The Changing Pattern

/The Changing Pattern

The Changing Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

A unique pattern is setting up right before our eyes and it is likely about half way to becoming set for the season.  It is still evolving. Let’s take a look:

1This map on the left shows the 500 mb flow valid today around 1 PM.  There is a negatively tilted trough in the middle of the nation centered near Kansas City. This system has been carved out by a series of many waves. It should not have stayed so dry yesterday, and yet it did stay dry in KC.  I only saw a few drops of rain.  This storm will produce some significant severe weather today, however, and due south of Kansas City.  More on this severe weather risk in just a second.  There is ridging near the west coast, and California has been very dry at the beginning of this years pattern, which is a concern despite a developing El Niño event.

Look at what happens next as you can see on the right.

2This next map shows the 500 mb map valid at midnight next Tuesday morning.  I made a mistake when I typed in the 1 AM Tuesday, as there will have been the time change by then, and we gain an extra hour. Even better, we get to see the new data an hour earlier for the next five months.  What are we seeing on this map?  Another negatively tilted trough centered near KC.  This should be, and likely will become a rather strong storm system.  Yet, as it is passing be KC, what will it produce.  This is an indication of an anchor trough, and may be a good indication for KC this winter.  These two maps show similar troughs around five days apart.

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 7.22.48 AM

In the last 30 days, it has been quite wet over Kansas, western Oklahoma, and Texas, which is very different from last year, as the wet areas now, are right over the strongest drought region from this past year.

El Niño:

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 7.22.11 AM

El Niño is the warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, and it warmed dramatically in the past week.  How strong will this phenomenon become this winter? The models all suggest it will be a weak El Niño, and yet it just strengthened to 1.1°C above average in the Niño 3.4 region.  This will be a factor this winter as well.

Today’s Weather: 



There is a rather significant tornado risk today, centered over Louisiana. This system is about to produce significant severe weather as there is an enhanced slight risk from southeastern Texas to western Mississippi.  Let’s monitor this closely later today. There is also snow over New Mexico and Colorado.

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 7.41.51 AM

So, this storm system is producing all around KC today.  We are near the middle of the storm trough aloft.  So, just because this cycle didn’t produce a major storm here, it doesn’t mean this same part of the pattern will do the exact same thing next time.  In the next cycle there will be much colder air available and I am expecting a stronger storm system that would impact our area a bit more.

Happy Halloween. Trick or Treat!  We will have periods of clouds in KC, a very slight chance of a shower, and a mild day with highs in the 50s.  Have a safe day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.


2018-11-01T13:06:07+00:00October 31st, 2018|General|35 Comments


  1. BSMike October 31, 2018 at 7:54 am - Reply

    It’s getting very exciting to see these trends Gary! Thanks for the blog write up.

  2. Frankie October 31, 2018 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Happy Halloween! Hard to believe it will already be November tomorrow…

  3. Michael Casteel October 31, 2018 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Here are my October totals: I recorded 12 different rain events for a total of 8.21″. The most was 1.95″ on October 9th, and a Trace on October 25th. I also recorded one snow event! Yes I said SNOW! it was only a Skiff on October 15th. I hope we have a deeper white winter than in the past. The last big winter we had up here in Maryville was 2009-2010 winter. I recorded over 46″ that winter! Have a safe and happy Halloween Bloggers!

  4. Stl78(winon,mn) October 31, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Gary, I asked yesterday and didn’t get a response. No biggie, I know your busy but I’ll try one more time today. What are your thoughts on solar activity in regards to winter or rather solar minimum. Thx and everyone take Xtra caution today. Alot of kids out in the streets early.

    • BSMike October 31, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

      I’ll be in the tree bow hunting, I hope I see no kids ;-).

      • Kathy October 31, 2018 at 11:21 am - Reply

        My husband hit and killed a deer this morning with his truck for the third time!!! He’s okay, truck is not. Be safe everyone and good luck getting that deer.

        • Gary October 31, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply


    • Gary October 31, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

      I think it is not a factor.

      • Numb3rsGuy October 31, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

        I would agree it doesn’t determine what KC gets specifically, the LRC determines that with the different puzzle pieces on earth. I do believe the sun and solar cycles have a long term effect on global climate. Seasonal ups and downs can be attributed to things on earth like ENSO, NAO, NO, PDO, etc, but the sun has driven long term climate trends for millions of years.

    • Numb3rsGuy October 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm - Reply


      I respectfully disagree with Gary. The last solar minimum occurred in the winter of 2008/09 and lasted through the winter of 2009/10, and we know how big those years were for snow in KC! There is evidence that decreased solar activity causes a weaker heliospherem which allows more cosmic rays to impact the earth. Recent measurements of cosmic rays show an increase since the last solar maximum in 2014. The work of Henrik Svensmark draws a correlation of incoming cosmic radiation to the amount of high latitude blocking in the northern hemisphere. And we know that high latitude blocking with highs over Greenland and Alaska cause large cold outbreaks in the US. The high cosmic rays can also cause cloud seeding that increase cloud cover/precipitation on the planet. In my opinion, the solar minimum has a large impact on global climate. In the local aspect, the LRC has many more factors that dictate what goes on in Kansas City. Is the jet stream in the right place? Do we have systems that form past KC like we did for the last few years? Will it be cold and wet at the same time? These are the pieces of the puzzle the LRC helps figure out on earth that determine which area will see what weather. Globally speaking about longer term climate, I believe the sun has a large impact. Just my opinion.

      • Bluetooth October 31, 2018 at 9:08 pm - Reply

        I also disagree with the sun not being a factor. The sun is a definite factor, in fact a possible driver of the LRC itself. If I were a meteorologist, which I am not, I would do a study based upon solar forcing of terrestrial weather patterns.

        • Gary November 1, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

          I think there are astronomical forcing influences to the LRC as well.


  5. Urbanity October 31, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I would have liked to have seen another major storm before November, the early October precip has been occurring in Kansas over the past several dry winters (and I know it was heavier this time…which is good). If the early October rain is part of the new LRC then great, but you can’t say for sure if it is…..there has to be a transitional period where some things happen that may not repeat. One thing I feel is a little bit different for us in central Kansas is that each minor system has provided moisture, albeit light precip, but in previous years clouds that should have produced rain did not. So it could at least be an average winter this year, keeping fingers crossed.

    • Heat Miser October 31, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

      The heavy, multi-day storm wasn’t in early Oct, it was in mid- October

      • John October 31, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

        The 7th-10th is pretty early in October.

        • Terry October 31, 2018 at 5:24 pm - Reply

          It’s the 6th when the new LRC started

      • Urbanity October 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

        October 5-9, so if you want to call the mid-October you can.

        • Troy October 31, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

          Another way to look at it. Here in NC KS I had 13 days with precipitation which is tied for the most on record with a total of 6.05 which comes in as the 3rd wettest. I had 4″ of snow which is the 3rd most on record. Some of that came early enough that which LRC (old or new) might be in question but we have had plenty after the 10th including the snow. I can’t predict the future but this is about as active as October gets around here.

  6. Three7s October 31, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    California will continue to be dry assuming the Modoki El Nino trend continues. Anyone curious about what Modoki El Nino is, just go here:

    • Gary October 31, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Every El Niño is different

  7. Rodney October 31, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    You mentioned it was mostly dry in KC yesterday but what a difference a short distance can make. I picked up 0.71” in Ashland last night but Columbia area picked up only 0.10”. Another storm that produced for my local area. Keep up the great work on the blog!!

    Rodney (Ashland, MO)

  8. LYITC41 October 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Happily, no winter wx in sight for many days.

  9. Mr. Pete October 31, 2018 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Gary – what is an anchor trough?

  10. Randy Keller October 31, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Will Kansas beat texsa again this year? they seem to have texsa number? lol

    thanks Gary!

    • BSMike October 31, 2018 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      In football 🏈, are you high!!!

  11. Anonymous October 31, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Working on some value-added EPS 46-day snowfall products e.g. ensemble mean, sorted percentiles, and anomalies + city locations. I'm not looking forward to this winter …— Ryan Maue | (@RyanMaue) October 31, 2018

  12. Bill in Lawrence November 1, 2018 at 7:47 am - Reply


    Happy Thursday to you sir!!

    Will be interesting to see how these next 2-4 weeks really evolve…..the overnight runs of the GFS (the traditional GFS) did were pretty weak sauce. This weekend in particular will be interesting to see what actually happens….yesterday’s GFS runs were pretty good but last night’s runs really changed the look of this weekend….much weaker etc….that said, I reamin excited about the winter parts of this LRC

    Of course, all this is just the musings of a hsitroy teacher who did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night so they may be way out in left field!!! 🙂

    Have a great day everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence with the Get Smart Affect!!!

    • Gary November 1, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

      This is quite the interesting pattern setting up, and a tough nut to crack. I see some good things and I see some not so good things in the patter for our area. I just haven’t put my finger on it yet. I would like to see around two more weeks of this pattern before I make my first big conclusion. Nothing has been able to blast into California yet, not even close. I would like to see if these next two weeks continue that trend. And, quite a few other things that we are monitoring.

      The blog will come later today. I have morning meetings and I am just not ready to start the new blog. Look for it by mid-afternoon.


  13. Stl78(winon,mn) November 1, 2018 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Thx Gary and thx numbers guy and bt for the response. I’m in agreement with the two of u as well. It’s one of the influences that I feel will aid in a slightly above avg snowfall this yr.

    • Bluetooth November 1, 2018 at 8:27 am - Reply

      I’m glad that you are open to this as a possibility. I also agree that it should cause more snow.

  14. Rodney November 1, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I also like what I see also heading into November. Picked up 0.31” overnight last night & 0.70” the day before so a two day rain total of just over an inch. Yet another event that should cycle back trough this winter. I’m guessing we see slightly above avg snowfall this winter for central MO.

  15. f00dl3 November 1, 2018 at 10:10 am - Reply

    One thing that really concerns me is of the systems we have had we have had no real strong cold core systems – the heavy precip has all been a result of overrunning. There have been a few systems where we had top-down saturation try to happen but it never really kicked up that much. That could be a big issue getting the precipitation to stay all snow this winter. I would not be shocked, unless we have some good stuff in the next few weeks, if we had another winter with less than 10″ of snow. I think we may have 1 good signature storm coming out in 3 kicks but that storm will start out as snow but then turn to freezing rain and rainfall when the heavier precip kicks in, so even with that Oct 5-9 three-pronged system, even in the heart of winter we may only see 1-3″ of snow out of it before it changes to freezing rain and we get 1/2″ of ice and then it’s all rain for a ~1.5″ rainfall event.

    • LYITC41 November 1, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

      What we’ve already had/seen has no effect on what’s to come. However I hope one thing you mentioned, the possibility of a winter w less than 10″ of snow, comes to fruition.

  16. Kurt November 1, 2018 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I just want above normal precip this winter after the crops are harvested. I’d prefer slow soaking rain, snow is pretty to look at but such a nuisance. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, I’d take rain that soaks in. St. Joseph is still ~10 inches below year-to-date at around 23 inches total precip YTD.

  17. Jack November 1, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Hi, Gary. It’s been a little while! I was looking at the amount of precip predicted by the GFS model about 300 hours out and it has consistently shown wet weather across the east, and very dry weather in the southwest and with us somewhere in the middle. This is quite contrary to the recent weather with us being wet and the southwest being wet? It seems the first half of October was wet and cold, and the second half has been dry and not necessarily warm, but not cold. What are your thoughts?

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