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LRC Forecast Experience

The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

Severe Weather Risk Today & Looking Into The Holiday Weekend Forecast

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience Blog.  The weather pattern is continuing to cycle at around every 45 to 50 days. As we move through July the jet stream continues to weaken and shift north and we are about to experience the weakest part of this year’s cycling pattern. However, it is still the same pattern, so similar things keep happening, with some seasonal adjustments and shifts.  The jet stream will be reaching it’s weakest average position and strength by early August. This is when the very gradual shift from the pattern we have been experiencing evolves into the pattern we will experience beginning in October and November.  It’s rather complex and we will take you through it right here.

So, what happened 45 to 50 days ago? I remember it well. On May 16th-17th right at midnight we had tornado warnings and  a few small tornadoes just east of Kansas City. It is not a coincidence that the pattern is setting up today for some severe weather.  Here is today’s risk:


Yes, today is 46 days after that significant severe weather day across the plains.  There is a cap over most of Kansas, and on the edge of this cap we have to monitor closely for some big thunderstorms with severe weather and possible flooding.  Here is a look at the severe weather reports from the  last LRC Cycle:


We have had these severe weather set-ups and storm systems on the leading edge of the cold phase of this year’s cycling pattern. And, here we go again.  Have you seen anything like this in the past few months?

LRC Cycle 6 July 8

This is the latest 06z (1 AM) GFS model.  Notice the big ridge off the west coast. Does that look familiar? It should.  And, there is a spinning vortex forecast to develop over Canada. As we have been forecasting, the cold phase of the pattern is arriving and it’s going to be the July version.  The computer models have not had a clue on this developing pattern, and of course we have been throwing out all of those very hot forecast solutions for next week. The models are now coming more into focus on how the pattern is actually going to set up as we move into the second week of this month.  What does it mean for the next few weeks? More on this tomorrow.   For now, let’s concentrate on today’s set-up.

It has been a wet couple of months in KC and surrounding areas. It has dried out just west and southwest of our area, but it hasn’t stopped yet in KC, and it’s raining this morning. Here is  a look at the past two months at KCI Airport:



The chance of rain shifts farther south on the Fourth of July and this will leave most of the nation dry for fireworks on Saturday night as we celebrate Independence Day!  There will be some areas that are impacted by evening thunderstorms on the Fourth, and these are most likely going to be in Oklahoma and Arkansas east into Tennessee.

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


Heat Wave Out West

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience Blog.  In today’s discussion we will discuss the pattern that is now in transition from the warm phase into the cold phase of this year’s LRC. The models have been all over the place in predicting this next part of the weather pattern that is right on schedule. What will this mean for the weather at where you live in the next few weeks during the heart of summer time?  Weather2020 meteorologists have been forecasting a heat wave to develop this week, and it is actually happening, but it is more concentrated over the western and southern plains region.  Take a look at the forecast highs for today.

Heat June 30th

A cool summer pattern is firmly in place from the upper midwest east across the Great Lakes region to the northeast. At the same time, it has started to sizzle with highs of 100°+ forecast over parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, not to mention some extreme heat of 115° over the desert southwest.

Heat July 1st

There will likely be a “wet zone” developing in the next two to three days just northeast of the hot air over the plains between Chicago and Kansas City.  Take a look at the 06z (1 AM Central) NAM forecast model for rainfall by Friday:


There is also a tremendous amount of smoke from wildfires in Alaska and Canada spreading out over the plains. Some of this may get washed out of the atmosphere tonight when thunderstorms form. Could we have an “orange rain”?  Take a look at the sunset from last night:

Smoky Sunshine

Between now and the end of the July 4th holiday weekend the cold phase will have developed and the pattern will become favorable for some very cool summer air to form over parts of Canada.  How much of this will be able to shift south into the United States is a big question that the models have not handled well at all. They are beginning to pick up on it however:

Heat July 5th

It will be quite interesting to watch the July version of the cycling pattern set up. There will likely continue to be a zone between the heat and the colder air with the ring of fire thunderstorm zone continuing.  At the same time the jet stream will be weakening to it’s weakest average position and strength by early August.  We will discuss all of this in the coming days.

Thank you for participating in the LRC Forecast Experience Blog.  Let us know if you have any questions.


Alaska Wild Fires Send Smoke Our Over North America

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Did you notice the smoke yesterday? While a band of thunderstorms was developing on the southern horizon, smoke was thick as the sun was setting last night.  Here is a quick time-lapse:

The smoke came from fires over Alaska. The smoke from 100s of wild fires got caught in the flow aloft over North America and it tracked right over Kansas City Sunday afternoon.  Here is a picture of one of the more than 300 fires reported over Alaska.


Here is the flow at 500 mb as of this morning:


There is a ridge aloft over the western part of North America. This ridge will be retrogressing, or shifting west, in the next few days.  We will look into this pattern shift in our next blog entry.  For now, the weather has calmed down quite a bit.  Here is today’s severe weather risk:


Have a great start to the week!


A Summer Alberta Clipper

Happy Sunday Weather2020 Bloggers,

The weather pattern continues to be quite active and today, now one week into the summer season, an Alberta Clipper type system is moving across the plains states.  This disturbance is caught in northwest flow aloft and the surface map is worth analyzing and looking at today. Here is the 11 AM surface analysis.


Considering that it is June 28th, this is a rather fascinating surface analysis this morning. A surface low was near the Iowa/Minnesota border late this morning. The black dashed line is a trough. The area between the warm front (red line) and the Cold front (blue line) is called the warm sector of this system. If it were winter we would likely be experiencing a 3 to 6 inch snowstorm tracking across southern Minnesota to just west of Chicago, but it isn’t winter.  There are two or three more of these systems in the forecast for this week.  We had predicted this to be a week where the first heat wave would develop, and it will be hot over the southwest plains states over parts of the western half of Kansas into Oklahoma and Texas, but these systems swinging by will prevent any major heat wave from developing.  Chicago is on the northeast and cool quadrant of these systems. It will be another cooler summer week across most of the Great Lakes region.

The second Weather2020 Long Range Forecast Contest week began this morning.  The first question is the forecast of Atlanta’s high temperature for the week. It will be interesting to see if it gets right up to our 92° number that Weather2020 meteorologists picked for the over/under. The second question is for the lowest temperatures in Minneapolis, MN this week.  The low this morning was 64°, but it will likely drop to the over/under value of 62° by mid-week.   Here are the questions and thank you for entering. Someone will win a $100 Visa Gift Card:

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 7.22.46 AM

The third and fourth questions are concerning the rainfall at Dallas and Boston. It was 59° and raining in Boston this morning, and in Dallas it is dry. We forecasted a drier week in the Dallas area for this week, and a wetter week for Boston on our 12 week forecasts.  And, the tie breaker question is the actual rainfall at KCI Airport. We will look and see how this week is going in a few days. Our next contest will also begin this week with a new series of questions.

Have a great day!


The Weather Pattern Cycling Into July

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The weather pattern may be calming down just a bit, but it will act up again soon.  In Kansas City it has rained 13 straight weekends, and there is just a slight chance that this streak will continue with a band of showers and thunderstorms near an advancing front on Sunday, but it will be dry today.

day1otlk_1200There is an enhanced slight risk that has been placed over the Mid-Atlantic states as you can see here.  There is also a slight risk near the USA/Canada border. High pressure has expanded over the central and southern plains providing conditions favorable for a dry Saturday in many spots. From the SPC:  “Severe storms capable of producing potentially damaging wind gusts are expected today across the mid-Atlantic coast region and part of the upper Ohio Valley into the western slopes of the central Appalachians.  A couple of tornadoes also appear possible, especially across parts of northern Virginia and central Maryland into the Delmarva Peninsula.

By Sunday the risk goes below slight over the entire nation.

The weather pattern is currently in LRC Cycle 6 and the cold phase of the pattern is about to return. What will it look like in July, and what does it mean for you or your business?  We have made some conclusions with forecasts for agricultural interests in our AgExact report, with our July report out early next week.  What we are looking for right now is something we discussed way back in December when this part of the pattern returned right after Christmas. In each cycle a high amplitude ridge forms at the beginning of the cold phase, and even in July it will likely happen again.

LRC Cycle 6 GFS July 4

The computer models have a very hard time predicting these ridges that form, then retrogress to the west and become high amplitude.  What will the seasonal differences be in this sixth LRC Cycle, and what does it mean for the weather where you live?  We will be answering these questions in the coming days.  Take a look at the ridge inland over western North America above, and how it looked in LRC Cycle 1 below:

LRC Cycle 1 November 8 Ridge

LRC Cycle 6 GFS July 6LRC C1 November 11 Ridge 

On these last two maps, you can see the retrogression of the ridge and what happened with this same part of the pattern months ago.  November 11th is 237 days before July 6th, or a 47.4 day cycle. It is right on schedule.

Have a great day and thank you for participating in the LRC Forecast Experience Blog.


Wet Pattern Continues

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience. We have been in a wet pattern in many areas for weeks now. As soon as the Gulf of Mexico moisture became more available with higher dew points the rains picked up. This happened in early May and it has not stopped.  There area areas where the rains let up at times, but for Kansas City it has rained 13 straight weekends, and it’s raining this morning. The weekend streak may end, however there is a disturbance that will track overhead on Sunday with some cold air aloft. It  may produce some rain Sunday keeping that weekend streak alive.


The radar image above is from 1:30 AM when a line of thunderstorms was producing torrential rainfall on the south and east side of the KC metro area.  The rainfall pattern from last night into early this morning was once again rather fascinating. is a great source for radar, my favorite online radar source, and this map comes from that site showing rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches just northeast and east of Kansas City, and in another area two counties farther south:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 7.23.03 AM

Here are some rainfall totals that Kalee Dionne posted on Twitter:


I will be blogging about the weather pattern in the next blog entry.  Have a great day, It’s FRIDAY!  Thank you for participating and sharing in this LRC Forecast Experience Blog. Let us know if you have any questions.