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The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

The Cycling Pattern Is Right On Schedule Again!

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

How much rain fell yesterday? What, are you serious?  5″ or more? Yes, this did happen near Kansas City. The official rainfall total at KCI Airport was under 1/2″, and only a few miles to the east there was not even a drop of rain, but over downtown Kansas City north to Gladstone and Kansas City north there was a pocket that had over 5″ of rain. Here is a rainfall estimate:


Today we will show you where we are in the cycling pattern. Our forecasts have been coming in accurate week after week for most locations in the United States and vacation resorts.  We are currently moving into and through the Veteran’s Day storm part of the pattern that repeated at the end of the year. The end of the year storm was one of the two or three winter storm systems that actually impacted Kansas City. What is it going to do this time?

Are you ready for a term that storm chasers don’t like very much? The CAP! Well, the cap can be a very good thing and a very bad thing for storm chasers. When the cap grows stronger, and it is doing so today, it will prevent or “cap” the thunderstorms from developing.  The cumulus clouds can not grow through the cap until something forces it to happen, such as a strong front, an upper level disturbance that will cool the cap and break it open, or other possible cap breaking mechanisms. If the cap breaks, then thunderstorms become severe fast and grow significantly.  This will likely happen later this afternoon but again way out west.

Looking At How This Storm “Acted” In Previous Cycles

Here we go again. As we continue to share this breakthrough technology with you we are also in the process of many advancements in how we can use the LRC in forecasting that will benefit the world in many ways.  El Niño continues to weaken with a strong La Niña possible by next winter. We have explained over the years the phase of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) is only an influence on something much bigger. We call it the LRC, my theory that we have been working on for 30 years now.  The pattern within the westerly belt is cycling, and it is different from the MJO (cycling tropical convective complexes), the AO, NAO, PNA, and more. This cycling pattern within the westerlies is showcased below in yet another example of showing how the pattern is still the same one that set up last fall.

LRC Cycle 5 May 26

LRC Cycle 1 November 10

LRC Cycle 2 December 29

As you can clearly see, at least I sure hope you can see this and if you do not, please let us know and we can explain. The three maps are from the forecast for May 25th, which is 197 days after this same part of the LRC cycled through on November 10th. And, the third map above is from December 29th, or 148 days before this storm. 197 days is a 49.25 day cycle and 148 days is a 49.3 day cycle.  We have been showcasing this year’s LRC at every 47 to 52 days centered on 49.5 days. Incredible!

Now, what is supposed to happen next? Take a look at the Veteran’s Day storm:

LRC Cycle 1 November 11

What happened in November is happening again this week. This is why we forecasted this to be an active severe weather week months ago. Take a look at the forecast for May 26th:

LRC Cycle 5 May 26

You can’t make this stuff up. This is not a coincidence. This is absolutely incredible, and Weather2020 knew this would return this week. The Veteran’s Day storm is arriving later this week. The end of the year, December 28th-29th storm is returning now, right on schedule. We will get something different this time? What will be the result? Let’s look at some of the latest data.

The Developing Set-Up:

All right, back to the “cap”:  (also called “Lid”) A layer of relatively warm air aloft, usually several thousand feet above the ground, which suppresses or delays the development of thunderstorms. Air parcels rising into this layer become cooler than the surrounding air, which inhibits their ability to rise further and produce thunderstorms. As such, the cap often prevents or delays thunderstorm development even in the presence of extreme instability. However, if the cap is removed or weakened, then explosive thunderstorm development can occur.

The cap is an important ingredient in most severe thunderstorm episodes, as it serves to separate warm, moist air below and cooler, drier air above. With the cap in place, air below it can continue to warm and/or moisten, thus increasing the amount of potential instability. Or, air above it can cool, which also increases potential instability. But without a cap, either process (warming/moistening at low levels or cooling aloft) results in a faster release of available instability – often before instability levels become large enough to support severe weather development.

The above definition came from NOAA’s Glossary of terms. Will the cap break today?


I will finish this blog in the morning….


Increasing Thunderstorms This Week

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

We are moving into the part of the LRC that has produced in earlier cycles.  The Veteran’s Day storm is due in this week, and it is right on schedule. Remember, the pattern is still cycling at every 49.5 days on average. Between November 4th and November 20th three rather big upper lows tracked through the southwestern United States and we have been moving through this part of the pattern.  The Veteran’s Day storm was rather strong. This May version of it is cycling through his week, and it is also fairly strong, but we are now just three weeks from summer and the flow is beginning to get weaker.

The weather pattern is becoming more active this week. This was forecasted by Weather2020 12 weeks ago to arrive this week. This forecast is yet another accurate one, but getting down the specifics is still challenging. Let’s begin looking into this week’s set-ups.


There is an enhanced risk of severe weather today, and it was placed over the western part of Tornado Alley by the SPC.  For Kansas City, the chance of thunderstorms will be increasing this week, but most of the focusing and triggering mechanisms for thunderstorms will stay west and north of our area most of this week. We have to monitor each day for outflow boundaries and upper level disturbances.

One of these disturbances is located over Kansas this morning and it has a rather organized circulation:


This disturbance is moving northeast directly towards Kansas City. The showers and thunderstorms were increasing as I was writing this. Let’s track it carefully and we will update this blog by around 9 AM.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.57.13 AM

The above radar shows the thunderstorms forming right over Kansas City at noon as this disturbance approaches. The risk of severe weather was shifted farther west as a result of the rain cooled air.

In the next few days there will be a huge increase in humidity.  This pattern is directly related to the Veteran’s Day storm and the end of the year storm. I will showcase this fascinating comparison in tomorrow’s blog.

I was in Chicago over the weekend, and the weather there was gorgeous as you can see on this fascinating picture below. And, getting home to unconditional love is always great. Breezy was giving Sunny this kiss, or trying to anyway. Have a great start to the week!




Severe Weather Risks Increasing A Bit

Good Sunday afternoon Weather 2020 bloggers,

Happy Birthday to my very good friend Jeff Penner. He and I have worked together now for 24 years.  Yes, his birthday is also the date of the Joplin tornado.  Five years ago today, Jeff Penner was heading to Kyoto, a Japanese steak house, with his family to celebrate his birthday and we went to join him there. I went to meet him for dinner after we were in our own severe weather coverage with smaller tornadoes in our viewing area.  Right before I left, I had gotten home from work and I had the Weather Channel on (I rarely watch that channel any more for some reason), and Mike Bettis was in front of what looked like a war zone.  I thought, no, that can’t possibly be a city. Well, it was, and one of the worst tornadoes in world history had just happened.  Here is a link to the time line: JOPLIN TIME LINE



The severe weather risks are increasing this week. We will go into specific detail in tomorrow morning’s blog. Have a great Sunday night.

I just got back from Chicago where I celebrated an Aunt’s 80th birthday.  It was so interesting listening to the Chicago announcers while I was in bumper to bumper traffic. They were getting so sad and frustrated.  Let’s go Royals and go for the sweep today.



A Middle Of The USA Ridge

Good morning bloggers,

I am on my way to Chicago today for my Aunt’s birthday party.  I will check in later on, but for now take a look at the pattern. A big ridge has formed in the middle of the United States. This will shift slowly east, but for now, it’s a calm day, so I will take a deep breath before the chances of thunderstorms increase.


Have a great day!


Storm Chasers Get Ready For Next Week

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Here is the severe weather forecast we issued in mid-April using the LRC. We just came out of one of the accurate inactive periods forecast, and we are moving into one of the forecasted active periods next week as you can see below:

Severe WX Forecast

We will discuss the many severe weather set-ups for the western part of tornado alley in the next few blog entries. Let’s look at this mornings activity first.




In Kansas City we have had very little lightning and thunder this month despite having almost 4 inches of rain. Well, this is not the case across the Florida Panhandle today as you can see above.  Thousands of lightning strikes have been happening with active thunderstorms this morning.

While the risk of any significant severe thunderstorms is low today, this risk increases by Sunday and the storm chasers will be targeting Tornado Alley out west:


We will get a bit more specific over the weekend. Have a great day!


The Wet Pattern Obliterated The Developing Drought

Good morning bloggers,

Many weeks ago there was some discussion of the developing drought, and we explained that droughts are either expanding or contracting. As we came out of winter and moved into spring the developing dry conditions that were expanding over the winter finally started contracting in early spring. Once this began we knew that the drought would not materialize, and I used the word “obliterated” on the air and in the blog. The drought was literally obliterated. I now have to look up the definition myself.


verb (used with object), obliterated, obliterating.
1.  to remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely.
2.  to blot out or render undecipherable (writing, marks, etc.); efface.

Well, there you go. I think I picked the right word. Take a look at what has happened to the dry conditions:


There is a hint of abnormally dry conditions over southwestern Missouri and that is all that is left of what some thought would be a dry spring. And now more rain is in the forecast for this entire region, and possibly lots of it.

A slow moving disturbance is moving out of the southwestern states and into the plains. This system will produce a few areas of showers and thunderstorms, but bigger thunderstorm events are in the future across many areas of the United States in the next two weeks.  Here is a look at this morning’s water vapor satellite picture, enhanced:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.19.59 AM

The data is coming in quite wet this morning. We will discuss this later. I have some meetings to get to and I will check in later. Have a great day everyone!