It’s Not Quite Ground Hog Day Yet

/It’s Not Quite Ground Hog Day Yet

It’s Not Quite Ground Hog Day Yet

Good morning bloggers,

It’s not quite Ground Hog Day, but it is approaching. We are living through the “same pattern” over and over again. Is it any shock that we are still waiting for our first major winter storm? Is it any shock that Amarillo, TX continues to be rain and snow free for over 100 days now?  Is it any shock that the fire danger is extreme in California again, 47 days after their last big fires, and 94 days after the October disastrous  fires?  The same pattern continues to produce the same results. The frustration continues, however, because the models quite often show some snow from five to fifteen days out, and then when it gets to the time it is supposed to snow, well we end up getting 0.1″, 0.4″, or maybe even a 2.1″ snow, or nothing.  But, it has been almost four complete years without even 3″ of snow in one storm in KC.   So, here we are, and we are dealing with it again. But, it should not be a surprise. The same pattern continues. Like in the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray plays a weatherman living through Groundhog Day 1000s of times before he finally figures out how to be happy and enjoy it, we are sitting here trying to figure out how to be happy and enjoy this “horribly boring” weather pattern that we are in.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 7.39.27 AM

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 7.39.41 AM

For anyone who doubts the LRC, and how incredible it is, just look at this comparison. The top map is from the actual data from November 1, and the second map is from cycle 3. Cycle 1 and cycle 3 of this years pattern. We knew in November that this would likely return around the first few days of February. INCREDIBLE!   Now what does this mean?

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: Sunny and cold. Northwest winds around 10 mph with wind chills near 0 this morning.  High:  30°
  • Tuesday:  Warmer and sunny. High:  48°

Things to look for on the new models:

  1. A big warm-up Tuesday into Wednesday
  2. Another dry cold front Wednesday Night into Thursday
  3. An Arctic high gaining strength by Saturday over Canada with an Arctic blast possible on Sunday
  4. The GFS had snow on eight straight model runs, but then suddenly took it out for Sunday. The European model had no snow on the same model runs, but then suddenly had 2″ of snow on Sunday on the overnight run. This is something to continue monitoring

Bottom line: To those of you that have a good understanding of the cycling pattern, these same questions that come up over and over again should not be that surprising. This is this years LRC. The ones that try to be devils advocate for the ability to forecast the weather using this new hypothesis are not realizing that the same things happening over and over again are actually verifying the LRC.  The potential is still there for a storm or two to come together. I don’t want to end all hope, but we all know that this pattern is just not doing it.  Now, maybe “horribly boring” was a strong statement. This likely has been anything but boring, so replace boring with frustrating and I think you get where we are coming from.

Have great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to and click on the blog over there and join in on the conversation.


2018-01-30T08:10:40+00:00January 29th, 2018|General|52 Comments


  1. Miss Jess January 29, 2018 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Light snow showers in south OP, very pretty with the sun peaking out. It would be a lot more fun if it would snow 3+ inches this weekend though!

    • Gary January 29, 2018 at 9:01 am - Reply

      I saw the snowflakes! Now, let’s enjoy each one!


  2. f00dl3 January 29, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Hasn’t there been a trend all winter where 10 days out the GFS trends to give us a blizzard, then backs off, then the GFS has the storm go north, then the Euro starts to say we will get snow, then the Euro backs off and we don’t get anything?

    Seems like the models keep doing this over and over again…. almost like the LRC can predict the model runs because they do the same thing with all our systems – and end up getting it totally wrong until about 2 days out.

    I think the GFS does have a good handle now on the weekend storm – dusting to 1/2″ seems like the pattern.

    • Gary January 29, 2018 at 9:00 am - Reply

      The thing is, if we look deeper into it, the ten day out versions have mostly not been that strong to begin with. They are almost always teetering on a slight difference and poof. It’s not like we had major blizzards showing up, but only smaller storm systems. In some years we see 25 inch snows showing up at ten days out or longer. This year it has mostly been 3 to 6 inch snows showing up, if that makes sense.

      So, it is what it is. There is still hope, but the frustrations continue.


  3. Snowflake January 29, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Gary –

    Independent of your earlier winter forecast, if you could redo it right now for the remainder – what would you forecast for snowfall for the remainder of our KC winter?

  4. LYITC41 January 29, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Screw the snow, just want it to rain, but if it gets any drier I’ll take just about anything but an ice storm.

  5. REAL HUMEDUDE January 29, 2018 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Nothing to see here guys, maybe next winter. I did have a scary thought thinking abut this pattern yesterday. Even though we have some systems in play, and should have fronts in the area, that’s still no guarantee of good rains. I was thinking back to 2011 and 2012, several times we had a system come right through, but it was only a storm of clouds with no rainfall. One time a nice Low came through that looked like hurricane structure with an eye, tracked right over us but completely dry not even a shower connected to it in June. When you are in a drought or dry pattern many times you get systems but they don’t produce anything, they hit a wall and fizzle. So the presence of systems in the region is encouraging, but doesn’t really mean they will produce in your backyard. Most often that happens when ridging is focused over your area, I don’t see that this year so I am not that worried about an expansive drought this year affecting eastern KS / Western MO.

    • Troy Newman January 29, 2018 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Very true. One thing to keep in mind is there is always a drought its just a matter of where it is. To me it looks like it is shifting back into the Southern High Plains like it was from 2010-12. Where you live might make a very big difference. In 2011 we had good rains and tremendous crops here. There was a broad and flat ridge over TX and I was right on the edge which meant we had a lot of disturbances moving across. If you went 60 miles South of here it was much drier and further South yet it was a bad drought. Same thing was true in 2010. Even 2012 wasn’t bad here except it was hotter than normal. You can even look back to the 30s and each year the drought moved around. Some times it was a large area sometimes smaller but if you were in the SW Plains it was always centered right there. I don’t like the look of things for Amarillo but the further away you are the more questionable it is what this spring and summer will bring in my very amateur opinion.

      • REAL HUMEDUDE January 29, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

        I bet you are in Northern MO, or NE possibly? I remember in 2011 there would be nice rains to our north, but a big Anticyclone in Texas killed everything as it tried to get there. The further sough you went from KC rain dropped off fast, but northern MO had a great year I recall talking to farmers up there getting 3″ rains in July when we didn’t get one that big all year long and it was just dry and hot. Fronts would make it there with big line of storms that would fall apart as it moved south, EVERY TIME! So frustrating watching a big system fall apart on your doorstep, over and over again. Those years are so hard on me, I am radar watching in the middle of the night and I make it full time job waiting for the big rain that would end the drought.

        • Troy Newman January 29, 2018 at 6:34 pm - Reply

          In KS but 5 miles from the NE state line straight North of Salina. It really was only the Northern tier of counties that had it good and then each county South got worse.

  6. Bill January 29, 2018 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Can we just move on to spring and forget the rest of winter? I want moisture and warmth pleaseeee. Screw the snow and cold!

  7. Steve January 29, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Darn arctic show’s up again and helps dry out the atmosphere and there goes the snow.

  8. NoBeachHere January 29, 2018 at 10:10 am - Reply

    In perception point, this is frustrating for all who want snow, even more so for those who just want moisture. In relative speaking terms it’s the same ole “this sucks” lol. It’s just not there for winter to produce. That being said, weather can change and surprise us all, not being negative but if we really buy into the LRC, there has been enough proof to this point. Perhaps with the right setting, something may come together but not until March. The dynamics of our cold shots choke out moisture, plus the storms not really having any functionality to them coming through our area only intensify the frustrations. March is when we may have our best shot of accumulating snow, increased dynamics of the jet stream, increased dew points and moisture of storms associated within the flow aloft , western ridge weakened and far enough off shore to allow a functional four corners digging trough.
    As I stated a few blogs ago, if there is a right on shore western ridge, we’ll be really cold, dry and have disfunctional storms.
    Weakened/no western ridge with the current neutral AO/NAO, zonal or slight NW flow, mostly dry and cool .
    Weakened/no western ridge with -3 or better AO/NAO, I think we would be in business.
    Western ridge and neg AO/NAO would be like an inverted Omega and I have no clue on that.

    All from a novice perspective 😱

    Roll Tide!

    • Gary January 29, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

      OMG, I am responding to a “Tide” fan, just kidding, sort of, but they did do it again, and they beat my Sooners in basketball Saturday.

      Good perception! The new GFS came in with a bit more of a wave approaching Super Bowl Sunday, but it still needs to only be a bit stronger. Just a slight difference and we will get that 3″ snowstorm, this is why the 2017-2018 pattern is so frustrating in KC. It is actually close. But, this pattern most often takes that slightly less of a wave and not slightly more of a wave as the systems move by. We know it will turn very cold. But, getting that set up for any organized snow is still quite obviously a challenge.


      • NoBeachHere January 29, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply

        A pure troll response here

        First the Sooners got bulldoged then got rolled

        • NoBeachHere January 29, 2018 at 11:22 am - Reply

          And Thank You Gary!

      • Rod January 29, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

        Gary what would you put the chances as of today of getting at least a 1-3” snow this weekend into Super Bowl Sunday? Many of us including myself think the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday, just enough snow to close schools on Monday gives me a snow day from work to stay home with my kids. Please snow!!

        Rod, Ashland, MO

        • Gary January 29, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply


          1 to 3″ you are asking? We haven’t even been able to make a prediction for a storm system with that much in years. This season, I believe the most I predicted for one storm was up to 2″. So, If this is what you are asking I would place the chance of up to 2″, or really a dusting to 2″ at 30%. Which means a 70% chance it doesn’t happen. Let’s see where we go from here.


  9. Urbanity January 29, 2018 at 10:23 am - Reply

    1995 Drought – Sounds familiar to this years pattern without the NAO effect (which shows that a neg NAO does not correlate to precip and blocking under certain conditions).

    “The ongoing drought is one result of a planetary-scale circulation pattern that has influenced the weather over a large part of the Northern Hemisphere. This pattern featured strong upper-level ridges across the Southwest and the high latitudes of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans and strong upper-level troughs over eastern North America and the mid-latitudes of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Two important climatic factors appeared to contribute to the development of this pattern: 1) The evolution of cold-episode (La Nina) conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and 2) The development of an extremely persistent negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the duration of which was unparalleled since the late 1970’s.”

    Quote from the NOAA- “During October-May 1995/96, the entire drought region was centered between the large-scale mean ridge and trough axes, in a region of enhanced, descending motion and reduced precipitation.”

    I say the drought remains until a few months after La Nina fades away. It took a hurricane that came up through Texas in 1996 to break the drought of 1995-96. I agree with NoBeachHere that March will be the only month that a chance of significant snow will occur, for this year that would be less than 6″, but if this Jan thaw returns 48 days later during mid-March it may be to warm by then for snow.

    Truly is a Groundhog Winter “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be dry, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your winter”.

    • Gary January 29, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

      It is amazing that they often get close to explaining the LRC while they don’t even know it.


      • Urbanity January 29, 2018 at 11:33 am - Reply

        Gary, what do you mean? Were you referring to persistent patterns?

    • Troy Newman January 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      If this pattern has really only produced storms in the very beginning of the cycle we know our chances are limited. I don’t know what to make of all the small scale stuff in the NW flow. Maybe that will bring rain in summer?? It sure isn’t going to do much in winter. I can see a lot of red flag warnings in March when the wind returns like it was in October and the landscape is as dry as it can get. One thing a KS weatherman seldom misses is forecasts for wind.

  10. Richard January 29, 2018 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Heard you briefly you on 810 something about going to to Manhattan on Wednesday to speak at an Agriculture conference.
    Are you going to tell then to prepare for a serious drought this summer ?

    Also, is tech team going to fix the sign in problem here on blog ? And no refresh.
    It all started when blog slowed down due to hits. But, fuxing that created the nuisances of having to sign in every dau and blog not refreshing.

  11. Matt H January 29, 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I do snow removal in the winter and work outdoors the rest of the year, so I usually watch weather models and 7 day forecasts fairly closely. I’m no meteorologist, so I leave it for the pros.

    One thing I noticed this year is the constant inaccuracy of predicting precipitation. Whether it’s constant back and forth on model runs, or inconsistency with long range forecasts, things seem to dramatically chance as things approach. Might talk about a 1-3″ snow, and instead of missing snow totals by a few inches, the storm ends up being hundreds of miles away.

    There are ALWAYS times where you guys get it wrong, because you’re trying to predict the future. However it seems like this season’s storms can’t be predicted worth a darn until about 1-2 days out.

    I’m not trying to disrespect you, Gary, I’m just curious what causes this inaccuracy in the models or your (or anyone’s for that matter) forecasts? Like I said, a lot of times just the storm totals are what are missed on the storms, but this year it seems like every is missing storms completely.

  12. Mr. Pete January 29, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Gary when will you be issuing a spring forecast?

    Go K-State!


    • Richard January 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply


    • Clint January 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      I would be happy if he would just make a forecast for this weekend.

  13. Janet January 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    This years LRC weather pattern reminds me of the Chiefs. Seems we’re always saying, “Maybe next year”….. 🙂

    • Lary Gezak January 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Nope. Not next year. As long as Sutton sticks around… we will not go anywhere. Our offense can only carry us so far.

      In terms of Spring — no drought. Lots of storms and rain in the forecast

      • Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

        10 day forecast

      • Supercell January 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm - Reply

        Correct. Bob Sutton = Greg Robinson. The only reason Sutton remains as D coordinator is because Andy Reid’s sin Britt coaches D-line and any other D coordinator who would come in would not keep Britt. Sutton is on staff solely to continue to employ Britt Reid. This is called the Andy Reid gravy train.

        • Supercell January 29, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

          Son. Sorry about that.

          • Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 5:56 pm - Reply

            It is a sin though.

    • Gary January 29, 2018 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Just remember I am not the head coach or play for this team. I am just the announcer that has to sound positive even in our 2-14 seasons. That’s my best analogy.


  14. LYITC41 January 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Drought….not necessarily!

  15. Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    There’s not going to be a Drought okay. Get of this Drought kick.

  16. Stl78 January 29, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Oh terry, how r u buddy?

    • Terry January 29, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      I’m ok thxs

  17. Urbanity January 29, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    You couldn’t pay me to live in New Mexico or West Texas, West Oklahoma, & Western Kansas. Growing up I lived on or near bodies of salt water, east coast & gulf, never heard of drought conditions. Never saw water levels decline. Moved to Kansas as a teenager and lived near Manhattan, creek flooded often, don’t remember drought until my last year in the state, 1995, before moving back.

    I am west of Salina, and it is feast or famine, very Hot or Cold, very Dry or Wet, very Windy all of the time. I should move further west to logically facilitate work location, but I can’t make myself do it for fear of living in a sandy dusty desert. Let’s face it, conditions are such that it’s hard on your health, inhaling field chemicals and pesticides, dust particles, pollen, all the worst things, it’s no wonder cancer rates are high…not to mention the subsurface Radon infusion. I have a new home with added air filtration, I keep the windows shut, kids are good at closing the doors, yet still have incredible amounts of dust to clean every other week. Half the people in this area cough non-stop, so congested non stop. Skin disorders are rampant, if want to see a dermatologist better plan ahead 6 months. Something is not right with this picture. I say we all pack our stuff and head to the east, east of Abilene, east of Topeka, why not east of the Mississippi, SEC country. That’s why the SEC is kicking our butts in sports, they’re healthier!!

    • Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      Urbanity, I spent a few years living in Midland, Texas back in the early ’90s, which has to be very close to the location of the “unmentionable” orifice of the USA. The town itself was tolerable due to white collar oilfield money (which is why I was there), but the surrounding country is some of the ugliest there is. Flat as a pancake and no trees except stunted mesquite bushes. And dry, dry, dry. I had the worst sinus infections and/or pneumonia every winter I was there. When the wind was from the east you could smell the tank farm on the east side of the city, and I lived on the west side. I don’t miss it at all!

  18. sedsinkc January 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Urbanity, I spent a few years living in Midland, Texas back in the early ’90s, which has to be very close to the location of the “unmentionable” orifice of the USA. The town itself was tolerable due to white collar oilfield money (which is why I was there), but the surrounding country is some of the ugliest there is. Flat as a pancake and no trees except stunted mesquite bushes. And dry, dry, dry. I had the worst sinus infections and/or pneumonia every winter I was there. When the wind was from the east you could smell the tank farm on the east side of the city, and I lived on the west side. I don’t miss it at all!

    • KS Jones January 29, 2018 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      “If I owned Texas and Hell, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.” -General Phillip H. Sheridan

      • Troy Newman January 29, 2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

        I was in a baseball tournament back in college where we went to Lubbock, TX over spring break and we traveled out to NM to play as well. There were drifts of dirt in the road like we get snow around here. I had no idea any place could be that bad. The field in Hobbs, NM looked nice but their trainer warned us to watch out for rattle snakes when we took the tarp of the bull pen mound. It looked like an old Western film as soon as you stepped off their irrigated field with tumble weeds and sage brush. You couldn’t pay may to go to college or live there.

        • KS Jones January 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

          I don’t know when Sheridan made that statement about Texas & Hell, but I would guess it was after battling Comanches on the Llano Estacado (staked plains in the Texas panhandle).

      • Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Reply

        That’s a great quote.

    • MattinLeavenworth January 29, 2018 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Seds, what kind of oilfield work did you do?

      • sedsinkc January 30, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        Petroleum geologist.

  19. Tdogg January 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Maybe this will be a February to remember! And, the biggest snow in KC’s recorded history fell in March! It’s going to be epic!

  20. Rod January 30, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Does anyone see the correlation on Gary’s 500 mb map on Feb 2nd & the below 240 HR GFS fun this evening? It’s like the snow line follows the big dip in the jet stream. I have a gut feeling this is going to be a February to remember and we’re going to get that snow pack in the next two weeks.

    Rod, Ashland, MO

Leave A Comment