The Panic Period

/The Panic Period

The Panic Period

Good morning bloggers,

We hope everyone is having a great Thursday.  It is a pretty quiet day across the United States.  There is a storm coming into the Pacific northwest, and this storm will then zip out over the plains states, and it will weaken considerably. It will help create some forecast problems this weekend.  As the Kansas City forecast problems are somewhat “boring” for us weather enthusiasts, we have to relax and be patient with this pattern. Could it be another year with less than 10″ of snow?  I believe that has never happened in KC history with three straight years under 10″ of snow.  I titled this blog, “The Panic Period” for a reason. Just when you think you have made some conclusions on the winter forecast, suddenly you see parts of the pattern that we have not seen yet. Remember, we are in this first LRC Cycle.  We are still experiencing it now.  I used to say that the pattern sets up from October 1st though November 10th, a cycle evolves, and then the pattern is set for the year. But, in reality, it takes until around the first week of December. This period of time from November 10th to November 30th used to be called the “Panic” period, as Jeff Penner and I have experienced over the years. But, to me it no longer is because we finally realized we are just experiencing more of this first cycle. The computer models are still mostly useless until we get another three weeks of pattern under our belt. So, I recommend, Don’t Panic.

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.16.13 AM

What is this? Wow! When we look at the GFS, the European Model, and others, we have seen very little blocking. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) have had these ensemble members of the models dipping deep into negative territory. For those of you who love winter weather, well, you want to see this big dip actually happen. I have been expecting it to happen around the 22nd of November. If it does indeed dip that low, then there is usually a lag coefficient where the Arctic air build up would be created days after this big dip, and then it could be an Arctic blast and an energizing of the jet stream due to strong temperature contrast. But, is this forecast dip truly going to happen? It didn’t quite happen in the first cycle, in early October, but it actually came close to happening.  Let’s continue to follow this index.

Kansas City Time-Line:

A Cold front is moving through today and a very hard freeze is likely tonight.

  • Today:  Turning colder with winds increasing from the north up to 15 or 20 mph. High:  45°
  • Tonight:  A HARD FREEZE! Clear with a low of 20°
  • Friday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds. High:  39°
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of drizzle or showers. High:  47°

Thank you for sharing and participation in the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the blog at and join in the conversation.  Have a great day.


2017-11-10T07:42:14+00:00November 9th, 2017|General|47 Comments


  1. Craig November 9, 2017 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I don’t know, Gary, but I think it’s funny that you titled today’s post this way as I was feeling the same after looking at this morning’s GFS.
    For the first time I can ever recall, I’ve decided to NOT take the deck off the John Deere and NOT put on the snowblade and tire chains. Instead, I’m just gonna wait. If it ever looks like it actually might snow more than 1″ at a time, I’ll put the dang things on then.
    In the meantime, the way this pattern is setting up, I’m looking forward to occasional golf all winter long.

  2. Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Gary, I noticed the PNA is predicted to rise sharply during the period where the AO and NAO dip deeply negative, would this indicate even more of a sharp temperature gradient across the midwest, and would it tend to “push” the coldest air and activity a little more to the east of Kansas? Does the PNA naturally rise when the AO and NAO go deeply negative?

    Secondly, the NOAA has not reacted in their long range outlooks to their own forecasted dips in the AO and NAO, why would they still be calling for much above average temps in Kansas if they expected the oscillation to change?

    I hope all is well, thank you for the blog.

    • Gary November 9, 2017 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Their forecasts are almost entirely weighted into what La Niña and El Niña mean. So, they will not budge. Last winter their forecasts were way off using this same philosophy. The previous year too. Let’s see how the LRC sets up.


      • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

        Gary, I was referencing the NOAA long range 6-10 day outlook not their winter prediction. I know you’re busy, but my first paragraph question I am very curious about, what do you think?

  3. Richard November 9, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Just what I thought.
    Face it, we are the new southwest.
    There will be fewer and fewer years with OVER 10 inches of snow.
    Under 10 will be the new normal

    • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Richard, you’re most recent posts have been more negative than usual, so negative in fact you’re starting to make my traditionally negative posts seem almost uplifting. I think a vacation is in order for you bud. lol

      • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

        I misused “you’re” meant “your”.

        • Richard November 9, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

          Sorry its how I feel. I will try to lay off negativity.
          This time of year is hard. Especially.
          Would love to see us get a big snow. The snowed in kind of snow.

      • Three7s November 9, 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

        He’s using reverse psychology. Periods of snowless winters aren’t unheard of around here. Just annoying when it does happen.

    • Dobber November 9, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Why the constant Doom and gloom Alice?

      • Richard November 9, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

        You are a piece of work. A gut puncher who likes to kick when a man is down.

      • REAL HUMEDUDE November 9, 2017 at 11:25 am - Reply

        take it easy on my buddy Richard and keep Alice out of it. He’s a vet and unless you are clueless its about that time we gave them all a BIG THANK YOU. Take pause next time you want to jump all over his case and thank him instead, you might take his comments with a grain of salt. He just needs to catch a fish like I do, it makes you a little crabby after a few weeks without a fish fix.

        • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

          @Richard, I’m a veteran also, but there are different levels of military involvement and even though I was in a “conflict” I never experienced things that take a toll on a man. So my apologies Richard for questioning your emotion, have a good Veterans Day and God Bless.

          • Richard November 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm - Reply

            Hey Hume and Urban

            Thank you. I saw horrors that I still cannot talk about today. I am one of the lucky ones who is grateful every day to the ones who paid the ultimate price. I survived, physically. They didn’t.
            I don’t mean to let it spill over into a weather blog. I come here to learn and feel a part of something.
            I did start out today with a comment about weather, and in a few years how we might be looking at new averages of snowfall here in KC. Lower averages. Then Dobber happened. And Nancy. Now Joe.
            I’ll be checking out soon then they can have their peace.

            • Joe November 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply


              I wouldn’t wish anything bad on you or anybody else. Many of us have experienced bad things in our lives so I can sympathize. You don’t have to “check out” for anybody to have peace on a weather blog. What helped me was to find something I’m passionate about and focus my energy on it. I am not one to spill my personal experiences but lets just say that I have survived some things that would end a lot of people or cause them to give up altogether, but guess what, the sun will come up tomorrow, you have friends and loved ones to surround yourself and hobbies such as fishing 😀 do a body good. I have a son and a nephew in the military now and I sure hope they don’t have to endure some of the things I have. Now, back to the weather

          • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

            KEITH- A Sincere thank you to you as well, didn’t know you were a vet or I would put up with your Political stuff a little better lol. I don’t care of you were a towel holder in the military, you are owed a heavy debt of gratitude by every person walking around calling themselves free.

        • Joe November 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

          Seriously? because there are those of us that are veterans gives us a pass to constantly poke jabs and be negative? Sorry Hume, I disagree. We need to stop being a society that makes excuses for our actions and begin holding each other to higher standards. The truth is Richard complains incessantly about anything and everything. . I do agree that the passing of loved ones should in fact be left out. As for the fishing, YES, it is just what the doctor ordered for anybody that is down so I say, Richard, take a day and cast a line, that’s what I do when I am feeling blue

          • MMike November 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply


            Richard has you fooled…

            Big snows this winter….stay positive everyone…winter is better then a month away…no need to be negative until winter actually shows up. Things change fast around our area. Dry stretches this time of year are very normal. We just need to cash in when storms do roll back around.

            Warming trend next week…Beautiful!!! Maybe a few rounds of golf left in our November pattern.

          • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm - Reply

            ….until you walk in another mans shoes….

    • Negative Nancy November 9, 2017 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Richard the chief meteorologist for channel 13 negative news! Today, my gut tells me our area will have fire and brimstone raining from the skies. Tomorrow will be mostly dry, dry and more dry combined with a 150 degree day that may just turn your grass brown. 😀

      Sorry Gary, I couldn’t resist :D, by the way, even though Richard complains every day ( about something) regarding your 810 spot, I love it and obviously, you and Nate have a good relationship. Love the mix of sports and weather

      • Richard November 9, 2017 at 11:02 am - Reply

        How can one appreciate sunshine without clouds.
        If everyone saw life through rose colored glasses who would warn that the sky is falling. 😄

        But for Dobber to come here constantly and refer to my wife. Who does that. Someone who gets their kicks hiding behind a screen.

    • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      You always think the worst too easily and they D R A M A! It gets old dude.

  4. Terry November 9, 2017 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Gary did not say under 10 of snow this year winter . Gary was just making a statement that he has never seen 3 winters in a row with under 10 inches of snow in KC History .

    • Three7s November 9, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

      I’ve said before that it has never happened. Doing it again this winter would be for the record books.

  5. Michael Casteel November 9, 2017 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I saw your old co-worker Brett Anothony is back working for Channel 5 weather. Good to see him back in town! You guys will have too compare forecasts! LOL Have a safe and good Veterans Day weekend,

  6. Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

    La Nina is officially here now, fwiw. I agree with Gary about some people over-emphasizing ENSO’s importance in making winter forecasts. I do expect this winter to be colder here than the previous two were. As for snow, I don’t know. I believe there will be POTENTIAL for us to have more snow this winter because more cold air will be a feature, but the preferred storm track is not known yet. Given system’s propensities so far, I have a gut feeling areas to our east will be the snow winners: Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, or New England. But it would not take much for us to surpass 10″ of snow this winter. Three or four well placed clipper systems could get us there.

  7. sedsinkc November 9, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    La Nina is officially here now, fwiw. I agree with Gary about some forecasters over-emphasizing ENSO’s importance in making winter forecasts. I do expect this winter to be colder here than the previous two were. As for snow, I don’t know. I believe there will be POTENTIAL for us to have more snow this winter because more cold air will be a feature, but the preferred storm track is not known yet. Given system’s propensities so far, I have a gut feeling areas to our east will be the snow winners: Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, or New England. But it would not take much for us to surpass 10″ of snow this winter. Three or four well placed clipper systems could get us there, if nothing else. One decent system taking a favorable snow track for us could get us more than half to 10 inches by itself.

  8. Terry November 9, 2017 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Gary you said that the models are pretty much all over the place right now and they haven’t picked parts of this year’s LRC pattern yet ?

  9. numb3rsguy November 9, 2017 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I read an article on that says that there is a strong positive correlation between periods of low sunspot activity and blocking in the higher latitudes. When the sun’s magnetic field weakens and there are no sunspots, more solar particles are allowed to escape the sun. These particles travel to earth, and create aerosols in the upper atmosphere that block sunlight. The fact that we are headed towards a solar minimum might help us this season. Also, North America set a record yesterday for the largest snowpack on 11/8 since satellite records began in the 70’s. That’s pretty impressive! It hasn’t been cold and snowy yet, but I’m still holding out hope for this year.

  10. Richard November 9, 2017 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Anyone remember Fred “bowling for dollars/weatherman” Broski ?
    He was on fox4 earlier. They even let him do the forecast.
    Always like him. Along with Dan Henry.
    Weather forecasting has sure evolved since those 2.

    Gary has made it enjoyable once again. He has enthusiasm that we don’t see anywhere else.

    • Gary November 9, 2017 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Fred and I may be doing a book signing together in December. I will keep you updated. That would be fun!


      • Richard November 9, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

        Thats nice Gary

  11. KS Jones November 9, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

    This “polar vortex” forecast from accuweather looks like we might be in for a possible replay of the 2013-14 winter, when the jet stream barely snagged us and we stayed on the north side for days on end (strong wind & subzero temps).
    Occasionally, we had a one or two day break when we were on the balmy south side, but those were few and far between.
    I can’t recall when it began that winter, but I do remember the pattern stagnated and it didn’t let up until the first week of March.
    Of course that’s good news if you peddle propane and propane accessories.

  12. blue flash November 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    That Arctic Oscillation model is way overblown. The monthly AO has only dipped below -3 one time in the last 70 years. If it does dip to -4 or -5, we might as well move underground for a few months!

    • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      blue flash with a news flash. if that is correct then a great observation

      • Blue Flash November 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

        Check the link, it’s a monthly chart going back to 1950. AO rarely goes below -2.

        • KS Jones November 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

          The graph on that webpage shows the AO remained positive during the winter of 2013-14.

          The 2014 North American cold wave was an extreme weather event . . . The event occurred in early 2014 (formed January 2, 2014) . . . Record-low temperatures also extended well into March. . . On January 6, 2014, Babbitt, Minnesota was the coldest place in the country at −37 °F. The cold air reached as far as Dallas, which experienced a low temperature of 16 °F. . . Kansas City, Kansas had its ninth-coldest February, with a monthly average temperature of 24.7 °F.

    • Three7s November 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      In other words, it almost never goes deep negative?

      • Blue Flash November 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

        Historically it has never gone to what I would call deep negative (since records have been kept). One caveat, this is a monthly average, so it is conceivable that it may have dipped briefly for a week or two lower than that. But I doubt if such a brief dip would be long enough to really get anything going.

        • Urbanity November 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

          Blue, if it’s a monthly average than that is totally understandable that the lowest recorded average value was -3, the AO and NAO are constantly fluctuating. If it averaged a negative value for one full month it would definitely expose certain parts of the nation to extended period of cold weather and likely some significant snows.

  13. MMike November 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    blue flash,

    Too funny. That would be cold, huh??

  14. sedsinkc November 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    As we know, a combination of winter factors influence our weather. Two are ENSO (El Nino, La Nina, or neutral conditions) and other teleconnections including the NAO. This link is to an article from Weather Underground that shows the correlation, if any, between winter average temperatures over different parts of the continental US to ENSO and NAO (+ or -) conditions. Something to file in the back of the mind as we go through the coming winter. Scroll down through the article to get to the nine graphics that show the correlations.

    • sedsinkc November 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Correction: The article only shows comparisons of NAO conditions during La Nina only.

  15. Bill in Lawrence November 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply


    Good evening to you sir and to all the 20/20 bloggers. Pretty chilly day today overall. I took my class to walk Quantrill’s raid and it did not warm up very much. Standing in Oak Hill Cemetery was quite chilly indeed!!!

    Kind of a tough crowd here these past few weeks. This LRC is barely a month old and many are already reading its eulogy. I went out on a limb a few weeks ago and thought Lawrence would receive between 13-15 inches which is about 1-2 inches below normal. I am going to stay out on that limb but would argue that there is a greater percentage chance of us going over that amount than there is of us being less than that amount. I’ll say that there is at least a 40% chance we go over the amount and less than 20% chance that we wind up under it.

    Obviously, I do not think that this is going to be some blockbuster winter like 2010-2011 or 2012-2013 or even 2013-2014 (yes…just a short 4 years ago we had 3 out of 4 winters that were blockbusters….this is nothing….now being a KU football fan is being in a drought LOL) but this pattern is nothing like last years. There have been several vorts coming across the lower 48 that we just did not see last year and more so we have had much colder weather since around the 15th of October than we ever saw last fall. This LRC has some cold with it. I have had 7 freezes since October 26th-and I’m not talking 1-2 hour freezes but hard freezes where we were the mid 20’s for 6-8 hours-oh…and not just on the valley floor either-my house is about 700 feet above the valley floor and we had those temperatures at the house as well. This pattern is indeed different and has some players that should produce some fun in one of the winter cycles.

    Regarding the models….as foodl3 said a few days ago….they are just doing terrible with this pattern so far. 2 examples-November 22nd-2 runs have us in the upper 60’s for the high and then the next 2 has us in the lower 40’s for highs. Another example is the 18th; that is the date of our big service event where we do projects all day and then the students sleep outside in the front of the school with just one blanket collecting items for the items drive so I am paying close attention to that night. I always want it to be as cold as possible so we collect more items. Last night’s GFS runs had that night in the mid 50’s but then bam here comes the 12Z and it had Lawrence in the mid to upper 30’s. As of now, I am not really paying attention to the models beyond 4 days.

    Gary’s blog today said it well….have patience. Let this evolve and see what we have. There are so many players in every LRC and this one is no exception. More importantly, the players this year look to be at least 3-4 star players and not the 1-2 stars we had last year. These will probably be famous last words (remember….I’m the guy with the clown suit) but I think when we hit March, everyone will be satisfied with this winter-it may not be what you would draw up if you could, but I think us snow lovers will have some smiles at times. What I really hope is that us that need some pond filling rains can have 3-4 of them in the spring and summer. I’m actually more concerned/thinking about spring and summer than winter…did I really just say that??!!!!

    Have a great evening everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

    • Frankie November 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Well said. Everyone on the blog seems to be concluding the pattern and the whole winter season, when only Gary really knows what is going on. It has been cold since the pattern started, and that was definitely not the case last fall. I say we easily get over 10″ of snow. Let’s let Gary analyze… and let’s be patient.

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