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The Flawed National Weather Service Winter Outlook

Good morning Weather2020 bloggers,

The National Weather Service has issued their winter forecast. Whenever a winter forecast is issued before November it will be based on factors that are not yet determined and it will be a cookie cutter forecast based heavily on ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation index). La Niña is developing and the forecast issued yesterday is almost 100% weighted in what a typical La Niña year would mean. As Weather2020 has been explaining for many years now, ENSO is just one piece of the puzzle:

LRC-Puzzle

lrc-puzzleThe LRC is the centerpiece of the big atmospheric puzzle. El Niño is that piece on the lower right, and La Niña takes its place this year. There are many other factors to consider and the biggest factor is the one that is still evolving. This is the LRC, the cycling pattern. This pattern is still evolving now. I will post the winter forecast that just came out from the National Weather Service below and then we will look at the past two years, the past two winters that were close to snowless in some parts of the KC viewing area, most specifically to the south around Pleasanton, KS where no measurable snow fell last winter and only a few inches the year before.

Let’s take a look at that CPC Winter Outlook. This was issued on October 20, 2016:

GRAPHIC - Outlook_map_Precip_2016 - 10202016 - NOAA - 800x624 - INSET

GRAPHIC - Outlook_map_temp_2016 - 10202016 - NOAA - 800x624 - INSET

So, here we go again. What does it even mean for Kansas City? The forecast for KC is Equal Chances. Here is a statement from their prediction:

“This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance. However, La Nina winters tend to favor above average snowfall around the Great Lakes and in the northern Rockies and below average snowfall in the mid-Atlantic.

NOAA produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what’s likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather’s impacts on lives and livelihoods. Empowering people with actionable forecasts and winter weather tips is key to NOAA’s effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

They make a big statement: “Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.” As you likely know, Weather2020 has a strong track record of successful forecasts for exactly what they say are “Not Predictable”. This is what you have been experiencing for over a decade now and we have gotten better and better. Oh, we miss a few here and there but our forecasts can be counted on as they will likely be accurate from one day to over 200 days into the future………ONCE WE KNOW THE PATTERN. It often takes until December or at the latest January for when our forecasts are the most accurate. So, let’s hang on for a while longer while this pattern sets up. The National Weather Service is not using, or understanding the biggest piece of the puzzle, the LRC.

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In Kansas City we did not have a flake of snow until December, and the total in the past two years has been barely 20″. KC averages 20″ per winter so we are 20″ of snow below average since the 2014-2015 snow season began. Can you imagine getting even just 20″ of snow? That would seem like a lot.

Yesterday Sunny and I went to Sunflower Elementary School and read the book “It’s A Sunny Life”. Here are the wonderful kids from Gardner, KS:

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Come and meet us at Land of Paws Saturday:

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Have a great day. We will go in-depth on 41 Action News this weekend!

Gary

A Few Changes

Good Tuesday,

The cold front from Monday night has taken us from unseasonably warm to near perfect.  A new cold front plus disorganized storm system will bring more clouds, possibly a few showers and cooler weather Wednesday-Friday.  Then, a new warm up arrives this weekend.  Watch the video below for more in depth information.

Have a great day

Jeff

Two Cold Fronts

Good Monday,

We are having an unseasonably warm day with gusty southwest winds.  We will see a cold front move through tonight and Wednesday night.  They are not that strong as the drop us to where we should be for this time of year.  The front tonight will be dry and the one Wednesday may bring some rain.

Watch the video below for a more in depth discussion.

Have a great day.

Jeff

Mostly Calm Weather

Good Sunday,

We are in for two unseasonably warm and humid days with highs 80°-85°.  The wind will be much stronger Monday with gusts over 30-35 mph.  A weak cold front arrives Monday night with no rain.  Tuesday will be a nice day.  A disorganized system and new cold front arrive Wednesday with a slight thunderstorm chance.

Below is a video blog going more in depth.

Have a great week.

Jeff

Unseasonably Warm

Good Saturday,

We are in for a mild to warm and windy October weekend.  Here is the forecast with a more detailed look below in a video.

TODAY: Partly to mostly cloudy with highs 70°-75° in cloud areas and 75°-80° in sun areas.  It looks like the cloudy areas will be from KC west, but we have to watch for an eastward shift.  There is the chance for a few showers this evening as a weak front tries to move in.

SUNDAY: Morning clouds, afternoon sun with highs 80°-85°.

Winds will be south at 15-25 mph for most of the weekend.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff

A Cold Wednesday Night

Good Wednesday,

The much talked about cold front swept through early Wednesday along with showers and thunderstorms.  The rain is moving out as the cold air mass is here.  Tonight with a clear sky and light wind, temperatures will be allowed to tank into the 30s.  There are frost and freeze advisories in effect.

The cold front is now marching east.  It will reach St. Louis this evening.

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The Kansas City area is under a Frost advisory as lows will drop to the low to mid 30s.

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The Freeze Warning is located across the northwest corner of Missouri northward.  Lows in northwest Missouri will drop to 30-32.

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The freeze warnings cover much of Nebraska and Iowa.  So, yes any delicate plants should be brought in for tonight.

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This is a short cold spell we will become warm and more humid by the weekend with highs reaching 75°-80°.  The next chance of rain arrives Saturday night as a weak cold front moves in, then falls apart.  Thunderstorm chances will increase for KC north and east.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff

Much Different Weather Wednesday

Good Tuesday,

Today the weather will be quite nice with highs 75°-80° along with a breezy south wind at 10-25 mph.  A strong cold front is moving through Nebraska and will arrive here Wednesday morning.  It will be accompanied by rain and thunderstorms as temperatures fall to around 50° by noon.  Lows by Thursday morning will be in the 30s with some frost possible near the Iowa border.  Highs return to near 80° by the weekend, so this is just a taste of cold.  Below is a video blog with more details.

Have a great rest of your week.

Jeff

 

Big Change Wednesday

Good Monday bloggers,

Scattered showers will be around into the evening, especially northwest of a St. Joseph to Topeka line.  A band of showers is possible for all areas this evening.  Tuesday is looking great with highs 75°-80°.  Then, a big change arrives Wednesday as a cold front moves by.  Rain and thunderstorms will likely accompany this front followed by falling temperatures.

Here is a video blog with more details.

Have a great week.

Jeff

A Weather System and Cold Front

Good Sunday,

The weather this week will be mostly calm.  There will be a weak system for Monday that brings clouds and a few showers.  There will be a cold front Wednesday that will bring two days of rather cool air.  There are more details in the video blog.

Have a great week

Jeff

Mostly Calm Weather, Matthew Exits

Good Saturday,

We are in for some great weather this weekend as hurricane Matthew pounds the Carolinas.  He was down to a category 1 and really pounded Charleston, SC as the eye wall went right over the city.  There is now some new data showing he will take off into the north Atlantic and not curl back south.  We will see how this evolves.

There is a weak system in the southwest USA that will affect us Sunday into Monday.

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SUNDAY: The small system will be entering southwest Kansas with a few rain showers.  We will see an increase in clouds with very nice, room temperatures.

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MONDAY: The small system will be near us, bringing thick clouds and perhaps a few rain showers.  These could affect the morning rush hour.  This is not a big storm system and will be exiting by Monday afternoon.

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MONDAY: There is a decent cold front organizing over the northern Rockies.  This front will sweep through early Wednesday with perhaps a few rain showers.  Temperatures Wednesday afternoon may be in the 50s with a stiff north breeze.  It will be snowing in Montana, but we will not see snowflakes with this front.

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff