How Dry Is It Getting?

/How Dry Is It Getting?

How Dry Is It Getting?

Good morning bloggers,

Is it possible that Kansas City is going to have another very dry winter?  In our winter forecast we forecasted a dry season, but how dry could it be? Take a look at the past 30 days:

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.44.57 AM

Just look at these two maps above.  It has been an incredibly dry past 30 days across large chunks of the United States. And, it has also been a warm past 30 days as you can see on the map on the right.  This pattern has now set up; it is firmly established and showing very little signs of being able to produce wet storm systems west of the Mississippi River, with the exception of areas out across the Pacific northwest.

Precipitation Forecast: Next 16 Days


This is a very dry weather forecast through December 20th.  Kansas City has been in, what could be called, a snow drought for three winters in a row already. Just look at last years snowfalls, only five measurable snows all winter. Could this year be worse?


Here is a video explaining this pattern:

Maybe there will be some twists and turns to this cycling pattern. But, right now it is about as boring as it can be? Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Go over to the blog and join in the conversation. Have a great day!


2017-12-07T07:43:35+00:00December 5th, 2017|General|89 Comments


  1. Three7s December 5, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

    The only ounce of hope left to cling to is what Hume said yesterday. We’ll see if cycle 3 can mirror cycle 1 and produce. If it doesn’t that’s all there is to it. Now, let me make this clear. I’m not calling for drought. We WILL get rain in spring because we’ve had several fronts go through, just dry due to lack of moisture/timing. These fronts will light up come spring, just no go for winter.

    • Gary December 5, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply

      There are a few potential storms yet to see how they materialize in cycle 2, then yes I agree with the importance of cycle 3 due to cycle through in January. I stressed patience through the set up period, then I forecasted a dry pattern, but with enough snow to make the snow enthusiast happy this winter. My concerns are rather obvious right now. One thing we know for certain; it will be dry today and nothing significant is in sight at the moment for KC. With this northwest flow aloft, a disturbance could be hidden somewhere in the flow when it comes over that ridge, but it is difficult looking at dry model run after dry model run. This is what we are experiencing right now.


    • Richard December 5, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

      There you go again, saying the forbidden word on here. DRY 😄

      What happened in cycle 1 to give us any hope. It has been dry since the new lrc began.

      • Three7s December 5, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

        There was a 2-3 week stretch where we had quite a bit of rain in earl-mid October.

        • Clint December 5, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

          In which we just seemingly skipped over in the last 5 day. Does anybody know what the longest cycle length we have had is?

  2. Richard December 5, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

    A few blogs ago you said you would tell us the hot spots (KC will not be one). Where will the hot spots be ?

    • Three7s December 5, 2017 at 8:56 am - Reply

      Ohio Valley and Northeast.

  3. Farmgirl December 5, 2017 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Boring is my kind of winter. Bought my dad a snow thrower 2 years ago, still all shiny and new in the garage. Looks like it may sit for a 3rd winter.

  4. Urbanity December 5, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Great video, bad news. Here are the rainfall amounts since June 1st for Russell and Salina.



    Look at the difference 50 miles make. In fact where I live in between Russell and Salina we’ve had less than both locations (go figure). Like most areas, if you had rain in October it occurred in the first 10 days, so for the last 50 days there has been nothing.

    There is a certain weatherman (Bastardi) out there that says there will be a shift in the cold from east to west after December, to me that sounds like a complete transition of a weather pattern. Do you see any reason to believe this will happen? Wouldn’t the AO and NAO have to go deep negative for such a thing to occur?

    • Troy Newman December 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Wow I didn’t realize it had been that dry down that way. I like Bastardi but I think he forecasts snow and cold even in the summer.

      • Urbanity December 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

        lol, yep he’s a kid at heart.

  5. Lary Gezak December 5, 2017 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Gary has just begun the Panic Period 2.0!

  6. Craig December 5, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    21″, huh Gary?? 😉

    • Gary December 5, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

      We are only 21″ away from accuracy. LOL

      • Craig December 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm - Reply

        What will probably happen, Gary, is a handful of spits and dribbles for about 3″ total and then one, massive 18″ Blaster in late February.

        • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

          Craig, where’s the 18 inch blaster coming from or did you mean 1.8 inch????

  7. Clint December 5, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I have followed Gary and the LRC for years, this is the first time I can remember the jet stream being further north in Dec than in Oct with a negative to neutral AO and NAO

    • Clint December 5, 2017 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Not to mention it seems things have shifted so much further east.

      • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 7:52 pm - Reply

        I think there is also a sense of resignation or acceptance of this pattern on Gary’s behalf. I really thought this year could be a winner.

  8. Jsquibble December 5, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    These forecasts are confusing! One post you are saying you like the way the storms are digging into the plains, next we are entering the panic period, then make a forecast of a dry 21’ snow forecast winter and now seems to have backed off your expected first inch of snow. If the LRC is set and cycling why is there so little faith in forecasts?

    • Eyes to the Sky December 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      Better yet, if it is set and cycling, why the lack of confidence in his forecasts if any.

    • Richard December 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Exactly !

      • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 7:55 pm - Reply

        I think there has definitely been some exposure this year…… The only forecast I feel confident in making is the coming sharp increase in garden hose sales…..

  9. REAL HUMEDUDE December 5, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Very lucky to have picked up a quick 1/2″ yesterday, the farm was in a sweet spot for a heavy thunderstorm. I am digging this NW flow for the warmer months, just has to produce some MCS activity later this summer. And I predict we have a couple disturbances roll through Wednesday/Thursday and give us at least some flurry action, so hard to see the tiny disturbances in this type of regime so no big deal they aren’t showing up on models. Sunday already looking not half bad, might break out the fishing pole again if I can keep the ice off

    • Urbanity December 5, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Hume, you are one of the few farmers I know of that like to fish. What type of fish are you going after this time of year? Congrats on the moisture.

      • REAL HUMEDUDE December 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

        I catch whatever is biting, but generally a bass guy Becuase I like moving around in a little Pond hopper and making a lot of casts vs watching a bobber. I thought all farmers fished?!? They don’t know what fun they are misssing, not to mention great weather watching from the bank

    • Troy Newman December 5, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Good luck to get something out of that. I do agree that the NW flow might save us this summer. I don’t know about down that way but up here Memorial Day seems to be the dividing point were before it everything we get comes from the SW and after that storms move in from the West or NW out of Nebraska. At that point the NW flow might start to produce. With the position of the troughs and ridges it could be a year where Eastern KS really gets a lot cooler and wetter weather than the West which is not uncommon.

    • Farmermike December 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      yup you are lucky my last rain that was that big was sept 25th nothing but drizzle since

  10. f00dl3 December 5, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I hate to say it but this constant back and forth of “LRC is dry” vs “21in of snow” is why I have doubts in the LRC’s ability to actually be useful. Plus when you look at that other blogger’s post of the LRC winter forecast accuracy.

    Sure, it’s great for the upper levels, but that’s only half of the puzzle. You can’t drive a car with 2 wheels.

    • Fred Nolan December 5, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

      But it was a “Dry” 21 inches of snow that was forecasted. I agree however and stated it several weeks ago. Lot of posturing to be able to say “Once again the forecast verified”.

      • JoeK December 5, 2017 at 5:23 pm - Reply


        It isn’t posturing, see posts below from Rick and myself. We can in fact be in drought conditions and still have almost 2 feet of snow. It all depends on the liquid to snow ratio as well as temps. with very cold temps, 1 inch of rain can produce 20 inches of snow, Lets say we have one storm all winter that gives us 24 inches of snow from 2 inches of rain at a ratio of 12-1, we could still be considered abnormally dry if not in a D-1/D-2 drought. Make sense?

    • Three7s December 5, 2017 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      Agreed 100%. That’s the one thing that bothers me about the LRC. “The same but different” makes zero sense to me. To me, if it’s different, it’s not the same, which totally discredits the LRC.

      • Richard December 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

        Very complex and at times fickle
        Maybe its why their peer review paper has taken so long to be presented.

    • Richard December 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Exactly !

    • Urbanity December 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      IDK, I would still anticipate a late but great winter for KC area. When the storms do come, and the jet dips, it’s going to develop rapidly right near the KC area, and should produce several decent snowfalls…although the heaviest should be a little further south and east of KC.

    • sedsinkc December 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      That’s been some of my argument about the weaknesses of the LRC for years now. I’m to the point where I completely skip the parts of the blog where GL discusses how the pattern fits the LRC and some storm is ‘right on schedule”. It may have some merits for determining general upper level weather patterns weeks or months in advance, but as a tool to make accurate long range local forecasts it has shown repeatedly to be flawed (despite Gary’s claims otherwise esp. that Super Bowl prediction a few years ago)

      • Anonymous December 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

        Well hold on now, aren’t we getting the same weather repeating over and over again. Since this LRC began I have not received doodly squat for rain or snow and that looks like it is repeating. What we have had is a lot of really windy days out of the NW and that is also repeating. Maybe Gary’s snow forecast is partly coming from his heart hoping it won’t be as boring as looks like its going to be. Its hard to bring disappointing news over and over again and I wouldn’t blame him if there was a little hope in that forecast. After all we do get surprised sometimes and maybe we will eventually get a good surprise.

    • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      f00dl3, it’s hard to not conclude that, at this time, the LRC has been exposed. 21 inches of snow, with this dry regime, pure fantasy wish casting……

  11. Rickmckc December 5, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Seriously folks – 21″ of snow in a cold dry winter only requires from 1 – 1.5″ of moisture. Saying “DRY” and “21 inches” is not contradictory.

    • JoeK December 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply


      Agreed! we can definitely have a dry winter with almost 2 feet of snow. Many are already throwing in the towel with 3-4 months of winter left? I admit, cycle 2 has me stumped a bit, but I am still optimistic about our opportunities in the next cycle

      • JoeK December 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

        To further elaborate on Rick’s post, a standard liquid to snow ratio would be 10 to 1 around freezing temp. If warmer, it can drop to 3-5 to 1 and if considerably colder, it can be as high as 15-20 to 1.Taking a deeply negative AO and NAO into consideration, the 15-20 to 1 ratio is realistic when a very cold atmospheric column exists. With that said,if we were to only receive 1-2 inches of liquid precipitation at a ratio of 15-1, we would be above average in terms of snow, but below average precipitation for the entire winter thus, placing us in abnormally dry if not drought conditions. I cant speak for Gary however, I believe that may be what he was trying to convey to us through his winter forecast of 21″ of snow but dry.

        • Richard December 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm - Reply

          We haven’t even received .25 inches of rain in this pattern.
          This lrc has been a dry pattern as far as liquid goes.
          How will that change ?

          • JoeK December 6, 2017 at 12:56 am - Reply


            KCI recorded 4.87 inches of rain in October. We had 13 days with recorded precipitation. We ended up over an inch and a half surplus. Not sure where you are getting the .25 inches from however, we were far from dry in October. Now, I realize that is at KCI and some surrounding areas received less. You can go to NWS or another local news station for the aforementioned data to see what Olathe received. I believe the rain we received in October will return in cycle 3. Of course, I could be wrong

    • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Possible but highly unlikely.

      • JoeK December 6, 2017 at 1:00 am - Reply


        Maybe so however, I was simply trying to explain the 21″ of snow versus dry winter forecast. It is possible and the forecast makes sense. Now, whether it materializes will be interesting to watch

        • Bluetooth December 6, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply


  12. Kurt December 5, 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I predict more fire weather warnings in the coming weeks. I can also do without that wind, yikes it was windy again last night. Also looking forward to warmer days after his cold snap so I can run the garden hoses and sprinklers again when it warms up. Everything needs a good soaking rain or a decent snow that melts and soaks in but doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon.

    • Dobber December 5, 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      I love a good old fashion red flag warning kurt!

      • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:48 pm - Reply

        Fire and garden hoses in aisle 8…………….

  13. Michael Garner December 5, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I don’t usually give up on winter until winter actually starts (Dec 21) and then if by January 1 we have had no real storms or long cold periods I start to worry…we’ll I’m prepared for another boring winter.

  14. Wes December 5, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Gary, I have been following your LRC theory for quite a few years now. I enjoy seeing it unfold and trying to predict when possible weather systems will roll through the Plains. At the end of November, you mentioned that the system we saw several days ago was representative of the one at the start of the cycle on October 10th. Based on the that initial cycle length, I thought that the current system would be of the October 13th part of the cycle. Same number of features are in play as with the mid-October trough in the Pacific NW/Canada – just positioned farther south and east in early December. Is it just a coincidence? I would like to get your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    • Gary December 6, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply


      Your comment was lost in moderation for a while. Sorry about that. This early week system that just passed by is directly related to the October 13th to 22nd part of the pattern. This second LRC cycle is so closely related to that part of the pattern, but for KC it continues to be dry and dysfunctional. Will it also be dry and dysfunctional in cycle 3? I doubt it.


  15. Bill December 5, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Cannot wait for a warm, dry winter…no snow means no long-lasting cold spells! Only 5.5 months until Memorial Day!!

    • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Great optimism Bill!!

  16. stl78 December 5, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Temps crashed here in se mn. 61 yesterday. Currently 19 with snow showers. Picked up a light dusting and the winds are still howling. Goin to b chilly tonight for our town xmas light lighting

  17. Kathy December 5, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Thoughts and Prayers go to my friends in Ventura County this a.m. It could be far worse here. If this is indeed our third dry winter in a row, then I am beginning to believe that we are perhaps on the cusp of a climate change. I would hate to think that we will no longer have substantial snows in the future, but am wondering if our snowless winters will become more of a norm than an exception. At least it’s cold, so that’s somewhat good…but am beginning to wonder if the bulk of our precip. events will come in spring and summer (hopefully) like this past year.

    • Alex Pickman December 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Would you have said we were on the cusp of climate change back in the mid 30’s too? It was only a few years ago we were having 30”+ winters. No way we are seeing the results of Climate Change that quickly

  18. kstater December 5, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

    12Z GFS looks marginally better for precip. Shows 2 or 3 chances of a little clippers of rain or snow. Still really dry though. What has EURO looked like? We better hope these fronts that are coming through dry now produce this spring and summer or we may be in big trouble.

    • Gary December 5, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

      It looks much better, but still had not much. Our standards are getting pretty low.

  19. numb3rsguy December 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Out of the last 127 Decembers in Kansas City Weather History, we have received 1.0″ of snow or less a total of 35 times, including 11 with a trace or none at all. So if 9% have no measurable snow, and 28% have an inch or less, what we are experiencing is not unprecedented. Just as a comparison, those same 35 Decembers with less than 1.0″ of snow, the average for the rest of the season comes out to 15.1″ total, so all is not lost. The low in that series is 2011-2012 with only 3.9″, but the high is 1959-1960 where we got 57.6″ (our second highest ever). And these data are assuming we finish December 2017 with 1″ or less, and we still have 25 days to go. I know the models don’t look too promising, and I know we don’t know the LRC for those previous years, but just hang tight. The only thing that IS unprecedented is the current streak of days without a daily snowfall of 3″ or more. Tomorrow marks day 1400, with the second place streak at 1078 days.

    • Richard December 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply


    • Rickmckc December 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Really appreciate when you do this kind of analysis!

  20. Rockdoc December 5, 2017 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Remember folks that we are in a La Nina year, and that the pattern for our area of the country shows a tendency for lower moisture during La Nina years. Here’s a really good reference to what happens during a La Nina year. Cheers!

  21. KS Jones December 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Here are two events from the linked list.
    Significant Weather Events of the Century for Missouri
    1924 Ice Storm: A rain, sleet, and snow storm prevailed from the 16 to the 19th. Fully three-fourths of the state was covered by a solid sheet of ice.
    1951: Ice storms crippled the entire states’ transportation system on Christmas Eve. 

  22. Troy Newman December 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    With all this gloomy outlook I thought I post something positive. I was looking back at historic Data for my county (RP) and through Christmas of 2000 we had only received a couple dustings of snow and we ended up with a record 52″ that year. Almost all of that came after January 20th. I certainly don’t expect anything like that but we have had big comebacks before.

    • sedsinkc December 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      2012-2013 was like that in KC. Mild winter with very little snow before mid-February, then 20″ in less than a week in late Feb, a very cold spring, and snow in May. I still don’t buy how the LRC explains THAT huge weather change.

      • Dobber December 5, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply

        It’s was a very snowy two weeks .

        • Dobber December 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm - Reply

          The lrc doesn’t hold an explanation for it seds.

          • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:50 pm - Reply

            None whatsoever……

      • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm - Reply

        The pattern was not nearly as dry then and every LRC is unique. Miracles happen I suppose…..

      • Bobbie December 5, 2017 at 8:53 pm - Reply

        I sure would love Gary’s answer to that question Seds.

        • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply

          He cannot answer that effectively….

  23. f00dl3 December 5, 2017 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    What you really can’t argue is the same conditions that existed in cycle 1 of the LRC are creating wildfires in California right on schedule per the cycle length. Out there the mountains help the winds orographically, so probably the winds that the LRC can easily predict are sparking fires in the same scenario as downslope warming pulls the upper level winds down to the surface.

  24. DanT December 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I like how Hawaii and SW Texas get snow before we do here in Kansas City. Let’s just call this the extended “Panic Period” or whatever it would be called when reality sets in and there is no sign of snow. I’m talking about real snowfall above 3″.

  25. f00dl3 December 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Any silver lining the storm on the 15-18 time frame is showing back up again and as a behemoth of a storm. It misses us to the south, which I really doubt since the storm yesterday missed us to the north – with any luck, we will be smack dab in the middle of that one. After all, that’s the one that had the best track in October for us.

    • Bluetooth December 5, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Pure fantasy…..

      • Anonymous December 6, 2017 at 6:13 am - Reply

        Not it’s real

  26. f00dl3 December 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Anyone see the fireball at 623pm? Bright orange, then fell apart to green sparks. Very vivid!

    • KS Jones December 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Yes, I was driving south on a county road and saw it slowly burning out in the atmosphere. The clock on my instrument panel read 6:22 and it was solidly green here (north of Manhattan). Hard to say where it was actually located, but it was in the sky SSW of here.
      Years ago, I saw a similar green fireball like that but it streaked directly overhead and it lighted the whole nighttime landscape as well as a streetlight. That one was reported by people in several states.

    • Brian December 6, 2017 at 7:13 am - Reply

      I was able to see it from our security camera at the lake of the ozarks, it was at 6:22:30PM.

    • KS Jones December 6, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

      Seven reports from Kansas & Oklahoma (in Universal “UT” Time)

  27. Urbanity December 6, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

    My clock was spinning counter clockwise rapidly when that thing went over, so my question is it Tuesday morning or Wednesday morning?

  28. Richard December 6, 2017 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Blogs during the week seem to be later and shorter.
    I think Gary is speechless with this DRY pattern. Or getting ready to retire. Or both.

    • MMike December 6, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply


      There’s nothing to talk about……you and many bloggers regurgitate the same comment everyday.

      Can you find more ways to lay into Gary…you have become a constant complainer about him.

      People don’t live and die by the blog every day like you do, especially when the weather is boring.

      • Gary December 6, 2017 at 9:36 am - Reply

        Jeff is writing today’s blog! And, as many of you realize, I am blogging almost 365 days a year! Even on the days I delegate to Jeff, I’m trying to interact with all of you to share and create this weather experience!


        • NoBeachHere December 6, 2017 at 10:14 am - Reply

          Thank You Gary.

          This set up is borning, not much to write about.

        • Urbanity December 6, 2017 at 10:40 am - Reply

          Gary, don’t you mean Jeff is SUPPOSED to be writing today’s blog. It’s more like crickets chirping. Nah, just teasing. There’s nothing to see here right now, so no worries, you just have to love the hope people have that a new day brings a new event. I’ll be enjoying the nice weather in KC this weekend, plan on taking kids to see the plaza, hopefully do a little ice skating, see K-State play Tulsa, and stop by Nebraska Furniture Mart and Cabela’s on Sunday. I really enjoy KC, much better town than St. Louis ever dreamed of being (where I lived half of my professional life), but still not as good as rural living:).

  29. Kurt December 6, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    These sunny days along with the heat lamps are helping my egg production with my flock of chickens. The girls are final earning their keep and aren’t being free loaders (smiley face).

  30. Lary Gezak December 6, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    How do you blog when there is nothing to blog about?

    Just sayin’

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