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What happened to the weather pattern?
Everything that is happening makes sense, but it is very frustrating this morning. Like I said in an entry just the other day....."It isn't what the computer models are saying, it is what actually happens that counts". The computer models were trying to lock us into a cold pattern and the lock was left open. So, we will have a couple of strong cold fronts, but for the next seven days it is really a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.
Click above to enlarge (Top map is valid Friday, bottom map is valid next Monday night)
Above, you can see the forecast upper level flow at 18,000 feet or 500 mb level. The orange color stream is actually vorticity all spread out. And it is really aligned with the jetstream. A few days ago it appeared this would be diving in through the Rockies, but everything is further east and as a result the cold front will likely not be as strong. Oh, it has some punch to it and it will bring us a cold weekend, but not really an Arctic blast, just a Canadian surge of air.
On the second map, valid next Monday, The jetstream has retreated north. We must watch this transition as this is a new scenario that could make our weather interesting again. The flow is flattening out. If you look closely you can see the amplification of the ridge, this time further west in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This could finally build a more true Arctic airmass in western Canada. What it does from there has potential. So, there is still some hope for those of you who want some snow.
The bottom line is: The boring weather will continue for a while. After everything breaks down there is a higher likelihood of a few storm systems moving across from west to east that could bring us some precipitation later this month. But, will there be any cold air left for the storm systems?
Have a great day. The weather pattern looks different every day, so hopefully things will line up for a storm before we lose our cold air.
Oh, and one of the bloggers questioned my going up and down on the precipitation chances for this storm that will likely miss us Wednesday morning. We usually are very consisitent, but when we see a change we change it. This situation just did a complete flip flop, and I should never have jumped on it in the first place. And, it has nothing to do with ratings. We just want to get the forecast right.
One last thing this morning. Was the December snowstorm a fluke? Yes and no!!!!! I believe the set up that created the December 7th snowstorm was unique and likely shouldn't have happened. So, take that storm out and what do we have? Almost no snow the entire season. Very sad. But, the big storm did happen and we can still hold onto some hope that something similar could still evolve before we lose the cold air..
Posted by at February 7, 2006 6:46 AM
Snow or no snow; mild temps or an arctic chill, I think I can speak for everyone and say we appreciate your enthusiasm for the weather forecast. When I watch with my fiancee and Skipper our black lab, we can just tell how "into" your job you really are and how weather is so exciting for you. You make weather "fun", even during boring periods like we find ourself in right now.
Keep up the great work.
Thank you. This weather pattern is driving me a bit nuts, but we will get through it and next fall a new pattern will set up. Maybe it will finally be an exciting one.
I really appreciate the kind comments!
Posted by: Tim in Greenwood at February 7, 2006 10:58 AM
Don't sweat what others say. We believe! Plus you are forecasting for the midwest...we all know thats almost impossible and yet you do it. It may change from the 6pm forecast and 10pm forecast but I know what to expect come morning! You're the man Gary!!
This weather pattern just won't produce anything really exciting.
Posted by: shannon robison at February 7, 2006 3:49 PM
I enjoy following the weather, and it's interesting following your blog and the one on Channel 4's Web site to make comparisons.
Good luck with your predictions, although I am one who hopes the snow stays away. I love the fact that I have already gotten in four rounds of golf this year. Usually it's May or June before I reach that total, but there's something about warm, sunny days in the winter that makes me want to get outside more.
Have a great day, Chris
Thank you, hopefully the comparison is in our favor.
Posted by: Chris at February 7, 2006 3:57 PM
It looks like Western Canada is getting blasted with mild air again because of the strong Pacific jet. The ridge in the Pacific has to retrograde farther West in order for COLD air masses to build into Western Canada. Also.. I was wondering if you are going to be doing any research as to why snowfall amounts continue to be so low in the plains during winter for the past several years. Thanks
During the past 12 years or so we are averaging only 17 inches of snow per year. This is 3.5" below the 100 year average. Hopefully this trend will reverse in the next 10 years.
The test will be on early next week. when the weather pattern will be setting up pretty nicely to build our coldest western Canadian airmass of the season. Let's see what happens.
Posted by: Devin Kellerman at February 7, 2006 7:57 PM
Just wanted to let you know that being a person who has lived from one end of the country to another, it is nice to have a meteorologist who is more interested in the science rather than the ratings. We who appreciate you understand that predicting the weather and the trends in the midwest is "iffy" at best. Being a transplant, I checked all four news stations to find the real "scientist" and landed with you. Winter may be a bust, but let's hope for an exciting and safe spring.
Thank you so much! You have made my day. The weather has certainly kept me entertained in this boring winter season. We have had our moments and perhaps there is still one big event left in this winter's agenda.
Posted by: Jennifer at February 7, 2006 9:35 PM
Does your pattern carry over into the summer or is there a pattern for summer weather ie. tornado, rain or drought? Thanks Keep up the good work. We believe in you.
We believe, according to my theory, that the pattern continues to cycle into the first half of summer before falling apart. What will this same pattern mean for the late spring and summer? I think it could get quite stormy, but more analysis has to be done. I will try to make a prediction sometime by the first day of spring on the general forecast for the entire season.
Posted by: Steve at February 8, 2006 1:47 AM
Gary, I too enjoy your enthusiasm as I think that above anything else you all promote sets your weather forecasts apart from others.
I have a concern about the new ESP radar system you all are showing, however. It is a bit confusing with all the things you all keep showing. You show all the precip falling, then push a button and really no precip is falling. That I understand as verga precip as it is way to dry to really do anything here these days. Then this morning Brett pushes a button and does a spot light on the precip that makes it look like it is coming down like gang busters in Paola but then says it is just light precip.
I am not finding the many views of the radar being that helpful. Another view is the 3D view. All that seems to do is show the radar at an angle. Is there supposed to be something different we see in 3D that we do not in 2D?
We are still learning ESP. It has a lot of tools, and we are sort of experimenting with these features during our shows. We will learn what is worth showing and what is not worth showing on the air. The scope that Brett used this morning is to indicate precipitation rates. This tool will really help when there is significant precipitation falling. But, on a day like today we wouldn't normally use it. He is just experimenting to make sure it works. And, when we go into 3D it should enhance our view of what is happening, or we won't show it.
There is a lot this ESP can do and be a benefit for you, the viewer. Our goal is to bring the clearest picture to you. It is not to make it confusing. We appreciate the feedback. Please keep watching and let us know more as the weeks go by.
Posted by: Leonard at February 8, 2006 7:37 AM