The Snowflake Contest Begins Today

/The Snowflake Contest Begins Today

The Snowflake Contest Begins Today

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Mostly sunny with westerly breezes allowing temperatures to jump to close to 70 degrees.
  • Tonight: Staying mild and clear. Low:  51°
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny with increasing afternoon clouds. High: 71°

1The snowflake contest begins today!  As the heat continues out west, snow has been showing up on some of the models near Kansas City.  Another incredible weather pattern is setting up and cycling across the Northern Hemisphere, but what does it mean for the rest of fall, winter, spring, and into next summer?  These answers will be come soon. According to the LRC, a unique weather pattern sets up each fall, from around the first week of October through much of November. It then cycles regularly until early next October when it all happens again. We are in that developmental stage right now.  The models that have had snow near Kansas City no longer have any snow near Kansas City. Once we know the pattern, and this will be in just a few weeks, we will then know when these models are likely showing the pattern correctly, and we will know when they are “out to lunch”.

The models just yesterday were showing a deep upper low possibly forming over Iowa. This model forecast has already majorly changed. Some other changes have shown up that we are paying close attention to:


Look closely in the next five days north of the Aleutian Island chain, and over Greenland:


The big question that I want answered:  Will this weather pattern be capable of producing some strong blocking near Alaska, and even more importantly over Greenland.  This is something we will learn a lot more about in the next couple of weeks. In the past two winters these blocks were weak and not in the right spot to produce cold winters.  I have seen some evidence that points towards this blocking being much stronger this winter, but I need more.  We have to see it happen first, and just like the snow that has shown up on the models, and then disappeared, let’s see if this blocking actually develops.  We will learn this important factor for this up coming winter within the next couple of weeks.

So, when will we have our first inch of snow in KC. Enter the contest as it is now open.  Last year I got within one day of getting it right. I will be waiting until near the deadline, which is in late November, to make my forecast. Well, unless a good chance shows up earlier. Thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Go to and click on the blog there to join in the conversation and have a great day.


2017-10-26T08:33:53+00:00October 25th, 2017|General|58 Comments


  1. Snow Miser October 25, 2017 at 7:45 am - Reply

    First inch? Hmm, I’m going to count 50 days from the big rain we had on Oct 4 and go for Nov 23, at 7am.

  2. ginapuff October 25, 2017 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Gary, the snowflake contest has 2016 and 2017 as year choices?! I picked a day in December 2017 anyway.

    • Gary October 25, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

      I will go and check. Yes, I would recommend not putting in 2016.


  3. Bill in Lawrence October 25, 2017 at 7:55 am - Reply


    Good chilly October morning to you sir!!

    Thanks so much for the write up this morning; very informative indeed!! 1-2 ensembles do have the AO going pretty negative over the next week and also, the forecasts of a highly positive AO did not play out as it has been neutral the past few days.

    It is going to be so interesting to see just how this whole thing looks when we get to around Thanksgiving. There are for sure some players trying to take the field which is very exciting to a snow/winter lover such as myself.

    I still will stick by my post of 2 nights ago-I think there is greater than 50% chance of 12-14 here in Lawrence (KC especially the eastern parts will probably have more) with maybe a 30% of more but only a 10% of less-I think Lawrence has a pretty normal winter this year which compared to the past 2 years will seem like a blockbuster!!! I also stand by the idea that the models will have some serious snow storms showing up that in reality will wind up 100’s of miles from what they show 3-4 days out. I know this happens every winter, but to me, this pattern just looks like it will be more than in a normal year.

    Just a preliminary going out on a limb and throwing out some random thoughts.

    Of course as Gary has discussed for the past 2 weeks, one needs to be patient and let this all play out over the next 2-3 weeks; advice this post has thrown to the winds. I’m sure as always, I will be wearing a clown suit come March!!! LOL

    Have a great Wednesday everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  4. numb3rsguy October 25, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply


    Can you explain blocking a little more? Is blocking indicated by areas of high pressure over Alaska and Greenland? And how does that force cold air and/or snow down into the Midwest? Thanks!

    • Three7s October 25, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Yes, blocking is areas of high pressure over those areas, and when there’s high pressure over an area, the cold air is forced somewhere else. It doesn’t always go through the Midwest, though. Sometimes it hits the east more, but yeah, that’s basically it.

  5. terry October 25, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

    What’s the link to the snowflake contests ?

  6. MikeL October 25, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Based on everything we’ve seen so far, here is my preliminary winter forecast which will be updated as more data comes in:

    Modelitis: above normal
    POOFs: above normal
    Forum meltdowns: a whole lot as usual
    Snowfall: below to near normal (10″-20″)

    • Urbanity October 25, 2017 at 8:25 am - Reply


    • Three7s October 25, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

      I’d give the accuracy of those forecasts at near 90% at least.

    • Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Nailed it Mike! The only question left is the length of the cycle.

  7. Urbanity October 25, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Gary can you put your first snow date out here soon so I can choose one minute before or after your time.

  8. Blue Flash October 25, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Not my official guess, will wait a bit until closer to the deadline, but I’m thinking 55 days from the vigorous system that rolled through Saturday night…..that would be December 15.

  9. Richard October 25, 2017 at 8:38 am - Reply



    • Richard October 25, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

      All caps above. Sorry

  10. Urbanity October 25, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

    According to the GFS it looks like Ontario, Canada will receive more snow in October than we’ll get for the whole winter down here. It looks like the pattern is setting up for the “True” Midwest to receive the snow, especially the Great Lakes and northern Indiana, Ohio. Of course they could get their’s and we still could siphon off a decent winter.
    Darn it, Terry and Gary will be disappointed, but there I go again playing the game from Office Space, “Jump to Conclusions”.

    • Anonymous October 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      It is looking good for a lot more snow here than the last three years…its really quite exciting. Of course, Urbanity is going to be quite depressed it sounds like.

  11. Mr. Pete October 25, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

    The winds appear to be better today. Yesterday was brutal

  12. Elaine Watson October 25, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Hello, I chose a Dec. date but as someone mentioned it doesn’t have 2018 as a choice…also after answering the jewelry questions it shows Nebraska furniture mart 2016 sponsor at the top of the page. I like the blocking pattern that is showing up on the models..fingers crossed.

  13. Brad October 25, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    If anyone wants to enter the snowflake contest here is the link

    • Richard October 25, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

      Thanks Brad

  14. Rickmckc October 25, 2017 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Gary, what happened to the informal first snowflake contest (not the first inch contest) you publicized a while back? Is that still running?

    • joe October 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm - Reply


      Yes, the “unofficial” first snowflake contest for our viewing area is running until we see our first snowflake. Prize is a signed copy of Gary’s book

  15. Richard October 25, 2017 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Gary is mia

    Why didn’t he put a link in his post for the official contest. Why isn’t the word Contests in the orange top banner of this 2020 site.
    Thanks to terry for the answer. But why make it so hard to find. On the kshb site ?

    I have asked a few times about that unofficial first flake contest. No answers.
    Gary if you are going to put something out here, like a contest, could you follow through by answering questions please.

  16. Anonymous October 25, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Dec 14

  17. Adam October 25, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    FYI page is referncing a 2023 date. Selecting enter is only refreshing the page.

  18. Adam October 25, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    2013 not 2023

  19. Nate October 25, 2017 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Lets me see, I googled “KSHB Snowflake contest” and was taken right to it. Are you people older? Are you looking for it in the Yellowpages?

    • Richard October 25, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Point is we shouldn’t have to google it. It should have been posted for us by Gary.
      I realize the contest is not only for us on the blog. It is for kshb viewers. But still…

      Yeah some of us are older. Or new here. What a crack remark.

    • MikeL October 25, 2017 at 11:30 am - Reply

      @Nate. From your comment I just realized that “KSHB Snowflake contest” could take on a whole new meaning. How funny and oh, the irony! LOL

      (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one everyone. Word play is just too fun sometimes. Must be my advanced age…lol)

      • Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

        Well at least it’s not the same as a “Trumpflake” 🙂

        • MikeL October 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm - Reply

          Gosh Rockdoc…don’t get anything political started. 😉

          • joe October 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply


            Rock can always be relied on to start political trouble and anybody that disagrees with him/her can…well, go back and read through the posts

            • Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 7:12 pm - Reply

              My, my. Politically correct people cannot see humor. I just don’t like yellow-orange snow. And for the record, he just blamed the Generals for the Niger mission. Not My Commander in Chief if he can’t accept responsibilities that come with the job.

              Sorry Gary.

              • Anonymous October 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm

                lol…he is the President of the United States, so if he’s not your president I guess you aren’t an American then. Its more like you cant accept that you lost the election therapy lib, and hug your therapy pet. Trumps doing a fantastic job…GO TRUMP!!!!

              • Anonymous October 25, 2017 at 7:49 pm

                By the way, catch up. Its the left thats politically correct, not the right. Nice try though. Projecting is what libs do best.

              • Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 11:17 pm

                Guess Anonymous has never served in the military. We all know that responsible Commanders in Chief accept responsibility for their Administration decisions or lack thereof. Trump jettisoned his responsibility as Commander in Chief! He cannot accept the fact that he screwed up and is ultimately responsible. This is not PC, just fact!

                By the way, Special Forces, unlike POTUS accepts responsibility and will conduct an AAR. For non-military that’s an after action review. They hope to learn what went wrong to prevent it from happening again. Terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all families.

  20. Richard October 25, 2017 at 10:53 am - Reply

    On the – Weather tab. Left side, scroll down.
    there is a 2017-2018 Winter Forecast video. Why is it there ? It is not Gary.
    Wondering if it is a spam ad or does anyone else see it.
    I did not click on it

  21. Elaine Watson October 25, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    For those that can’t locate the contest…go to the KSHB website and scroll down then click on contests.

  22. Richard October 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    R.I.P. Fats Domino age 89

  23. Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Gary, I think we need another contest here on the 2020 blog. The next one would be the average length of the LRC cycle. We have the first contest which is the date/time that we think we will see the first snow/snowflakes, and the LRC cycle could be the 2nd one. These are different from the contest on the KSHB web site which is for the 1st inch of snow.

  24. jeffnks October 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Well Crap. I am not allowed to enter the contest. I meet all the above but one I am not in the viewing area as im down here in Wichita. 🙁

    • stl78 October 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      U can enter b playing from mn

  25. jeffnks October 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    But I watch your News on puter and Kodi that cont lol

    • Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Enter it anyways. I think you just need to guess for the KC metro area, not where you live in Wichita…….put a note in for explanation that you are guessing for KC at the TV station on the Plaza – that’s where they measure it.

  26. Richard October 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Hey Gary

    In my email I just now got a confirmation from kshb that I entered the snowflake contest.
    It also has a suggestion to share the contest on my facebook. So I clicked on the facebook symbol to share.
    But when it came up on facebook it says “snowflake 2016 – ”

    So I deleted it on my facebook since it says 2016. Someone goofed.

  27. Richard October 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Pittsburg yesterday. Incredible shot of a double rainbow . Vibrant !

    Did you know that the double rainbow is actually a reflection of the refracted rainbow. If you look close enough you can see that the colors are reversed.

  28. Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    If the contest says 2016 then we should all be winners. We can put in the date from last year’s winning day/time for the first 1″ of snow 🙂 It was on December 17th, 2016 at 5:46 pm just before Gary went on air. That was during that arctic air blast we had. A few days earlier it was well below zero….burrrrr…..

    Don’t know if KSHB would be prepared to award us all the $6,000 diamond ring though…lol….

    • Gary October 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      I just checked the entries and the choice is only 2017 or 2018.


      • Richard October 26, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

        Once you get there, yes the choice is 2017-2018. But in my email confirmation, it gave a share option to share on facebook, twitter, or email. So I shared to facebook, but when it came up on facebook it says 2016 ! Telling fb people that it was the 2016 contest. So I deleted it

  29. Rockdoc October 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Perhaps a direct link to contest page from Weather page would help. Trying to find contest page on KSHB web site is challenging. Just a thought.

    • Richard October 26, 2017 at 8:28 am - Reply


  30. Brian October 25, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Has Gary ever predicted the first inch of snow day correctly?

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