Forecasting The Next Storm System

/Forecasting The Next Storm System

Forecasting The Next Storm System

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: The clouds move out with sunshine returning: Light winds. High:  62°
  • Thursday:  Some morning fog, then sunny and nearly perfect with a light north wind from 5-10 mph. High:  74°
  • Friday: Mostly sunny and becoming humid. South winds increasing at 10-25 mph. High:  84°
  • Saturday:  Partly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day and a nearly 100% chance of thunderstorms Saturday night. Flooding and some severe weather is possible. High:  80°
  • Sunday:  Rain ending early and drying out for tailgating and the Chiefs game. It will be dry for the Sporting KC game as well.  Cooler with a high of 63° dropping into the 50s by 6 PM in the fourth quarter of the Steelers/Chiefs game.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 7.14.20 AMThere is a risk of severe weather on Saturday as the next storm system moves across the plains. One of the big differences to these severe weather risks in October and November from how they look in the spring is the amount of daylight we have.  We are now three full weeks into fall and we have about the same amount of daylight as there is three weeks before the beginning of spring. There are severe weather risks and outbreaks at any time of the year depending on the strength of these storm systems and other parameters such as low level moisture available and heating ahead of these systems. If the conditions all come together you can have big severe weather set ups.  Some of the conditions appear to be coming together for strong to severe thunderstorms on Saturday or more likely Saturday night across parts of Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.  The risk from the Storm Prediction Center for day 4 is shown on the left.

A storm system is approaching aloft by early this weekend as you can see on this 500 mb chart:


This is a rather energetic series of waves that are carving out this trough aloft that is approaching.  High levels of humidity will be pulled in from the Gulf of Mexico, and there is a stalling front that will be approaching Kansas City on Friday.


This map above shows a forecast for the cold front with some strong surface ridging over Nebraska behind this front.  The trough aloft that is approaching is also strong enough to cause the pressure to begin falling and the front will stall as a result. Look at the front 24 hours later in this 7 PM Saturday surface forecast:


Now back to the timing of this and the “time” of the year. 7 PM is now 30 minutes past sunset, so it will be dark.  This will begin limiting the instability, but before sunset there should be enough heat and humidity to create initial strong to severe thunderstorms with hail and damaging winds the main risk, but a few tornadoes can not be ruled out near and ahead of where that surface low over Iowa is located.  For KC it looks like a slow moving line of thunderstorms Saturday night that could produce very heavy rainfall amounts from 1″ to 3″.

Yesterday we showed you the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation going into the positive. Today we show you how fast these indexes can change as they are just tied to the error ridden computer models. Once we know this years LRC (Cycling Pattern Hypothesis) better we will know so much more. The cycling pattern is evolving and KC just had two early storm systems with this third one on the move and about to affect the plains.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 7.26.16 AM

The Arctic Oscillation is positive right now. Let’s see where it goes in these next two very critical weeks.

Thank you for participating in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern. Let us know if you have any questions. We continue to have some great discussions on the Weather2020 blog. Go over there and join in and share with the rest of us.  Have a great Wednesday.


2017-10-12T07:45:49+00:00October 11th, 2017|General|33 Comments


  1. Frankie October 11, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply

    How big of a snowstorm would this system be if it comes back around during the winter?

    • Richard October 11, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Could be rain, or sleet, if it is not cold enough for snow.

      I think yesterday Gary said it would have been 3 inches

      • Frankie October 11, 2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

        He said yesterday’s system located directly over KC would be 1-3″. I thought this weekend’s system may be more powerful, because of the fact that it will be creating severe storms in the area. And yes, it better be cold enough during the winter!

      • Three7s October 11, 2017 at 10:11 am - Reply

        If that system takes a similar path, no question, it will be cold enough. I don’t know the cycle length yet, but My guess is it will be back in early December, and it should have snow with it. Might get another dose from it in January/February and again in March. The only hard part with this setup is making sure it takes the same path. Even a slight wobble to the north would absolutely kill any accumulations with this system.

  2. Urbanity October 11, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

    dos pies de nieve

    • Urbanity October 11, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

      @ Frankie

  3. Richard October 11, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Not weather related but I wonder why the Chiefs Steelers game is at 3 pm.
    We have not had a noon game yet.

    • Three7s October 11, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

      CBS probably decided to make it the game of the week.

  4. Kathy October 11, 2017 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Lest anyone doubt that we can have tornadic outbreaks locally in autumn, let me hand you a link which shows an outbreak the weekend after Thanksgiving in 2005. I live in Excelsior Springs, and we had just sat down to supper (after dark) when the sirens went off and a tornado hit and damaged many buildings in my town. I remember several friends returning from deer hunting and seeing the tornado when the lightening lit up the sky. The damage was pretty significant and although no lives were lost, it was still a reminder that this kind of thing can happen at any time during the year. Apparently, that was a day with many tornadoes, as indicated by the reports contained in the link: Anyone else remember?

  5. j-ox October 11, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    1″-3″ of liquid precip could very well translate into Wintry 6″ – 45″ of slushy-to-powdery snow.

  6. REAL HUMEDUDE October 11, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I’m interested to see if this front will hammer KC like all the rest did over the summer, or will it actually hit my farm this time? Everyone of those terrible floods we had up here, only produced around 1″ rain at the farm. I want to see how this one behaves, I have feeling it will behave a lot like the others and hammer KC with training storms only to blow through the farm in very rapid fashion. It should setup differently this time, but we’ll see

    • Three7s October 11, 2017 at 10:51 am - Reply

      I hear you. So far during this new LRC, I’m not worried about the lack of systems like I was last year. This year, the AO is what has my attention. If that goes negative during any lengthy stretch, it could be a very interesting winter.

    • Urbanity October 11, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Hume, if you are south-southwest of KC metro then I can see the front stalling and moving back north before the core of precip occurs, then it will blast through and get you .25-.50″. Seems I recall fronts tend to move through quicker than expected during the fall. This would be a classic setup in January where the snow/sleet/frzrain switches back to rain, then goes back over to a quick hitting 3-5 inch wet snow event.

  7. NoBeachHere October 11, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Can you explain the factors, teleconnectors?, that influence the NAO and the AO. Perhaps even an example like, The NAO goes into negative when the AMO heights expand to northern latitudes which then creates blocking.

    Thank You

  8. Rod October 11, 2017 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Gary: I’ve had rainfall in my gauge in Ashland, MO 7 out of the past 8 mornings, starting Wed with 0.58″, Thurs 1.59″, Fri 0.04″, Sat 0.07″, Sun 0.27″, Mon 0.00″, Tues 0.10″, & this morning 0.15″ for s total of 2.80″ of rain. Is this a good sign that a series of systems could stack up & produce several days of winter weather or were some of these days part of the very ending of the old pattern last week? Last winter I only recorded 4″ of snow for the entire winter & am hoping to at least triple or quadruple this amount for the upcoming winter. Would you also be willing to make a snowfall prediction when you come out with your winter forecast for Kansas City for central MO specifically Columbia? Thanks

  9. Snow Miser October 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    If we’re going to have a white Christmas this year, and presuming the cycle is about 50 days, we’ll need a storm somewhere around the 5th-6th of November.

    • Rod October 11, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Just for fun accuweather showing rain on Nov 6-7 for KC, likely not accurate that far out but who knows. I’m also hoping for a white Christmas.

  10. BIG PAPPA POOF October 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm - Reply


  11. Nick October 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    A day to day forecast like that ( just using computer modeling( is there any modeling that goes out that far even??) that is hilarious, they go for quantity not quality forecasts, lol, yea it will be wrong but we have a 100 day forecast, lol

  12. Frankie October 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    I hope all of you know that 90 day forecasts are incredibly inaccurate!

    • Richard October 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      But 2020 has 12 week forecasts

      • stl78 October 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        I would put more stock in Gary’s 12 wk outlook vs accuweather and I prefer outlook over forecast

        • Richard October 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

          Yeah me too
          They do title it the 12 week forecast though, not 12 week outlook.
          (One Weather app link above takes you to the 12 week forecast.

  13. stl78 October 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Incredibly inaccurate? How bout impossible! That’s what that link above says in a nutshell

  14. joe October 11, 2017 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Not quite sure I agree with that article regarding forecasting 90 days in advance. While they may not be precise and 100% accurate, anybody following the LRC for the past several years has learned that Gary has in fact been able to accurately ( reasonably) forecast 6-12 weeks out. Moreover, Satterfield states that even looking at those forecasts equates to not supporting science? Wait, what? Isn’t science the pursuit of truth, constantly questioning what we think we know and blazing a trail of discovery into the unknown? In my humble opinion, that is what the LRC is about and will eventually catch on as I believe the LRC to be the best version of science in its purest form.

    And no Rockdoc, I am not criticizing any one person or anything, simply stating my humble opinion so please, don’t wish me to “rot in he!!” again simply because our opinions may differ. Hopefully, a nice relaxing vacay in beautiful Colorado helped to get that nastiness out of your system 😀

    • Richard October 11, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Man, I appreciate what you said in the first paragraph.
      But the 2nd paragraph was low.
      As you said many times in the past it gets old. And thats all anyone sees, regardless of the first paragraph.

      • joe October 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply


        Was it necessary? probably not. Was it valid? absolutely. Being told to “rot in he!!” on a weather blog for a differing opinion is a bit extreme is it not? Anyway, I was merely making a statement that just because I or anybody else has a different opinion, does not signal malice or criticism, at least, not on purpose. Sorry , but I still believe the media sensationalizes most everything for readership, on the other hand I respect those that don’t feel the same. healthy debate and mutual respect, it is what is commonly lacking in our society

        • Richard October 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

          when Rockdoc said that was the time to address it. Not weeks later.
          Lot of water under the bridge since. No reason to bring it up now when things have been going good on here.
          You lose credibility if you can’t move past it.

          • joe October 12, 2017 at 12:16 am - Reply


            you are entertaining 😀

  15. stl78 October 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I do love a healthy debate with mutual respect.

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