LRC Forecast Experience Blog

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Christmas Week: The Developing Pattern

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

It is the First Day Of Winter! Winter begins at 6:03 Eastern Time Today (5:03 Central)

A storm system will be developing over the United States early in the week. The hype of this storm by many media outlets is extreme for the type of storm it is becoming. I hear often, “45 million people are in the path of this massive storm system”.  And, the tone from the person reporting on it is always so scary sounding. This has been a trend in the media for many years. When I am on the air presenting the weather I just want to explain what the storm is going to do and the possible impacts. If I thought 45 million people were going to be in serious danger I may have a different tone, but this is very rarely the case.  What do you think?

Let’s look at the developing storm:

1The weather pattern is going through amplification right now.  As we discussed in yesterday’s blog entry, powerful jet stream energy is coming over a big ridge off the California coast.  This ridge offshore is going to block storm systems from coming into California for a while, but that will change in a couple of weeks, so hang on for more wet weather out there in January.  As this energy comes over the ridge it is going to dig hard over the Rocky Mountain states and into the plains. This trough is going to be very negatively tilted, a tilt from the northwest to the southeast, and this will provide the conditions for wide spread precipitation, rain and snow, as this energy moves over a moist air mass.

2The energy will be spinning into a big upper level low as you can see on this next map. The upper level low will form by Monday evening, and it appears that it will develop over northwestern Iowa.  Snow will develop north and west of the center of this upper low.  But, it is only the beginning of this storm systems evolution. Look closely at western Canada. Do you see the orange and red vorticity colors. This is energy diving south and this will carve out a new developing system around the base of the Iowa upper level low, and this will then become the storm that will affect “millions” as others like to say.

4Look at what is forecast to happen to the Iowa upper low. It gets absorbed into the flow and is completely falling apart by Christmas Eve.  And, you can see what happened to the energy diving south. A new storm system is developing around the base of the trough over Missouri and Arkansas. This will draw in much warmer air over the eastern third of the United States. And, this will be a hyped storm system for almost all rain over the eastern states.

This next map shows the forecast precipitation impacts for the Christmas Eve storm system:


This is pretty incredible, if you think about it. And, there is likely an El Niño influence, which we will discuss later this week.  Southern Canada is going to have a white Christmas, but most of the eastern seaboard is going to have a wet Christmas Eve! There is only a small area of snow as you can see here. That small area of snow is forecast to move northeast into Illinois and Indiana. It just isn’t cold enough, but that is about to change.

Cold Pattern Developing: The Battle Of The Models

There has been widely different solutions from the various computer models on the evolution of the weather pattern later this week.  The GFS model and the Canadian model have been forecasting a blocking pattern with a very cold signature. This very cold pattern will depend on how the pattern blocks up later this week. The European model has not had a blocking solution in days, and it is likely wrong. We lean heavily in the colder more blocked up solutions from the other models as it fits the LRC from the first cycle in November. We will talk about this more in Monday’s blog entry. Here is the comparison of the past couple of model runs:


Thank you so much for sharing in this LRC Forecast Experience. We have a lot of exciting developments to share with you in the coming weeks.  Happy Holidays!  Let us know if you have any questions.


A Major Storm Will Be Forming Soon

Good Saturday morning Weather2020 bloggers,

A major storm system will begin forming on Monday.  It will be fascinating to watch how this storm forms, and the development process will be happening near Kansas City. We will discuss the latest data in this blog entry.

Take a look at what happened in Kansas City yesterday.  At 9 AM yesterday morning it warmed up from 31° to 32°.  It then stayed at 32° for fifteen straight hours. Wow! Yes for fifteen hours in a row it was 32°. It finally rose up to 33° at 6 AM this morning.  Here is a look at the observations at KCI Airport:

32 Degrees For Hours

The pattern continues to be dominated by storm systems over the oceans. You can play around with our airflow map on this site.  When you zoom all the way in, it is pretty cool.  And, on this 9 AM map this morning you can see the big storm near Greenland and the activity over the Pacific Ocean.  The weather has been, and still is, quite calm over North America:

December 20 Airflow

The calmer weather with a lack of pressure gradient has lead to all of the cloudy days in many parts of the United States.  As this next storm moves in the wind flow over the land masses will be changing significantly. Let’s take a look:

Developing Weather Pattern For Christmas Week:

The jet stream is way up above us between the 300 and 200 mb level, or around 30,000 to 39,000 feet up. The jet stream is actually caused by temperature contrast.  The jet stream reaches it’s peak strength in late January or early February when temperature contrasts are the most extreme.

1It may be 60° below zero near the North Pole and 90° over Texas and Mexico, or a 150° contrast. During mid-summer the jet stream is usually at it’s weakest strength when the temperature contrast is more like around 70° from 30° at the North Pole to 100° over the desert southwest.  So, right now we are at the point of where the jet stream is on it’s way to reaching it’s strongest average point in around six weeks. And, it is getting powerful right now over the Pacific Ocean.

This first map on the left shows the strengthening 200 mph jet stream forming over the Pacific Ocean, and this energy is flowing over a developing eastern Pacific Ocean Ridge.

2This next forecast map shows the strong jet coming over the ridge and beginning to dive southeast over the inland areas of the western United States.  What happens next with this energy is causing all kinds of problems for the computer models.  We know that the end result will be a major upper level low over the Missouri River Valley by Christmas Eve, and then it will rapidly be ejected out into the Great Lakes states. The formation process is where the tricks in forecasting are highest.  Take a look at the latest GFS model that just came out:


Incredibly, the jet stream energy coming across the Pacific Ocean, and then diving southeast over the Rocky Mountains, ends up developing into an upper level low right near Kansas City on Christmas Eve. If this storm forms any farther west KC would be in for a snowstorm, and this must be monitored closely. But, look at what this solution translates to at the surface:


The first significant area of snow that is now forecast to develop occurs over Missouri near St. Louis. Now remember, this is just one model and the latest trend.  And, it doesn’t quite fit the LRC. So, we can likely rule out the development of the upper low near KC. It will likely form farther northeast and be a bit weaker.

Thank you so much for sharing in this LRC Forecast Experience blog.  Let us know if you have any questions and we will address them as we have time later today.


North America Is About To Go Through A Massive Change

Good Morning Weather2020 Bloggers,

Welcome to our new site. We have a lot of exciting developments that we will be sharing with you in the coming days, weeks, months,

Let’s begin with a look at this map that shows the “calm” weather over the United States, but this is about to change:


This is a map, that is on this site. You can play around and interact with it, and the arrows and streamlines go into motion. Look at how active it is over the oceans, but the lack of activity over land. This is a strong reason as to why Kansas City and many surrounding cities have had such a cloudy start to this winter season.  The pattern is moving through the second cycle of this year’s LRC, and it is usually in this second cycle that we see the true cycle length of the weather pattern that will continue through winter, spring, and deep into next summer.  In most El Niño years the cycle length has been in the 42 to 48 day range, and with El Niño just kicking in we are confident that it is falling right into this range.  And, what happens in the next ten days is directly related to what happened in November when it turned very cold. There had been no sign of cold air before this part of the pattern generated a very cold air mass after November 10th, well it is about to do it again:


This next map above, shows the rather flat flow aloft with a broad and flat trough over the middle of the United States this weekend. Again, most of the strong features are over the oceans and right now there is a lack of Arctic air.

2This next map, and you can click on it for a larger view, shows a blocking pattern developing between now and New Year’s.  The arrow is pointing at a developing higher latitude upper level high, just southeast of Greenland. If this grows and strengthens, and builds northwest, then the pattern is more likely to block up and we could go into the deep freeze for a few days. This fits what happened in November almost perfectly and we will show the comparison in a few days as this sets up, so confidence is high that this will happen, and it may happen faster.

As discussed in our Winter Forecast, when the AO and NAO go deeper into negative territory, then there is much higher probability that Arctic air will blast south into the United States and Europe.  Take a look at the latest indexes that just came out today:


The NAO has been living in positive territory since the end of the November cold outbreak, and it is now forecast to dive towards negative territory.


The AO has also been mostly trending positive for weeks now, but look at that dip that is forecast in the next week. All of this is directly related to the LRC. Last year’s pattern did not allow the AO and NAO to go negative, and yet it was a brutally cold winter last year. The LRC is the centerpiece of the big cycling weather pattern puzzle, and last year it was brutally cold with no negative AO or NAO. This year’s pattern is much more favorable for these indexes to dip negative. Let’s see if it happens in the next two weeks.


This is a forecast that shows the temperatures at midnight on December 30th. A large Arctic air mass will likely have formed by this time and it will be taking over North America.

Have a great weekend. We will update the blog over the weekend as these features come even more into focus.  Thank you for visiting our new site. We have many other exciting developments to share with you in the coming weeks.  Let us know what you think and we will try to answer all of your questions.


Snow In Kansas City Varied From Mile To Mile

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

I will work on a new blog looking ahead to Christmas week later. Last night there was one heavy convective snow band around 20 miles wide that had a two to three inch per hour snowfall rates. Outside of this one band there were much lower amounts. The snow ranged from less than an inch to five inches in around 30 mile ride across the KC metro area. Let us know how much fell in your area.

Here is a picture from just outside that snow band just after 1 AM this morning:


I will write up a new blog looking into the longer range later today or tonight! Have a great day.

Tonight’s Storm & A Look Into Christmas Week

Good Morning Weather2020 bloggers,

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, a very cold change will take place Christmas week with winter storms likely impacting travel plans.  We will keep you updated here as we track any major storm systems developing across the United States.  We will go over the details of next week below, but lets get started with a storm moving into Kansas City tonight:


A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service to go into effect after the evening rush hour in the KC metro area tonight. This has not been extended to the Iowa border where the system may weaken before any significant accumulations occur, however that is not a sure thing yet. This system appears to be strong enough to bring Kansas City it’s first inch of snow of the season before midnight tonight with the snow continuing into the early morning hours on Thursday before this storm weakens.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Now-6 PM Tonight: Cloudy, cold, and staying dry with light winds
  • 6 PM-Midnight:  Snow developing and spreading in from the southwest.  Accumulations are likely shortly after the snow begins
  • Midnight-6 AM: Snow, possibly briefly heavy at times. Accumulations of a dusting to 3 inches are expected to accumulate across the advisory area with most locations getting between 1 and 2 inches
  • 6 AM-Noon Thursday: Snow tapering off to flurries with some drizzle or freezing drizzle possible.  High 33°

This forecast will likely still be adjusted a bit later today, so be sure to watch our newscasts on or on 41 Action News if you are local.

Longer Range Forecast Featuring The LRC:


The models have varying solutions from run to run. This European Model is showing a winter storm forming the day after Christmas, and this model also has one just before Christmas around the Great Lakes states. The GFS model has had some runs with major winter storms as well, but all of the models have been quite inconsistent. One big reason for the inconcistency is that there is a blocking pattern developing, as Weather2020 predicted would happen during this next ten day stretch.  You can see two upper highs developing, one over Alaska and a second near Greenland.  As these develop, the AO and the NAO index will be dipping into the negative.  This is a very cold pattern developing and we will learn how cold it may get in the next day or two.

Have a great Wednesday, and we will look into the Christmas week travel forecast on Thursday.


An Arctic Outbreak Likely Christmas To New Years

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Here in Kansas City anticipation is going to be building on our first chance of an inch of snow this season.  This chance of snow will be associated with a wave kicking out of the southwestern states and it has a lot of moisture associated with it. We will go more in-depth into that snow chance in this blog tomorrow, and in the KSHB blog today.  What happens next has our long range forecast attention. Weather2020 made a forecast based on this year’s cycling pattern called The Lezak Recurring Cycle (LRC) for the return of the pattern that produced the record breaking November cold wave. This forecast was for this part of the pattern to return during the Christmas to New Year’s time frame, and it is right on schedule. This is where the LRC is superior to any weather forecasting method in the field of meteorology today. We know when the computer models are right, and we know when they are wrong. Our forecast for this cold outbreak came out four weeks ago. It has not verified yet, but confidence is nearly 100% that this pattern will return during the next two weeks. Now, what does it mean for each location of North America, and around to Europe and across Asia? This is where our 12 weeks of forecasts come in, and they will be available on this site before the end of the year. We have a lot of things in the works, including a new website debuting very soon.

LRC C2 GFS 216 Hour Dec 24

The weather pattern is now set for the next year according to the LRC. There are influences on this pattern as discussed in our winter forecast. It is one big LRC puzzle:


The LRC is the large centerpiece of this big atmospheric puzzle, equation, but as you can see there are other influences.  El Niño continues to evolve with the latest temperature anomaly in the Niño 3.4 region coming in at +0.9°C above average. It is still not a full fledged El Niño, but it is likely happening now and it will be confirmed in the next three to four months. Regardless, we see influence from El Niño in more splitting of the flow, a splitting of the jet stream with distinct northern and southern branches that have already existed in recent weeks.

Another influence is the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). These indexes have been in positive territory so far this month, but if this next map  shows well there is a development of two upper highs, one over Alaska and another over Greenland. This will be a strong indication of blocking aloft which will mean that the AO and NAO will be diving into negative territory. This is a result of the LRC! Yes, the cycling pattern according to the LRC would indicate that this would happen during the next two weeks.  So, confidence is high, not that these maps will have a perfect forecast, but that there will be a blocking pattern developing soon.

LRC C2 GFS 264 Hour Dec 26

What will these changes mean?  One thing for certain, there is a high probability of an Arctic outbreak. Combine that with this cycling pattern, a negative AO and NAO, and a strengthening El Niño, then it means we are about to have true winter for a couple of weeks.

Have a great Tuesday. We will look at the chance of snow moving out into the plains in tomorrows blog. For now, check in this afternoon as I update the KSHB blog as this gets a bit closer.