Today, a Winter Storm is moving through the lower Great Lakes. There are many flight cancellations as Chicago is getting hit and it extends to Detroit. This storm will zip by, and then there is another one, this weekend, forming farther to the southwest. Would you be shocked if this weekends storm ended up producing almost exactly what the Christmas Eve storm produced? The LRC has been used, in recent years, to help make accurate forecasts for specific events from the weather for the likely conditions at the Super Bowl played outside in East Rutherford, NJ, four years ago to even more specific examples such as getting the forecast down to a complex of thunderstorms producing potential severe weather. Let’s take a look.
This is the radar image from Christmas Eve. The latest data continues to trend into the direction of something like this happening Saturday night and early Sunday morning once again, exactly one cycle later, 47 to 48 days after Christmas, which was also on a Saturday night-Sunday morning. It may even be close to the same timing, but of course there will be some differences and we will discuss below.
Kansas City Weather Timeline: I will finish the timeline by 8 AM.
- Today: A cold front will move through this morning. It was 40 degrees at 5 AM, and it will drop into the upper 20s or near 30 later this morning with increasing north winds. It will likely stay dry today.
- Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow flurries. There is a chance of some more organized light snow over northern Missouri. Low: 10°
- Saturday: Cloudy with a few flurries. High: 19°
- Saturday Night: Snow likely, possibly briefly heavy. The best chance of snow is from 10 PM to 6 AM. Low: 8°
- Sunday: Snow ending and becoming sunny. Total Snow Accumulations: A dusting to 2″ expected.
I went for a 100% chance of snow Saturday night. Before I did update this forecast, I found this graphic that I wanted to use to show the chance of snow this weekend. And, look:
This forecast above was from 47 days ago. Remember, we are in a 44 -51 day cycle, centered on around 47-48 days. As Gary England said to me around ten year ago, “Lezak, I saw it. I saw the LRC. It’s the same, but different”. This is when there was a major snowstorm potentially going to hit Oklahoma City around ten years ago. I had explained to Gary England that OKC would get hit and all he had to do is look at the previous cycle of the pattern. He saw a glimpse of the cycling pattern. So, here we are; the same, but different. We are in the same part of the pattern that produced snow on Christmas Eve, and here is the graphic I updated for this weekend. It even is falling on the same day of the week with a similar timing:
Jeff Penner was at work that Sunday morning, and he will be at work again this Sunday morning. He better not only be measuring 0.8″ of snow. That is what he measured 47 days ago. And, the snowflake contest did not end. 1.1″ of snow fell at KCI Airport, and 1.4″ was recorded in Overland Park, KS. In fact, there was a minimum of under an inch right near the Plaza where Jeff measured the lowest total in the city that day. Remember, it is the same but different, as Gary England pointed out years ago. So, can’t the “difference” this time work in our favor? Kansas City continues its streak of under 3″ of snow on any calendar day. The streak is now over 4 years long. And, the chance that it continues is still rather high. This means that our forecast of a dusting to 2″ is the most likely scenario. We will continue monitoring this set up for any adjustments and changes, but right now there are still models that have lower totals. The European model came in just after midnight and it did end up modeling 1-2 inches, but most of its snow was on Sunday morning.
This next map shows one solution for Saturday night around 11 PM, and then for Sunday morning as the system falls apart.
The set up is there for a lot more snow. If you look at the 850 mb flow, all we need is a slightly stronger solution, a slightly stronger storm dropping into the Rocky Mountains, and then we will be able to up the totals. But, any weaker, and then just a dusting will be the most likely solution.
This is a strong baroclinic zone, frontal zone around 5,000 feet up. The 0°C line extends from Hobart, OK northeast to Chanute, KS, and then northeast to Indianapolis, IN. There is a 25°C contrast from -15 to +10 degrees Celsius. If there is any decent wave aloft that could trigger just some lifting, then this could turn into a big snowstorm. We are monitoring closely, but from what we have experienced this season, it most likely will not come together. If there is any indication that it will, then you know I will jump all over it. This is just set up to blast someone, but there needs to be a trigger.
The Cycling Pattern:
Here is more of “the same, but different. The Christmas week part of the pattern is cycling through right now. As we tweeted out a couple of weeks ago, this is right on schedule. Other meteorologists suggested that this was returning. It isn’t just returning, but it has returned, cycled back through, and the pattern is cycling regularly. It will return again in late March. We will find out what the spring version of this pattern will bring. Could there be a Major Winter Storm just as spring begins? The answer is likely yes, but will it be Chicago, Des Moines and Omaha, or KC that gets targeted? This is the big question.
Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the weather blog by clicking on the blog at Weather2020.com. This conversation will be a good one today. Let’s track in this chance of snow.