Winter Special Tonight & A Look At The Next Two Storms

/Winter Special Tonight & A Look At The Next Two Storms

Winter Special Tonight & A Look At The Next Two Storms

Good morning bloggers,

Our winter weather special is on tonight at 6:30 PM on 41 Action News.  There are some special segments about what the animals at the Kansas City zoo do in the cold weather; we go to Arrowhead stadium as they “may” be playing two home playoff games, so how do they remove all that snow if a storm hits in January; and our entire weather team chimes in on their winter predictions.  Now, here is an important note. We recorded this special two weeks ago, so our forecasts came out before this recent storm hit.  It will be interesting for myself to watch this from that perspective.  We have already exceeded the past three winters totals.  Wow!


The Weather Pattern:


The weather pattern is quite fascinating this morning.  Okay, I am always fascinated by the cycling pattern as described by the LRC.  Two storm systems are lining up and developing in the next few days.  The first storm will blast into the west coast.  The jet stream continues to strengthen as winter is approaching. The jet stream is caused by the “Thermal Wind” which is not really a wind at all.  The thermal wind is really not a wind at all, and more of a description of a change of wind with height.  It is the mechanism that forces the strengthening of the jet stream and this is located at around 30,o0o feet to 40,000 feet above us.  It is actually created and caused by temperature contrast, so when winter approaches and we move into the end of January around a month later, the temperature contrast is the strongest where it can be 50 below zero near the North Pole and still 90 degrees over Mexico. This is a 140° contrast, while at its weakest point in early August, it may be 30 degrees at the North Pole and 100 degrees over Mexico, or half the strength at 70° contrast, and thus a weaker Thermal Wind.  Oh my, I am getting depressed today.

Well, as you look above, you can see the influence from some blocking aloft.  The High, with the red arrows showing the circulation, is a block that formed (AO and NAO went negative recently). It is not that strong.  In future LRC cycles it may be stronger.  It still has had an influence on our weather pattern, and may be the reason why this recent snowstorm tracked a bit farther south.  It was likely an important factor.  And, there is a strengthening series of two storms for us to track as they intensify west of California (great and bad news for that fire devastated region as there may be some mudslides and flooding).  They need the rain out there, as it will green up the hills and reduce fire danger during the winter months, unless it dries out again?  I think the rain will be heavy enough to turn it green in the fire danger regions.

2What happens next will be interesting for the KC region and surrounding regions.  The first storm is likely going to bring mostly rain to our area, with some snow possible not that far away in Nebraska and Iowa.  The second system may bring KC our next snow as early as Monday. You can see these two systems on this map on the left.  The jet stream is strong and far to the south, likely in response to the little blocking we had.  Dew points will likely rise as Friday nights storm approaches. This should help warm Kansas City into the 40s Friday evening with a good chance of rain. And, then we will monitor the track of this first storm as it moves by, and gets kicked east by the second system.

Take a look at what the second system produced on last nights model run:


Yes, that is snow, and heavy snow, and there are other solutions ranging from flurries to a few inches next Monday.  We are usually thinking this will be our first chance of an inch of snow, and not this year! Here we go already, bloggers. Let’s see how these systems line up today.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experiencing featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Let us know if you have any questions by going to the Weather2020 blog and joining in our discussion.  Have a great day. There are many slick spots out there, so give yourself some extra time!


2018-11-28T09:03:15+00:00November 27th, 2018|General|68 Comments


  1. BSmike November 27, 2018 at 8:15 am - Reply

    always first 🙂

  2. Snow Miser November 27, 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply


  3. BSmike November 27, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply


    On a football note I think you sooners will go down again against my Horns, whats your thoughts, Kyler makes me nervous though!! No weather factor for game it’s in Jerry’s world roof closed I’m sure.

    • Thomas Mcclellan November 27, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

      I second this comment hook’em horns.

  4. Richard November 27, 2018 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Are we allowed to ask which cycle we are in now ?
    These systems coming in one after the other boggles the mind !
    Much more active than the 2017-18 LRC !

    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply


      If you read the past few years blogs, you will realize that in November we never know for certain. Oh, we, I have an idea, and we are not going to discuss it in the blog. We always learn a lot more by the second week or so of December.


  5. Kathy November 27, 2018 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Like Richard, I am very curious to know about the LRC’s cycles for this year. Another meterologist (you probably know who) alluded to past years when November had snow and the rest of the winter having much less snow, but knowing about the LRC makes me think that this would not be the case as these storms would cycle through the rest of the LRC year, perhaps with rain, snow, or even severe weather. I will definitely watch the special tonight…maybe I will get answers from that.

  6. BSmike November 27, 2018 at 10:20 am - Reply

    GFS continues to give us snow on the 12z run… looks like 6-10 inches

  7. Garrett Osbourn November 27, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    GFS showing 8-10 in over metro. 6 days out. Expecting some poofs until then, but we can’t say models haven’t been picking things up at least once or 5 +days out from these last 3 accumulations. Would like to know some more advanced perspectives on this system as well.

  8. Clint November 27, 2018 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Foodl3, the GFS tries to pick up on the storm for the 7th but it get suppressed on that run. Pretty cool when you know what to look for.

  9. Garrett Osbourn November 27, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Very interesting watching these cutoff lines and how areas in our viewing area will get less than half of what seems possible north of the river.

  10. Heat Miser November 27, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    11TH!!!! WOO HOO!!!! oh wait…

  11. Snow Miser November 27, 2018 at 11:12 am - Reply
    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 11:20 am - Reply

      I just saw that model. So, we have two models with major snowstorms here, and one with it stretched out and no snow (Canadian Model). Let the fun begin again!

      • Clint November 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm - Reply

        If it was last year I would believe the Canadian, but not this year we know that storm is likely to be functional. What a difference a year makes.

      • Heat Miser November 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

        Isnt Canadian one of the less reliable models?

    • Heat Miser November 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      ROFL…go get ’em Snow Miser

  12. supercell November 27, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    What’s different this year than last year is storms don’t disappear from model run to model run. We’ve already had far more action to track this year than all of the last couple of years combined. When models pick up on a major winter storm this year like next Monday/Tuesday on the GFS and new FV3, the trend will be for the storm to remain. It moves north or south and fluctuates on strength as the models zero in on the data, but the storm remains. How many times last year did one or two models forecast a storm 5-7 days out only to have the storm completely disappear on the next run? Man last year was about as frustrating as it could be and has made many gun shy to buy into models. Much like the Chiefs. Years of watching the Chiefs fold like a wounded dove in the playoffs has many reluctant to buy in to the real possibility this team will win the AFC Championship and go to the Super Bowl. It’s a different year. Pat Mahomes is QB. Apples and oranges to previous years just like our winter weather this year. Don’t go off what happened with models last year because this year is a completely different year and the overall trend has been for modeled storms to remain through fruition.

    • Michael Garner November 27, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Good points

    • NoBeachHere November 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Supercell, they were there last year, big fantasy types too. Last year it was always “10 days out” and as we got closer, away they went. Most of that was due to the quasi permanent ridge that models completely ignored till about 3 days out.
      This year, we got a quasi permanent trough just waffling in the region, models seem to get a better handle on there being storms in the area.
      Winter systems are fickle to begin with where as spring and summer storms just roll through.
      I’d say this set up , R2, or B, the dynamics in play for models to a bit more believable until either mid pacific enso goes away or cold fronts start plunging down instead of swinging in. The twist I really like about this year is the quasi inside sliders working that Rocky Trough, boded well for next summer.

  13. morganu November 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Not buying next week’s potential until the EURO shows it.

  14. BSmike November 27, 2018 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    It fits the cycle Morganu! Just sayin

  15. Snow Miser November 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm - Reply
  16. JimT November 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    How likely would it be to have a snowstorm equally as big or bigger than this past one?

  17. supercell November 27, 2018 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Snow Miser – good find. I find the northern edge of the snowfield fascinating. The southern edge seems to have a much less defined cutoff, but the northern edge is very well defined. Looks like an incredibly sharp cutoff in Iowa from deep snow to nothing on the northern edge. Imagine how tough that forecast would be to make…

    • Numb3rsGuy November 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      I live in Clinton, IA. We got over a foot of snow here, with some places as much as 14.5″ of snow. If you go 10 miles north, they don’t have even a dusting, just bare ground. Going from 0″ to 14.5″ in 10 miles is just incredible. It’s like something you’d see from lake effect snow bands setting up where one town gets 3″ of snow and the town next to it gets 3′. Very bizarre considering we don’t get lake effect snow here.

  18. Jack November 27, 2018 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    12z GFS again has a pretty good snow storm for KC and northward. The most definitely going to be a storm but what will it do.. it will be interesting if this is still showing up like this by Thursday-Saturday timeframe.. here we go again!

  19. JimT November 27, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    How likely do u think it would be to get a snow bigger or as big as what we just had?

  20. f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    December snowfall potential: 7-15″
    January snowfall potential: 8-17″
    February snowfall potential: 9-14″
    March snowfall potential: 5-17″* — The Blizzard will be due back in late march. Historically our largest snows happen right about the time the blizzard is due back!
    April snowfall potential: 1-5″
    May snowfall potential: Up to 2″

    Season snowfall potential: yeah…. I don’t think all these storms will hit us the same exact way but it could be nuts with this LRC. I’m going with 26″ but I could see a scenario pan out we make a run on the record – especially if the early January version of the Blizzard puts us in the 16″ band that University City Iowa saw. Also, we should have snow in April. We may have a dusting of snow in May. We may have a QLCS to freezing rain setup in April.

    • f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      And keep in mind those numbers I threw out are way over my thought of 26″. With what we have those numbers would put us at 38-70″ but 70″ is highly unlikely.

      • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:08 pm - Reply

        It’s fine to try these monthly totals, just no mention of cycle length and predicting exact timing of storm systems. The cycle length, btw is still undetermined.

    • f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      And if the cold air is so strong it suppresses all the Rocky trough action to our south we could miss out on 1/3 of that.

    • thetophat November 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      I’m beginning to think, with all this early activity, this may be more like 1991-92 where we basically got all our winter before New Year’s Day then it was mild as springtime in February. We did, however, have a surprise late snow in April 1992. Your scenario is more like a hybrid of 2009-10 and Feb-May 2013. I thought any accumulating snow in May here was as rare as the great flood of 1993 (100+ year event).

      My thoughts on the grand solar minimum, though, would contradict what I said so……………..who the heck knows?

      • f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm - Reply

        And that’s why I put the 26″ thing there because I wonder if we get to Jan and our thaw may last the rest of the winter. It did last year too you know.

        That being said, the North Central US trough feature should easily spill cold air down just in time for the Rocky trough feature every single time.

      • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:11 pm - Reply

        There is more of a similarity to the 1992-1993 winter, and also VERY different as I have done a comparison. Every year is unique and prior years don’t work.


    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      So, this is a 31 to 70 inch range. 70″ would be more snow than we have ever had. That would wear me out, and I would love it. I am still forecasting the high level at 37″. 26″ is my winter forecast. Watch Jeff, Gerard, and Lindsey with their forecast totals on our special tonight.


  21. Urbanity November 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Gary, what effect in your opinion will an emerging moderate to strong ElNino mean for the heart of the winter? Will we see warmer temps and rainfall as opposed to snow? With all these cold fronts dropping thru so far in this years LRC I would think we will have a colder than average winter regardless of ElNino.

    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      El Nino just surged with warmer temperatures this week. It is not forecast to become a strong El Niño, so let’s see how the numbers come in next week. The 3.4 region came in with 1.3°C above normal, which was a huge .5° rise from last week, and definitely something we will discuss in a blog entry soon.


  22. Mr. Pete November 27, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Still a lot of snow on the ground. Will this affect tomorrow’s high temperatures?

  23. morganu November 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    EURO doesn’t even have the storm.

  24. BSmike November 27, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Didn’t it take the euro a couple of runs to come on board with GFS in this last storm?

  25. Mattinleavenworth November 27, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    The euro is going to become my favorite model this year if it picks up the next storm with decent accuracy.

    Today’s sun finally provided some good snow melt up here and a lot of the main roads are dry now. Some side streets are slushy but all in all much much safer.

    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Until it doesn’t do the best the next time…..just saying. Every year a model rises up and does better with that years LRC. Is it going to be the Euro? We will test it again soon. The Euro right now has no snow Monday, while the GFS models have a lot. So, remember this one, and if nothing happens, then the Euro will be two for two.

      • Jack November 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

        The NAM was the “best” model during last year’s cycle, correct?

        • Gary November 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

          Not as I remember it. It has done fairly well this year so far. Last year, since we were in the wrong spot, there were no models that had any consistency.


      • f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

        I’m not impressed with any of the models past Saturday right now.

        • Gary November 27, 2018 at 6:07 pm - Reply

          The Monday storm will remain suspect as it isn’t one of our signature storms. It doesn’t mean it can’t thread the needle?

  26. Drew November 27, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Ok so basically

  27. Rodney November 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Gary I tried to stream the winter weather special online live at 41 action news & no luck guess it’s not available. Planned my evening around being able to watch it. Is there anyway a copy can me made available for bloggers like myself who don’t live in the KC area & don’t have access to channel 41 on TV? Thanks

    Rodney (Ashland, MO)

    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Not sure why it didn’t work. I am sure we will post it, and it re-airs on Christmas.


      • Rodney November 27, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply


  28. snowflakeparkville November 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Mistake, April 2018’s snow was labeled as “April 2017” on the brief clip shown in the special.

  29. Bsmike November 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Gary are you sticking with the 26 in?

  30. Matt November 27, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Will it be updated to include like Blizzard just happened?

    • Heat Miser November 27, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      26 inches is his prediction…he doesnt adjust it once he makes it. Blizzard counts towards the 26 inches

  31. Mr. Pete November 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Gary in your special you predict 2-3 major winter storms. So do you include Sundays storm in that total since it’s not winter?

    • Gary November 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Yes, the snow season is from October through April

  32. Gathering Storm November 27, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Sorry to be a newbie, but I don’t find the EURO model on tropical tidbits. I thought it might be the ECMWF, but the Precip/Moisture menu doesn’t have snow (or anything for that matter). Is it on that site or do you have to use a different site to access the EURO?

    • snowflakeparkville November 27, 2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      It’s not there. Most people use for that instead.

  33. f00dl3 November 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Didn’t see the special, but I think if you classify 3 inch storms as major, you could say 7-9 major winter storms 😀

  34. morganu November 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    To no one’s surprise, the GFS completely lost the storm. EURO and Canadian for the win.

  35. snowhater November 27, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    a bunch of nuts looking at something 3 weeks out and thinking its gospel and does anybody on this blog have a job does heat miser have a job

    • Heat Miser November 27, 2018 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Snowhater…so grumpy today. Yes, I have a job. LoL

  36. Kurt November 28, 2018 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Snow hater shouldn’t be so grumpy, we’re 1/3 to 1/2 way to 26 inches for the year in most locations if that was snowfall region wide. We aren’t even in December, so maybe this is snowy on the front end for winter…. Just saying maybe we will have numerous quite periods so something for every weather enthusiast.

    It’s Missouri, it snows here, deal with it

  37. Anonymous November 28, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Gerard had 16 inches on the Winter special, we are halfway there. lol

    • Adam November 28, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Meh, that’s still Atleast a couple hundred of miles away. Storm on the 8-10 is the one to watch.

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