Drying Out & Comparing Summer Forecasts

/Drying Out & Comparing Summer Forecasts

Drying Out & Comparing Summer Forecasts

Good morning bloggers,

The analysis of the cycling pattern as described by the LRC is always a day to day operation.  Here is what we know:

  • The same pattern that set up last fall continues to cycle today
  • We started cycle 5 of this years pattern within the past week
  • The same pattern that created the conditions for very low snowfall totals and dry weather during the winter became rather wet in some spots as we moved into spring
  • This same pattern is now moving into summer and we are forecasting a hot summer with above average temperatures in many areas

If we go back and look into the first cycle of this years pattern we can see those ridges were quite strong:

How did this pattern become much wetter in the spring? In LRC Cycle 4, the one just completed, the ridges were transient. In other words, these ridges were all there, but they were forced to move through the flow. They did this during the winter as well, but there was very low moisture availability from the Gulf of Mexico. Once we moved into spring the moisture supply was injected into the transient flow and we ended up with a rather active and consistently interesting weather pattern with nice consistent rainfall patterns. I can see how this could have been forecasted a bit better, but it was still one of those forecasts that we have to go spend more time on to make sure we learn for next year, because not every spring pattern is wet. This one just set up rather nicely for a wet pattern.

The concern is now that we are moving into summer and the jet stream is retreating that once these ridges return, they may very well be much stronger and the flow from the Pacific may move over the ridges instead of pushing them across.  As you can see above, in Cycle 1 of this pattern there were rather pronounced ridges on October 22, November 4, November 9, and November 20. This part of the pattern will be cycling through during the next 40 days.

The Climate Prediction Center Summer Forecast:

The CPC has put out this forecast for temperatures. The big white area can be interpreted as the best area for below average temperatures. If you go back and look at our winter forecast, it could not be more opposite from this. Remember, we are in the same pattern that continues to cycle from last fall through the winter, spring, and now into summer. The pattern will not change until next fall.  Our Weather2020 forecast is for above average temperatures pretty much where this forecast above has equal chances.  And,we are forecasting below average rainfall this summer over close to that same area. I will post our maps tomorrow after I get them from my computer at work.

From The Weather2020 Winter Forecast:

In our winter forecast from November we plotted this map due to the ridges that had already developed in that first LRC Cycle. Those ridges are going to pop up much stronger in the next few weeks.  More tomorrow.The weather pattern is calming down significantly. We will look back at tornado season tomorrow as well. Could it be over?

Thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience.


2017-06-03T09:28:49+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|General|22 Comments


  1. Three7s June 2, 2017 at 7:42 am - Reply

    If the ridges move with the flow like in the spring, it will be a very MCS filled summer. I think, even with the ridges, we’ll still see our fair share of MCSs.

    • Gary June 2, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

      That is one of the big questions. Will they continue to move or will they get stuck for longer stretches of time. The jet stream is lifting north big time right now. If there were only land/sea temperature influences on the pattern, then a huge ridge would form over the deserts of the southwest. This is where the average higher height area ends up each summer anyway, but there is much more going on than just the heating land areas during summer. This is why the summer monsoon develops and thunderstorms form in the afternoon and evenings over the deserts and mountains at times during the summer. We will learn a lot more this month.

      Yesterday morning was a great opportunity for an MCS to form. It didn’t quite mature into one. So, that was a failed first test for MCS activity.


  2. reak June 2, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply


    Happy Friday morning to you sir!! This past week has been absolutely wonderful weather wise. Have had to dodge some rain showers while on the mower, but man, the mornings with the attic fan on…..absolutely gorgeous!!! Any way we can bottle up this week and save it for mid July??? 

    I have been extremely lucky these past few days and have picked up 1.6 inches since Saturday; I’ll take every drop!!

    It will be interesting to see the summer version of this LRC. Looking at the 6Z GFS we look to dry out big time over the next 14 days which would make sense considering cycles 1 and 3. I have postulated several times that I think we avoid the drought word this summer but there will be many dry and very warm to hot periods that will try everyone’s patience and we look to be entering the first of those beginning today. Of course, unlike November and even March, there is so much more moisture available and so it is easier to have something develop that could bring relief.

    Finally I noticed on the 06Z GFS it had a 500 height of 593 centered right over the viewing area at around hour 284; the temperatures were only around 90 but I would prefer not to see that later in cycle 5 or cycle 6 if at all possible but with this LRC, that is something to look for this summer.
    Please take all the above with a grain of salt; I have been so busy that I am totally out of the loop. Anyway, hot, rainy, lack of rain, there is not much I can do about it accept take it and move on. If the 100 degree days do come, I will be happy it is not August 21st, 1863 in Lawrence when the temperatures were in the 100’s!!!!

    Have a great day everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  3. Bill in Lawrence June 2, 2017 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Just noticed my name got changed to reak……the things I can do on a key board…..:-)

    • Gary June 2, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hey Reak,

      That is so funny? Well, we need to get a better name for you. I will read through your comment now. Thank you for participating.


    • REAL HUMEDUDE June 2, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

      “I shall call you, REEK” lol, little Game of Thrones reference. You can’t make this stuff up, I lol’d so hard on that Bill. Have a good weekend guys!

    • Baseball Mike June 2, 2017 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Good afternoon Bill:

      I agree with you that it will turn drier. I have many books and articles on droughts if Kansas. There was one in the 1860s, one in the 1890s-both lasting around 30 months-the big one in the 1930s-a shorter drought in the 1950s of about 32 months-and the one from July 2011-July 2014. According to tithe thoughts of many of the climatologists and “weathermen” back then a drought in Kansas would be an extended period of below average rainfall but to the credit if the articles I agree that you can have a drier period but because it is below average for a season or less than -12-15 months then you call it dry but not a drought. I have been faithful in recording precip for Colorado State for several years and I find it hard to visualize what I gave recorded for this year-close to 23 inches-there is another recorder just a few miles south who is almost identical. We have had strange and very heavy rains just over this quadrant of Shawnee County. Anyway by this time next year if we are below normal and finish this year below normal than we can start talking about drought. Take care,

  4. SteveA June 2, 2017 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I look forward to viewing your maps tomorrow. any odds on a ridge setting up over parts of the corn belt sometime june/july and becoming persistent. thank and all the best

  5. MMike June 2, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Will this be a green drought again?
    We have had those three summers in a row.

    Here we go again! We were in the same high volume discussion back in March on how dry and very warm spring will be…it was an awesome spring!

    Happy summer everyone!

  6. REAL HUMEDUDE June 2, 2017 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Gary – is it not next to impossible to predict the nature of these ridges? Whether transient or static, we always have ridges, and the only thing to measure is their frequency and intensity. They behave differently with the seasonal changes and corresponding jet stream intensity, and with a multitude of other factors influencing them as well. I applaud your determination, but I don’t see how the LRC or any other tool can tell you how ridges and energy interacting with them (which is always dynamic) are going to behave until you are right in the midst of the result. Over the Winter it was just so easy to call a dry forecast, I was right on board with that and had wishful thinking of a wet spring but was preparing for drought this year. We could all see how the ridges would greatly diminish any rain chances, yet that all changed so quickly in March and I think Gary is being hard on himself by thinking he should have able to pick up on that early on. It was impossible! That’s why long range forecasting has not even come close to being perfected, its nearly an impossible task and LRC is best thing we have so far but we have realize it does have limitations at this point. Keep plugging away Gary, its not going to happen overnight or possibly in our lifetimes but your doing fine work.

    • Gary June 2, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply


      We obviously will disagree with your assessment. There is definitely a way to tell how these ridges and energy interacting with them are going to behave. We are doing just that here. Now, we had a clunker of a prognostication into how the spring would produce the wide spread rain. I am glad we were wrong on one level, because I am so happy my pond is full, the grass is green, and we avoided the developing drought. I am not happy about my forecast busting. But, there have been many more successes than failures in the past few years, so I would hope you can open your mind more to the successes and not just look for the failures. We can learn from both.

      For this summer it will be interesting. When I first came to Kansas City in 1992, my 25 year anniversary is coming up, I will have to check the date, but in that first year there was around 15 inches of rain in KC that July, and then the next year was the flood of ’93 year which made two extremely wet Julys in a row from two completely different patterns. So, let’s hang on, and to your original point, see what really ends up happening. But, I have made my forecast for below average rainfall based on what we know now.


    • Joe June 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm - Reply


      Let me make sure I am understanding you correctly, So Science is settled on climate change meaning, we know undeniably what will happen 100 years form now to the earths climate but we aren’t capable of predicting the weather accurately, long term? Hmmmm, seems……well, I will leave it at that 😀

      • REAL HUMEDUDE June 2, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

        of course we don’t know for sure what long term climate trends will be, who am I , God?
        I can tell you of you cram more and more carbon into a finite space, such as our atmosphere, it will retain more and more heat. THAT’S PHYSICS, AND those forces will not be denied. So I err heavily towards caution, while deniers, err on side of Hope and a prayer. A Republican congressman literally said yesterday if climate change is real, GOD will fix it. can’t make this stuff up, and you can’t fix stupid either

        • REAL HUMEDUDE June 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

          Joe, didn’t mean to Intend you are stupid, but rather a outlook that says , ” we can screw this place up, and a god being will fix it all”

          • Joe June 2, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply


            No worries, I didn’t take it that way at all, I always enjoy a healthy debate, it is exercise for the mind 😀

        • Rockdoc June 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm - Reply

          Unfortunately Hume, there are people who do not have the science background to understand the basics of why it happens. They do not understand chemistry, physics, earth science and advanced mathematics – the differential – the rate of the rate of change for example!

          The forces will not be denied, and until people understand that is about carbon based materials including methane gas (and other chemicals as well), and how it works in the atmosphere there will always be non-believers. Regardless of whether it is man or not, it is happening, it is real, it is now. Personally I attribute it to man’s activities based on the significant development and use of petroleum based materials (carbon material) that fueled the industrial revolution and our societies today. As for those who blame cows/cattle, well yes, there has been an explosion in the number of cattle due to growing populations – it’s called food! You can see if in the rate of the rate of the change. It is picking up speed!

          The various chemical components such as SO2, NO2, CO2/CO and CH4 that are spewed into the atmosphere are measurable, and knowing their physico-chemical properties allows scientists and engineers to discern what can and will happen.

          It was a very sad day yesterday for sure for those who care deeply for our planet and all living things. We will not be beaten down. We will continue to strive to make earth a livable/survivable place going into the future.

          • Joe June 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply


            While I understand your point, your assumption that the general population isn’t smart enough or educated enough to understand, is a bit arrogant. Look, as I have stated, I believe in science and I also believe we are being impacted by climate change however, to say that any one opinion is absolute, is beyond arrogant, it is counter-productive to gaining support for the cause. Accept it, deny it, either way, too many predictions by climate change scientists have failed and therefore, produced uncertainty. We have barely scraped the surface of our planets history and history proves thus far that we have experienced global climate change in the past without industry causing it. Is it slightly accelerated now? Maybe

            Moreover, I personally, have spoke with many people in the science community that have disagreed with the popular agenda, but have stated they wont do it publically due to fear of being run out of their respective fields. Now I don’t know about you, but I for one find that very troubling.

            Bottom line is that we should always do everything we can to make our planet and environment better. We must ask ourselves, are we accomplishing anything by trying to force feed any one opinion down peoples throats? I think not

        • Joe June 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm - Reply


          Okay, lets agree that 1, there are (stupid as you say) on both sides of the fence. Hopefully, you aren’t one of those party line guys that plays the blind follower game and 2nd, deniers ( not all) don’t err on the side of hope and a prayer, come on man. Simple facts are this, there is controversy because there is uncertainty. By the way, My son was a physics major in college so yes, I understand your point however, based on your knowledge of the weather as well as the earths cycles, how can anybody ever say, with certainty, that climate change is absolute in terms of man-made? We can’t. I am a firm believer in science, but I am also a firm believer in logic. You have to admit, there is a lot of money to be made in climate change which, of course, always has a way of tainting anything and everything. Science tells us to always evaluate the alternatives so why do so many people insist on absolutes?

  7. Michael Garner June 2, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Can’t remember what you said Gary in regards to how above average this summer you expect (like 3 above for June-Aug or more than 3 above). I know you said just can’t remember and which blog you said, of course for the Kansas City area. Thanks

    • Gary June 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply


      I think it will be in the 2 to 3 degrees above average for the summer.


      • Michael Garner June 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm - Reply

        Thanks Gary, that doesn’t seem to bad as it could be worse. Maybe it will be more of a result of night time lows staying above average with day time temps average. All though I think I would prefer below average low temps to at least start out “cool”

  8. Brad61 June 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Looks like down here in Middle Georgia, we are going to have record heat this summer. Not looking forward to that.

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