Strong Surface Cyclone Tracking Across The Plains

/Strong Surface Cyclone Tracking Across The Plains

Strong Surface Cyclone Tracking Across The Plains

Good morning from Cancun, MX,

It’s Friday, and the weather pattern is rather fascinating. Here in Cancun, Mexico it is finally warm and humid. It is the first humidity I have felt since I have been here, so the dew points were under 60 degrees near the Yucatan Peninsula due to the latest major eastern storm system that tracked off the east coast earlier in the week. It dragged a cold front all the way down into where I am vacationing.  This is actually important for the weather in Kansas City. The lower dew points down south have created this storm system to be lacking the moisture that it could have in a different year, a different set up. As we saw last year in March, there was a major severe weather outbreak near KC on March 6h, and this set up could certainly have produced one too, but take a look at this fascinating surface map I just plotted:


A strong surface cyclone is tracking across northern Kansas this morning. There is snow on the northwest quadrant of this storm, while KC had a band of rain already move by this morning. There is a narrow corridor of 55°+ dew points surging in from the south in the warm sector. The warm sector is the region between the warm front (red line) and the cold front (blue line). The black dashed line is a trough, or what is usually a dry line, but it isn’t quite one today, but it is close.  If the dew points were higher, then the severe weather risk would be much more enhanced, but they are not, and again, the weather I have been experiencing in Cancun, where you sort of needed a light coat at night the past few days, is a big factor.


There is not even a slight risk today.  There is a marginal risk and it just appears that it is too cool, with the dew points too low, which reduces the amount of instability.  So, any risk of severe weather is quite low. We need to get thunderstorms generated first, and this is doubtful for this afternoon as strong as this system looks.

The next storm has my attention:

This storm takes a favorable track to produce very heavy rainfall near Kansas City:

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.49.02 AM

That is a 2″ bullseye right near KC on the latest NAM model. Don’t get too excited yet, as we have been through an entire season of non producing storm systems. But, could this one break the ice? This storm is actually directly related to the October 22nd to 24th part of the pattern in the first cycle. If you analyze closely you will see the similarities. Incredible comparison, and October 22-24 did produce heavy rain near KC.  This happened 147 days ago, or around a 49-day cycle. Remember, the pattern is cycling in the 44 to 51 day range, so this fits quite well.  We are moving into the spring version of this pattern. Last year the storm systems started producing right around this time of the year. This will be a big test for this year.

* And, yes, I saw that it turned to snow on Monday. And, I will say it again, be careful on any chance of snow Kansas City has, as we have experienced a lot, or actually not much, when it comes to these chances.  It is fun to look at, however.  As I always say, if the trend continues in this direction, then our discussion will change in the coming days!

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day. I am going to enjoy my last day in Cancun to the fullest. I still like Hawaii better, and it is not even close, but today is a gorgeous day, so some pool time, sunscreen, and some basketball. Have a great day!


2018-03-18T14:20:54+00:00March 16th, 2018|General|28 Comments


  1. Snow Miser March 16, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply
    • Gary March 16, 2018 at 10:15 am - Reply

      It would be enough to verify my winter forecast. But, we know what is more likely. It is fun to look at.


      • Terry March 16, 2018 at 11:45 am - Reply

        now Gary don’t Jinx us

      • Heat Miser March 16, 2018 at 9:15 pm - Reply

        6 inches..WOOOO!!!!!

    • f00dl3 March 16, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Look at temps though – 33F at lowest. Not all of that will stick, even if it is more than 50% snow mix. It would be a slushy 1″ on grass.

  2. Anonymous by choice March 16, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Pay no attention to the drought monitor. We are in another wet drought, according to the Mower Man. This paltry .12 inches this morning proves it!

    • Bobbie March 16, 2018 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Mower Man? Is that MMIKE? I haven’t ever heard of a wet drought, but maybe he needs to clarify??? Hmm.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE March 16, 2018 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Hey ABC, how about shutting up if you got nothing nice to say?
      MMike has his opinions, I share his thought that KC proper is far from Drought. It’s dry, but not a drought, yet. The monitor has my farm as excessively dry, yet there’s mud holes everywjere, creek is running strong and soil is full of moisture. That monitor is half BS, half truth

  3. Michael Casteel March 16, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Got a measly .06″ up here in Maryville. Hoping we get more today, cause its getting dry. We had a ton of grass fires up here in Nodaway county yesterday. Have a great weekend bloggers!

  4. Richard March 16, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Still raining in Olathe

  5. Michael Casteel March 16, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I checked my October 22-24th recordings and on October 22nd Maryville had .45″.

  6. LYITC41 March 16, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

    GL doesn’t mention what it did 44-51 days after the Oct. 22-24th event around about Dec 8-9. Hmmm could it be it’s not a fit. Maybe a “twist” was occurring then.

  7. Roger March 16, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Hopefully this will pan out. However, the GFS is already pulling up the dryslot into southwest and southcentral Kansas for Sunday evening. We need 0.25″ in these neck of the woods to officially break an unbelievable dry streak and maybe prime the pump for later.

  8. Roger March 16, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Days since last 0.25 inch or more.
    Wichita: 107 days
    Salina: 153 days
    Dodge City: 177 days

  9. Lary Gezak March 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    We’ve been waiting since October for a storm to “break the ice”…

    For what it’s worth, the spring flooding outlook came out and KC is in the “moderate” risk for flooding this spring. They seem to know what’s up. Also, very wet pattern is setting up too.

  10. Craig March 16, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    HRRR wants to make it storm briefly later this afternoon. I’ll take every drop after just 0.25″ overnight in W Lenexa.

  11. KS Jones March 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    That thin line of activity blew through quickly, but this neck of the woods got a few close lightning strikes, explosive thunder and one-quarter inch of rain while it lasted.

  12. DanT March 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    This really would be a nice severe weather setup if we had more instability and higher dew points. Emporia is in the low 70’s with a south wind. Then Wichita has dew points in the 30’s just on the other side of the trough/ wind shift line. Thinking the warm front could lift into the KC area this afternoon.

  13. Jon Behle March 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I personally do not see how the KC area will see a very wet pattern. I could see how the Missouri River basin is more prone to flooding due to heavy rains in the Northern Plains being the only way I could see this flood risk justifying. I imagine there will be a stark contrast between areas this summer where areas such as Nodaway County Missouri get more rounds of storms than further south in an area like Cass County Missouri..

  14. Craig March 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Hey, this is fun!
    The potential for a watch issuance is only 5% but we haven’t been in one of these since October!

  15. Roger March 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Huge prarie and ranchland grassfire on Kansas Turnpike near El Dorado, KS!!!!

  16. REAL HUMEDUDE March 16, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Tornado warning north of Lebanon,Mo. Those storms DID get nasty, impressive Supercell down that way.
    NAM really holding onto the snow on the next storm too!
    GO GO KSU!!!!

  17. Mr. Pete March 17, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

    What a cold and raw Saint Patrick’s Day.

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