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The Gary Lezak Weather Blog

Where Are We Now: The State Of The LRC As Of This Week

Good Sunday morning Weather2020 bloggers,

We will begin with a look at today’s severe weather risk, and then this blog entry will end with a showcase of where we are now within the cycling pattern, and a great example of our weather forecasts that is being used to help plan and create peace of mind for brides and vacation planners.

Before we get started let’s look back at yesterday’s severe weather reports:

yesterday

If you were watching any of the national media outlets the past few days you may have walked away thinking that significant severe weather would be occurring with outbreak after outbreak Friday and Saturday.  The term “enhanced” that has been added to the slight risks this year is likely throwing off the ones who decide on how to cover the weather forecast and weather topics at these national outlets and other media outlets.  The risks have not been upgraded to moderate, and the increase to enhanced was likely way overdone in the past two days. Yesterday there wasn’t even one tornado report, and the day before there were 15 tornado reports, but it really wasn’t that active, in my opinion.  Pretty soon, if not already, people will not be taking these seriously when they here things like, “32 million people are in the path of this horrific storm”.  Weather2020, as we grow, will hopefully be a voice of reason in the coming years, at least it is one of our goals.

Now, here we go again today with the word enhanced.  In year’s past it would be a slight risk. The point here, is that it is still a slight risk of severe weather.  Now, even that word, “slight”, I think should be worked on as well.  Here is today’s risk:

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This risk has continued to shift farther and farther south.  Let’s look into the LRC and how it lines up with this week’s weather.

The LRC Today

We have been describing this year’s Lezak Recurring Cycle (LRC) as cycling in the 43 to 50 day range, centered right down the middle on an average 46.5 day cycle.  Take a look at LRC Cycle 1 from October 23, 2014:

LRC Cycle 1 October 23

According to the LRC, the weather pattern sets up in early October, evolving from late September into early November, and this is the beginning of that year’s LRC.  The pattern then is established with long term long-wave troughs and ridges that return on cycle from then on through the rest of fall, winter, spring, and into the next summer before a new unique pattern sets up the next fall.  The first cycle begins in October. Now, with this said, the pattern is always cycling, but Weather2020 has figured out the organization to the chaos with the LRC. We have presented dozens of examples this season, just go back in the blog and you can see these examples of this year’s pattern. Look at the above map on October 23, 2014, and look at the map below on April 28th. One can clearly see the comparison of the the patterns from October to April. I have labeled the five most prominent features.

LRC Cycle 5 April 28

The pattern is cycling regularly, and our knowledge of this cycling pattern allows our Weather2020 team of meteorologists which includes, myself, Jeff Penner, Doug Heady, Eswar Iyer, and other fellow colleagues to make accurate long range weather forecasts.  Jeremy Nelson is using it in his television market in Milwaukee, and Brett Anthony is using it in his Tulsa market.  In the next few days following this first example the pattern will continue to line up. The models may make major errors and our team knows when the models are likely right and just as important when they are likely wrong. Last night’s GFS had a pretty good handle on the LRC all the way through. Take a look at what happens four days after this first example above:

LRC Cycle 5 GFS May 2

I again labeled the features from #1 to #5 and you can compare the 500 mb maps, one a forecast above, and the second one the actual data from October 27, 2014 below.  Have you done your math?  These two examples are comparing LRC Cycle 1 and LRC Cycle 5.  October 27th is 187 days before May 2nd.  187 divided by 4 is 46.75.  Yes, almost exactly down the middle of what we have been describing since last fall, a 46.5 day cycle.  We knew in late October that the pattern would look like this in late April or early May. It’s right on schedule.

LRC Cycle 1 October 27

We are making long range weather forecasts, accurate weather forecasts at a 75% rate, on this site.  We strive to be 100% accurate, but forecasting the future isn’t that easy, but we have figured out how to do it.  If you are planning a wedding, a vacation, or just want to know what is going to happen in your neighborhood you can get the forecast by clicking on the week. A discussion will pop out like this one below. Weather2020 received a request for a wedding forecast on May 2nd, their wedding date and this is the forecast we made on a broad scale.  We can get specific to a location like we have documented with the last two Super Bowl forecasts, including the only accurate weather forecast for the Super Bowl that was played outside in East Rutherford, NJ. Weather2020 forecasted temperatures to warm into the 50s for that game and over a month before the game was played, and it verified.

The forecast for this week made 12 weeks ago is now verifying for this week. Well, let’s see how it plays out. In the past even a five to seven day forecast was often wrong, and in most outlets they are still way off. Our 12 weeks of forecasts, #12weekforecast if you have twitter, are better than an average 7 day forecast is today in other outlets. Here is the forecast that is on our site for the Kansas City region made 12 weeks ago:

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 8.51.41 AM

Have a great Sunday. We will work on our next blog later in the day on Monday! Let us know what you think of today’s discussion and if you have any questions just let us know.  Thank you for your participation in this LRC Weather Forecast Experience Blog.

Gary

Today’s Weather Pattern

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

An upper level storm system is spinning overhead and shifting east over the Kansas/Missouri border early this Saturday morning. This system will be weakening, but creating a risk of severe weather today.  You can see the circulation this morning:

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And, here is the radar image from just after noon:

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Light rain is in a rotation around the main storm system.  Breezy and Stormy, the weather dogs, got out just in time before the band of heavy downpours moved across earlier this morning.

Dogs R1

Here is today’s severe weather risk:

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Yesterday was really not active at all. It was a quiet severe weather day for all of the hype from various sources. Just look at the severe weather reports:

yesterday.gif

It will likely be more active today as the storm, even in it’s weakened state, moves into this year’s hot spot. What is a hot spot? Weather2020 has been identifying the severe weather hot spots for years, and it is a forecast of where the worst severe weather is likely months before we move into severe weather season.  Here is this year’s hot spot forecast from last December:

2015 Hot Spots

Let us know if you have any questions.  We will be looking ahead tomorrow. The cold phase is now ending, and in the northeast they are likely looking forward to that. The jet stream will retreat, and we will talk about this tomorrow.  Have a  great Saturday.

Gary

Today’s Severe Weather Risk

1:30 PM Update:

Good afternoon,

I just plotted the 1  PM surface map as you can see below.  The warm front is rather ill defined. The dry line also has not firmed up. The surface low has a broad circulation, and I can’t find a cold front at this hour.  What does this mean? Well, it means that this system hasn’t become organized enough yet to generate new thunderstorms. By this evening the surface low will strengthen slightly, but these surface boundaries (a boundary is a front, trough, or dry line) are likely not going to become much better defined.

2015042418_metars_ict

The SPC moved the slight risk a bit farther west. You can watch our live stream at www.kshb.com beginning at 4 PM. I am expecting some organized thunderstorms to form before sunset way out west and then move northeast and develop eastward after dark.  There isn’t a slight risk in KC, but we must continue to monitor it closely.  The area of rain cooled air over southern Oklahoma and Texas may be a factor as well as it moves north. There may only be a thin band of destabilization.

Previous Entry Below:

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

A storm system is moving out into the plains this morning. At the surface, cyclogenisis is going to be in progress today.  What is cyclogenisis?  It is a term that meteorologists use to describe the development os a mid-latitude storm system.  A low pressure area will be rapidly growing in strength with a pressure gradient tightening up in the presence of vertical wind shear (winds increasing with height) and convective instability (rising motion. These two processes cause the pressure to lower at the surface, and this is what is happening in the next 12 hours.

Right now there are multiple low pressure areas developing this morning, but the main one is beginning to form over southwestern Kansas.  If it were really all coming together for Kansas City today, then this surface low would have already formed, but it matures later today and tonight. We will be monitoring and plotting this development closely as there is a risk of severe weather, but more likely out over central Kansas today:

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The surface lows congeal into one strong surface low later today and tonight, and by Saturday morning you can see this, not so classic, set-up.  The cold front is strange. The warm front reorganizes. The dry line is there, but a bit ill defined as it moves out of it’s Texas Panhandle/western Oklahoma source region. It’s a strong surface low, and we will have to pay close attention to the thunderstorms that form. Some severe weather is likely, but how significant and wide spread will it be?

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Morning showers and thunderstorms were weak, but increasing at 7:45 AM. Here is an image meteorologist JD Rudd posted this morning:

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This area of rain is increasing, and as it grows and gradually moves east, a pool of rain cooled air will likely develop and influence the stability over eastern Kansas and western Missouri. The cloud cover, lower dew points, and rain will influence the instability for quite a long time today, and this will likely lead to a late generation of strong thunderstorms over central Kansas.

Today’s severe weather risk is slight. The SPC continues to have this “enhanced” slight risk area, and they have shifted it west, and they placed an area farther south as well, and they just reduced the tornado risk to 5% over Kansas:

day1otlk_1200

 

From the latest 8 AM update:

COUPLED WITH THE PRESENCE OF ONLY MODEST MOISTURE RETURN DUE TO CONTINUING
PRESENCE OF STORMS FARTHER S…AND PERSISTENT CLOUD COVER…DEGREE
OF STORM COVERAGE AND INTENSITY IS UNCLEAR ATTM.
NEVERTHELESS…ESPECIALLY ACROSS PARTS OF KS…POCKETS OF ENHANCED
BUOYANCY/CONVERGENCE LIKELY WILL YIELD AT LEAST SOME STORMS CAPABLE
OF LARGE HAIL AND TORNADOES…IN ADDITION TO LOCALLY DMGG
WIND…INTO EARLY TNGT.”

This is what we have been concerned with the entire time. When the energy comes out later this afternoon and evening, in the upper levels of the atmosphere, we will have to see where the thunderstorm complex forms. It will likely still target part of the KC viewing area later this evening.

Have a great day. Let’s see how it all sets up. We can discuss the new data in the comments section of this LRC Forecast Experience Blog.

Gary

Severe Weather Risks Next Few Days

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

Welcome to the LRC Forecast Experience blog.  A storm system, near Southern California today in the upper levels of the atmosphere, is now beginning to be ejected out into the southern Rocky Mountain states and plains states.  As it approaches severe weather will be possible in many areas. The biggest risk appears to be setting up for Friday evening and Friday night, but there are many questions as to where the surface features will set up.

day2otlk_0600

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has this risk for Friday.  Severe thunderstorms are likely in the slight risk and enhanced slight risk areas.  From the SPC: “Severe thunderstorms with large hail, wind damage, and some tornadoes will be possible across the central plains southward into the southern plains and eastward across the Arklatex into the lower Mississippi Valley.  An upper level trough will progress into the southern and central plains on Friday. Large-scale ascent, associated with the approaching upper=level trough will aid convective development during the late afternoon along the warm front in east-central Kansas and southward along a dry line. The models are in general agreement that a cluster of thunderstorms will organize across eastern Kansas late Friday afternoon and move into western Missouri during the early evening.”

Now, they are quite positive that this is coming together, and it very well may all come together on Friday, so let’s pay very close attention. But, there are some factors that are still rather uncertain and these factors will play into how this comes together tomorrow.

  • The first one is the strength and position of the warm front
  • The second one is the morning showers and thunderstorms that will likely influence cloud cover and instability
  • The third one is the cloud cover that could impact instability

Here is the surface forecast from a really cool new site where you can get the European model. It is a pay site at Eurowx.com.  The European model and the NAM model are the two models agreeing the most.  These models have been the most consistent, but it doesn’t mean they are exactly right. Let’s take a look at last night’s European model surface forecast showing the features:

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The European Model is modeling morning thunderstorms tracking across eastern Kansas into western Missouri early Friday with a few strong to severe thunderstorms farther south into eastern Oklahoma and northern Texas. These areas of rain and thunderstorms will likely influence the surface set-up for a few hours.  By Friday night, as you can see below, the upper level storm is strong enough to help force a strong surface low to develop over central Kansas. I know we talked about this in the previous storm that hit Illinois on day 2, but was pretty much a bust on day 1. The timing of these surface features are just a few hours slow for Friday’s set up, but this does not mean it won’t still trigger significant severe weather this time.

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I will finish this blog entry by 11 AM……….

Have a great Thursday. Let’s see how this all sets up.

Gary

Two Storm Systems

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

There are two storm systems showing up on the models that have our attention this morning. Storm chasers will be heading to the Red River Valley today, and then the will be drifting into Kansas on Friday as this first storm system approaches.  This first storm system will feature an advancing warm front and a rather strong surface low that is forecast to track into central and eastern Kansas Friday night:

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Today, there is a stationary front located near the Red River Valley along the Texas/Oklahoma border and this is the focus of today’s severe weather risk.  Here are the risks for the next three days:

day1otlk_1200

day2otlk_0600

day3otlk_0730

This system on Friday still has questions on timing, strength, the position of the fronts and surface low, morning rain and thunderstorms that could affect the evening activity, and more. We will look deeper into this next storm system on the KSHB blog later today, and in this LRC Forecast Experience blog tomorrow. As usual, let me know if you have any questions.

This storm, and the next one due in next week are right on the LRC schedule.  This second one is a storm we have been targeting for wide spread heavy rain and thunderstorms with severe weather for 12 weeks now.  The models have just picked up on it in the past 48 hours.  Look at this set-up for early next week:

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As you can see, Kansas City is in the 2 to 3 inch zone with a strong surface cyclone developing. The European model has been farther south, so let’s see how this looks in the coming days. I will be showing both storm systems tonight on 41 Action News, and you can watch the weathercasts streaming online at www.kshb.com.

Have a great Wednesday!

Gary

It’s Still The Same

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

One of my favorite songs ever is “Still The Same” by Bob Seger.  It’s not about the weather, but when I was 16 years old it meant a lot to me.  The lyrics can be interpreted any way you want, as we are all individuals, and just the title of the song means so much to me, not to mention it is a beautiful melody.  Here is a link to that 1978 version:

The weather pattern is still the same. It is incredibly the same. The same pattern that set up back in October is going through it’s fifth cycle right now.  And, now it is amplifying briefly, but just like what has happened all season long a storm ejecting out into the plains is going to get absorbed into the flow and weaken. The “same” questions apply to this storm as it approaches. Let’s take a look:

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Last night on 41 Action News I showed this graphic.  The flow is splitting off the west coast, and there is a big ridge forming aloft from Montana north to the North Pole.  And, underneath this is an upper low developing off the California coast. A deep upper low is spinning around the Great Lakes states with snow this morning.  Let’s take a look at the raw data:

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This is the Canadian model showing the same pattern. The high amplitude ridge is allowing for the development of an Arctic high in April:

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A 1052 mb surface high is forecast to develop in the next two days over northeastern Canada and a front will be strengthening as it stalls near the Red River Valley along the Texas/Oklahoma border. A strong surface low is now forecast to develop as the energy from the storm off the California coast kicks out. Now, remember, it’s “the same pattern”, and this storm would be quite impacting if it were to just hold together, but it will not as we have experienced all season. And, this is why we have major forecast problems as it moves this way on Friday, which happens to be my birthday.  Come on Mother Nature, don’t make this difficult for the forecasters, but of course it will likely be a very tough forecast for severe weather, cold rain, where the front will set up, and more.

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And, here is the reflection at the surface, with the forecast for Friday evening. The models are now all over the place on how this will set up, but if the upper level storm weakens that much, the surface low will likely be farther south. If the system is a bit stronger, then the surface low would track a bit farther north, and this could increase the severe weather risk on Friday.

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Now, remember, it’s the same pattern. As we have experienced this year’s LRC we likely know what will happen. At the same time, its “the same, but different” as Gary England said many years ago when we were discussing the LRC. So, we will get a late April version of this pattern. Let’s see how it sets up.

Have a great day. Let us know if you have any questions.

Gary