Good morning bloggers,
The day again begins way below zero near KC. It was -6 degrees for a few hours overnight. It will be warming up to near 20 degrees today. Let’s look at this weather pattern that is so very dry in many areas.
What we are experiencing at this moment is bordering on the incredible. Unfortunately for us in the plains, we have to throw in another word; boring. This is incredibly boring if you live in Kansas so far. Okay, let’s throw in another word; frustrating! I do not think I could draw up a worse pattern for the plains, and the results are again, bordering on the incredibly boring and frustrating.
- Amarillo, TX: 80-days with no measurable rain or snow. Since October 13th, the total is a trace. Since October 6th, the total is o.o6″.
- Dodge City, KS: Since October 6th, 0.01″ has fallen.
- Kansas City, MO: 4.50″ of rain fell between October 7th and October 22nd. In the 71 days since October 22nd, o.46″ has fallen.
The lack of snow may be more wide spread than you think. Amarillo and Dodge City share the very low snowfall totals with many other locations. Wichita, KS has yet to have even a few snowflakes. Chicago, IL is still sitting at 5″ of snow for the season, better than Kansas City, but that is still way below average for this time of the year. Denver has a very low total, and Goodland, KS is still sitting at under 2″ of snow. Goodland averages around one foot by now.
This next storm is an example of why I titled the blog “you can not draw up a worse pattern for the plains states”. Could this change and start producing precipitating storm systems? Sure it can. Last winters pattern suddenly turned wet in a few spots as spring began. And, it was not what I expected it to do. If you really dive into last years pattern, and look at the results, most areas actually did stay dry in the spring and summer. Only areas around Kansas City had the much wetter conditions. The chance of a significant drought developing are high. Now, look at this next storm system:
The Weather Pattern at 500 mb (18,000 feet above sea level) at 6 AM this morning:
There is a trough swinging across Kansas and Missouri this morning, stretching back into Colorado and Utah. Yes, we have a storm that is as positively tilted (tilted backwards or from east to west) as it can get. And, this trough is actually about to become an intense storm. I know, that is hard to believe right?
This extremely positively tilted trough will be barely visible as it passes overhead this morning. By 6 PM tonight, it will begin going through a massive transition. How this happens from now through Thursday is a microcosm of what has been happening since October. The wave coming into the Great Lakes will help produce some snow up there, and this extremely positively tilted trough will gradually turn the corner and transition into the exact opposite. It will become a negatively tilted trough and a major storm. Will it form close enough to the east coast, or could it end up too far offshore to impact the big cities. Either way, I would love to have this forecast problem. We have yet to have a major winter storm to discuss in our area, near KC. Our snowflake contest had over 13,000 people enter. We are down to 1,161 people left in the contest and by the end of January we will be down to around 100 entries left. By the end of February it will be down to around 10 entries or so, but I have to double check that number.
Take a look at what happens to this trough next. By Thursday morning the storm system that was so severely positively tilted will become a fast moving and very negatively tilted system. It appears it will be just a bit too far east for any major impacts on the big cities. This is something to monitor closely. This next map is valid at 6 AM Thursday:
This pattern is so “bad” right now, unless you like cold and dry weather. Or, maybe you live near the east coast or across the deep south where the weather has been much more exciting. This next storm, however, appears that most of the energy will be just offshore as a major surface cyclone forms with the wave that is actually tracking over KC today.
The third cycle of this years LRC begins soon. Maybe this third cycle will see things turn around, but confidence is shaky at the moment that it will. There a storm showing up for later this weekend. Ahead of this system warmer air will be drawn in, and there is a chance of 40 degrees or higher by Saturday afternoon for the Chiefs playoff game against the Titans. We will look into all of this on 41 Action News.
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go join in the conversation on the Weather2020 blog as we share in this weather experience. Happy New Year!