What Happened & What’s Next?

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Good morning bloggers,

Well, let’s be realistic and honest here. And, most of you know I don’t hold back, and I share with you just about everything, if you ask.  Yesterday was not good for meteorologists in Kansas City.  I am a bit surprised at the lack of snow, but the warning signs were there.  Just look at the titles of the last few blog entries.

February Blog Titles:

  • Kansas City In A Snow Hole
  • Try Not To Get To Excited About Snow Yet
  • The Snow Struggle Continues
  • Three & Out, Punt
  • The Trend Is Up On Super Bowl Sunday
  • Will Tuesday’s Storm Hit Or Miss?
  • Snow Chances & Models
  • The Accurate Forecast From 5 Days Ago: We Will Likely Be Missed By Tuesday’s Storm

These are all of the blog titles in February thus far.  I think they say a lot.  It’s not like we were really expecting to get hit hard, and there was a way to forecast this storm better, no doubt about it.  But, we still did not get it right. Forecasting a dusting to 2″ of snow is like forecasting if it is going to sprinkle or have light rain for an hour or two during the spring. If it rains, then perception will be that we got it right.  If it snows, then the perception goes to did we also get the amounts accurate as well, which is a challenge for any precipitation forecast.  Either way, we still did not get this right.  As discussed multiple times, including big time in that video, the storm just needed to be a bit different, tilted a bit less positively, and just a bit stronger. It wasn’t, and the KC metro ended up with the short end of the snow stick.  No excuses, my forecast was not good at all yesterday.  The negative Nancy’s out there say such horrible things, as if we never, ever get a forecast right. When we forecast snow, and it snows, guess what? That is an accurate forecast. Forecasting the exact amounts is where snow becomes more glaringly difficult to forecast.  We have done quite well in the past few years, but this one went bad as not even a dusting happened. But, this has been a very rare occurrence.

The forecast was blown for KC. Even my dusting to one inch of snow forecast didn’t happen. My “slam dunk” of at least a dusting forecast failed.  On my way home it snowed last night, yes I experienced ONE snow shower from this storm. This came after the perception of a missed forecast on Sunday.  Believe it or not, our team forecasted Sunday’s storm better than everyone else. All last week we thought it may snow last Sunday and it did. Did I expect a blizzard for 1 hour with nearly 3″ over the south metro area, no way.  But, it did snow, and if you forecast snow and it snows, then the forecast is accurate. But, when it comes to forecasting amounts, well good luck. And, other forecasts were much worse than ours on Sunday and yesterday, so there is a buzz around town that we are wrong often. It is the landscape we have to deal with, but we will get over it.  Yesterday was not a good day, this has not been a good week, and now we have more of this weather pattern to forecast as another system is already showing up. Will it make us look like fools again?

I have a lot of pride and passion in trying to change the perception of meteorologists, the perception from many who think the weather can’t be predicted accurately. I have spent my entire career trying to change this perception.  The battle continues, and I hate getting thrown in with all of the other forecasts, when more often than not (Not always) Weather2020 and KSHB have the best, most accurate, and most specific forecast.  We took a hit, but we have had much worse forecasts in the past, it has just been a while since one was this glaringly inaccurate.  I should have stuck to my first impression of this storm five days before.  I didn’t.

So, what is next? Another chance of snow is already in the forecast, but are we going to believe any of the models that predict anything significant for KC?  Take a look at this next storm, this upper level, 500 mb forecast map valid on the day we are supposedly going to have our next chance of snow.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 5.58.25 AMBefore we get to our next chance of snow near KC, take a look at what is forecast to happen today. Can you believe this? Of course we can, as this is what happens to storm systems after they pass our area this year.  The same storm that pulled off making fools out of meteorologists in Kansas City is now targeting the northeastern states. My goodness I would love to forecast this. The meteorologists over the northeast have their own set of challenges.  But, instead of trying forecast a dusting or an inch or two of snow, they get to forecast whether or not it will be five inches or a foot of snow.  Forecasting a dusting is like forecasting if it is going to sprinkle outside.  Think about that, ridiculous what we have had in our bag of forecasting opportunities in KC, while in other parts of the nation they get to deal with this storm to forecast, the same one that did not get its act together over our area yesterday.  After this system exits the focus then shifts back to the plains, but what is it we are really looking at with this pattern that continues to cycle regularly.

The developing weekend weather pattern:

500 mb flow valid Saturday:

1

Where is the storm? Seriously, where is it?  Here we go again, a very disorganized pattern with a trough severely positively tilted from Hudson Bay in Canada extending west-southwest to Portland, OR.  I pointed out to Jeff Penner and our team a few weeks ago where this feature is one of the long-term long wave features, one of the anchor troughs that is causing our “problem” in KC. And, here it is again, for around the 15th time this season. There was one of these stretched out troughs that helped us miss a storm in December that did hit the deep south with snow.  What is going to happen this time?

Surface forecast valid Saturday morning:

2

Oh no, seriously? We have an area of precipitation forecast to be located from southeast Arkansas to Florida, and another one entering northwest Missouri Saturday morning extending northwest into Nebraska.  This GFS model also produces snow in KC in the next 12 hours, but is it to be believed?  There is always one model that has no snow. They just won’t converge on a snowy solution near KC.  In this last storm it was the NAM model that not one time had any snow forecast for KC, and yet I ignored that model. WHY? Well, take a look at the one model that shows the miss this time.

European Model Forecast For Snow Ending Sunday Morning:

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 5.57.12 AM

The other models have snowier solutions, but again are we to believe it? Even if the models come out this morning with snow, are we to believe it? I say no, and we will not until I can see a good reason for it to happen.  There is a good reason for this not to happen right now.  That stretched out trough is a problem. Let’s discuss the trends in the comments on the Weather2020 blog.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny. High: 28°
  • Tonight:  Clear and cold.  Low: 15°
  • Thursday:  Sunny and much warmer.  High: 48°
  • Friday: Increasing clouds. Much colder again with the winds increasing from the north at 5-15 mph. High:  32°
  • Saturday:  Cloudy with a chance of snow.  High:  22°

Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.

Gary

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Alex PickmanJoeKEmawCraigBill in Lawrence Recent comment authors
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Alex Pickman
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Alex Pickman

Gary, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… public perception is a meteorologist’s worst enemy. The public always seems particularly hard on you, and I don’t quite understand it.

Craig
Guest
Craig

For what it’s worth, the 0Z models are in general agreement and were only 72 hours out.
NAM and GFS both suggesting 3-5 for the metro.
I guess we’ll see.

Bill in Lawrence
Guest
Bill in Lawrence

Gary: Happy Wednesday evening to you sir!! After looking at the 0Z NAM this evening and considering the runs today, I am going to go with a call of 1-2 inches for my little neck of the woods throwing out a little wiggle room of a 20% chance of getting 3 and 5% or less chance of getting over 3. On the flip side of that, I will venture and say that there is less than a 10% chance that I get only a flurry or a dusting….I am fairly confident that I will receive accumulations this weekend. The reason… Read more »

SnowCommander
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SnowCommander

Moderation of models???
Come on🙄.

SnowDays
Guest
SnowDays

I only comment once in a blue super moon, but wanted to say to Gary that I appreciate your passion for weather and I think anyone who comments on this blog would say the same. I wanted to comment to that effect yesterday when things were blowing up, but your post today shows your passion. I am an English teacher, small business owner, and avid sports fan and from all my life experiences so far I’ve come to believe that greatness comes from true passion, and what you’re hinting at in this blog is that aspect of fighting the good… Read more »

Rod
Guest
Rod

I think snow is going to move in from the NW & slide SE across the state. The afternoon weather channel video shows at least 1-3” across a widespread area by the time system moves out Sunday but shows a 3-5” band from SW to central into NE MO. I’m leaning towards 1-2” at this early stage for Columbia, MO area.

Librarian/WeatherNerd
Guest
Librarian/WeatherNerd

So every time KC lands a “miss” with snow or other weather, a co-worker of mine KEEPS saying that it’s all because of the “Tonganoxie Split.” Of course, this morning, she came in saying it again. What’s funny…is that she can’t really explain what it is…but that that there seems to be some truth to it. I guess I haven’t lived in Kansas long enough to understand this legend…but I would certainly like to shoot it down and replace it with some science! What is this?!?

HEAT MISER
Guest
HEAT MISER

that is coming from someone with a fundamental lack of understanding of weather…its silly

Bsmike
Guest
Bsmike

Very conservative since yesterday’s bust.

REAL HUMEDUDE
Guest
REAL HUMEDUDE

18z GFS Trended down, but NAM still looking good. You guys are making a critical mistake when you discount the pattern as only a dry one. It WILL become a wet pattern once gulf is open for business, that’s the difference right now. Rememebr the multiple inches of rain we got in cycle #1? It will return once the moisture does, watch March as these dry systems suddenly become quite wet

Mr. Pete
Guest
Mr. Pete

Gary was just on the air – believe he just placed snow chances at 50% and a dusting to maybe two inches in the metro, for Saturday – so, the norm.

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

uh oh…the last time he said dusting to 2 inches…just saying….

Richard
Guest
Richard

Well, strike my kast sentence.
He told Christa a low chance. But when he gave the forecast he showed a 50% chance

Richard
Guest
Richard

*last, not kast !

Terry
Guest
Terry

Richard 50% is not low That right there is just to be on the safe side OK

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

50% chance to me means you think there’s a decent chance, but you have no idea if it will happen so you say just as much chance of it happening as not happening.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Terry
Low was not my word. It is what Gary told Christa just minutes before he gave the forecast.
Then when he presented the forecast he showed 50%

Terry
Guest
Terry

Richard is is now 60% our

Richard
Guest
Richard

We do know it is going to be another FRIGID air mass this weekend, starting with free-falling temps on Friday.
Seems this LRC playing a cruel joke on us. We have the cold air. I think last year we just did not have the cold air in place lining up with the moisture.
This cold w/o snow is getting old.

Gary on air now. Says the chance of snow Saturday is low.

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

I predict a huge monster snow storm for Saturday!!!!!! WOOT!!!! (heh heh…I didn’t say where though)

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

127 NWS KC forecast discussion “The next potential significant weather event will then take form Saturday. As a broad surface ridge builds into the region from the northwest, the cold air mass will continue to push into the remnants of the relatively warmer air mass from Thursday/Friday and provide elevated frontogenetical forcing for precipitation throughout Saturday. While moisture in the lower levels will be lacking with the southern push of the surface ridge, moisture fields generally starting at 700 hPa and aloft will be fed by a steady stream of Eastern Pacific moisture embedded within zonal flow aloft. The limiting… Read more »

Bluetooth
Guest
Bluetooth

Ryan, that’s what I’ve been saying. More snow for us up north in SE Iowa.

Bobbie
Guest
Bobbie

I’m not counting on much the rest of the winter. I’m looking forward to warmer temps and longer days..plenty of time to fish and hunt!

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Also note the HRRR has OVER estimated cold air this winter, but due to that it may actually have the best handle on the storm on the back end of the runs. But when the storm gets close to skipping over KC, the HRRR may actually be useless because of it’s overestimation of the cold air.

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

Going off the LRC and the pattern this year I would be inclined to say the storm on Sunday will miss Kansas City and maybe give KCI some flurries. Reasons: 1) The LRC.I would throw out the GFS and Canadian and Euro, and quite frankly even the 12km resolution NAM model with this storm. I think the NAM 3km will have the best handle on this wave Sunday. But weigh the snow totals with the LRC being Dusting to 1″ at a 70% to Friday evening NAM 3km model output 30% factoring. 2) Look at the GFS model valid Sunday… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Lol

Richard
Guest
Richard

+1

Bsmike
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Bsmike

You can’t give up on predicting the weather Saturday till Saturday Gary. Who cares you missed one , let it go. What’s your prediction?

Phillip
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Phillip

Is this going to be a storm or more of a wave type thing that we just had miss us last night?

Heat Miser
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Heat Miser

It’s only three days away Gary…no impressions on the the potential Saturday storm yet eh?

Richard
Guest
Richard

Dude ! Really ?

Bluetooth
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Bluetooth

I’m not trolling here but I predict a more northerly route for the Saturday storm, just like last nights storm that produced nearly 3 inches of snow in SE Iowa.

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

lol…not asking for a forecast…just impressions.

George
Guest
George

Just stating the obvious here but sometimes it needs to be said. This is in regards to forecasting an event vs forecasting amounts from that event. In areas that experience snow and have a forecast for snow then regardless of whether you are in it or not there is physical lasting proof of how much/little you got in your area. If the forecast is for rain and, let’s say, it happens over night and you sleep through it then the only proof that anything occurred is that your driveway/walkway/deck/patio is wet when you wake up in the morning. Unless you… Read more »

f00dl3
Guest
f00dl3

C.

Kansas City has had 8 days below zero and less than 6 inches of snow so far. It’s not global warming, it’s just crap LRC.

Good post today Gary. Totally agree throw the models out and only take them into account Friday – but heed the LRC more.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Gary, would you put the chances of >1” of snow to fall over the weekend at over 50%?

Heat Miser
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Heat Miser

I think he said earlier in the blog he doesnt know yet.

Bsmike
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Bsmike

C

Roger
Guest
Roger

I would like us to have a vote. What is more likely to happen?

A. Kansas City proper gets 20 inches of snow.
B. Amarillo goes 200 straight days without a drop of moisture.
C. Atlanta has at least 2 more inches of snow.

Morgan
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Morgan

The EURO is more realistic as usual. Much weaker.

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

I’ll take the NWS over any model at this point..the models suck.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Huh ? They use models !

Bsmike
Guest
Bsmike

NWS web page says snow likely both Saturday and Sunday

Richard
Guest
Richard

Shhh don’t jinx it

Waldo weather
Guest
Waldo weather

So with everyone slamming the weather people for predicting snow and it not happening… That means this weekend they will hold off and we will finally have a big snow?!?! Wishfully thinking at least…

LYITC41
Guest
LYITC41

Agreed. It will snow again here big time folks. Not if but when.

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

well, yeah..obviously eventually

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

On Monday, JL made a heartfelt confession that he, too, was wrong in his forecast for Sunday. It happens. Remember the October surprise in 1995? Who messed that one up? And, we did have a functional storm nearby yesterday in that it did snow near the Iowa border and I’m sure those folks up there are happy to get the moisture. This winter is at least different than the last two snowless winters in that we have had a whole lot of cold. Yes, we have had functional storms nearby which miss us to the north, south, or east. That… Read more »

Tdogg
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Tdogg

Saturday is the day we get the monster snow!

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

Still trolling? Really?

Tdogg
Guest
Tdogg

I’m serious…but keep on trolling!

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

That’s what I like to see.. a troll who really throws himself into his work.

REAL HUMEDUDE
Guest
REAL HUMEDUDE

Heat, why do you feed the trolls?
Everytime, if there is a troll to feed you can’t help yourself. Maybe you enjoy engaging them but it’s exactly what they want , ignor them and the game ist fun anymore. See how that works?

LYITC41
Guest
LYITC41

I believe the mets that rely less on models and cycling patterns tend to do better. They don’t get burned as often because they are going with their instincts and their gut. We all know how crappy the models are and have been, even close to an event. Tomorrow’s going to be a different day, certainly different from the one 50 days ago.

Richard
Guest
Richard

They all use models. They don’t use their instincts to issue official forecasts. Maybe a combination.
But they all use tools they use for forecasting,

Michel Casteel
Guest
Michel Casteel

So my liquid equivalent to the 2 1/2 inches of snow that fell in Maryville was .14 inches more moisture than I thought!
Michael

Troy Newman
Member
Troy Newman

Not that far to the NW of KC winter has been more interesting. I have had 5″ this week and 11″ total for the winter which isn’t bad. (Just not much moisture in it). I was talking to a friend near Gothernburg, NE and they had about the same this week as here but had 12″ the week before with that storm. I think they are near 20″ on the winter. Its seems odd how these storms blast MT and Western NE then lose steam only to intensify as they get past us. Its also made it colder up this… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

I think it was a couple years ago. Groundhog day ? When Gary and all local mets were saying we would get buried in snow. We got rain. That one was a big disappointment and a fail as for calling for snow, but we did get moisture. And the non-ice storm last year was not a disappointment. Who likes ice ! But Gary said it would NOT be an issue. They ven changed the time of the Chiefs game from morning to prime time because of the ICE IS COMING forecasts. So s**t happens even now with all the advances… Read more »

Stl78
Guest
Stl78

Mark it down, this wknd event will screw up our trip!!!!

Mike Holm
Guest

I’ve been on this blog many years. I’ve been here before pay and after pay. I have said all along that the LRC works best with a strong or weak ENSO. This year‘s week La Niña is why it’s not working. I love to ski, so I look at snow forecasts all over the country. This year I went to ski in the PNW because they have the best snow conditions. I have snowfall history maps that I look at for about 20 different resorts. If there is a pattern this year, it’s 35 days. If you visit on the… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

35 day cycles ??

Mike Holm
Guest

I’m not saying a 35 day cycle, but that’s the closest number that adds up with the snowfall data—maybe it’s 70 days

Matt
Guest
Matt

Thanks for the blog today. I appreciate how hard it is to predict the future and I think you do it the best. I think people enjoy this side of you.

Ron Moore
Guest
Ron Moore

I’ve been on this forum now for several years and always enjoy hearing the thoughts of my Kansas City area friends. Way back in the day I lived in Ottawa which is where I first heard Gary. I do feel for you that are snow lovers. I live in New Hampshire now and sure enough each storm that has fizzled past you guys has exploded up here into decent snowstorms. This one is no different. We currently set at 33 inches for the season which is actually a bit on the low side for this time of the year. It’s… Read more »

REAL HUMEDUDE
Guest
REAL HUMEDUDE

GFS/ NAM/ CANADIAN all agree in principle that Saturday will be most organized storm we have had all winter. None of the off runs like past storms, this is different to me from a modeling standpoint its been very consistent. Maybe an icy mix to the south of metro, but looks like a good old fashioned deformation zone right in our back yard this time. I don’t care how bad the models have been, this is first time they have consistently agreed about a storm this far out. Only question to me is if the Euro is now on board,… Read more »

Three7s
Guest
Three7s

I’ll wait until the day of the event before I get too carried way. I’ve seen this show before and I’m tired of the reruns.

Waldo weather
Guest
Waldo weather

I love it, but still don’t believe it… I want to… but just can’t…. post some links please

Angie
Guest
Angie

Hi Gary!
I love your forecasts and love reading your blog. Thanks for letting us in on your forecasting process. As a weather newbie, I was wondering if you could explain what a “positively tilted” means when you’re referring to the troughs? Keep up the great work..you’re awesome!

Richard
Guest
Richard

I think it means angled southwest to northeast. Such as forward slash /
Negatively tilted would be the opposite, running from northwest to southeast, such as backward slash \
But what they have to do with storms functioning or not functioning I have no clue

Jack
Guest
Jack

Positively tilted is bad for snow lovers and negatively tilted is good.

Richard
Guest
Richard

What happens in a negative tilted trough to create snow.
And is that the case no matter where it occurs globally ?

DanT
Guest
DanT

It is difficult to explain away a missed snowfall forecast vs a missed severe weather forecast. People have such different reactions to snow vs tornadoes, high winds and hail. For example if Gary says this spring there is a 50% of severe storms (all modes of severe weather possible) and the cap does not break, people (excluding storm chasers) will be ok he missed the forecast and accept the explanation as to why storms did not form. Snow is different- I would say from following this blog and comments when Gary does his Facebook live, people generally do not mind… Read more »

Snowflake
Guest
Snowflake

I know Gary repeatedly mentioned a parallel between yesterday’s event and the Christmas eve snow in KC…per his theory.

Question of the day:

If we’re on a 45-day cycle, what events from the past correspond with this weekend’s potential snow?

This weekend is February 10.

45 days earlier was December 27, 2017.

90 days earlier was November 12, 2017.

JoeK
Guest
JoeK

A series of disturbances came through Nov 11th -18th and again December 21st -29th. During both months, each system was minor in precipitation. we are seeing these same systems this time around and acting the same in terms of amounts and dynamics.

Richard
Guest
Richard

The cycles are 45-51 days
So 47 days from this Saturday was the Christmas snow

RobertCali
Guest
RobertCali

What December snowfall corresponded to this past Sunday’s surprise 2″ event?

Richard
Guest
Richard

I don’t know
As Joek says above there was a series of disturbances Dec 21-29. But I don’t think any produced snow ?
Would need to go back to the blog archives during that period to see.

Terry
Guest
Richard
Guest
Richard

The south rises again 😄

Heat Miser
Guest
Heat Miser

Models cant predict snow for kc esp more than a couple of days out…I keep saying it and some keep posting models showing snow storms 7-10 days out. Why post something that has a proven track record of being almost entirely wrong every time…you could almost call it posting “fake weather news”, at least if it’s done by someone who knows better. LoL

Craig
Guest
Craig

12Z GFS and NAM actually in somewhat of agreement for 3-6″ this weekend and, for once, it’s only three days out. Maybe it will actually happen this time?

Bluetooth
Guest
Bluetooth

Craig, yes, but north, like Iowa and northern Missouri.

Three7s
Guest
Three7s

Funny thing is GFS paints 4-7 inches just barely south of KC. 99.9% chance this doesn’t happen.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Unfortunately, you don’t really have control over it. If snow is in the forecast, it is going to make your news team want to cover it, even if it is a small chance. The news media are the ones really hyping up the storms, not you guys. This reminds me a lot of the “major ice storm” that was supposed to happen last year. Hype, hype, hype, then nothing. The weather teams and the news teams need to do a better job communicating their impressions because you have to have at least some say over the amount of coverage.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Well done this morning Gary!
This blog is very informative for us that depend on this forecast for work. My question is about the temps, I’ve seen predicted high temps for Saturday range anywhere from 17 to 34 degrees. Any idea what the high temp will be for Saturday?

Jack
Guest
Jack

Gary, I commend you for this blog entry. Yesterday was a tough day; it was a very hard day to predict the weather. It would be so hard to explain to certain people that this really wasn’t even a storm–just a small wave of energy. As you did say numerous times, a small change could mean anything. Looking at the radar this time yesterday, I knew that it looked like it would go north, but I did not want to believe it. Watching it move northeast, it never looked good for us, but I still did not want to believe.… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

Thanks Gary
Just curious. Not complaining.
So what did happen that we didn’t even get that dusting ?
Why were you so sure that we would, but didn’t. Maybe I missed the explanation.

REAL HUMEDUDE
Guest
REAL HUMEDUDE

The tailing energy that passed around 10pm last night was modeled to be stronger, that would have given the city about 1 hour worth of light snow, hence dusting to 1″ forecast. It was just too weak and fighting dry surface air, we had echoes overhead but the snow was sublimated into thin air before hitting the ground. Close but no cigar, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even get a flurry at my house in Shawnee.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Thanks Hume