The Sun Returns During This Cold Weather Pattern

/The Sun Returns During This Cold Weather Pattern

The Sun Returns During This Cold Weather Pattern

Good morning bloggers,

The month began with dense fog, lightning, thunder, heavy rain, snow, graupel, and cold.  In Kansas City we had precipitation fall the first four days of the month and we are already at 1.00″ liquid, and it has snowed 0.3″ after 0.1″ was recorded yesterday, so this total below needs to be updated to 8.1″ so far this season:


We are usually waiting for our first inch of snow at this time of the year, and in recent years we have had to wait until January or February for that first inch of snow in KC.  The first inch happened the Sunday after Thanksgiving this year when 5.8″ of snow was reported at KCI Airport.  There are more chances showing up on the models including a slight chance of snow later tonight:


The map above shows the chance of snow later tonight.  The chance is near zero up around Maryville; around 20% chance at KCI Airport; a 30% chance on the south side of the city; and a 50% chance around Pleasanton, KS to Clinton, MO farther south.  The chance opens up around 3 AM tonight into 10 AM on Thursday morning.  It will be caused by a wave in the northern branch of the jet stream and some jet dynamics.  The new NAM came out this morning with one thin band of snow that formed just south of I-70 and then moved quickly away.  This is a very difficult thing to predict, and this is why we have such a low chance of snow for this situation.

The Next Storm System:


A winter storm watch is in effect for parts of Oklahoma, which now includes Oklahoma City.  I began my career working in Oklahoma after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with my Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology in 1985.  Some of my fellow students remember me discussing the cycling pattern with them in the early 1980s, and it was the huge winter of 1987-1988 when I began truly seeing and experiencing the organization to the chaos in the upper levels above us within the troposphere.  Oklahoma City rarely gets hit by major winter storms, and in 1987 there was a one foot snow storm in early December.  A second one foot snow storm hit around 45 days later that winter in January, and it was around that time I noticed that the storm systems tracked, produced, and looked quite similar.  It couldn’t possibly by a coincidence, and the seeds for the LRC began.  Let’s see what happens with this next storm.  As, this part of the pattern will be returning over and over again through next September as the pattern cycles.

Looking farther ahead:

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 7.40.35 AM

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 7.40.21 AM

The North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation are suddenly being modeled to dip negative again around the middle of December.  I have predicted that there is a much increased chance of our first Arctic outbreak of the season around Christmas week to the end of the year.  And, this sudden shift on these indexes fit better than what it was showing yesterday, which was higher positives on these indexes.  The LRC would strongly support the conditions favorable for a big ridge forming off the west coast extending up to eastern Alaska and western Canada within a couple of weeks.  In the first cycle of the LRC, there was no build of of Arctic Air. This is no longer the case as temperatures have dropped up over the far northern part of North America, down to around 30 degrees below zero.  So, this time, when the pattern becomes favorable for high pressure to build at the surface, there will be a large Arctic air mass for it to pull from. I am still uncertain of the exact date range, however, and we will pin this down soon.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny and much warmer. Expect a southwest breeze around 15 mph.  High:  46°
  • Tonight:  Increasing clouds with a chance of rain-sleet-snow around 3 to 6 AM.  The chance is higher south and east of KC.  Low:  32°
  • Thursday:  Mostly cloudy with a few snowflakes and colder. Areas south of I-70 have a slight chance of less than 1″ of snow.  Temperatures dropping into the upper 20s or staying in the lower 30s with winds out of the north around 20 mph.  Wind chills in the teens.

Let’s see how the models trend today.  Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day! And, head over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


2018-12-06T06:55:03+00:00December 5th, 2018|General|54 Comments


  1. Snow Miser December 5, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply


  2. snowflakeparkville December 5, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Second…where’s everyone else?

  3. Mr. Pete December 5, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Glad to see the sun today!! 🌞

  4. Rodney December 5, 2018 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Gary: Based on the pattern do you see a higher or lower chance of winter storm systems being negatively tilted versus being positively tilted when they cycle through over the winter? I was just curious since your forecasting above normal snowfall and negatively tilted storms tend to be stronger just wondering if you think we will see more or less of these or do you think they will mostly be positively tilted systems. Thanks

    Rodney (Ashland, MO)

    • Gary December 5, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Some are negatively tilted, and some are positively tilted. We are near an LRC Anchor Trough, likely just east of KC.


  5. Jack December 5, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    12km nam has quite the strong storm in Oklahoma and Texas– if this were to pan out we would 3 major winter storms in the northern and southern plains the last 3 weekends, pretty crazy.

  6. Lrcfan1 December 5, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Most importantly it keeps it south of kc although the cmc brings it closer to kc on the 12z run.

  7. Numb3rsGuy December 5, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

    I don’t know how KC faired, but in eastern Iowa, we broke 17 records for the month of November, the most notable including: Coldest Nov by high temperature (4th coldest overall), two record cold temps, 3 daily record snowfalls, the monthly record total snowfall (15.1″), largest November snowstorm (12.1″), only November blizzard on record, 6 daily record snow depths, and monthly record snow depth of 10″. We also had 11 days with highs below freezing. Pretty incredible!

    • Numb3rsGuy December 5, 2018 at 10:40 am - Reply

      If this part of the pattern cycles back in late December/January, and then again in late Feb/early March, this could shape up to be one heck of a winter!

  8. JimT December 5, 2018 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Good sunny 🌞 morning,

    With the mentioned of North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillation negitive tilt later this month, along with a possible Artic Outbreak, would u think this also bring with it more snows?❄❄

    • Gary December 5, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      We have already had 11 days with snowfall reported, including 6 of them measurable already. So, the answer is yes.


  9. REAL HUMEDUDE December 5, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Dec. 22 is MO Alternative Deer season. Last year I hunted on a day that only had a high of like 3F, and it was already -2F by the time I got back to truck that evening. Ice was so think by the end of that arctic spell I swear you could have driven a tank over it no problem which is rare in this region. Lets just say I would rather not be hunting in that kind of weather this year, its awful!
    I am glad to see this weekend storm fizzle, we have already gone through ALOT of hay this year and many years we would just be getting around to feeding now. We were already short on hay from the brutal summer, looking like a tough winter ahead.

  10. morganu December 5, 2018 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Hardly any cold air in the extended. Warm Pacific air looks like it’s going to infiltrate nearly the entire country.

    • Johnny December 5, 2018 at 11:14 am - Reply


    • f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

      It’s the same but different.

    • thetophat December 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      I’ve seen a couple of other weather sites predicting a “blow torch” New Years across most of the USA. Shall see if that pans out.

      • Gary December 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

        I was wondering where the “blow torch” discussion came from yesterday. Most of the time those predictions are way off, and then you forget about them. We see the pattern favorable for an Arctic Outbreak towards the end of the year. We will see how it sets up. And, remember, it was 61 degrees ahead of our blizzard. So, something like these big warm ups is part of this years LRC. It isn’t something new that hasn’t already happened.

        And, bloggers, the NAM just came in with an inch of snow near KC early tomorrow morning. Who has been leaving this out of their analysis, not me? I am not convinced yet, and I am currently analyzing this.


    • REAL HUMEDUDE December 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t call MT “Talent”, although I buy the high price. Nice enough guy he just doesn’t have a feel for KC weather even after all his experience. JL is long deserving of a head MET position, they are crazy if they dont promote him he is awesome

      • matt December 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm - Reply

        Penner? Anderson? Horner? Bender? Anthony? Weekend Evening guy KSHB? Pete G.?

        • Richard December 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

          Penner ?? You are joking.
          No way will he ever leave kshb or Gary or the WX2020 team.
          Especially for fox4. Or any other local station.

      • Mark December 5, 2018 at 8:55 pm - Reply

        I vote for Michelle Bogowith.

  11. f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Models are all over the place for the 14-21st. I don’t think any of them have a clue.

  12. Anghara December 5, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I see pollution has taken the sun away and hidden it behind a veil again. Great. Can’t have one day without it and now my eyes are burning. This happens a lot.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE December 5, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Skycast is Green……
      Those are cirrus clouds, not pollution
      Maybe you have poor indoor air quality. It’s often worse Inside our homes than outside

    • Mr. Pete December 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      What are you talking about?

  13. Jack December 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    NAM is further north.. still coming out.

    • Clint December 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      It is starting to look like the CMC. Need a little more push to the north.

  14. Paul December 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Is there still a chance for this weekend? For snow that is!

    • Heat Miser December 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      I will note that Joe Bastardi said he thinks its coming further north

    • Gary December 5, 2018 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      Always pay close attention. The storm in question is still over the water with little data.


  15. Kurt December 5, 2018 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    That would need a whole lot of push to the north to get to Northwest Missouri, I also think the NAM is much wetter/more aggressive with snow totals than other models. Enjoy the sunshine and see if we can get some more sunny days and a few more warm ones here before a true arctic outbreak.

    Would be nice to get a good snow cover before the really cold arctic air too.

  16. JasonAtt December 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Is this yesterday’s or the latest? BC, that’s a lot more than what I thought.

  17. f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I’ve noticed 18z runs always push north.

  18. Jack December 5, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Nam has a strong storm tracking along and just north of the Oklahoma Texas border bringing close to 2 feet of snow in Oklahoma, 7-10 inches in Wichita, and about 3-5 inches in Emporia. We need to watch if there is northern trend over the next 4-5 runs… if nothing appears to be trending at all I think we will be out of luck.

    • f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      If you go by climatology this is more likely to track north w/ less qpf but higher ratios

  19. Kristi December 5, 2018 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    What does tomorrow am look like?

  20. Tony December 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    The off run models are not as accurate. The 18z has been more north lately, as F00 mentioned

  21. Bill in Lawrence December 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Happy Wednesday afternoon to you sir!! Very nice day outside indeed!!

    Just a few random thoughts from someone who doesn’t seem to know how to write something very short….no coincidence I’m such a Rush fan huh??  Thus, I don’t blame anyone who skips this!!

    Lawrence has done very well with precip so far in this pattern. I have recorded close to 10 inches of liquid precip to this point but more telling is the fact that Washington Creek is running for the first time since October of 2017 as is my neighbor’s lake. With that, we have had close to 6 inches of snow; very drastic difference from last year’s LRC to be sure.

    Regarding the temps…I have to respectfully disagree about a “blow torch” or even a massive warm up. A moderation…of course…..but nothing like we have seen the past 4 years. Since this LRC began Lawrence has had only 8 days above average with the largest stretch being 3 days and that only happened twice and was only 3-4 degrees above average (Info from We have yet to see a true blow torch in this pattern or some long duration warm up. Of course we will moderate…those 3 day stretches are due back and also we do live on the 39th parallel; we are not going to have cold lock in from November-March…..not in the climate regime of the past 1,000 years anyways….if we ever do, then we are in real trouble LOL. So yes….it does seem likely that we will moderate over the next 10-12 days or so…moderate to basically normal type December temps with a few days of above average. But as Gary says… around Christmas things look to switch back and if you look at some of the runs of the GFS you can see the buildup in Canada. I would argue we have at least a 30% of seeing some temps as cold as last year but even if we don’t get as cold this year the cold will be of much longer duration and it will feel colder. Last year the cold hit for 4-5 day stretches before moderating….this year…I mean these past 4 weeks have been pretty relentless considering the time of year.

    Something about the LRC in general that I have been thinking about over the past few days. I know everyone here knows I am convinced of the LRC. I have been following this Blog for years and have seen enough evidence and strong forecasts to be convinced. However, I am a novice with a capital N and really have no idea how to forecast with it….I’m like a person with a brand new computer who can only do Google searches and blog with it…all this power but can only find out where the nearest coffee shop is. My point here is that the LRC is vast…it contains multitudes….in every LRC set up there are countless players on the field….not just the wave or surface high in the lower 48….there is an upper high off of Greenland….there is a ridge in Mexico…there is an upper low in the Alaskan Gulf….there is another low over Yellowknife…there are numerous players. To make a forecast one has to account for all of those players at every frame and for an area like ours, especially with snow, if anyone of those players varies just the slightest then the forecast changes from cycle to cycle. All the players are there cycling through….most of the time many of the features will be exactly the same….but they are not always going to be in the exact same position or strength in every cycle…they will be close but not always the exactly same….30 miles here….20 MB weaker there…..close and sometimes exactly the same…but sometimes a tad different. Besides seasonal differences there is just the fact that sometimes things are just a tad different. You have to account for all of these things when making a forecast. The LRC is an amazing tool but it is not easy to wield. Considering all of this it is amazing how far Gary and the team have come in making these forecasts. They not only see and account for the players, they are also beginning to see how one of these players may act just slightly different in a different cycle which could change the surface weather and are making such better forecasts. Figuring out the cycle length is just a part of the game. Thinking about this over the past few days has made me really appreciate the work Gary and the team has done over the past few years; they have made really incredible strides!!! Kudos to them!! Is there work still to be done…absolutely….are the forecasts perfect….of course not…. and Gary would be the first to tell you that but I just thought he and the team are deserving of some accolades for all of the work they have done with this over the past 10 years.

    As far as the storm this weekend….if I had to put money down I would have to take the southern track and Lawrence seeing maybe a flake. Of course as I said above, I am novice with a capital N; there are many players on the field with this wave and no way in creation do I know what they all are. However, the money has to be on this being a southern plains storm. Good for the snow lovers in that area!!! I mean I got to experience a blizzard….one of only 3 in the past 75 years (all in the past 10 years ironically) in Lawrence…who am I to complain?? I really don’t have a right as a snow lover to say anything the rest of the winter!!! 🙂

    Just some random thoughts that I hope did not bore everyone too much!!

    Have a great evening everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

  22. f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Not sure if anyone remembers this far back but for the rainfall event on November 3-6th did the models shift it north a lot from the track it was forecast to have 4-5 days out?

    • snowflakeparkville December 5, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      I don’t know, but I believe the Nov 8 snow event got shifted north?

      • f00dl3 December 5, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

        I do recall that very well. Just forgot if the prior rain event had the same model trends

  23. Anonymous December 5, 2018 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I don’t think anyone believed it would happen.

  24. Richard December 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I agree the best bet is not to bet.
    Thats just how things go.

  25. snowhater December 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    poof poof poof poof rthege track is southn for this weekend sorry heat mizer

    • Jack December 5, 2018 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      There is no poof going on cause we have never had anything to start with.

    • JoeK December 5, 2018 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      The track has always been South so not sure about any poof. Accept it or not, this winter will hold a number of winter storms for our region and yes, I believe we have another chance at a blizzard-like storm this year. If you do not like snow, you are really going to hate the next 2 cycles

      • Heat Miser December 5, 2018 at 9:30 pm - Reply

        LoL…snowhater is going to need some serious therapy before this winter is over

      • Anonymous December 5, 2018 at 10:46 pm - Reply

        Track has been south since at least 5 days out with storm off shore as well, if I may add, correct? So basically, models ARE somewhat trustworthy more than five days out AND while storm is still offshore. Who’d a thought.

    • Heat Miser December 5, 2018 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      LOL..nice try snowhater….the storm was never forecast to hit our area…so that doesn’t qualify a poof. You gave it the good ol’ college try though. 😉

  26. Jack December 5, 2018 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    NAM still slams Oklahoma… we will need to see a 200 mile shift north to see anything.

    • JoeK December 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm - Reply


      Unfortunately, I do not see it happening with this system. At least not enough to produce anything of significance for the metro area, but hang on to your hat as this ride is just getting started in terms of winter weather. Active period is very near and the next cycle, in my opinion, is going to be exciting.

  27. JC December 5, 2018 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Could Iola Kansas see any decent totals from this or still too far north?

  28. RossBo December 5, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    New blog

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