Big Warm-Up, The LRC, & The Weekend Storm

Good morning bloggers,

Let’s start with the big warm-up. As the New England coast gets battered by a major winter storm, that was accurately predicted by using the LRC, Kansas City will likely be within 24 hours of a record breaking day. The high temperature tomorrow may very well reach 70 degrees, depending on some cloud cover coming out of the southwest.


There are some big changes in store for Kansas City.  This warm-up was predicted by our weather team weeks ago. The eastern blizzard was also predicted on December 8th to happen this week. Now, we didn’t say it would be a full blizzard, but we did predict a major storm on the coast.  I did a major blog about this on the Weather2020 site, and I would just like to show you how we knew this pattern would return this week. Take a look:

This 500 mb map shows the flow around 18,000 feet above us on December 11, 2014.  Well, what can you say, it’s just a coincidence? Nope, it’s the LRC:

LRC C2 December 11

This same part of the pattern cycled through 86 days ago on November 2nd, and it looks just like it does today. Here is today’s 500  mb flow, 47 days after the map above:

LRC C3 GFS FCST January 27

Again, do you really think it’s a coincidence? No way! For over a decade I have been sharing this with you and I am proud to continue to share it with you again today.  We can predict the future without computer models. What is going to happen next? The storm that we have had in our forecast for around January 31st is finally coming into focus on the computer models. Yes, some of you have been patiently waiting to track that end of the month storm to track, and it is finally there, but what does it mean for us in KC?  The models are all trending in the direction of the pattern change into the colder phase that will be taking place during the next three weeks, and right on schedule. The models will continue to be all over the place, but one thing for certain, we will be able to sort it out for you by using this new technology.

Have a great day. We will be looking ahead into this storm system later today in an updated blog.  In the mean time, let us know if you have any questions, and of course you can join in the LRC Forecast Experience over on my other blog where we share more in-depth information into the cycling weather pattern.


Record High and Blizzard

Good Monday bloggers,

Our weather here is very calm, while they brace for a blizzard in New England.  Boston could see 20″-30″ of snow with 50-70 mph wind gusts!  NYC will see 6″-12″ of snow as they are on the western edge of the heavy precipitation.  If the storm shifts a bit further west then NYC will see 12″-20″ of snow.  Here is our powercast for 1230 AM tonight.  The storm will be really blowing  up.



Here in KC we will have a calm and clear night with lows in the 20s.  Tuesday will be a bit cooler than today as a weak cold front slips in tonight.  So, we will be on the cooler side of the front Tuesday as it becomes a warm front.  We will see highs in the 50s, with 40s to the east and 70s to the west.



Wednesday will see the warm front surge north, so we will get into the much warmer air.  The record high for Wednesday is 65° in 1917.  Based on what we are looking at we should smash this record as we are going for a high of 69°.


Highs Wednesday


The cold front pictured above Wednesday in Nebraska will move through Wednesday night and temperatures will return to more seasonal levels with highs in the 30s.  A weak storm system is likely this weekend.  We will see some snow and/or rain.  We will talk more about this in the coming days.

Have a great week.


A warm start to the week & a look at the East Coast blizzard

After a cloudy, cold, & windy day, we’ll turn things right around on Monday. While we dealt with the clouds, there was sunshine today in Western Kansas. Had this system been more to our East, we would have been in that sunshine & mild air.

We should be in the mid to upper 50s for Monday & Tuesday. Wednesday will be our warmest day of the week, as highs will flirt with 70 degrees just to our West. This will be thanks to Southwest winds, a dry ground, and a little trough moving through.
I know some are asking how unusual this is. Keep in mind we’ve not broken any records this January for temperature, so while it may be a little different from the last year or two, it’s not unheard of. And as I keep saying: there is plenty of winter left to go. Speaking of…

As you may have heard by now, the same system that moved through today will turn and head up the East coast on Monday into Tuesday. In doing so, it will gain strength and be fed moisture from the warmer-than-average ocean. Add in a strong area of high pressure parked just North of Maine and all the ingredients will come together for a classic Nor’easter.
Given the tight pressure gradient (contrast of pressure differences due to big low pressure next to big high pressure), winds could be as high as 50mph. This will make for blizzard conditions along the coast. Already the National Weather Service had hoisted blizzard warnings which impact millions of people.
Without question, this is shaping up to be a “big deal” for those along the coast.

Latest guidance suggesting two to three feet of snowfall in some highly populated areas. And this is still subject to change.
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The amounts have already gone up from what was forecast earlier this morning. Some of the worst-case scenarios are playing out areas of snow near 40″; incredible. Moreover, when you factor in blowing and drifting, there could be snow drifts over eight feet high.

Snowfall rates may be around 2-3 inches per hour. This will be an impressive storm for an area that is no stranger to big snowstorms. Even those who usually downplay snow events are saying now is the time to stock up on food and supplies. Roads will likely be closed and travel put to a stop (this includes flights in and out of the area). Connecting flights could have issues thanks to this storm.

You will likely hear words like “bombogenesis” and “blizzard” over the next day or two. Keep in mind there are definitions to these terms, you can read up on those in this article I wrote up a few months back.
Additionally, words like “crippling” and “historic” will be tossed around as well. While that may apply to some select areas, it won’t be that way for every city that sees snow. The area that will see the worst looks to be around the New York to Boston to Portland region. They will likely see the heaviest snow along with the highest wind speeds.
Also, potential exists for power outages due to a combination of the snow and the wind. This is all going to be something to keep tabs on.

Back here at home, I don’t see any big signs of winter still. However, models are picking up hints of cold air for next weekend. Yet again, though, there is a disagreement between the GFS & the Euro. See for yourself.

Given the “hot hand” the Euro has had in the long run, I will trend that direction with the forecast. Looking back at my notes from last Sunday, the GFS said today would be in the 50s and dry, while the Euro said 45 with morning showers. Yet another reason I will side more with the Euro model.

It will be interesting to watch how the snow takes shape on the East coast. There are plenty of live cameras (via sites like EarthCam) you can watch as the snow falls. And I am sure someone will setup a timelapse camera to capture the snowfall. Stick with us on air and online to see pictures and video.

Enjoy your week ahead and the nice weather here. Maybe call in sick Monday?

Same system giving us showers will be an East coast monster

The clipper system swinging through the area today isn’t going to do a whole lot for us when it comes to overall moisture. We’ll see the drizzle and showers, but that’s about it. It will, however, open the door for strong wind from the Northwest and blanket us in clouds. So in short: today will be nothing like yesterday.
By the hour, temperatures should tick downward through the afternoon. It was warmer at 2am than it will be at 2pm.

But hang on, this is a one-day-only thing for us. On Monday, that system is gone and we return to the above average conditions many have been getting used to.

But the story isn’t finished with the clipper system. It will “round the bend”, as we say, and take a ride up the East coast. As it does, it will grow and turn into a powerful Nor’easter. You’re going to hear a lot about this on the National news. It’s going to impact a lot of people and it could also have ripple effects.
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Snowfall amounts could easily top two FEET in some areas of the New England states. This could lead to travel issues and that would ripple across the country. So if you’re flying at all, double check to see if you’re impacted by this system.
The bulk of the snow will fall Monday night into Tuesday and could leave some locations digging out for days. If you’re a snow-lover, you’re probably jealous of those on the East coast. But keep in mind: weather of this type also comes with dangers and could lead to a loss of life. So it’s not all fun and games for everyone.
Dr. Marshall Shepherd, former president of the American Meteorological Society, had a great tweet this morning:

This is something we need to always keep in mind. What may be exciting and joyous for some, is pure terror for others.

It would be nice to see more moisture here, as we’ve been lacking lately. St. Joseph picked up 0.04″ of moisture, which was its first measurable precip of the whole month! And at KCI, we’ve seen 0.08″ in the last 24 hours. These meager amounts aren’t going to help us much, but we’ll take whatever the atmosphere gives us.

I’ll be back on air and online later tonight with another update as we move into the work week ahead.

Clipper system Sunday, warm front Monday

9:15p Update
Light band of showers moving over the Metro area right now. So far, I have not heard a peep from anyone on seeing anything of significance. No response on Twitter or Facebook when I asked either. So this stuff must be very light and/or just not making it all the way to the ground.

Perhaps it’s a little different story West of Paola and Northwest of Garnett, where the echoes on radar are a little heavier. For many, this is not going to amount to much of anything. Shower chances still look to continue (off and on) Sunday morning, but the system pulls off to the Southeast. I still think the wind and colder air will be the biggest thing for Sunday. It will be nothing like today!

Previous entry

We need a reality show called “Keeping up with the Forecast”, because that’s what we’re doing today. Newest info continues to suggest the weak clipper system will wind up passing closer to Kansas City than it appeared just 24-36 hours ago. While we likely won’t see abundant moisture out of this, it will keep clouds in the area and that will put a lid on the temperatures Sunday. Sorry about that.

This is the evening satellite & radar image and you can clearly see where the activity is tonight.

This feature will quickly slide Southeast tonight into Sunday morning and be centered over Northeast Missouri by early Sunday.
Expect to see a few light scattered showers tonight into Sunday, which could mix with flurries later in the day Sunday as the system continues to track Southeast. The best chance for flurries, I think, will be in Central to Eastern Missouri. And it’s very possible some areas–particularly in Kansas–wind up seeing no moisture at all. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of wind to make up for it!
3 PM

A little push of cold air will follow this system, plus the aforementioned clouds, so don’t expect it to be as warm Sunday afternoon. We will likely see “midnight highs” tonight along and North of I-70 as it will be warmer around 12a to 2a than it will be at 3pm or 4pm in the afternoon.

Winds will be strong on Sunday so that will get your attention as well. Sustained speeds of 15-25 miles per hour are likely, with gusts close to 35mph at times and from the Northwest. Great day to own a wind farm.
1 PM

Going into Monday, a warm front will be on our doorstep to start the day. It should quickly sweep through and bump us back up into the upper 50s by the afternoon.
Mon AM

That mild air should linger through Thursday before another change heads our way. Wednesday appears to be our warmest day of the week with highs climbing into the 60s. Make the most of it!
The map below is the “departure from average” map for the U.S. Wednesday. Our average high is 38°, so this would suggest highs in the low to middle 60s.
GFS Temp Anom
And check out parts of Western Kansas; they could really be cookin’ on Wednesday!

Now, I’m not going to get caught up in the 240-hour runs of the models at this time. There is (as usual) disagreement between the GFS and the Euro. GFS painting it colder and wetter, whereas the Euro is dry and not as cold for next weekend. Recently, the Euro has been more reliable. But keep in mind, this is the updated version of the GFS so I am curious to see how it performs.  Either way you slice it, Winter will return at some point and February is when it usually happens.

While January has been a pretty boring month, my feeling is we’ll see a little more excitement in February. Does this mean a “big storm”? I cannot promise that. A wise meteorologist NEVER promises anything! But it’s worth noting that some of our better snow events have happened in February & March. There’s still plenty of time…

For the time being, we’re still hurting for moisture and it’s led to several grass fires.  If you missed it, see my blog from Thursday morning where I talked about the moisture totals for the month and how far behind we are.

Enjoy your Saturday evening and don’t forget: the Super Bowl will be on 41 Action News in just over a week. Should it turn out to be a frigid start to February, it will be a perfect time to stay inside and watch our station!

Mild weekend with a slim shower chance

There appear to be some changes in the track and location of that weak clipper system for Sunday. Based on the new guidance I’ve seen this morning (the first I’ve seen since Friday morning), the area of low pressure appears to slide by closer to Kansas City.

Obviously, this means the Sunday forecast will go through some heavy modification. The short of it is: enjoy today, because Sunday will cooler, more windy, and more cloudy. Not to mention the chance for a few showers and even some flurries. It’s not going to be a winter storm for us, so don’t get your hopes up for snow accumulations.

We certainly need any moisture this thing can produce, but I don’t think it will be much for KC. However, some locales in Central Missouri may see a few nice showers late tonight into early Sunday morning.
By Monday, a warm front rapidly swings through and the temps shoot right back up.

I’ll have a new blog posted later today talking more about Sunday, and I will have the latest forecast on air starting at 5pm.

Enjoy today!


We’ll keep this one short this morning! A clear sky has allowed temps to crash a bit overnight, with some lows in the teens.

The good news today is that the sunshine will be out in full force and when coupled with winds from the Southwest, it should warm up nicely for this time of year. It’s almost like we have to start putting up missing posters for Winter….

But don’t worry. I have a hunch the cold air will return to close out the month of January. There is still plenty of time for us to get back to “normal”, so to speak! In the meantime, for those keeping track at home, we are still over 50 days away from the start of Spring.

The overall weather timeline doesn’t budge much. Basically above average and dry for most.

However, there is a small chance for a few showers late Saturday into Sunday morning as a system passes to our Northeast.
3 PM

We will need to watch that system, as it could dip a little more South. Either way, we should warm up going into Monday.

Our numbers are higher than most model guidance right now and that is something I feel we’re going to have to watch closely. It’s possible we pull the throttle back on numbers by about 5 degrees. Either way, it will be above average this weekend.

See: simple and short today! Boring for some, but tolerable for most.
Here’s to a great Friday and I hope you enjoy the weekend!

Record snow in Texas; bone-dry here

Good morning, all.

While today will be the coolest day we’ve seen this week, it will STILL wind up being above the average! Incredible.  Part of the reason we’ll be cooler is due to the lack of sunshine. We can blame that on the storm system that is putting down snow in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. We’ll only get the byproduct of that: clouds.

Amarillo smashed a snowfall record Wednesday. They had 11″ of snow. The old record: 4.9″, which was set back in 1966 for that day. Moreover, looking at the stats, Amarillo now has more snow that St. Louis, Boston, and Juneau COMBINED.

Who knew that if you wanted a snowy winter you’d need to be in Texas! Now I know there are some who are saying “that’s fine with me”. While I have seen my fair share of snow–I lived in North Dakota for seven winters–there is something we need to remember: the moisture is needed. Badly. Just look at the month of January in Kansas City.

As you can see, we’re lagging and that’s not a good thing. With that said, January is usually a dry month for Kansas City. However, that’s not ALWAYS the case. Just look back at the last few Januarys in Kansas City.
See, almost anything can happen! Typically, February and March bring “good” snow systems to our area. We need to hope that happens a couple times so we can catch up on moisture and avoid the drought returning.

Looking ahead, no meaningful rain or snow in our forecast still for a while. If anything, we go warm and dry for a while.
2 PM

There’s even a good chance we hit the 60s next week (with some trying to flirt with 70°). The “un-January” continues, for now.
I know some are loving it, but again: we could use a little moisture.

Here’s to a great Thursday. See you again tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Where is the snow?

Good evening bloggers,

There has been a rather pronounced cold phase of this year’s pattern and a counteracting warm phase. This was in our winter forecast when we made the prediction for a milder winter, not just here in Kansas City but for most of the nation. Take a look at this past month:



Over a week ago we shifted out of the cold phase of the weather pattern and into the current warmer phase that is not going to end anytime soon. We are forecasting a high temperature that may approach 70° next Tuesday.  Yesterday we issued an Arctic Blast Watch for February 5th to 25th as the cold phase of the pattern is now likely around two weeks away once again.  The National Weather Service did some excellent work in putting this graphic together today:


If you analyze these numbers it almost has to be good news for us snow lovers out there:


16 out of the 23 years at least 6 more inches of snow fell after January 31st.  What we need to see happen is to get some blocking aloft over Alaska and Greenland, or northern Canada.  This would help energize the flow and farther south, but will it happen?

Have a great Thursday and Friday and we will keep you updated as these changes begin to take place.



Good Wednesday bloggers,

We remain in a very calm weather pattern.  There is little to no precipitation in the forecast for at least 7-10 days.  Today through Friday will be dry with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.  A small, but potent storm system will affect the southern Plains the next 24 hours.  The Texas panhandle will be the big snow winner with some locations seeing up to 8″.  Oklahoma City to Dallas will see some rain, possibly a few snowflakes in OKC.  This system will send us high clouds, but that is it.  Also, a bit cooler air will seep south from the upper Midwest as the storm tracks well south.


Then this weekend will see highs back to the 50s.  It will be windy Sunday as a storm tracks well to the north and east.  Then early next week a ridge will build in from the western USA.  This will warm us further.  We will likely see 1-2 days with highs in the 60s!

When is our next chance of a storm? Well, a small one is possible the middle to end of next week.  But, yesterday we had a spirited discussion on when the Arctic air will return.  So, using the same method, the LRC, our next storm will be around the 31st, give or take 1-2 days.  It could be rain or snow.  Cold air will likely be an issue.  The last time this system occurred, December 15th,  it was rain.  Lets see what kind of cold air gets in here and how strong the storm will be.

Have a great day.


Southern Plains Storm

Good Tuesday bloggers,

We have a little weather action to track, but the storm systems are small.  First, today will be about 10-15 degrees cooler than Monday, but still 10-15 degrees above average as highs reach around 50°.

A weak storm system is now moving across southern Kansas with light rain, while bringing us clouds.  These clouds will thin this afternoon allowing more sun to filter through.



A second small storm system will move south across the southern Plains Wednesday and Thursday.  It is much stronger than the one for today.  A wet snowstorm is looking likely for the Texas panhandle, around Amarillo.  6-10″ of snow is not out of the question in a few spots down there.  We will be in no mans land with the storm staying well south and colder air staying north.  So, we will see periods of clouds with highs mostly int he 40s and lows in the 20s.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: The storm is increasing across the southwest Plains, we stay dry and cool.



THURSDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING: High pressure will be overhead with a light wind and a few clouds .  The southern storm heads south and weakens.




Ok, so where is the Arctic air.  Right now it is bottled up across far northern Canada.  We had a Pacific cold front move through last night and the front to the northeast will slip in on Wednesday night, but it is not connected to the Arctic air.


When will the Arctic air return? The only way to answer this question is to use the only tool available that goes out far enough to make a prediction like this.  It is the LRC.  Are the forecasts we make using the LRC perfect? No, we never said that.  There are seasonal variations that can make the forecast complex.  This is where we have to be good detectives.

So, back to the question of when will the Arctic air return.  The cycle is around 45 days so, we are issuing an Arctic Air watch for February 5-25.  The one thing that is not as complex to diagnose are the big features.  In order for the Arctic air to return we need big features to repeat.  One is the big ridge near the west coast of North America and we feel this will return around February 5-10.

We  monitor other forecasts and since the GFS and Euro were showing the cold air to return at the end of January last week many other sources nationally were going for the cold.  This drove natural gas futures crazy.  The LRC  forecast is for the mild air to remain until early February which is not bullish.  Well, now the models have no cold air, the other national sources are backing off their cold forecasts and natural gas prices are tanking.  I wish I had money to trade.  I would have been a much richer dude today.

You can believe the LRC or not.  We do and everyone is entitled to their opinion.



Have a great day.