discuss today.   We just experienced the May version of the “non ice” ice storm. Kansas City once again was in one of the least exciting and weather producing regions. It should have been expected. I expected it, tried to forecast this, but it was not easy. The amount of precipitation that fell from this system and the one from the January version were almost exactly the same.

Kansas City Rainfall From This Part Of The LRC:

  • January:  0.93″ over four days, some minor icing, and then just a cold rain on the Chiefs playoff game Sunday. It did completely dry out on that Sunday and the Chiefs game was moved to Sunday night. It didn’t help them as they fell 18-16 to the Steelers.  Most of this rain fell on that Sunday morning (.67″)
  • May:  0.75″ in 30 minutes and nothing else

And, now, what? Well take a look at the next six days plus, ending Thursday morning:

Between now and next Thursday morning, the 00z GFS model had barely 0.01″ in the entire KC viewing area.  The same pattern continues to cycle. Thank you for going on this weather adventure with us. Now, once again look at this map above:

  • Lake Tahoe getting hit again in mid-May? Not unheard of, but it certainly fits this pattern
  • What is that along the east coast? Oh, a repeat of the massive winter storm!
  • The desert southwest being bone dry? Well, it’s the desert southwest before the monsoon begins? What is the monsoon? It is the seasonal shift in the pattern once summer settles in and they get some rather fascinating summer thunderstorms, but this is weeks away as summer does not begin for another month and a week!
  • The jet stream is quite obviously shifting north as you look at the USA/Canada border precipitation pattern. It will finally weaken and lift far enough north as summer settles in, but this is still four weeks away.

What is this next map above? Where did all of that rain come from? This is the rainfall total for the entire 15 day stretch ending May 27th! In our Weather2020 forecast, we predicted a dry first half of May in KC. And, we predicted a stormy ending to May!  It appears this is right on the LRC calendar. Yes, this east coast storm developing is directly related to what happened after the “non ice” ice storm and then Winter Storm “Stella”!

This is the May version of “Stealla”. TWC names the winter storms. Remember when we named our winter storms years ago before TWC started doing this consistently? Well, near KC you need to have winter storms to name them. Maybe we should come up with names for next winter and then they will come!  Anyway, look at this forecast map  valid 2 PM eastern time Saturday. That is one wet and strong storm intensifying near the coast. It almost becomes cold enough to snow, but not quite.

What happens in the next few days will be fascinating to track.  This map on the left shows what happened four to five days after the ice storm, which is due in early to mid-next week.  The part of the pattern that produced Stella in the March cycle, also existed in this second and January LRC cycle. It is off the New England coast. But, that is not what I want you to look at. LOOK closely at the little upper low caught in the flow just north of Kansas and Missouri near southwestern Minnesota. And, there was a tremendous amount of energy blasting over the west coast as well, that is forecast to happen again and is a storm we have to monitor closely later next week.

The models have been trying to showcase this part of the cycling pattern. This map on the right is the GFS model valid next Tuesday night into Wednesday. Look at the weak little upper low near Kansas City on this forecast map.  Now, look closely.  That little upper low is caught in the ridge.  Now, we are the experts at the LRC and I am not expecting you to see the big puzzle. It is really complex, but to me this is just another incredible example of some of the smaller scale features that also can be found within the bigger picture. That little upper low is caught in the ridge, just like that little upper low on the map to the left.

The energy coming into the west coast early next week forms into a big upper low over the inland western states. And, this is why I turned the red light on for severe weather in the plains later next week.

Oh boy. I got into the LRC weeds this morning.  Hopefully this makes just a little sense to you.  This weekend we get a break from severe weather risks. Next week, we will have some interesting weather set ups to monitor that will be unique to this season, just like what happened yesterday.  Yesterday, that upper low moved to the Kansas/OK border, stopped, spun around, and then turned southeast. This transition affected the severe weather risks yesterday. There were many severe thunderstorms, but the tornadoes were rather weak, but still scary.

Thank you for participating in this weather experience. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Mother’s Day weekend! Sunny and I are Emceeing the big Fur Ball Saturday night!


2017-05-13T11:21:22+00:00 May 12th, 2017|General|15 Comments


  1. Kurt May 12, 2017 at 4:34 am - Reply

    This is one of the worst patterns, with these long dry stretches and some areas getting hit repeatedly and others getting missed. It’s not wet when a location is below normal year to date or goes weeks without significant rain.

    Very frustrating to have a wall of flooding rains and such a sharp cutoff to nothing. Still concerns me if my area doesn’t have a surplus heading into the heart of summer

  2. j-ox May 12, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I feel your anguish, Kurt. Astonishing what even a short distance can mean as far as receiving or being denied precious precip. IIRC, 2016 ended w/ a ~12″ surplus at KCI…while Lawrence finished ~7″ below avg. So, a ~19″ difference and just ~50 miles apart.

    • Anonymous May 12, 2017 at 8:17 am - Reply

      no long dry stretches in Lawrence this year…what a wet spring!

      • Gary May 12, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

        It is really fascinating as northwest Missouri has been mostly getting missed. There has been adequate moisture, but barely up there. This spring has been and looks like it will continue to be producing wet systems near by. But, it has been a long dry stretch for some of us and no long dry stretch for many others.

        Next week will be interesting. Will northwest Missouri get missed again? It appears Oklahoma is the target for the heaviest rain in the next two weeks. We will see who gets targeted soon. For now, it is dry for a few days.

  3. Urbanity May 12, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Gary, I think the May forecast is looking drier and drier, western creep I call it when the dry southwest flow shuts off moisture west of I-35. I think May will fizzle, basically there is one good chance for heavy precip for the remainder of the month, and that is only for eastern Kansas around May 20th….but that forecast is too far in the future and will prob shift south and east the closer we get to it. I normally wouldn’t feel this way about future weather, but knowing how the summer LRC mimics the winter LRC I just feel our “monsoon” season is just about over and we are in store for a terribly hot and dry summer.

    Of course Gary you have a lot at stake in this summer, if it is wetter with ave-cool temps then this would really hurt the LRC credibility….not in the sense that weather patterns don’t repeat, but that repeating weather patterns have to many influences to predict the location and outcome of the expected result. That has to cause you a little anxiety at times, but I know how confident you are in the LRC and probably feel you can always fall back on your track record.

  4. REAL HUMEDUDE May 12, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Another .75″ last night, 2 day total of 1.5″ +. Now super concerned about this monster system for late next week, I guess my May 20 campout is going to be rather Interesting weather wise. I guess I might get lucky with scattered thunderstorm scenario and hope I get missed but I doubt it. I haven’t seen one dry GFS run for Next Saturday the rain is consistantly on every run, maybe I should do my Campout at Kurts!

    • Richard May 12, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Whats May 20 look like for JoCo KS ?
      H.S. Graduations outside for Gardner and Spring Hill. 10 am and 2 pm
      Was going to try attending both. But not if they end up being indoors.

      • REAL HUMEDUDE May 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

        Looking awful Wet Richard
        . Might be a dry period there in between waves of energy, won’t know those details until about 48 hours out though so long way to go to refine this forecast.

  5. Kurt May 12, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Yes you should, can’t get it to rain here. Anything resembling rain falls apart as it approaches

  6. Brad May 12, 2017 at 11:02 am - Reply

    My guess is that you have seen this,, Is this another group confirming the LRC? It seems pretty close to the LRC. I am very curious to your thoughts.

  7. REAL HUMEDUDE May 12, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    But what I really want to know is what kind of severe weather risks are we looking at next week?

    • Three7s May 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Well, it’s May, so I’d imagine everything’s on the table, assuming moisture, temperature, and the upper level dynamics are all there. What seems to kill severe weather chances here more than anything is morning-midday storms. We’ll see what happens.

  8. Ebohle May 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Those LRC maps are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mr. Pete May 13, 2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

    People are watering grass in Prairie Village. It’s crazy my back yard is still so muddy from rain!!

  10. Kurt May 13, 2017 at 4:52 am - Reply

    You’re lucky Pete, I’m watering grass too. Starting to brown up in spots already from the dryness up here

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