The Fascinating Cycling Weather Pattern

/The Fascinating Cycling Weather Pattern

The Fascinating Cycling Weather Pattern

Happy Friday Bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Friday: Incredibly nice weather for mid-August.  Sunny with a light northeast wind at less than 10 mph.  High:  81°
  • Friday Night:  Clear and pleasant with light winds, calm most of the night. Low:  61°
  • Saturday:  Sunny with winds around 5 mph to calm.  Another incredibly nice summer day. High:  81°
  • Sunday:  A few clouds with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. High:  79° with light east winds.

The Cycling Weather Pattern

In this late week blog I am going to share with you where we are in the cycling weather pattern. It is absolutely fascinating.  I believe that you will fall into one of three main groups. Either you are a complete skeptic and you believe it is complete chaos in the upper levels of the tropospheric circulation, which is where we experience weather on this earth.  99.9% of weather happens within the troposphere which extends from the air you are breathing now all the up to around 60,000 to 70,000 feet in the warm season and around 30,000 feet in the cold season.  The second group may actually believe that we have stumbled across something rather ground breaking in science, in atmospheric science, but you may not believe we can get as specific in our forecasts, but may feel there is some merit to what we are doing and sharing with you. Then, there is likely a third group who absolutely believes that the pattern is cycling as described by our Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  In this third group you actually have experienced the accuracy of our forecasts, some of our inaccurate forecasts, and have tried to see this big puzzle that exists above us.  This is, of course, what our Weather2020 team not just believes, but sees.  Meteorologist Doug Heady, who works in the Joplin television market as the Chief Meteorologist at KOMA has been using his knowledge of the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (CPH) to make his month long forecasts on the air for many years.  He sees the answers to the puzzle.  Meteorologist Brett Anthony has been using his knowledge of the CPH for many years and there have been so many viewers in the Tulsa market who have experienced his “uncanny” accuracy on predicting Tulsa’s seasonal snow totals for years and his forecasts of when storm systems will strike. Eswar Iyer, a graduate student who is getting his Masters of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma this fall has been using the CPH for the better part of six years in making forecasts for businesses that have used our Weather2020 forecasts.  Jeff Penner has worked with me for 25 years now. I introduced this to him when we first met, and here we are 25 years later and the scientific world has yet to understand or even know about the CPH, also known as the LRC.  Bob Lyons, our Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with myself and Jeff, has developed a weather model that has been at its best during the January through March time frame. We are currently working on various adjustments, revisions, to the model to make it more accurate and this is just scratching the surface.  Jeff Hutton, National Weather Service DDC, says he remembers me discussing this with him while we were in college, but I firmly remember the year that I saw the true answer to this puzzle, to what others think is just chaos in the river of air flowing above us. It was in the year 1987-1988 when Oklahoma City had two one foot snow storms, and many other major storms that season. It was the second one foot snow storm in January of 1988 that I realized that the storm at the 500 mb level was awfully similar to the storm from early December.  Two one foot snow storms in a place that averages around 7 or 8 inches of snow per year. How is that possible? There is only one way bloggers. It is possible if the “same” pattern was cycling regularly with predictability if you know a few things about that weather pattern.  Gary England, retired KWTV Chief Meteorologist, said to me as a storm system was approaching OKC in 2009-2010 winter, “I saw it.  Lezak, I saw it, but now I can’t find it again”. It is that complex.  Gary England, who is our Senior Advisor for Weather202o, saw the CPH for around a week, but then couldn’t find the puzzle again. It is really, truly, that complex.

Okay, now open your mind to this.  And, for those of you reading this for the first time you can go back into the past year snd see dozens of examples that showcase this years pattern.  I presented, at the American Meteorological Society’s Broadcast conference in June, the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis. This will be in our peer review paper that is begin submitted this year for scientific acceptance and review.  The pattern has been shown to be cycling in the 56-61 day range, centered on the very important 58-59 day period, or 58.5 day cycle.  We have shown all of the qualitative analysis with map descriptions, but now we have the scientific quantification which verifies and validates what we have done with the “art” of being able to see the pattern, to “see” the answer to the puzzle. The “scientific” or mathematical method does indeed verify and validate what we have been sharing with you for years. This years pattern, that set up on the fall, has been clearly shown to be in the 58 to 59 day range. The mathematical, statistical analysis now validates that the most likely cycle length is exactly what we have seen and shown with the map analysis.

Looking at the pattern this week:

Cycle 6 August 9

Cycle 2 December 17

We showed the Cycling pattern and shared our insight with Dr. Howie Bluestein, a year and half ago. He said, “you have convinced me”, but now we need to do a statistical analysis to verify. And, he said, “I just have never thought about this. I never have thought about a pattern past a few days”. This is why there is so much skepticism, and why our peer review paper is so important and essential for getting this technology out to the world.

Now look at these two maps above.  How is it possible that a pattern from December could be similar to a pattern from August. And, not just similar, but as our Weather2020 team of meteorologists, Jeff, Brett, Eswar, Doug, and I would tell, you, “it isn’t just similar, it’s the “same”. As Gary England said, “It’s the same, but different”, if that makes sense. Sure, it’s different. There has to be seasonal difference.  Now, look again at the two maps.  I numbered the features that are “the same, but different”.  This part of the pattern has now cycled through six times. But, something very new will begin evolving in five to six weeks. Yes, the new CPH will set up, and it will be a pattern that has never happened in the history of the earth. This is one of the aspects of the CPH. Every pattern is unique. And, it can go from the Synoptic, to the Meso, to the Micro scale.  We have shown many examples of each. By going down to the “meso” and “micro” scales our Weather2020 team has the ability to make the forecasts as specific as down to a series of dates, and many times down to the date even 200 days out. There is an unfortunate limitation to forecasting using the CPH. The new, unique pattern will set up in the fall. Since we do not know what it is in October, there is one gray area that lasts around six to eight weeks. but, by December, or at the latest January we will once again know what the pattern is and our forecasts become incredibly accurate from January through September.

What is happening now? The big ridge in feature #5 is right on schedule, but there is a seasonal twist to the August version of the cycling pattern. I firmly expected the ridge to be dominating August over the middle to southern part of the United States, but instead in this cycle 6 version the ridge is forming way up over Canada and this seasonal difference is creating the conditions for heavy thunderstorm complexes over parts of the plains as the flow is cutting underneath the ridge.  So, instead of summer heat over middle America, we are getting a cooler air mass with these thunderstorm complexes, one of which I am experiencing early this morning near the Arkansas/Missouri border.  The ridge is having a big impact on the Pacific northwest this month.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 3.25.35 PM

Feature #5 in the two first two maps show the ridge that was there in December and it is impacting now. How is it impacting. The National Weather Service has a rather large Air Quality Alert out for the Pacific Northwest that has had a major heat wave  that was predictable by using the CPH.  Features one to four on those two maps are directly responsible for the conditions for the two Supercells with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Flash Flood Warnings over Kansas.  This rare August set-up is directly related to the pattern that cycled through just before the first day of winter.

Take a look at the forecast HRRR for 4 AM tonight:

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 3.43.22 PM

Those Supercell thunderstorms will be monitored closely, as this is the beginning of what the HRR model is showing for later tonight. If this is correct, then I may want to get to bed a bit early on my vacation at Table Rock Lake.  These thunderstorms would be “blasting” through just before sunrise. I will let you know what happens.

The winter that brought this region practically nothing, has had a summer that has surrounded Kansas City with drier conditions, and yet some spots have been wet with some major flooding. What happens next? This weekend will will be close enough to see if the models have a clue on the cycling pattern for the eclipse that will be within ten days.

Have a great weekend and thank you for participating in this weather forecast experience on the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.


2017-08-14T07:51:20+00:00 August 10th, 2017|General|26 Comments


  1. REAL HUMEDUDE August 10, 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Kurt buddy you got some big thunderstorm starting to build in your backyard I sure hope they slide your way
    . I have strong doubts going to materialize down my way and probably get some good rains in the area but I’m thinking spotty coverage which means I’m getting missed

  2. Kurt August 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Only sprinkles it fell apart or went north

  3. Kurt August 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    And a very chilly wind they’d knocking off leaves I think thecdry weather is causing them to drop early this year. Thrrr are lots of yellowing leaves now

  4. Ebohle August 10, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    The pattern is clearly there as well as the seasonal differences. I never knew the height of the troposphere changes so much!

    I have been following all this since the awful summer of 2012 and it has been a very convincing education.

  5. Nick August 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    The northend of St. Joe had a decent downpour, and some breezy conditions beforehand.

  6. REAL HUMEDUDE August 11, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    I ended up catching a decent cell last night, .8″ in about 20 minutes. I was under impression we were in active NW flow with potential for MCS, but these are just hit and miss storms and seem to miss more than hit. These aren’t going to provide the 3″+ rain I need to fill the pit, but sure will make the beans a nice crop around here so can’t complain. Pastures have stayed green all summer long, that’s a rare occurrence around here. Not so bad!

  7. Kurt August 11, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Nothing in the rain gauge again, cut off was 36 highway roughly and north last evening. Definitely been miss after miss and pastures have brown patches, along with most yards that aren’t watered. Trees look to be stressed now with lots of leaves dropping and even some trees dying. Not sure if it’s weather or disease for some trees.

    Year to date still at 16.6 inches here or almost 7 inches below normal year-to-date. Even with a decent rain chance, the storms seem to be random at best.

    I hope the next lrc is more beneficial but only time will tell.

    • KS Jones August 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Marysville Advocate
      Marysville, Kansas
      August 6 1992
      “Talk about contrasts and Kansas weather, May was the driest month of the century, and July tied for being the wettest of the previous 100 years”

  8. mark meyer August 11, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply


    I would be interested in seeing the above maps for all previous 5 cycles. Not just Dec as we all know the dec cycle was cold but the other cycles were warm-why was that? In order for confidence in the CPH you will need to know days/weeks/months in advance which cycle to focus on. In cycle 1 and cycle 3 STL was cranking out record highs in this part of the cycle and now we have been below normal-like in Dec. But without being able to know in advance which cycle we will track most closely in advance what good is the CPH for long term forecasting? It seems to be better on forecasting rainfall chances than temperatures.

    • Michael Garner August 11, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

      That’s been my point and question…why is August so different then June, so far. What happens if the mid to end of August is also opposite of what happened in June? Won’t know till September but just curious myself. Not cherry picking a month but would have thought June and August behave similar as both these months have a weaker version of the jet compared to December. Now I also do believe at the hottest time of year it is harder to be above average and easier to be below average; like in the winter I think it is easier to be above average as opposed to being below average temps (highs and lows not just low temps). I think in the winter it takes more energy to get below average and in the summer more energy to get above average. But this month so far is exceeding just being below average to what I would think much below (-7.7). If it was only -2.7 that wouldn’t surprise me as you can have low high temps that bring it down or low, low temps. But this month, so far and for the most part, the highs and lows have been well below average and JUNE wasn’t that way until the end of June. I’m one those that think there is something to this theory but defiantly don’t fully understand so I guess not fully on board, but love weather and the study if of it, so will continue to learn.

      • Gary August 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm - Reply

        Michael the “same” pattern has produced these very different results and this happens all of the time. The pattern in winter, even though directly related to the summer pattern will still quite obviously not produce any snowstorms. We will begin with this. We are very good at making the predictions, but there are also many others that will be inaccurate. What happened in August thus far? The heights are higher in Canada and we did anticipate this, but we also thought that would imply a big upper ridge to form over the northern USA with some potential for tropical easterlies over the southern and central plains. Instead, the high heights have arrived over the Pacific Northwest, and right now a ridge is progressing east into central Canada, which we will discuss this weekend. What I did not expect was a split flow with enough energy moving across in the westerly flow underneath the high heights. This has resulted in the wetter pattern in some concentrated areas.

        Interesting thought: When we are forecasting every week for all regions of the United States, and eventually Europe and Asia as well, and for resort locations and southern Canada, we must realize what we are able to do with what we know about the cycling pattern. There are many times, especially during the winter season but not limited to winter, where we can get quite specific, and we have had success with the bigger weather set-ups. We are still learning about spring and summer versions of these patterns, and we have learned a lot. I think that it is much easier to find the times we are wrong. There are more times that our forecasts are accurate. This summer, we have done well in some of our forecasts, and not so well in others. Watch closely as the new pattern sets up, and monitor our successes and failures as we move into January through March. We do very well during these three months. And, once the pattern shifts into spring we then make adjustments and get many of those forecasts accurately predicted. The overall pattern, as I showed again in this blog, is right on schedule and cycling in the 56-61 day range. The cycling pattern is almost as predictable as the astronomical cycles, but still not quite as we are forecasting the regular cyclicality of a fluid, the river of air above us. We will continue to improve over the next few years, but we must analyze why we are right, and why we are wrong. This August twist was potentially predictable. We must look back at the pattern and see how it could have been done, and learn.


        • Michael Garner August 11, 2017 at 5:28 pm - Reply

          Please understand Gary as I am not trying to find fault in any forecast just trying to understand how the same pattern with seasonal differences can be so different within the same season, yes dead horse comparison, June, 60 days later August are not even close to twins, but maybe that’s where I miss it that it won’t be twins but more like cousins 4 times removed. I appreciate your work and passion!!

    • Gary August 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply


      Go back into the blog archives, and you will see many examples of each cycle. Some of the cycles are very obvious, so I use those as the best evidence, but it is all there.


      • mark meyer August 12, 2017 at 9:12 am - Reply


        I read the blog everyday so have seen the examples-all I am asking is can we see all 6 cycles side by side-not just 1 or 2.

        I assumed the entire N Hemisphere should follow the pattern.

        However, is it also true for the S Hemisphere. I live in Australia 6 mos. of the yr and there seems to be a repeating pattern-but no one there who is doing the work you and doug H and others are doing for the N Hemis.

  9. Nate August 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    I thought the summer forecast was a long hot smeltering dry summer?

  10. Mr. Pete August 12, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Are we entering a dry period now?

    • Kurt August 12, 2017 at 11:44 am - Reply

      That’s too funny we never had a wet period up here, I think the wet areas were smaller pockets with much larger dry areas in the north central plains. Now maybe it’s Kansas City’s turn to dry out with everyone else. Now 7.1 inches below normal year to date

      • Dobber August 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

        What’s the water bill been like kurt?

  11. Kurt August 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    It was $70 last month, excited for the next one to see if it’s over $100. Not bad at all but my normal bill is $25. Although I haven’t been watering as much letting more of the yard go dormant now

  12. terry August 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    No we’re not entering that dry. The wetter pattern will pick up middle of this week

    • Kurt August 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Terry maybe in your backyard, it hasn’t been wet up here the entire summer. We’re at 40 percent of normal for rain up here since june, our only wet stretch was late March into early April and late May. You can say it’s wet in local areas, but geographically there is more area behind normal from
      Border to border in the central U.S. from the Rockies to the Mississippi

      • terry August 13, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

        Yes its been very wet Here in Wyandotte County where I live in Kansas. We had alot of Rain and Thunderstorms here

  13. Richard August 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Pretty darned fascinating NASA video explaining why the shape of totality will not be round or even oval.

  14. Heat MIser August 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    How come no blogs for the last few days? I dont think Ive ever seen that, even when Gary is on vacation.

    • Richard August 13, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Maybe he is sick, hope not, or just recouperating from his busy fun filled week.

  15. Rockdoc August 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Good Sunday afternoon Gary and fellow weather bloggers. We are now 8 days out from the total eclipse. The latest 12z GFS shows rain east of KC. Although we won’t know if this will verify, I hope the clouds are gone from our area! Here’s what it shows for 1pm our time! Also, take a look at what is forming off the Florida coast. Gary has predicted a tropical system in this time frame.

    We will be on Eclipse weather watch this coming week. Should be exciting, just like our snow watching events.🌕🌔🌓🌒🌑🌗🌖🌕

    Have a great rest of your weekend.

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