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The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

Mostly Rain In KC, Then Some Snow Sunday

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Weather Time-Line For Kansas City:

  • Today: Rain likely, moderate rain this morning.  High: 39°
  • Tonight: Rain becoming heavy at times. It will stay in liquid form all night. No snow expected
  • Sunday: Rain changing to snow very early with some accumulation likely. Right now we are forecasting a dusting to 2″, but the new data came in a bit stronger and farther south on this storm, and we will discuss this below
  • Much more snow is likely near Maryville, MO and up closer to the Iowa border

I had one of the toughest forecasts I have ever had to make last nigh on KSHB-TV.  It wasn’t one of the most pressure packed forecasts as I knew the rain/snow line was very likely way up north, and when Kansas City is not the biggest problem area it takes a little of the pressure off. The area of most concern is from Hiawatha, KS southeast to St. Joseph extending northeast to Trenton, MO.  Along and north of that line is where there will be a big contrast from a little snow to a lot of snow over southern Iowa.  I made the forecast, and it still will likely need to be adjusted, of putting the potentially major snowstorm just across the Iowa/Missouri border. Why did I make that call? Because the storm is stronger, and it is drawing in enough warm air to have the main precipitation type to be in the form of rain south of that line.

When I was on the air last night we noticed the temperatures across Kansas were warming to above freezing, and that one piece of information helped me tremendously with this forecast, and here is what we wake up to this morning:

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Yes, that is rain in Topeka. Rain in Gladstone, which is right near North Kansas City, MO. And, it is raining in St. Joseph, MO and 33° at 6 AM.  Temperatures will not be going down today, they will only rise a bit.  By later tonight, the main storm will be approaching, and the rain will likely finally change to snow early Sunday morning. But, this changeover is likely going to take place as the precipitation is coming to an end.  Here is the snowfall forecast I made on the air last night, and right now it still looks good.

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The new data is trickling in this morning.  The NAM model is continuing the trend of stronger and a bit slower, and slightly farther south on this storm system Sunday. But, this will likely mean warmer air being pulled a bit farther north initially. This trend in the models started two days ago, and it continues this morning. This is the strongest and farthest south solution for this storm we have seen:

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As described on the map, the upper level storm, the vorticity maximum (called a vort max) is now forecast to take a much more exciting track for KC. Supporting this change in the track is the surging Arctic air early tomorrow and this gives me some confidence that this will likely be a potentially accurate solution.  And, look at what it relates to on this precipitation type forecast that just came out:

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Let’s see if this trend continues. I will be heading out to the Kansas City Royals Fanfest at Bartle Hall at 3 PM. I will be there from 3 PM to 4:30 PM if you want to stop by our booth and say hi! We can talk about the weather and you can spin our wheel for a prize.

Have a great day!  I will update this blog tonight. Let’s discuss this in the comments section.  Maybe, just maybe we will get the 2″ on Sunday morning as the Arctic front blasts in, but remember a dusting is still just as possible.

Gary

A Winter Storm Forms This Weekend

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

A winter storm is going to develop this weekend. Moisture is being tapped from the southwestern United States storm, and a little influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will combine with an Arctic front that will slice through the Great Lakes, midwest, and plains states by Sunday. It will all come together as a snowy winter storm by Sunday:

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This is the precipitation type forecast from last nights NAM model showing a large areas of snow from Iowa east to Pennsylvania. Kansas City is once again on the edge of this system as it matures into a storm.

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There is a storm over Arizona today. In fact, I just looked at the National Weather Service forecast for Phoenix, and there is a 100% chance of rain today, and a rare forecast of patchy fog on Super Bowl Sunday morning. Fog in the desert is a rare occurrence.  Some of that moisture is being tapped and it will get involved within this developing weekend storm. The cold front is forecast to extend from near Denver, CO northeast to Chicago by Saturday evening. This will allow for a southerly wind to blow across most of Kansas Saturday which will likely push the rain/snow line up into Nebraska and Iowa. This looks like a good set-up for rain, and many areas could use a good drink of water. Over an inch of rain is likely in a few spots with a large area getting over 1/2″ of rain. But, for those of you who are snow enthusiasts it will likely be a struggle once again if you live near Kansas City. That will not be the case from northeastern Missouri to Pennsylvania.

As the first bands of precipitation move in Saturday morning there is a chance of a mixture of rain and snow. Again, this could be frustrating for those of us in the KC area as it would then quickly transition back over to rain. Here is the precipitation type forecast from this morning’s NAM that just came out valid at noon tomorrow.

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Have  a great day. We will look deeper into this developing storm in Saturday morning’s blog. Thank you for spending a few minutes reading the LRC Forecast Experience Blog!

Gary

The Super Bowl Weather Forecast & A Weekend Storm System

Good Morning Weather2020 Bloggers,

A storm is developing over the southwestern part of the nation.  If you have checked out our forecasts on this site, then you likely saw our Super Bowl Forecast Video that was made three weeks ago.  Weather2020 used the LRC to make this accurate forecast for Super Bowl weekend and for the Phoenix open. Our forecast was for a storm to develop over Arizona this week with a very good chance of rain and we suggested having your umbrella and a coat ready if you were planning travel to Phoenix.  Here is the forecast from the National Weather Service in Phoenix today:

Super Bowl Forecast Phoenix

Last year’s difficult forecast for the Super Bowl outside in East Rutherford, NJ was also spot on.  Weather2020 forecasted “No Chance Of Snow, with temperatures warming into the 50s” and it was 54° and a gorgeous day last year for that outside game.  Weather2020 made the only accurate forecast last year for the Super Bowl and it looks like we will be two for two on Super Bowl weather forecasts.  Both of these weather forecasts had a very high level of difficulty.  We forecasted the rain in Phoenix this year by picking out a part of the pattern that actually produces a storm over the southwestern states. It is forming now, and it may have an impact on Kansas City.

That storm system over Arizona is going to send some moisture out into the plains this weekend and combine with a storm coming in from the northwest.

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This map above shows what happened with this part of the cycling weather pattern in LRC Cycle 1 in November.  The storm system in the northern branch just barely dug into the plains and it left the Arizona storm system behind as it dropped into Mexico.  This is where the LRC is a useful tool, and what we believe is the best weather forecasting tool/method known in the field of meteorology today.  The models are coming in and they have had all kinds of solutions for this storm system that is coming in now, in LRC Cycle 3.  If we just use the LRC then we would know that the system would most likely look very similar to this one above. The jet stream is stronger now, however, at the end of January.  This means that there will be some seasonal differences. There are other factors that come into play as well. Over the years our team of meteorologists has learned that every other cycle often lines up best.  This part of the pattern also produced a storm in the southwest in LRC Cycle 2 and it didn’t phase with the northern branch as well.

The European Model and the GFS model both had decent solutions last night modeling this pattern quite well, whereas yesterdays versions of these models were too weak with the slightly digging wave in the northern branch. So, I am buying the new model runs that came out last night much more than what we saw yesterday. The NAM model likely dug the wave way too hard to into the plains, so I am throwing that one out for now.  If it does dig just a bit harder like the NAM model, then KC could be in for a snowstorm.  Remember, this season, every one has produced barely a dusting to 2″ with a few spots getting a bit more a couple of times.

Looking Into Today’s Model Runs:

  • The 12z NAM Model:  This model came out very wet this morning.  It is modeling a 0.25″ to 0.50″ of rain before midnight Saturday night. It then is forecasting a changeover to snow with accumulations in the 3 to 6 inch range, even more in some spots.  This is in response to the wave aloft digging hard and not initially phasing into the flow. This is likely an error by this model, but can you imagine if it is not an error.
  • The 12z GFS Model:  This model came out with a very different solution, likely much more realistic. It still has a good amount of rain, between 0.25″ and 0.75″ liquid. It isn’t cold enough for a changeover until late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. A dusting to 2″ would be possible, with a small area perhaps getting 2 -4 inches

We have a few more days to track this storm. In LRC Cycle 1 it only produced a few clouds with rain just south and east of Kansas City as it didn’t tap the moisture even though there was a hurricane off of Baja California, and in LRC Cycle 2 (December 14th-15th) KCI had 0.67″ with over an inch of rain on the south side, but no snow.  Let’s see what the late January and early February version of this storm produces.

Gary

Record Breaking Warmth To Chance Of Snow

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Today will be a record breaking day, possibly a record shattering day. The warmest January temperature in Kansas City’s recorded history is 75°, and this will be threatened today. It may depend on these high clouds that are streaming towards KC, but still way out west:

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The thicker high clouds will likely move over eastern Kansas right after maximum heating is reached, so the all time record will be threatened.  A wave of energy aloft is moving across the plains states as you can see below:

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If this were April, and not January, this storm system would likely produce a severe weather risk. This is how you can get very different results from the same pattern in another LRC cycle.  There are always seasonal differences and this dry storm could be a thunderstorm producer in the next two cycles.  Look at the surface set up being created by this upper level storm:

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The blue line is the cold front that will put an end to the unseasonable weather that has been growing in strength. The warm air will be forced south and low clouds will surge south tonight with the wind shift to the north.  This dry storm will move by, and then we will begin tracking a much wetter system.

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A storm that Weather2020 has been forecasting for weeks to arrive in Arizona during Super Bowl week is right on schedule. It was there in both previous cycles of this year’s LRC.  In early November this part of the pattern produced something quite similar to what is forecast to happen in this cycle. The storm split in two and the southern part was left behind, and this is what is being forecast by the recent model runs.  For this to become a major winter storm, that northern stream wave coming over the eastern Pacific Ridge would need to phase with the California/Arizona upper level low.  As you can see below, the weakening southern upper low is not forecast to phase with the northern stream wave.

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Again, look at the two streams above. You can see the northern stream wave digging southeast across Wyoming, and you can see the southern stream upper level low weakening.

7On this map on the left you can see the flow at 500 mb from LRC Cycle 1. This is the flow aloft on November 4, 2014 which is 88 days before January 31st, Saturday night. We have been showing you the roughly 45 day cycle, or in the range of 42 to 48 days this season. This would be a 44 day cycle, and what is going on now is right on the LRC cycling schedule. This is how we made the forecast for a storm system to arrive by the end of January. Well, it is arriving.  Look at the similarities. It is always incredible to see the patterns repeat, and look how similar the patterns are.  Look at that ridge off the west coast, the upper low forming over Mexico, and the northern stream wave not phasing.  You can click on the map for a larger view.

Okay, so we have high confidence now that there will not be a phasing of the two streams which reduces the chance of a major winter storm, but this does not end that chance of snow in Kansas City where we are still sitting at a low 4.7″ this season.

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By Saturday evening, an Arctic front will be moving south. Precipitation is most likely in the form of rain ahead of this Arctic front with snow near and behind the front.  Will Kansas City once again get caught in the wrong spot?

We will continue this discussion as the pattern sets up in the coming days. For now, let’s get into enjoying this wonderful spring-like day! Thank you for sharing in this LRC Forecast Experience Blog.

Gary

The Northeast Blizzard & This Year’s LRC

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers and welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience,

The northeastern United States coastal communities are being hammered by a major winter storm this morning.  It is pure winter in Boston and New York City, and at the same time record warmth is developing and about to expand over the plains states.  We have been showcasing many examples in this LRC Forecast Experience Blog since this pattern set up last fall, and here is another great example today:

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Now, before I move forward I would like to post the full view of these three maps. The first one is from today’s forecast 500 mb flow showing the major storm now forming just offshore. The second two are from LRC Cycle 2 and LRC Cycle 1.  November 2nd is 86 days before today, or a 43 day cycle.  The middle maps is from December 11th, or 47 days ago:

LRC C3 GFS FCST January 27

LRC C2 December 11

LRC Cycle 1 November 2

We have something very special with our knowledge of the LRC. Thank you for sharing in this experience with us.  It isn’t as easy as just looking at this comparison, or the hundreds of other examples and comparisons we have shared with you over the past decade.   There is a lot more to it and other factors that help create the major storm system that is now affecting the east coast. One thing for certain, we have had a long track record of accuracy and you can now use these forecasts to help plan your wedding, vacation, or weather sensitive business.  Here is the forecast that was made for the eastern part of the nation on December 8th for this week:

Boston LRC Forecast Jan 27

In our Super Bowl forecast this year we forecasted two storm systems to affect Arizona during Super Bowl week. The computer models have finally come into focus. It rained last night in Arizona from the first weak system, and the second and stronger storm system will affect Arizona and the southwestern states later in the week and it will likely rain a bit on the Phoenix Open.

This storm forming over the southwestern states is still in the warmer phase of the weather pattern. But, the colder phase is just around the corner. Over the weekend we did a rather extensive analysis of the LRC. In cycle one we would be around 7 to 10 days away from the Arctic blasts. In LRC Cycle 2 we would be around 14 to 16 days away from the really cold part of the cycling weather pattern. Let’s see what happens in cycle 3. One thing we are certain about, as close as you can get to 100% certain, is that it will turn brutally cold one more time this winter. And, maybe, just maybe in this next cycle Kansas City can more than double it’s small 4.7″ of snow that has fallen so far.a

Have a great day! Let us know if you have any questions at all! And, thank you for joining the LRC Forecast Experience Blog!

Gary

Major Winter Storm In The East: From Zero To Twenty-five

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The Super Bowl:  Seattle vs. New England on NBC Sunday night

While some rain will be falling over the deserts near Phoenix, a huge storm is taking aim on New England.  And, there is dense fog in Seattle.

A major winter storm is developing over the northeastern United States, while at the same time California’s drought continues.  In the title of today’s blog entry I stated from zero to twenty-five.  25 inches of snow will likely accumulate in a few locations across New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. At the same time there are area’s near San Francisco that have had no rain as of this point in January, in the wettest time of the year.

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Jeff Masters just wrote an article on the drought out west and he posted this graphic above, and this picture below.  The California drought is exceptional, and after ten inches of rain in December it was beginning to look like we may break this spell. It hasn’t happened.  According to the LRC the weather pattern sets up between October 1st and November10th.  During this formative stage of this year’s pattern it was extremely dry out west.

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This is a picture of the Enterprise Bridge that passes over a section of Lake Oroville that was nearly dry on September 30, 2014.  Lake Oroville is California’s 2nd largest reservoir, and it was at 30% capacity, the second lowest level on record behind only a stage in 1977. I remember that year as I was a 15 year old obsessed with the weather and in Woodland Hills, where I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, had only around 4 inches of rain that entire winter.  This picture came from the California Department of Water Resources.

While the dry weather continues out west, look at what is going to happen over the northeast. It would be nice to have this moisture fall over California instead of New England.

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I zoomed into the map above to show the wet coastal storm system. This map shows the total precipitation over 48 hours ending tomorrow night.  Winter Storm Warnings and Blizzard Warnings are in effect for the Boston area and over Cape Cod.  And, this map below is the same precipitation forecast and it shows the dry middle part of the nation and a small area of rain over the desert southwest:

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It will likely rain in Phoenix, AZ later today which has been in our Super Bowl week forecast for six weeks now.  Some rain will also fall over Southern California, but this is not even close to helping out with that drought out west. The snow levels are so high.  Look at the temperature forecast for this afternoon:

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We will look ahead in tomorrow’s blog and go in-depth into the LRC and find out where we are within this warm phase of the cycling pattern.  The cold phase of the pattern is still likely a bit over two weeks away.  Don’t tell that to those of you living in the northeast.  It will be pure winter there.

Gary