Spring Forecast Thoughts & End Of The Week Storm

7:15 AM update:

Good morning bloggers,

Last night we had a special segment on our spring forecast.  Here is the link: Spring Forecast Video

The semnent begins with a brief discussion of this weather pattern that has produced 36 inches of snow already and I explain that winter isn’t over yet. 

And, we have a storm that is due to arrive around Friday night into Saturday that has potential to produce winter weather and more snow in our region.  I will discuss this in a late morning blog entry after the new data comes out.  In the mean time, today looks like a great day with temperatures much warmer than yesterday. 

Previous entry below:

Spring Forecast 2011

Spring is coming, I promise!  We are still in the same weather pattern that produced 35 inches of snow this winter, so far. We were at 35 inches of snow at this point last year, but ended up with over 44 inches after a major late March winter storm. One or two more chances of snow are likely as this pattern continues to cycle according to the LRC (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle). 

This year’s weather pattern is cycling about every 50 days or so.  Forecasting the weather using the LRC is quite challenging. Forecasting the weather for just the next three days is difficult.  We have had tremendous success in forecasting long range in recent years, but we aren’t perfect.  I believe we can be accurate about 75% of the time in forecasting the weather ten days to ninety days out.  But, you do realize that this means out of 100 forecasts we may get 25 wrong. This winter forecast can be chalked up to one of those wrong ones. 

We know so much more about the weather pattern now than we did when we issued the winter forecast. It isn’t the LRC that failed, but the forecast that us humans made using the theory that didn’t pan out this year. 

Looking into this weather pattern we see no indication that it will calm down. And, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico becomes readily available this pattern will get quite wet.  Flooding will become a concern early in the spring, but I think that threat will increase later in the spring as summer approaches. 

One of the strongest storms in each cycle has affected our weather.  We are moving into the fourth cycle of the LRC.  There have been many major storm systems, but one of them has affected the middle part of the nation in each of the first three cycles (October 26th, December 11th, and February 1st when we had the blizzard).  This part of the weather pattern will likely return around the week of March 20th, and again around May 10th, and again around the first day of summer.  By then, however the jet stream will be retreating north.

Severe weather season is arriving and with this weather pattern we are forecasting above average rainfall, especially during the second half of spring.  Kansas City averages over 15 inches for rain from March through June.  We are expecting over 20 inches of rain during these four months.  Which weeks are most likely to have the biggest severe weather potential?  Using the LRC we believe that certain parts of this weather pattern are likely going to produce severe weather set-ups:

  • April 4th to April 15th 
  • May 8th to May 14th
  • May 22nd to June 1st

Overall we are expecting a colder and wetter than average spring as this pattern begins weakening and summer approaches.

With all of this in mind, we would be remiss if we didn’t focus on the positives.  There will of course be plenty of warmer, drier, and less humid spring days that are typical of every season.  Which means opportunities for you to get out their and enjoy the flowers, trees, and whatever you like to do when mother nature grants you’re the freedom to do so!

Have  a great morning and check back in for an updated blog on this next storm system around noon.

Gary Lezak

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

48 comments to Spring Forecast Thoughts & End Of The Week Storm

  • rred95

    Gary if we get more snow in march where will the cold air come from? up north and will come down or will the storms have to create own cold air.

    • There is still a strong source of cold air in Canada. And, it may already be a factor in this late week storm. But eventually it won’t be cold enough for snow in these storm systems. We have just over a month left.

  • yewtrees

    Do you think that the strong “La Nina” weather pattern that controlled most of the winter season will still be in control in the Spring and beyond?

    • I don’t think La Niña controlled anything this winter. I believe it was a factor, but not a major one and if I didn’t weigh it into my winter forecast at all that one would have been a lot better. And La Niña has already weakened considerably and is showing signs of falling back to neutral.


  • wannaknowtheweather


    Hi! I finally got brave enough to register! I have followed the blog for 2 years. :)
    I really need to know if the forecast for Sunday is going to hold or change. We have an 6th birthday party scheduled for my son, and we are hoping to have a bounce house! Any hope that we will hold around 50 degrees?? I know it is a selfish question, but a mom has to do what a mom has to do. :) Thanks! Also, we would be ok with another “pushable” snow or two at our house.

    • Wannaknowtheweather,

      I have confidence that Sunday will be dry. It’s also the Pet Telethon so I don’t want any distractions. I will be hosting again this year with Holly Starr. Anyway, the Friday storm should be gone by Saturday night.

      Welcome to the blog!

  • sportsfreaked

    Gary>> It takes guts to put out a spring forecast after the grief you took with the winter one not panning out. I hope it goes as planned so you don’t lose any more hair oops I mean sleep since the hair is already gone like mine.

    When you have time can you explain the statement you made above “It isn’t the LRC that failed, but the forecast that us humans made using the theory that didn’t pan out this year.”

    As I am trying to understand the LRC was it that you didn’t interpret the data correctly? I know the answer is probaly more complicated the you have time to write so if you can give a quick explanation when you have time it would be appreciated.

    So it looks like I was on the mark for leaving the week of the 14th of March to head down to the Keys with the 5th wheel as it looks like a chance for snow will be the following week. We had to delay our earlier plans to take care of dad-in-law. 3 months there and then off to Utah for 3. Hope the LRC pans out as we should miss the severe weather on our way out to Utah. Have a great week.


    • Sportsfreaked,

      The LRC sets up between October 1st and November 10th, according to my theory, the LRC. When we issue the winter forecast we have, perhaps, gone through just the first cycle. So, without a true match on the second cycle to compare to the first cycle we are really making a forecast with very limited information. As we go through December our confidence grows in what the pattern really is doing and what it is capable of doing. And our best long range forecasts have occured beginning around the second week of December. So, the LRC is happening and cycling, but the forecast based on it improves as the weeks go by. Looking back now I would never have predicted more than 25 inches of snow and we have had 35 inches and we may not be done.

  • mowermike

    Speaking of La Nina winters around our neck of the woods, I thought they were suppose to be drier, warmer, and less snowfall. What happend this year. I know Scott mentioned the NAO was part of the reason for such a cold and snowy Winter. But, my question is, do they really know?

    It seems to me that we had the total opposite of what La Nina was knowned to do. So, are they just making up this weather phenomenon? My guess is, that “we” know just as much as they do. Which in my case, is not much of anything when it comes to weather patterns and what influences them. I’m not so sure that the average person can’t predict day to day weather by reading some maps and following climatology to make a educated guess. I can almost promise that I can make a 10 day forecast based off various models shown by the NWS and come damn close to the actual outcome. (There’s a nice lady on another channel that does this.)

    • Deer_Hunter

      Punctuation? (note the “?”)?????

      suppose = supposed
      happend = happened
      knowned = known (are you freaking kidding me?)
      a educated = an educated

      I can’t do anymore.

      Don’t include yourself in “we”. You sound pretty narcissistic with your promises and your self-promotion. Try a little spell check when you don’t know how to spell and you won’t look so imbecilic.

  • yewtrees

    According to NOAA, drought is likely to develop in our area from March to May 2011.

    • mowermike

      yewtrees, I read that also. Not surprising that Gary and team are totally different from the NWS. (Don’t mean anything bad about that for both parties.) Local farmers that I do business with are calling for a wet Spring followed by a very hot and dry Summer.

      BTW, those farmers don’t have computer models. How do they do it?

      • yewtrees

        mowermike. I guess it is in their blood. That is the reason why they come out their own “Farmers’ Almanac”. :)

      • Deer_Hunter

        They don’t. They sit in the coffee shop on their butts waiting for their next crop or livestock subsidy. They have lots of time to argue about the weather. They don’t know crap, other than how to complain. It’s in their genetics. Too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, too sunny, too cloudy.

        Me ol’ pappy used to say: Their liabilities are out in the field, but their assets in town.

        • Farmgirl

          Hmmmm, I’ve ignored you long enough.

          Do you raise or grow your own food? If not, then I guess those lazy farmers are not just sitting around complaining about the weather. I’m betting you purchase your food from a market where farmers have provided the abundance of food you consume everyday so that you can come on this blog and insult others on a daily basis.

        • mowermike

          Deer_Hunter…They predicted a cold and snowy winter back in Oct. for this season, they also predicted the flooding last Spring, and the snowy weather last winter. Your right, they don’t know much.

    • Blah with NOAA’s long term predictions from the Climate Prediction Center anymore.

      The reason I say this is when I first got the internet around 1999-2000, I would look up the long term forecasts and predictions. I did this regulary for 3-4 years when I realized they fall in love with el nino and la nina trends and always predict similar trends far out. For example, Florida is always above normal for precipitation on the outlook for any September. It probably says that now for this next September ( I wont even look)

      Generally NOAA seems to predict warmer than average winters too no matter what and no matter where too. I have always noticed above average tendencies in the Desert Southwest in the summertime no matter what too..

      I do think we will have a drought develop some over the high plains and maybe the Western half of Kansas in 2011 and much of the high plains and southern plains.. But with that said, I tend to think this spring for the general Kansas City area will have average temperatures and average to slightly above average precipitation.

      • mowermike

        jbtornado, according to the NWS, we should have had mild winters the last 10 years.

        • Deer_Hunter

          That’s a lie. Gary why do you mike your buddy post his lies all the time?

          • mowermike

            Prove it Deer_Hunter. I was just saying it seems like that. I would venture to guess that most years the NWS has predicted a mild winter. ( I know for a fact they have the last four years.) Unless you have proof, then it’s just another drive-by comment without merit from you. Broken record….

          • rred95

            “Gary why do you mike your buddy post his lies all the time?” Whats that. Nice sentence.

            • mowermike

              rred95, yes, Deer_Hunter nice one. If your going to correct people on a blog, then you might want to make sure your English is straight.


    • The CPC? I think even inaccuweather is able to forcast better than they can!

  • mowermike

    Does the latest NAM have a cold front Friday ahead of the approaching storm. Looks colder. Maybe a rain to snowstorm? Am I looking at this right?

    • Kcchamps

      could get interesting! but lets wait and see what the models do in the next few days. this has been an exciting winter

  • yewtrees

    jbtornado. I do think that the dry pattern in our region at the beginning of the winter will return. It will not just “poof” away!!!

  • udndcs

    “Overall we are expecting a colder and wetter than average spring as this pattern begins weakening and summer approaches.”

    That’s exactly what I didn’t want to hear. This overall dreary pattern never seems to end. Haven’t the last three springs been wetter and cooler than average? Are we doomed to accept this as our new spring norm?

    In all seriousness, what happened to the mild weather with the extended dry stretches that we experienced in the fall and early winter? Everyone thought we were headed for a warm, dry winter (Gary included). Of course the LRC has modified and become more regular over the past three months, but did that pleasant weather just go “poof” and disappear? We had at least three warm, dry, and light wind periods of 10+ days; where did they go, and why aren’t they part of the spring forecast? It’s like the early stages of this LRC have completely evaporated, only to be replaced by this unrelenting stormy weather. This is not a criticism of the LRC or extended forecast. I’m confused as to why the pattern morphed so drastically from the beginning of winter until now. The great weather is nowhere to be found, but the cold, wet junk (and that’s what it is) just keeps showing its ugly face.

    • Really good questions. Jeff Penner and I just looked back at the October/November into December part of this pattern and there were strong signs that it could be a wetter and stormier winter. I weighted La Niña and a year I found similar to this years pattern (1988-89) way too much. In 1988-89 Kansas City only had 6.9″ of snow, but Springfield, MO had over 30 inches. We could have made a stormier prediction of having 20 inches of snow or so, but I still would never have predicted this 35 inch winter, the snowiest La Niña in Kansas City’s history.

      Now, I am expecting the first half of spring to have times where we get a bit drier, but this pattern just has to set up good for a wet May into June.


  • Overland Park

    Gary, I never cared that you were off on the snowfall forecast. It appears that if we lived 75 miles to the east OR west of us, you would have been very close. I was more interested in what assumptions you had made that did or did not turn out to be true. I also appreciated your comments above, regarding if you knew everything you know now, what would your forecast have been back in December. The mere mortals that read your blog greatly appreciate your writing and do not expect anything near perfection. It takes guts to look beyond the safe window of a 72 hour forecast and interpret the tea leaves for a full season out. Thanks for your efforts.

    • Overland Park,

      Your welcome. Forecasting longer than 7 days out isn’t supposed to be reliable at all. I believe we have come up with a system that works. Now, it isn’t perfect.


  • chiefs

    Keep That snow north Friday. Gary

  • bobosobo

    Nothing personal but I hope this long ranger if off too. The last thing I want is another cold , obscenely rainy spring. Last spring was the same way. Is it just that KC now gets unpleasant weather? It’s even started to have cooler summers, to me anyway. Almost every spring is forecasted by someone to be more active and I guess for that to be accurate it matters where you live. Outskirts of the viewing area, maybe. Immediate metro hasn’t had a tornado in several years. There’s no good weather anymore. No long warm dry spells that actually come to pass unless you take long to mean 3 days. Nothing good locally for chasers.
    I’m sick of so much rain in the spring that people are getting flooded out and the soil gets overextended. Not your fault this is what you’re forecasting again this year but I hope you’re wrong.

    • Sheepie

      I don’t know where you were last summer but I certainly remember our fair share of warm and dry last summer! Very hot stretches and dry enough to see my pastures turn brown.

  • yewtrees

    I think the temp is a little warm to have snow on friday into saturday. However, we might have a wintry mix next wednesday.

  • JohnM

    Only one part of your spring forecast concerns me. I have a longstanding yearly campout from Wednesday to Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day. I would love for those days to be dry and warm, and the rest of the spring can go hang. But, as Ms. Day said, “que sera, sera.”

  • goodlifegardens

    March 1!!!! We made it through another February!! Whoever gave February 28 days really knew what he was doing. That’s all of February the human species can stand. And to celebrate, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of redwing black birds have returned in a massive flock. There is hope that life will again return to the earth.
    And the weather is perfect for this time of year!

  • Farmgirl

    Spring forecast sounds like a broken record. It’s been wet for the past three springs. Boohoo, trail riding will be a challenge again this year.

  • Zazel


    I am curious. Since I no longer live in the KC area I can not watch your forecast, however I still check in on the blog all the time. Yesterday afternoon I read the entirety of your Spring forecast on the site’s front page. It would seem that was not intended if you were giving the forecast during the 10pm newscast. So, was that someone’s “Oopsie”?

    • I will ask you, the bloggers? Our news team strategy is to post the story the day of, or even a day or two before the story comes out as to build interest in the version that we are showing on the air. Do you think this is a good strategy?


      • kellyanne67

        Just my thoughts… I think it depends on the subject. When you posted on the blog about global warming, or lack thereof, I thought this blog was gonna crash again because everyone posting acted as if they were right. That was a subject with a lot of opinions coming in from everywhere, very quickly.

        Personally I would just rather hear about the weather today, the weather coming up.

        This blog, for whatever reason has become a place for certain people to just be mean and spiteful, especially if someone disagrees with them. So if you put things on here that you plan to discuss in an upcoming segment you open the door to much more discussion than might be necessary.

        I have no idea how to read those maps or intrepret data, so I rely on folks here to enlighten me on what I can expect. Not to be disgusted with the comments and rudeness.

        So that’s what I think. I do like coming here and learning and knowing what to try to expect… Thanks!

  • sportsfreaked

    MOwermike whats your address? I will send you a post card from the keys when I get there. I now you will miss me for the couple days I am not on here traveling down to the keys. I am sure deer-hunter will keep you in line lol haha.


  • rred95

    “ended up with over 44inch after a late march major winter storm” Can someone refresh my memory from last year I dont really recall this. I am north of river and i think that is a storm that hit the southside hard but not much on the north side?

    • goodlifegardens

      I’m about 50 miles south. We had a March storm that blocked every east-west road. Drifts 3-4 feet deep. Just the opposite of the Dec. ’09 storm that blocked every north-south road. It will take a while to block those two from memory. Just as it will take a while to block this winter’s storm that blocked every east-west road.

    • SnowComando

      rred, maybe this will help!!


  • stl78

    Goodlife. Just think next year there will b 29 days in Feb thanks to leap year. Sorry

  • spanteach

    Any idea when it is going to get warm for a while? Looking for more 50s and 60s and less 30s in the forecast. I know it will happen sooner or later but is it in the next 10 days? Too far out to even hope for?