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The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

How Has Winter Been For You?

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience blog.  Here we are a dozen days into February, and winter began 53 days ago on December 21st at 10:48 PM Central time.  This would mean, if you believe in Astronomical winter, that winter has around 47 days left. If you believe in Meteorological winter, then this would mean there are 17 days left of winter. I lean in the direction of Astronomical winter. What do you think?

The computer models are riddled with error.  It has suddenly dried out in this cycle with the recent storm systems going over a block and digging over the eastern states.  This was more like storm track 2 as described in  out winter forecast.  This has not been the dominant pattern this season until now.  It is forecast to continue for the next 15 days by most computer models. Take a look at this forecast from the 00z GFS model for the next 15 days:

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Yesterday I showed you our El Niño update from a December video explaining how Southern California, despite forecasts of a winter with way above precipitation, has been anything but that forecast from many sources. It has been so dry. And, here is an outlook for the next 15 days from the GFS model. Who thinks Kansas City is going to be close to the minimum in precipitation as shown above for the entire USA?  Only the desert areas of southwestern Arizona are drier on this depiction.  I believe this is way, way wrong.

We look at these models, and I am not sure what you are thinking when they come out? I only know what I am thinking, and this solution, that came out as I was finishing my weathercast last night, was way off base, in my opinion. Kansas City is not going to end up with almost 0.00″ accumulation of rain or snow in these next 15 days.

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It is a rather quiet weather day across the United States. The light blue shade shows the wind chill advisories, and there is a winter weather advisory for parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. There are two small Winter Storm Warnings for lake-effect snow along the eastern Lake Michigan shore line where up to 10 inches of snow is likely in the next few hours.  Other than this, it is a very quiet day.  A big storm is going to form south and east of Kansas City early next week. This storm is going to draw some warmer air into it along the eastern seaboard and we will look into this storm over the weekend.

So, how has this winter been for you? If you live just northwest of KC, in Omaha, you likely feel this has been a rather exciting and fulfilling winter. If you live in Boulder, CO where they just had a 15″ snowstorm last week, you probably feel really great about this winter. If you live near Washington, DC, Baltimore, or New York City, you likely are feeling so great about the historic storm that left almost 3 feet of snow in Central Park. If you live in Los Angeles, CA you are likely thinking “What El Niño?”. If you live in Wichita, KS, you are likely thinking, “What? We have had less than an inch of snow all winter?”.  If you live in Hawaii, you are likely thinking, “This is awesome”. So, what do you think?

Have a great weekend!

Gary

El Niño Actually Strengthened This Week: California Is Dry?

Good morning bloggers,

A strong cold front is developing and about to blast a cold air mass south, and then what happens next will likely leave Kansas City’s snow enthusiasts ridiculously frustrated once again.  And, El Niño strengthened this week. We will also go in-depth into this topic today as well.

Let’s begin by looking at the set-up for later tonight and Friday as this cold front will be strengthening and moving south across the eastern half of the nation on Friday.  Here is the surface forecast valid Saturday morning. The Arctic high pressure area will be centered over Minnesota by Saturday morning, and you can see a strong surface storm off the New England coast. Another storm that the cruise ships better be aware of, as one recent storm majorly influenced one of them last week.

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The high pressure area will shift off to the east. This is going to put KC into the area where it will get a glancing blow from this Arctic blast and then the Arctic air will begin retreating and the chance of winter precipitation will depend on how that next system comes through the ridge and down into the plains states. It is going to produce a smaller winter storm, but will KC be left out of the winter fun once again?  The latest NAM model is somewhat like this one that I am posting below.

A storm will enter the Pacific northwest and somehow getting through that big western ridge. In the first LRC Cycle this next storm dug into the southeast, and if this one would dig hard Kansas City would be in prime position to be affected by a winter storm. It seems that every time KC is set up for winter weather something goes wrong with these systems. The last storm did produce a major winter storm, but KC was left in it’s shadow and here we are with 5 inches of snow for the season as we move into the last prime 30 day stretch for snow.

Look at the 06z NAM model below:

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Look at the orange and yellow shaded areas. The one over northeastern Kansas has an X, or vorticity maximum, digging in just west of KC. This would put Kansas City into a very heavy snow band on Valentine’s Day.  But, there is no support from any other model. Look at the 06z (Midnight GFS Model Run):

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This model is valid at the same time as the first map, but the waves are more disorganized and in Iowa. This solution would leave Kansas City dry.

The latest NAM model was similar to the snowier and more wintery solution on the first 500 mb forecast map, not the GFS run on the second map. Again, it looks nice, and it would be more exciting for KC. A stronger cold blast would favor this farther south solution, but if you remember, we have been through this already this season.

El Niño:

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index in the important 3.4 region strengthened this week.  It went from 2.5°C above average to 2.6°C this week was you can see below:

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On this next chart you can see the latest November/December/January period is now up to 2.3°C above average. The December/January/February 3-month average will come in early next month and it may place this El Niño into the category of one of the strongest two El Niño’s ever, and possibly the strongest one above the 1997-1998 year.  To be an El Niño event you must have five straight 3-month averages of +.5°C or higher, and this El Niño began strengthening early last year.

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We have this strong El Niño and all of these forecasts came out for El Niño to influence California’s weather into a very wet year. It is now surprise to us that Southern California has been left in the shadow of most of the wet systems this season.

Los Angeles, CA So Far This Wet Season (October 1 – Now)

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Yesterday, it was 88 degrees which set a record.  The most incredible statistic is the rainfall total since October 1.  4.20″ has fallen which is just above 50% of their average by this time of the year. 4.21″ below average! How is this possible? This shows that it is the LRC that is the centerpiece of the cycling pattern, and El Niño only influences the pattern. It is yet another dry year and the forecasts of doom, gloom, massive mudslides, etc. did not pan out. And, we knew this by mid-December. Take a look:

“Most of the wet storm systems will track from central California to the Pacific Northwest. How do we know, the LRC”. Unfortunately this is likely also one of the reasons Kansas City has been left with such a low snow total this season. Kansas City is more likely to be in the storm’s path when the dip south into Southern California. It isn’t a requirement, but it is a big factor in this year’s pattern.

Where do we go from here? We will be tracking this weekend’s storm system and then looking ahead to a huge warm-up next week.  How will all of this line up? Let’s discuss this on our comments section. Thank you so much for participating and sharing in this weather experience.

Gary

A Small Band Of Snow Today Just East Of KC

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

You can’t make this up. The Kansas/Missouri state line is close to the snow, no snow line and it will only shift east from here. We have gotten reports of snow in the KC metro area on the east side.  Here is the band as of 7:30 AM this morning:

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A huge temperature contrast is developing and the jet stream is streaming down the middle of this temperature contrast this morning.  Every time a storm system that may produce winter precipitation in our area approaches and gets within seven days it seems to fade away and miss our area. This is how Wichita, KS is still sitting at less than one inch for the season, and how Kansas City is still sitting at 5″. Omaha, NE is now up to 27 inches of snow.

It is really difficult to talk about. For all of us snow enthusiasts near KC we are experiencing it yet again this morning. I live in Overland Park, KS and there isn’t one snowflake, and yet less then 10 miles away it is snowing and moving away.

And, then, you would think we would be set up for the Valentine’s Day storm. In the previous two cycles we had deep troughs in the west, but in this cycle, apparently we will be getting weaker and flatter versions of the storm systems.  Here comes a strong cold front on Friday:

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The big ridge aloft out west will break down and a storm will break through, but since it had to break through the ridge it will be in a weakened state.  The overnight models completely backed off of making it an interesting storm for KC and it once again may target areas north and east. We do have a few more days to track this next system.

Medium Range Model Trends:

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The GFS model was the only model to accurately predict this colder Great Lakes trough ten days ago, and this GFS model continues to model the next ten days very differently than every other model.  By ten days from now the European model, above, shows west to east zonal flow while the GFS model, below, shows a lot more buckling of the flow.

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We will be monitoring these developments closely.  Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes reading today’s blog entry.

Gary

What Is Going On?

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

I titled this blog entry “What Is Going On?”.  It is becoming harder to explain how Kansas City continues to “avoid” every snow storm. Omaha, NE is up to 27 inches of snow this season. Des Moines, IA is up to 23 inches. 23 inches have fallen in Goodland, KS. And, then you get to KC where only 5 inches has fallen with lesser amounts just to our southwest. Wichita, KS is still at under one inch for the entire season.  This pattern has become even more frustrating in the past few days and weeks for those of us that live near KC. Is this going to continue, or could the last third of winter suddenly get exciting?

Take a look at this from the latest European Model:

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This is just the beginning of where the models are heading in the next two weeks. A few of the models are now showing this little thin band of snow that will track southeast into northern Missouri tonight, and yes, it just barely misses Kansas City.  Look at what the European Model shows for the next 10 day snowfall total:

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I am going to say that this model is “out to lunch” in many respects. It has really been the model that has done the worst in the past few weeks, but of course we keep looking at it.  This map above shows Kansas City again on the edge of what appears to be a snowy ten days ahead for the northeastern third of North America.

Now, how about this one? I almost titled today’s blog, “I can’t make this up”.  What? Are you kidding me. 2 to 3 inches of rain, or rain combined with melted down snow is forecast in Kansas City during the next 15 days?  This is just a computer model everyone. Take a look at this:

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Is it about to get very exciting with wet storm systems rotating back through as they should, or will KC be left out of the winter fun again?

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There is a deep upper low forming over the northeastern United States into southeastern Canada. I didn’t issue an Arctic Air Watch for this set up because I was confident that the Arctic air would be held mostly to the northeast with more cold air aloft than Arctic air near the surface developing. And, this is what is happening. I do think that we may issue an Arctic Air Watch for near the end of the month into March as we will cycle into the part of the pattern that is even more favorable for Arctic air in two to three weeks. For now, we get to watch and monitor this next storm approaching the Pacific Northwest. Look at where it is forecast to track by Valentine’s Day.

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The European Model has snow developing near KC and the GFS model sort of does as well, on Valentine’s Day.  The weather pattern doesn’t have a brain, but it does seem to have an energy.  Is this once again going to leave KC out of the winter fun?

I will leave you hanging here today. I would like to wait another few model runs to see how this trends.  Let’s discuss this in the comments section. Hey bloggers, this blog has doubled in numbers in the past four months. Thank you so much for participating and sharing in this LRC Forecast Experience.  Have a great Tuesday. I am on Sports Radio 810 AM in a minute, so I will stop for now. Let’s hope the models trend in an exciting direction.

Gary

A Deep Cold Trough In The East

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Bands of snow showers are wide spread this morning from eastern Kansas to the Great Lakes.  Kansas City, as usual, is near the western edge of these snow showers. Let us know what you are experiencing in your area. The best chance of snow showers is this morning near KC, and then the area will shift east as we move towards sunset.

There is a blizzard warning for northern Iowa into southern Minnesota this morning, and a High Wind Advisory for areas from South Dakota to the Gulf coast.

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This radar map of the North America shows the snow showers spinning around the big developing trough.  We will look at this big trough in a minute, but first let’s look at the cycling pattern in the EPBI and LRC Indexes:

A huge trough is forming aloft over eastern Canada south into the eastern 1/3 of the United States. A blocking ridge has formed over the western states and this ridge is going to block storm systems from coming into most of the west coast during the next seven to ten days.  This blocking ridge will be causing storm systems to be deflected over the ridge and then they will get absorbed into the big eastern trough.  Take a look at the Eastern Pacific Blocking Index (EPBI). When this index goes high positive it is an indication of the likely deflection of storm systems. The brightest line shows the current LRC Cycle, and the darker orange lines show the previous cycles. The pattern is cycling close to 50 days, and these date ranges are right on 49 to 50 days apart:

EPBI February 8

The big blocking ridge is forming just as this index goes way positive.  If you are wondering the flat line on this cycle is there because we haven’t gone through that part of the pattern yet. In looking at previous cycles you can see where this block may last seven more days before it may break down.

The graphic below shows the LRC Index.  This index shows the exact opposite with a deep negative LRC Index developing now, which is a strong indication of the deep trough in the eastern third of North America. Look at the previous two cycles closely. They both dip into negative around Veteran’s Day and around the first of the year. This dip is showing the big and wet storm systems that happened near the end of the year and around Veteran’s Day in November. This is likely our next big storm near KC which will be due in later next week or around the 17th to 22nd of February.  And, you can see our last bigger storm that produced the blizzard a bit over a weak ago. All three cycles had a strong storm system as you can see in that big dip around the middle of December.

LRC Index February 8

This is a rather complex discussion this morning, but I thought I would share it with you.  Let’s take a look at this deep eastern trough.

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This map, above, shows the deep trough forming, with a  big upper low over the western Great Lakes this morning. The strong system off the northeast coast is taking most of the moisture off shore this morning.  So, it is a huge storm aloft, but it is only producing showers for the time being. The block is right over California. That is a huge upper level high and at lower latitudes. If this were way up over Alaska or western Canada, then the jet stream may have made been able to break through with a split developing. This is not the case in this cycle.   Within ten days or so, the ridge will break down and the trough will be exiting off the east coast. This is where the Veteran’s Day storm part of the cycling pattern will return as you can see below on this map that is a forecast for February 19th:

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Notice how the northern branch weakens and shift north into Canada. This means that this next big storm will likely not have the cold air to work with.

Let’s see how the models trend today.  It’s a windy and cold day in KC. There are a few snow showers around to track, but overall, the 5″ snow winter continues in our part of the world.  Have a great day!

Gary

A Super Sunday Cold Front Moving Through

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

I hope everyone is have great Super Bowl Sunday. A cold front will be sweeping across the plains, midwest, into the southeastern states today and tonight, and one week from today there is a chance of a winter storm.

The cold front moving southeast today has no Arctic air associated with it. Take a look at the temperature forecast valid at 3 PM Central time this afternoon:

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There is a strong storm system near the Carolina coast line today. It is producing mostly rain and lots of it near the coast. This storm is tracking off shore and it is taking the moisture away from the coast with it. Here is a look at the surface forecast also valid this afternoon:

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The color shades show the wind speeds. The winds near the Carolina coast line go into that yellow color which indicates close to 60 mph winds. The second blue shade indicates wind gusts up to 40 mph or possibly a bit higher. It’s about to get rather windy in Kansas City.

By next weekend a storm system is forecast to develop over the southern Rocky Mountains and track into the plains states. The European model develops it a bit deeper into the southwest than the GFS model and as a result it becomes strong enough for some potential snow as you can see below. Here is the European model snowfall forecast 24 hour total from next Sunday evening to next Monday evening:

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Have a great Sunday. I am still analyzing the pattern. I will let you know what the new model trends are in the comments section of today’s blog. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the LRC Forecast Experience Blog.

Gary