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The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

Active Tropical Pattern Over The Pacific

Good Saturday bloggers,

The tropics are very active over the Pacific Ocean. Take a look at this satellite picture taken from I highly recommend this subscription service for radar, satellite, and much more.

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Can you pick out and name the, at least, four tropical system systems on this map? There is one system, Kilo, west of Hawaii, and two hurricanes east of Hawaii. Ignacio is a strengthening system this today and has a well defined eye. And, look at how strong the one farther to the east is.

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You can see the Hawaiian islands on the upper left part of the screen. Hurricane Ignacio is the closest one to the islands, and Hurricane Jimena, southwest of Baja California, is also moving west towards Hawaii.

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Today’s weather is really rather quiet across most of the United States as we move into our last three days of August. This map shows the flow and moisture at the 850 mb level. The surface is around 1000 mb. The 850 mb level is around 5,000 feet above us.  Notice the black circle over southeastern Kansas. This is a weak 850 mb low. The green areas show the moisture at this level. Kansas City is in east to southeast flow around this low and it will be quite difficult for the sun to make more than an occasional one minute appearance today. A few light showers could form, but it is really a rather stable atmosphere.


The brown areas show where the surface is above 5,000 feet, or really above the 850 mb level.  Have a great Saturday. We will look ahead on Sunday!


Hurricane Ignacio & Tropical Storm Erika

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Have you been paying close attention to the tropics?  Did you know that there was a developing hurricane near the Hawaiian islands. Yes, Hurricane Ignacio is now forecast to track just north of the islands and conditions are somewhat favorable for it to maintain hurricane strength.  And, Tropical Storm Erika near Puerto Rico, has been a difficult storm to track and forecast in these last few days. The forecast cones that the National Hurricane Center puts out should only be produced when they have more confidence, or they should widen the path out quite a bit. The actual tracks should not go out of their forecast cones, but Erika has not been following the forecast tracks so far. Here is the latest track:


As  you can see, the path is now forecast to go just south of the Bahamas and right smack into Florida. Look at the strength closely. Notice how Erika is now not forecast to become a hurricane. This is a tough one and we will monitor it closely as we move into the weekend.

Now, here is Hurricane Ignacio’s track. More on Ignacio in tomorrow’s blog:


Yesterday was a strange weather day in Kansas City with thunderstorms tracking from north to south. Some spots had over 3 inches of rain, while others had barely a trace or even not a drop. Here are some rainfall amounts I showed on 41 Action News last night:


This morning, there aren’t any thunderstorms, just an area of rain heading towards the south KC metro area:

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This area of rain will likely fall apart as it is barely anchored by an extremely weak disturbance. New showers and thunderstorms will likely form farther north, and then build southwest later today.


Tropical Update & The Very Gradually Changing Pattern

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Kansas City was greeted to a few heavy thunderstorms early this morning.  Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience Blog. Today, we will look into the very gradually changing pattern. We are currently still in “the same pattern” that set up last fall as we are now at the end of LRC Cycle 7 and about to go into LRC Cycle 8, and final cycle of this year’s weather pattern that set up in October 2014.  The new pattern is likely at it’s earliest stage of development, but the old pattern is still dominating.  Take a look at the flow aloft from early this morning. This is the 500 mb map showing the flow at around half way through the atmosphere in weight, or around 18,000 feet up:


There is a disturbance that is moving across Wyoming this morning. This came from Mexico and the summer monsoon and it is now turning east and eventually it will turn southeast.  There is north flow aloft over Kansas City this morning and the conditions became favorable for thunderstorms. Here is a picture of Sunny The Weather Dog with the morning thunderstorm near by:



The monsoon disturbance will track across the plains into the Mississippi River Valley Friday into early Saturday. While this weak system drifts along, Tropical Storm Erika has the Bahama’s, Puerto Rico, and Florida’s attention.

Latest Hurricane Forecast:


As you can see, the latest forecast and track from the National Hurricane Center has shifted it just slightly east off the Florida coast as a hurricane. Conditions will likely become favorable for this system to really slow down as it gets closer to Florida. Remember now, the pattern is still cycling according to the LRC, and this system will be encountering this cycling pattern as it gets closer to the United States. Just looking at previous cycles, a system similar to this one did exist and it tended to just drift around off the southeast coast. Let’s see if this does something similar. It will likely be around for a while.

Have a great day. I have meetings most of the day including one early this morning. I will check in from time to time if you have any questions.


Looking Into Developing Erika

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

We are now just six weeks away from having an entirely new weather pattern to analyze. The new LRC is likely at it’s earliest stages of development now, and we will likely see a blend of the two patterns during this last cycle of the 2014-2015 season.  We are also approaching the peak of hurricane season, which thus far has been rather quiet.  Tropical Storm Erika is forming in the Atlantic basin and it is now targeting the state of Florida.  Here is the latest European model track of this system:

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The L stamp is just south of the center. The potential eye of the storm will be right in the middle of the packed isobars, and that low should be stamped a bit farther north. Here is the latest forecast track and strength from the National Hurricane Center.


As you can see, it is forecast to just barely become a category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it approaches Miami.  Have  a great day and we will look deeper into this storm and the pattern in tomorrow’s blog. For now, much of the nation has rather quiet weather, so the attention will really go to Florida.


El Niño Strengthening As Pattern Reaches It’s Weakest Point

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The weather across the United States is as calm as I can remember it being all year long. Take a look at the advisories across the United States as of early this morning:

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Well, there was actually one very active spot this morning. Can you see it?  Hawaii!  Did you know that Hawaii didn’t become our fiftieth state until August 21, 1959.  It is the only state made up entirely of islands that were formed by volcanoes. The land masses we see, and many of us have vacationed to or lived there, are actually the tops of these volcanoes.  Some of them are still active and often in the news when the lava is flowing.  The islands were originally settled by the earliest human inhabitants, the Polynesians who arrived more than 1,000 years ago.

While the rest of the nation is having one of it’s quietest mornings of the year (the advisories in the Pacific Northwest are from air quality advisories or red flag warnings, Hawaii was having heavy downpours. The heaviest rains have been falling across Kauai, personally my favorite island.  I have been to Kauai many times, and this is one of the wettest places on earth near the peak of Mt.Wai’ale’ale.  Based on data for the period from 1931 through 1960 the average yearly precipitation was 460 inches.  Between 1949 and 2004 the average yearly precipitation at Mt. Wai’ale’ale was 374 inches. During a storm on January 24–25, 1956, a rain gauge at Kauai’s former Kilauea Sugar Plantation recorded a record 12 inches of precipitation in just 60 minutes. The 12-in value for one hour is an underestimate, since the rain gauge overflowed, which may have resulted in an error by as much as an inch. An accurate measurement may have exceeded Holt, Missouri’s world record 60-minute rainfall of 12 inches in 42 minutes on June 22, 1947.

Lihue, where the Kauai airport is located, has had over two inches of rain in the past six hours.  And, I usually stay at the Hyatt resort in the south side of the island where there is cactus and they only average a desert total of under 5 inches of rain per year. I am not sure how much rain has fallen today on the desert side, but I will try to find out. Here is the latest advisory from early this morning:

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El Niño has not stopped strengthening, and by strengthening we mean that the tropical Pacific Ocean waters are continuing to warm in the key areas that El Niño is monitored.  While this is going on, the LRC Index is flat lining here in late August.  The pattern is about to go through a major transition, but for now it is directly related to the pattern that evolved in October, 2014. We are now just six weeks away from beginning to see the what the new pattern will look like.

LRC Index Blend August 25

While the weather pattern is now at it’s weakest point of the season, El Niño continues to strengthen. On this next chart created by the Climate Prediction Center, you can see the 3.4 region reaching a positive anomaly of 2.1°C above average. If this were to continue at this level or higher this could end up being one of the top 3 El Niño strengths ever recorded.


El Nino Graphic

A summer monsoon disturbance will be moving across Arizona today and this will turn northeast across Utah and then track across the northern Rocky Mountain states Wednesday and Thursday. This disturbance is something to monitor closely in the next few days while the weather is so quiet. It will move out over the plains with an increasing chance of thunderstorms later in the week.

Another thing to monitor will be the tropics off the east coast of the United States. Take a look at the European model forecast valid 00z September 4th, the 240 hour forecast:

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This comes from the, a pay weather site that has some nice European Model maps.

So, even on one of the quietest mornings of the year, our weather can still be quite fascinating. I will be discussing these things and more on our weathercasts tonight at 4, 5, 6, and 10 PM on 41 Action News here in KC. You can always watch our newscasts live streaming online at

Have a great day and thank you for participating the LRC Forecast Experience Blog!. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.


Weather Quiz Answers & Weather School

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The weather has quieted down significantly and there are no severe thunderstorm areas in the forecast today.  This summer has been quite active for severe weather risks, and it has taken this long for it to finally quiet down. There is one storm system over southeastern Canada, but this system has occluded, matured, and is very circular which will produce a few instability showers and possibly thunderstorms in the cooler air around the cold upper low.

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The jet stream is still up north, but it is beginning to gradually strengthen as fall approaches.  For now, it is a rather quiet beginning to the week.  Today, we go into the discussion of the stratus cloud in the Weather2020 Long Range Forecasting Weather School.

Did you enter this months forecasting contest?  Here are the answers to this month’s questions:






So, the winning entry will have 1, 2, 2, 2. In case of a tie we have these two tie breakers below.  It appears seven people did get a perfect score on the questions above. So, it will go to the tiebreaker. We will find out who the winner is later today.



Have a great start to the week. Thank you for participating in the LRC Forecast Experience Blog. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.