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 March 19, 2007

"The LRC"

Happy Monday everyone,

We have had a cloudy day so far with a cold front about to move through. Some light rain showers have formed but are ending already. You will know when the front moves through as the winds will pick up from the north and push the cloud cover south of us this afternoon. The clouds will stop moving south as the front stalls over Oklahoma tonight. Then, on Tuesday the front will force its way back northward and thunderstorms should be the result. So, Tuesday still looks like our best chance of rain between now and Wednesday.

After Wednesday a storm will be forming. Many of you have been following the LRC (Lezak's Recurring Cycle) the past few months. Remember the theory: The weather pattern sets up between October 10th and November 10th and then begins cycling. The pattern then cycles through July before falling apart in August. Now, I believe this is a major discovery and we have evidence that clearly shows that this happens every year without question. And, every year is unique. The cycle is not determined until we have gone through one or two cycles. By December or January when we begin a second or third cycle we gain confidence to what the pattern truly is. But, before this time, and as early as November 1st or so we can determine where the "long term" longwaves are located. Go back into the archives from the past two years and look at October and November entries.

Anyway, look below at the two maps. One is the forecast for Wednesday. The other is the actual map from last December 18th or around 93 days prior. We believe we are in a roughly 42 to 48 day cycle and this fits PERFECTLY.

500 Wedn.gif Forecast valid Wednesday morning

December 18th2.jpg Actual 500 mb chart December 18th, 2006

Now, remember this is just a snapshot in time. One day! But, it is not just one day that is cycling. It is every day throughout this roughly 45 day cycle, give or take a few days. There is no making this up. This is NOT a coincidence. And, even though Scott will say to not be amazed anymore, I still think it is amazing! And, before El Nino, during El Nino, after El Nino, and now the beginning of La Nina, the pattern is still "THE SAME". My point being that all of these ocean oscillations may influence the pattern, but something MUCH BIGGER is going on.....the LRC.

In December when the jet stream was strengthening this upper low closed off and eventually ejected out into the plains three days later. Now, with the jet stream beginning to weaken as spring and summer approach we can still expect a similar ejection, but the flow is a bit weaker so we may get very different specific results.

Don't forget about our weather special "Extreme Weather" coming up on Wednesday night at 7 PM. We are still putting our final touches on this special and we better have it done soon.

Have a great day! Tonight and Tuesday we will be tracking the warm front coming back which is sort of being induced by a system kicking out of the southwest. We are at an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms for Tuesday right now.


Friday Night Lights fans: "Friday Night Lights will be shown overnight at 2:05am the next Thursday morning if you want to watch or record it". I am fairly certain this means this Thursday morning.

Gary


Posted by at March 19, 2007 11:08 AM

Comments

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> but something MUCH BIGGER is going on

Right...Nature.
-----------------------
Frank,

Mother Nature must be in control.

Gary

Posted by: Frank at March 19, 2007 1:52 PM

*******************
HI,

Sorry if this may sound like a stupid question, But what is exactly your theory. I'm having a hard time understanding it. So every 45 days we change temperatures or have a big storm. THANKS!!
---------------------------
Michael,

The LRC, as described in today's entry, is a weather pattern that is cycling on around a 45 day period. So, a lot happens during these 45 days. It isn't just one storm, but it is a few storm systems weak and strong, warm ups, cold outbreaks, dry spells, all within this 45 day period and it is cycling. The other VERY important thing to remember is that it is different every year. Last year was around a 62 day cycle. Next year, well we don't know yet.

Does this make more sense?
Gary

Posted by: michael at March 19, 2007 1:56 PM

*******************
For those who say there is never disagreement on the blog, let me be the first to point out this reply.

Gary,
I still think there is a hitch in your giddy-up in the LRC. I don’t think the cycle starts between mid October to mid November. I think it starts as soon as the previous year’s ends. I think its very hard to see because of the weakness of the upper air movement and the northern extent of the jet. If you remember, early this last cycle, I had the SMCv.1 [not to be confused with the subsequent versions]. This showed pretty reliably the internal cycles prior to the LRC even being “established? [see prior blogs in Sept/Oct to see]. My research also showed that this logging only applied for the first half of what would be the overall LRC pattern. In light of all we have learned this year, I think it’s fair to assume other parts of the LRC could be fine tuned such as the start and the end. Here are some things that were brought out this year beyond what had been discussed in past years:

1. Cycles in each occurrence may be different from the following, but the same as the next one. [Intercycle variability] [Nov-Jan, Dec-Feb, etc.]
2. There are “mini? cycles in each LRC cycle that repeat
3. There is a micro aspect to the LRC that could be used for finite, and location based forecasting [Feb. 25th-March 1st storm, predicted back in December]

These being noted, it is fair to assume the creation and end of the cycle could also be in review to an extent. I do agree that Oct-Nov is when the cycles really begin to show themselves, but in my opinion, not due to its creation then, but because of the amplified jet makes it easier to see.

As I focus predominantly on relationships, I can’t yet agree that a cycle would stop, go into some holding pattern, then start up again completely different…there is something that happens in the summer cycle that either morphs or changes the existing cycle to something different. I don’t believe the cycle stops.

As far as ocean anomalies or other patterns, I do believe there is an aspect of relational interaction, but think you are right in the method and extent of the relationships… I would also assert that I think that some of the teleconnection relationships may have a piece of the CREATION, not the cycle itself of the LRC.

Last but not least, in looking for the secret sauce in the summer months, I want to still point to the energy transfer of the tropics from the equator to the poles. I haven’t given up on this theory, as it fits in nicely from a timing perspective, and a macro level as a plausible theory.

So, now that we have been “amazed? by the newfound LRC “map?, let’s work to put a legend on this map and other features that make it easier to use!
:-)
----------------------------
Scott,

It is all out there for discussion. But, I still believe that it sets up in October and November. We will once again get to see it happen this fall. And, the SMCv.1 idea sort goes hand in hand within the overall cycle. It is interesting that we identified two phases to the overall 45 day cycle. There is a "warm" phase, that we are in right now for the second time, and a "cold" phase that we may be going into for the third time, if you count October is the beginning.

Now, my mind is open to a morphing from one pattern into the next one as early as August or September. Let's see how it evolves next year.

Gary

Posted by: Scott at March 19, 2007 1:59 PM

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Hi Gary - Dog here - as I have been ill the last two weeks, this account of February 28th:

StormDog’s Weather Notes

October 2006

The first two weeks of the month continued dry and boring, as I despaired of ever seeing any weather of interest again. However, the mid-portion of the month brought a nice system over us from the 14th to the 16th, with several periods of steady rain. A deepening trough swept northeastward from southeast New Mexico into southern Missouri, and a great deal of overrunning provided the lift to generate a total of 1.51 inches!!! The fronts were well south of us down in Texas, but the moisture was advected well north of these into Missouri, hence the generous rainfall.

About ten days later, on Saturday October 25th, we experienced yet another strengthening system whose axis stretched from Wyoming down into New Mexico, a stationary front across northwestern Missouri and a surface-low over southwestern Oklahoma. Another warm-front stretched along the Texas Gulf Coast region. Again, the lift from the upper-disturbance coupled with the intense overrunning from the south, just above the surface features, yielded extended periods of moderate rain, with a rumble or two of thunder, which I loved to hear! This gave us .95 inches in the rain-gauge.

The system wrapped up into a vigorous and not-too fast-moving closed-low over Colorado, dropping southeast towards Oklahoma. A Blizzard Warning was issued for southeastern Colorado, where winds gusted above 35 mph and up to 20 inches of snow swept across the plains. A surface-low formed over north-central Oklahoma with a stationary front just to our south. Intense lift from the overrunning and the strong system dropped copious amounts of rain, including thunderstorms, upon Blue Springs. The system also produced severe weather, including twisters, over east-Texas and Louisiana and points eastward. Totals of .52 inches on the 26th and 1.71 inches on the 27th-28th
gave us a grand total of over 3 inches for the entire event.

November 2006

Most of November was extremely uneventful, and quite mild, which was great for the heating bill, and provided me several lovely days of bright sun and balmy temperatures. On the 26th, I sat out on the patio with the mercury soaring to 71 degrees F! The morning of November 27th, rumbles of thunder, along with a few nice thuds, serenaded us during the hours before dawn, when the birds were just thinking about a “cheap? breakfast! This was caused by a lead short-wave ahead of a major upper-trough from Washington southward into Utah, with southwesterly flow over us. A stationary front separating Arctic air from our Spring-like conditions barely touched the northwestern tip of Missouri.

Once the lead wave passed, this front turned south, and blasted through us, dropping us into the 40s F, and the early morning hours of the 28th again produced precipitation, about .47 inches, as the upper-trough continued to dig south-southeastwards with the center moving towards Wyoming and Colorado.

By Wednesday, the 29th, my six day Thanksgiving vacation was over, and I faced the lovely fact of playing catch-up at work, or so I thought. However, temperatures fell fast from the low-30s F into the upper-20s F as a steady rain fell – freezing first in downtown Kansas City, producing a skating-rink surface on many roads, and by 1500, sleet and freezing rain began at the Ranger Station. An Ice Storm Warning had been posted for eastern Kansas and western Missouri for up to a half-inch of ice accumulation possible.

Around 1515, word came from downtown to suspend operations for the day, except for “essential personnel?. This meant I got to go home for the day, and only a couple of Rangers remained on duty. No catch-up this day. A shame!

Thursday, November 30th, as an upper-low wound-up over southwestern Oklahoma, and strong southwesterly flow aloft over us, temperatures hovering near 20 degrees F, and a projected path over southern or central Missouri, our area was placed in a Heavy Snow Warning! Many forecasters the previous evening had thought 6-12 inches of snow possible, with near 20 inches possible. Models painted this 20 inch swath near Kansas City early on, but later showed the path further south, by around 100 miles, which turned out to be reality. Heavy snow abruptly began sifting out of opaque silver skies at 1500, quickly covering roads with a slippery covering of white. A quick 4 inches fell in convective banding of snowfall near Olathe during this time.

Much of north Kansas City received little to no snow, while Blue Springs received from 7 to 8 inches of powdery snow. Central Kansas City also received what we did, and because of this, Jackson County was shut-down for the day from 0730 on, so I got this day off as well – a total of 3 days off for winter weather!!! Added on to my vacation, a nice long break indeed!
December 2006
On Thursday December 7th, a rather destructive tornado swept through the northern reaches of London, UK, as per Adrian: “Last Thursday morning a Tornado ripped through several streets in the Kensal Rise area of London
about 6 miles NW of the City. Severe property damage occurred as well as many trees uprooted. Maybe up to 30 properties will have to be demolished
and at least not inhabitable until after Christmas. Fortunately only 6 injuries, one serious reported. Scenes looked like a war zone. The event took place at 11AM as a line of thunderstorms which formed over Hampshire developed into an intense squall line as it moved NE toward London. Severe gales here on Thursday as another Atlantic Depression dominated the UK. Gust of wind measured from Portland Bill attained 77mph.?

My cousin-in-law from Australia, Margeret, sent me this: “While you are getting snow we are having terrible weather down south. Because of the drought, high temps and strong winds, the bush fire season has started 2 months early. A small seaside town in Tasmania had a fire storm and 18 houses were lost and others damaged. Another town will be in the path of the fire (which is in the State forest) if the wind gets up again as has been predicted. Victoria is having a bad time as well and the smoke has travelled as far as New Zealand and is covering Melbourne. Anyone with asthma is having a tough time of it as well.

Some of the fires were started with lightning strikes, but some were arson.

In Brisbane, we are up to level 4 water restrictions. This means no use of hoses (unless there is an age exemption) and buckets can only be used on certain days and at certain times. We cannot have the hoses attached to the taps, but they must be next to the taps in case of fire. Lots of people are having tanks installed and grey water recycled. But first we need the rain to fill the tanks.

The reason for our water problems (beside not getting enough rain)? Brisbane and SE Qld is growing rapidly. A lot of southerners are moving to Qld and the infrastructure is unable to cope with the influx of people. This goes for the public transport system and roads (which in peak hours are looking like parking lots). Some of the dams have been built in the wrong places (surprise, surprise) and now they want to build more dams and again people are saying the govt has chosen sites in rain shadows. Don't you just love governments?

Just had the late news on and the bushfires down south have flared up again - that is the winds have picked up again and spread them further. In Victoria over 450,000 hectares have gone up and one fire front is 250 km wide. A fire fighter has been killed in an accident and more houses gone. Tasmania has had another fire ball but no loss of life, a few more houses and sheds have gone. These are rural areas with small hamlets and towns scattered through the bush plus some farming areas. I hate to think what stock and wildlife has been destroyed.?

December 20, 2006

A major cut-off low developed over extreme southern Arizona, and after sitting in place for a day or so, driving forecasters and their models crazy with its’ indecision as to where it wished to go, headed across Arizona into New Mexico and onward over western Kansas into Nebraska and the northeastward. Heavy snow developed across much of New Mexico, closing I-40 east of Albuquerque, where winds of 35 mph and blinding conditions made travel impossible.

In Colorado, a major blizzard struck Denver, unleashing 45 mph winds and 2 to 3 feet of snow, along with 5 foot plus drifts! Highways all over the metro were shut-down along with the Denver-Stapleton International Airport, one of the largest in the country. Travelers were stranded in lobbies with perhaps a blanket, and maybe a hot-dog or burrito for dinner - definitely not cabernet and a steak. Things were at a stand-still through the 20th and most if not all of the 21st.

The storm headed northeastward, producing an ice-storm over parts of Minnesota, just in time for last minute shopping. I found myself glad that a) I didn’t do Christmas, and b) our weather included none of the frozen stuff.

For us, we received heavy rain without any thunder, for a total of 1.28 inches
of rain.

December 25 2006
My cousin-in-law from Brisbane, Australia sent this: “While you were having snow over Christmas, the same was happening in parts of Australia. Crazy, snow in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time.

Christmas Day was reasonably mild and on Boxing Day it turned cold. Brisbane had a temp of 19 degrees C, the coldest December day since 1888. Normally the temps would be 30 - 40 degrees C. Down on the Southern Alps snow fell. Snow also fell on some of the bushfires that had been raging for weeks in over 40 degree C heat.

The drought is still on. At Kingaroy, a peanut and crop growing area where I spent Christmas, the farmers are doing it tough as the sub soil has completely dried out. It is going to take a lot of rain to get it up to scratch again and of course that will mean flooding and more problems. At the moment there are areas of green from small falls of rain, but without the wet sub soil the crops are not surviving. I believe some one has predicted lots of rain for March. Hopefully it will fall in the catchment areas.

December 30, 2006

From Tuesday December 26th on, there were hints emanating from forecasters of an impending “weather event? – the formation of an enormous cut-off low in the southwestern U.S. that was possibly to afflict the same areas pounded by blizzard conditions the last time around. We were to stay on the mild side of the storm, and indeed, from the 27th on, we remained in the low to mid-50s F, until Sunday morning, the last day of the year.

By Thursday December 28th, our dew-points increased to near 50 F, as the NWS noted “Low- level moisture has increased …and this trend will continue…as improving Gulf moisture is transported northward with another unseasonably strong low-level jet this evening…?

However, Friday December 29th brought only a veil of high clouds underlain by a smattering of mid-level alto-stratus, gray under silver, the belly of a monster brewing a thousand or so miles southwest. The upper-low actually dug into northern Mexico before beginning to lift northeastward, and delayed the start of any rain – “…Best lift starts showing up across east-central Kansas and western Missouri in the 09Z to 12Z (3 am to 6 am) time-frame…? In addition, a pesky easterly wind advected drier air from the surface into our area, making saturation difficult, and hence, the slower onset of precipitation, an irritating fact that found my cursing our easterly neighbors with no small intensity. The NWS echoed my somewhat pessimistic thoughts – “It’s going to take quite a while for deeper moisture to arrive from Oklahoma/Texas…?.

However, the following notation peaked my interest, and found me hoping for dramatic events…eventually… - “[the increased moisture] will move into the area…This will be accompanied by a dramatic increased in the low-level winds (just above the surface), approaching 60 knots at 850 mb around daybreak as an incredible surge of warm, moist air moves in aloft…? I visualized drenching heavy rain greeting my yawns as I arose the following morning.

Far to our west, in Colorado and northwestern Kansas up into western Nebraska, Blizzard Warnings were issued, and extended down into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles! Dalhart, Texas and Boise City, Oklahoma were to endure intense snows, roaring winds up to 45 mph, and visibilities below a quarter mile, with many drifts. In southeast Colorado (and Adrian will remember this place where, along with JoAnne’s mom’s Lincoln, we ate dinner in the gathering gloom of an intense lightning storm, shooting bolts of liquid white in great zigzag course of scalding violence onto the scrubby prairie) around Springfield, amounts of two feet or a bit more were possible, and as of 1429 CST, it was advised that “visibilities were down to a quarter mile in many locations and winds were gusting to 35 to 50 mph. Reports from emergency officials indicate snow drifts were in excess of 4 to 8 feet (two feet taller than myself!!!) across Kiowa and Baca Counties.? Goodland up in the northwestern extremes of Kansas fared little better, with 14 inches of snow and the same blast of wind and chill.

In eastern Texas, with sultry, warm Gulf air richly supplying thunderstorms with energy, and the swirling mass of upper-air flow creating “absurd helicities?, a swarm of tornadoes scoured the grassland near and just east and northeast of Waco. Some verbiage from a Tornado Watch in that region concisely portrayed things – “Warm sector continues to become increasingly favorable for supercells given the high shear, helicity and low LCLs (lowest condensation level – how low cloud could form – the lower the development of the funnel, the less resistance to overcome to descend to the ground).

Indeed, reports came in of 22 twisters causing copious amounts of damage to out-buildings, damaging many homes, destroying 15, and lead to 1 fatality and 12 injuries, especially near Groesbeck in Limestone County. This occurred from 1900 until 0000 hours.

On Saturday December 30th, I arose and peeked out the window, hoping for the heavy rain I’d hoped for the previous night – streets were damp, but nothing fell, and a rosy-type hue lay along the southeastern horizon. For the rest of the day, aside from a few stray showers around 1300, and some drizzle, not a peep – certain not the results I’d wished for, and nothing near the production of heavy weather to our west or south – where was the storm? We did have over a half inch, but compared to the potential, this seemed a lackluster performance. Too much easterly wind, too much drier boundary-layer air preventing early saturation, too many dry-slots around the huge upper-low, hence, a bit of a disappointment - better something than nothing I supposed, with a deep sigh and not much conviction. Later during the evening, there was a period of steady rain that added to our total - .85 inches.

On Sunday December 31st, bright sun shone during part of the morning, but low, dull status swept in as the cold-front swept through Blue Springs, giving us a bit of drizzle – how exciting it was for me to feel those microscopic droplets on my cheek, and the increasingly chill upon my skin! Why, mowing grass couldn’t compare to my joy that moment. The northwestern corner of Missouri, up near Squaw Creek, the eagles would be enjoying a bit of winter, perhaps – one to two inches of sleet and snow were possible in the area of a Snow Advisory, though compare to two feet, this hardly seemed to warrant even mention.
January 2007

Friday January 12 – Monday January 15th

The next system to affect us prompted a Winter Storm Watch to be issued on Thursday, January 11th, with mainly freezing rain and sleet expected. The next day, the 12th, we awoke to a cold, gray dismal dawn, and I went out to plug the holes Parker had dug under the fence with slate paving stones from the patio, robbing Peter to pay Parker, so to speak. One of these in the corner he had squeezed out the previous evening, so that when Jo Anne came home, he was nowhere to be found. “Parker, Pa-a-r-r-ker? she called as she traversed part of the neighborhood, not-so-delighted to resort to this chore after an exceptionally busy day at work. After a half hour, she decided to leave the front door open in hopes he would return and enter the house on his own. While she was on the phone with me, he slinked from around the corner of the house and guiltily walked inside.

Jo Anne ventured out to inspect my temporary anti-Parkerization of the fence where he’d been involved busily in mining efforts. Freezing drizzle, the most insidious of precarious conditions, had finely coated our deck with a slippery sheen of ice, and Jo Anne, descending the stairs, had no sooner said “It’s really slick out here?, than her legs slipped and she stretched a foot backward - nice...

By 1400, when I left for work, the roads were becoming coated in icy grains of sleet - almost like white corn-snow, with sleet mixing with the freezing rain. Roads were not looking great, but for the most part, if I stayed below 40 mph, I did fine, not intending to imitate a red-neck in a big pick-up he-manning his way through the ice, only to wind up in a ditch.


By 1700, the sleet fell at a persistent and moderate pace, pecking against the window, propelled by a stiff north wind, and with temperatures around 16F, it was not an evening to enjoy the pleasures of the patio. We were now under a Winter Storm Warning, mainly for freezing rain and sleet, which was through Sunday evening.

The forecast discussion mentioned that “an area of strong q-vector convergence...is forecast to move across northwest and northern Missouri Sunday afternoon. Snowfall accumulations of upwards of 4 inches are suggested.? That would, I thought, bring some pleasure to northland residents pining for snow, but would the sleet actually yield its prominent place in the precipitation to the more delicate snowflakes?

Saturday brought only gray skies as gloomy and cold as a North Pole
grave, and nothing falling from the leadenness that I could discern. There was a strong north wind - that I could tell from neighbor’s chimney smoke streaming towards Highway 40 and southward.

Only a light freezing drizzle fell during the day, which was not exciting in the least... Glancing at radar at 1500, I began to question whether a 50% chance of precipitation wasn’t way out in left field, beyond the bleachers.

On Sunday, the 13th, the “main event? occurred, but despite moderate to occasionally heavy freezing rain in places across Kansas City around 1500, this last wave moved quickly, and by 1530, the arc of heaviest freezing rain and sleet was past us. A nice icy sheen lay upon the Ranger Station drive in it’s wake, and so did not a few accidents! One of our new Rangers totaled his pick-up truck on one of the Interstates, and wasn’t able to make it in to work. In fact, he sustained some form of injury from the semi plowing into his vehicle, which, I supposed, was fortunate, only in that he hadn’t left this world for the next in the incident!

The drive home was a bit dicey, as slushy sleet overtopped a sheet of ice, although the roads had been treated, and there was a lot of slushy mix covering. Still, as one couldn’t be sure of where the wet and the ice lay, I crawled home at 25-30 mph, not wanting to hug a tree roadside!

At the end, a quarter-inch of glaze was added to our totals, with the precipitation for the three days adding up to about .71 inches in the rain-gauge, once melted. Frigid temperatures followed on Monday, the 15th – 16F or so for highs as well as early morning snow-flurries that gave us a dusting of snow over the ice. Trees at sunset colored brilliantly in golden light, icy prism-fingers of their branches making a frosty-filigree to day’s end. For drivers and walkers, nasty, dangerous weather indeed.
January 18th Windstorms – UK by Adrian Mackey

A major Atlantic storm ploughed into the UK last Thursday. On Portland the mean speed was estimated at 50mph with gusts exceeding 70mph. Fortunately no damage reported locally, but not the case across the mainland with 13 people killed as a result of trees falling on vehicles and flying debris.
Many roofs just peeled off buildings, virtual paralysis of the public transport system. Highest gust so far reported 99mph off the Needles Lighthouse, Isle Of Wight.

The most severe event since the ' Burns Day ' storm of 26th January 1990.
Very stormy again last night with gusts exceeding 50mph accompanied
by a short lived hailstorm. Hard stones larger than peas were hurled at the north and west facing windows and, combined with the wind created a cacophony of sound. Occasional lightning of a silvery hue accompanied mother nature's latest visitation.


January 20 - 21, 2006

The very next week, another winter storm raised it’s icy head and headed our way, so that, by Friday January 19th, there were forecasts of accumulating snows, from all of New Mexico into southwestern Texas, and then over much of Oklahoma into all of Missouri, and parts of Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska!

Winter Storm Warnings covered New Mexico, parts of west Texas into Oklahoma for heavy snow. In New Mexico, up to a foot was predicted, with 18 inches in the southern mountain areas, and up to 8 inches in Albuquerque, with 10 inches up in the eastern foothill suburbs. In Texas up to a foot, possibly 15 inches along the Caprock east of Lubbock, was thought possible.
Oklahoma was to experience up to 10 inches across northern reaches of that state.

For us, there was a Winter Storm Watch, although the path of the system still had some uncertainty, with the current thinking bringing it just south of Kansas City sometime early Sunday. The NWS noted this “Upper level low clearly evident…churning across northern Baja…models indicating a little stronger and continued deep isentropic lift (I liked the sound of that!) to develop Saturday night into Sunday morning…fairly widespread snowfall will accompany this moisture stream…? Since the storm was to be somewhat progressive, snow amounts at this juncture were kept to around a maximum of 6 inches in places.

The following day, Saturday, the 20th, I awoke to gray skies, which gave the day a dreary aspect. There wasn’t anything falling from the skies when I left for work, but upon arriving, around 1500, the snow began falling, and became rather steady posthaste. The NWS downgraded our watch to an advisory. This left me disgusted thinking to myself whether some forecasters seemed incapable of ordering a drunken stupor at a frat party. However, it turned out that my ignorance was truly exemplified! We received 4 inches of heavy, wet snow, which was within their forecast total.

The NWS discussion noted that “the initial snow across the area will result
from warm-air-advection and isentropic lift?, continuing past midnight. Thereafter, as a dry-slot intruded into our snowfall, rather rudely, I thought, any further snow would be caused by dynamic forcing along with frontogenetic forcing, but the question was, would it overcome the “dry-punch?? Areas northwest of the “punch? could see a bit more snow with a wrap-around effect.

As of 1730, an inch had accumulated at the station. Trees were coated like crooked twists of gingerbread with the pristine wet, white snow - pine trees with their delicate needles coated by white added to the frosty “festive? look. Many roll-overs were being reported on the scanner, one of them a “multiple roll-over?, somewhere east of Lees Summit.

From 1800 until 2300, periods of moderate to heavy snow swirled down, giving the distant yellow-orange sodium vapor lights a filmy effect, and the flakes under the parking lot lights looked like moths swarming around the lights in summer, a frenzy of action without purpose.

When I melted the rain-gauge, I’d collected .39 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation – about right for a 10:1 frozen-liquid ratio.

February 2007
Sunday February 11, 2007

We had endured a miserably gelid and seemingly endless stretch of weather, with temperatures of 30F or above feeling practically Caribbean! On many nights, during my lunch hour, after piling on layers of clothing, feeling like a human baklava pastry, I had taken my exercise in temperatures of 10F, with wind-chills sometimes near or just below 0F! Absolutely not delightful.

By mid February, often the first signs of warming would be evident, with one or two days already near 50F, but not this winter. On this day, another winter system was approaching, with Arctic air skulking northward, like a pack of Arctic wolves, breath icy and unpleasant, ready to lunge southward for the coup-de-gras. Sunday itself had been comparatively mild, in the 40sF with some filtered sun, but overcast choked the skies again by later afternoon.

The morning Pleasant Hill discussion noted that an upper-air wave was approaching the west coast, and this would be the catalyst to a strengthening system as it moved towards Blue Springs Monday morning.
As to what form the precipitation might take, it was rather like playing the slots in Vegas, from what I read: “Still uncertainty regarding precipitation types and how fast the colder air will be drawn southward as surface low tracks across the Red River Valley and into the lower Mississippi Valley...

“The GFS has been fairly consistent in bringing strong Omegas and mid-level frontogenisis into the northern half of the forecast area...Locations north of I-70 will likely get the best forcing and QPF (moisture output)...?

The NWS forecaster also hinted at greater amounts across northern Missouri than 6 inches, stating “...Later shifts may need to bump totals...as cross-sections show a nice bulls-eye of lift within the best temperatures for dendritic ice crystal growth Monday afternoon...?

In the environs of metropolitan Blue Springs, rain, sleet, snow, any of the above, all of the above and whatever else could occur was in the mix, or as the weather channel loves to say “wintry mix?, a nice yuppie term for “we don’t know what’s going to happen?.

The late afternoon discussion mentioned that “the last few model runs have taken the surface low a tad further south?, which would bring the colder air with it accordingly. That being noted, the front was to be across northern Missouri, and the NWS noted “should hold steady through the daylight hours?, meaning mostly rain here. After that, our Arctic air-wolves would attack southward, turning the “whatever-was-falling? to snow in an expeditious manner. A paragraph or two later, I read that “...Primary lift will arrive Monday night, as strong isentropic ascent centered on the 300K surface and pronounced sloped frontogenic forcing will lead to heavier snow rates across northern Missouri...? This, I hoped, would bring us a bit heavier precipitation, although perhaps not. However, I could hope anyway.

Monday morning, February 12th, brought not the cheery brightness of the sun, but the dreariness of a general overcast announcing the beginning of what would be an interesting day as the storm moved in from western Texas. Although I couldn’t see anything falling from this opaque sky, by the time we’d set out to do our shopping, a drizzle began, punctuated once or twice by showers of very-fine, light rain.

As the noon-hour passed, I grew impatient at the delay of the rain, as I hoped we wouldn’t endure such murk without something to show for it - rather like a bad meal in an allegedly great restaurant, with the anticipation worth more than the meal. However, I didn’t need such pessimism, for by mid-afternoon, a steady rain began pelting down.

Evening brought us more of the same - a steady, cold and windswept rain washing onto the asphalt streets, moisture glistening in the ambient light from neighborhood houses. The NWS noted that “satellite imagery [was] showing a classic mature winter cyclone moving into southwest Oklahoma...A strong subtropical feed continues to ride the warm conveyor belt northward through Arkansas and Missouri...? It was this isentropic set-up that gave us a good amount of rain into mid-evening. If I had read what was next wrote, I would not have been surprised with the 4 inches of white blanketing Blue Springs the following morning. A 1914 discussion from Pleasant Hill indicated that “a well defined deformation zone stretching from near Garden City, Kansas to Concordia will slowly translate eastward...intense vertical motion was further confirmed by a few lightning strikes observed over north-central Kansas last hour...?

The change-over from rain occurred rapidly, first noted at 2025 by a pecking sound against the windows as a northeast wind hurled the ice-grains about. At 2038, snowflakes mixed in with the sleet and a few minutes later, only snow-flakes fell. The fall remained light up until 2300, when moderate snow fell, causing distant sodium vapor street lights to become diffused by the flakes swirling down.

All told, we had four inches of snow, with a total of .86 inches of liquid precipitation - a very healthy amount for a winter storm.

On February 16th, a strong Alberta Clipper moving from the northwest produced a two hour flurry of snow – perhaps 1-2 inches and .12? liquid in the rain-gauge.

Friday February 23 – Saturday February 24 2007

The next storm to affect Blue Springs in February began to show up on the models the week before, and by early in the week, forecasters had begun to hint that this next system would be a “power-house?, with the Gulf of Mexico moisture liberally advected into its maw, fueling the exceptional dynamics of the upper-low itself. Moreover, like other systems before in the season, it was to strengthen upon approaching us - so far from the desultory, declining systems of the past season. Still, I didn’t dare to hope too much.

However, I need not have been concerned about this beast’s non-performance, for it was truly a “wild-thing? as it swept out onto the High Plains of Texas by Friday. While our skies were mostly clear until high clouds began moving in by late evening, far to our southwest, things were likely to become unpleasant for denizens of the Texas Panhandle. There was a Moderate Risk for severe weather in that area, including Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas. As the low-level jet increased in response to the approaching lift and lowering pressure of the potent upper-low, moisture was flooding into the area - mid-50F dew-points into southwestern Oklahoma by 1400 CST, while sunshine had warmed temperatures nicely into the 70s F!
With a dry-line over the central Texas Panhandle, as the cooler air aloft moved into from the west, its destabilizing influence would trigger a few severe storms.

Furthermore, the SPC noted that the “potential for tornadoes will increase
,,,more so this evening, as low-level shear increases considerably - effective
SRH - Storm Relative Helicity - of 350-500 M2/S2 [meter per second squared]...owing to 1) dynamic and nocturnal strengthening of the LLJ [low-level jet] and 2) slight decoupling of boundary layer...? These two factors often occur, and can be some of the reasons for storms firing after dark, when daytime sees little.

Subsequently, a Tornado Watch was issued for this region, and up to 8 tornadoes, mainly in the Texas Panhandle, occurred, with one videoed from McClean, Texas along I-40. We remained dry throughout Friday, the 23rd.

Our action occurred on the following day, the 24th, with a couple of rumbles of thunder heard sleepily by myself somewhere before dawn. I couldn’t be bothered at the time, snuggled warmly with JoAnne and our dogs, Sheba and the ‘sumo-wrestler’ Lab, Parker, to look outside or note the time. Later on during the morning a moderate shower fell, and again heavy showers fell at mid-afternoon, with a glorious rainbow visible from the Ranger Station at Lake Jacomo - the most vibrant greens, yellows, reds, oranges, purples I’d ever seen in such a phenomena!

The NWS narrative in its Forecast Discussion for that afternoon was worth noting: “Intense double-barreled cyclone continues to progress across KS/OK this afternoon with two unique circulations moving in tandem toward the I-35 corridor. Cannot help but note the amazing dust-storm surging across southern Oklahoma and north-central Texas per visible satellite imagery...a true sign of the storm’s intensity and size.?

At this time, 1615, a Tornado Warning was in effect for western Johnson County, Kansas, for “intensely-rotating? cell near Houghton. Unknown to me at the time, Johnson County, Missouri was experiencing a rather unexpected event - a damaging tornado in Holden! The NWSs news advisory stated: “Just after 4:30 PM, an isolated supercell thunderstorm developed over eastern Cass county and tracked northeast toward Johnson county. As this storm crossed a warm front draped across the area, an initial radar signature of strong winds estimated at 50 mph began to organize into an area of strong rotation with the storm. A significant weather alert for strong winds was issued at 4:52PM, and mentioned that conditions were favorable such that storms could become capable of producing brief tornadoes. This alert was then upgraded to a tornado warning at 507PM.
Shortly after, a tornado was spotted by Johnson County Emergency Management, and then by an off duty National Weather Service Employee. Early reports indicate that this tornado produce structural damage to homes and businesses in and around Holden?

Other damaging tornadoes occurred in Louisiana at Bossier City, followed by one three-quarters of a football field wide in Mississippi! The worst one for damage occurred in eastern Arkansas at Dumas, where numerous reports of damage, including “cars in trees?, were recorded.

Blizzard Warnings for western Kansas and Nebraska up into Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin were posted - winds of over 70 mph occurred in eastern Colorado as well!!!

Our total rainfall was .95 inches.

Wednesday February 28, 2007

I’d had one hell of a day so far, including a superintendent with hypersensity to garlic, who accosted me with complaints of my “offensive odor? of garlic (I’d made the cardinal sin of spreading some hummus on my rye crackers for a quick breakfast that morning, and despite brushing my teeth, somehow, he was “offended?, while several others at work detected nothing at all, or only a slight touch of garlic, probably from my breath. Obviously an individual dedicated to extreme control, and without much feeling for others – not surprising, given the three plus years I’d observed him with others as well.

So, my blood pressure was extremely high and I was a bit stressed, to say the least, so I was glad to get the hell out of there at day’s end. Upon returning home, and downing a Xanax to calm myself, I decided to check upon the weather – I’d known for a day or two that something might be brewing for this day, from previous discussions. The afternoon discussion noted that a large, intensifying trough moving out of the desert southwest into the southern and central plains would be increasing its power as it tilted more to the negative upon reaching western Missouri and eastern Kansas. There was an intensifying surface low over the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, drawing warm air northward as far as Lees Summit – 70+ F temperatures – yet only 50F dew-points to Springfield as of 1700. There was a warm-front along the widely flowing sweep of the Missouri River at the time. With a strongly-capped atmosphere, the storms were not thought to be possible here until after 2100 hours, but that “any activity that does get going after 9 PM will have 0-6 KM shear values of 50 knots or more, and steepening mid-level lapse rates of 7 cm/km to work with…moisture advection will induce up to 800 J/Kg of instability…the combination of shear, instability, and moisture will make severe weather a strong possibility…?

The above information created a likelihood of supercells and squall lines south of a Kansas City to Macon, Missouri line, and with this the NWS advised that we would have to “contend with an enhanced potential for tornadoes.

It was about the same time this discussion from Pleasant Hill was issued that a Tornado Watch was sent out from the folks at the Norman SPC office, with the reasoning for the advisory noting that “deepening cumulus along retreating moisture boundary in southeast Kansas suggests that convective initiation is likely in the next one to two hours…the threat for tornadoes will increase in conjunction with additional low-level moisture and strengthening vertical shear in advance of a deepening surface low and strong mid-upper level jet-streak (a ribbon of strong winds aloft flowing around the base of the trough/developing upper-low moving towards us).

The Convective Outlook for the evening called for the potential for severe thunder with tornadoes to be moderate, mainly for areas just south of the metro, with the warm-front being the focus for much of the action. With boundary-layer convergence and upper-flow diverging over us, creating a chimney effect and enhancing the rising motion of the increasingly moist and juicy air parcels, scattered development could be anticipated, with a “few supercells rooted close to the surface. (This wording reminded me of a description of my Shepard mixes strong, sharp teeth, rooted and ready to rip into something with gusto!) The forecaster went on to say that “given strong cyclonically curved low-level hodographs beneath vigorous upper jet, [the] potential for tornadoes appears relatively high…including the risk for isolated strong tornadoes…? This definitely distracted my mind from the angst at work I’d had during the working hours!

Intense thunderstorms beat the NWS’s clock by a couple of hours, with a Tornado Warning for Bates County, Missouri in the vicinity of Adrian, 75-100 miles south of Kansas City on US-71, a four-lane concrete highway running along the border between Missouri and Kansas. Other intense storms formed from western Kansas City into northern Jackson County, missing Blue Springs (no surprise there) as they trained repeatedly over the same ground (no pun intended). Over three inches fell in these areas!

Not surprisingly, at 1910 hours, a new Tornado Watch was issued to cover east-central Kansas into western Missouri – this came close to Jackson County, if not covering it! While the Adrian storm continued to rotate, other circulating cells with a potential for tornadoes were fulminating to the west, out in the vicinity of Ottawa, some distance down I-35 from Kansas City. One of this did produce a trenchant twister in Linn County, Kansas.
The NWS the next day issued this release concerning the storm:

“On February 28th, 2007 a large and destructive tornado moved through Linn County, KS, tracking several miles north of Blue Mound, where it caused damage in rural areas. Although structural damage was isolated due to the rural track of the tornado, indications of a violent tornado were observed northwest of Blue Mound, KS where a house and several farm buildings were completely destroyed. Click here for the complete story of the event.

The dynamics from this storm provided extreme lift for a rapid development of thunderstorms in the early evening hours of February 28th. Low level moisture was initially limited but surface low pressure and an accompanying warm front moved into the region, increasing the low level instability. This warm front provided the focusing mechanism for storms to develop in the early evening. Increasing wind shear was also a major factor as a low level jet strengthened ahead of the storm and a 150 kt upper level jet was located just to the southwest of the area. This upper level jet also provided very strong upper level divergence which added another ingredient for the severe storm development.

Storms initiated along the warm front in eastern Kansas in the late afternoon/early evening. The first report of severe weather in the Kansas City area was received at 616pm, as 1 inch hail fell in Overland Park, KS.

The “main event? was a supercell which developed in eastern Kansas and produced a tornado in Anderson County (see www.weather.gov/topeka for reports from the NWS Forecast Office in Topeka) at around 645pm. This supercell crossed into Linn County, KS around 7:30PM and produced a large and violent tornado 4 miles north of Blue Mound. This tornado was rated an EF4, and more information can be found here. One home north of Blue Mound was destroyed, with six more homes sustaining minor damage, and about a dozen outbuildings damaged or destroyed; trees and power lines were downed as well.

it is the first time anywhere in the country that a tornado has been rated as high as EF4 since switching to the new Enhanced Fujita scale on February 1st 2007.

Second, while tornadoes reaching EF4 intensity are rare events in their own right, there has never been a tornado of this magnitude occurring in Kansas this early in the year.?

I must mention that one super-cell was long-lived and tracked from Adrian over into areas near Warrensburg, if memory serves.

What an eventful day all around work and weather combined.

Dog



Posted by: StormDog at March 19, 2007 2:13 PM

**************
Are there any severe storms in sight for this week...from what I am looking at it seems it would be north and west of the viewing area. Not sure though. It looks like we are in for a lot of rain this week.
----------------------------
John,

We will have to just look at each day to see if there is any severe weather potential. It already has changed its look several times in the past two days. I think there is a decent chance later this weekend when the upper low ejects out.

Gary

Posted by: John Moon III at March 19, 2007 2:18 PM

***************
Gary great graphics and again the proof is there. Does it still look like a lot of rain for this week? Some sources are calling for 2-3 inches this week which we really need but I looked at the computer maps on models and analyses and it could be iffy. Some rain is showing up the end of March but the next great cycle wouldn't be until around April 8th-12th right because of the LRC? Great stuff. Thanks, Michael/Topeka/Berryton
----------------------
Michael,

If you believe in the LRC then you will count on a major storm around the 28th to 31st and then the biggy with cold air around April 14th. I hope that April 12th to 15th storm gets delayed by just a day or two as I am supposed to be out of town those days.

The 2-3 inch potential is there for this week, but the way the models were predicting it yesterday are very different today. So, confidence is highest on Tuesday's rainfall. We will see what happens.

Gary

Posted by: michael huffman at March 19, 2007 2:48 PM

*******************
Wow. Dog...very nice work.
--------------------
Scott,

I agree. He writes very well.

Posted by: Scott at March 19, 2007 4:12 PM

****************
Good Evening Gary,
If we were to get severe weather out of any of these storms this week, when is the most likely day and what will the severe threats be?
Shavo
---------------------
Shavo,

Perhaps Sunday, but it is just way too early to tell.

Gary

Posted by: Shavo at March 19, 2007 6:07 PM

*****************
Thanks for all the info Dog! Alot of detailed info. of the K.C. Region's weather and some international weather info!!
I hope the rain tomorrow doesn't miss St. Joe to the south and east, the models kind of want to try and do that, combine that with the "cut-off" that occasionally forms near K.C. in the precip. patterns I kind of wonder.
This morning it felt like May with all the moisture in the air, the sidewalks were even sweating. I just hope we get some good rumble rs soon then I will be pleased.
Thanks for your time.
Nick in (breezy/sunny) St. Joe!!!
---------------------------
Nick,

How much rain did you get back on December 20th or so. It is this storm. I think you did get it.

Gary

Posted by: Nick Rau at March 19, 2007 6:11 PM

*******************
What's going on with the front? The clouds cleared out this evening but then they moved back in and thickened up. It almost looked like it was going to rain. Now there are showers moving to the northeast to our south.

David
----------------
David,

This is becoming a fairly strong warm front to our south. As it starts moving north the rain will only increase. We should have an active warm front on Tuesday. Maybe even some hail.

Gary

Posted by: David, Lenexa at March 19, 2007 8:59 PM

************
Dog, very good work!!! And I thought I had a passion for the weather!!
I personally think we will have a quite active severe season. Especially if you follow the LRC. It will be a battle between airmasses.
---------------------
Kirk,

Yes, I believe it will have a few strong moments.

Gary

Posted by: Kirk at March 19, 2007 10:33 PM

 
 

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