Every year has a different weather pattern. And, according to my theory, the LRC (Lezak's Recurring Cycle) the weather pattern sets up every fall and then cycles through winter, spring, and into the next fall. The pattern we are in right now is very different than last year, yet the Drought in the Heartland continues. It may surprise you that last winter was actually quite wet with heavy rain occurring from storm systems in December, February and March.
Winter had way above average rain, but we set the all time record for the lowest amount of snow. As we moved into the spring months the weather pattern dried out and the drought began. Over four inches of rain fell in March, but then something happened and less than two inches of rain fell in April and only one inch of rain in May. The jet stream retreated northward and was weaker than normal.
The wettest time of the year in Kansas City is typically from the middle of May to the middle of June. Kansas City and surrounding areas dried out as temperatures warmed up. This caused the moisture from the soil to evaporate out and the affects of the drought started adding up. In wet years we don't have to water much, but in dry years the water bills are much higher. We need around 2 inches of rain per week during the late spring and summer months and with the rain shutting off the soil moisture just dried out.
As discussed, the jet stream shifted north early and weakened. This had a huge impact on severe weather season last year. Kansas City almost didn't have a severe weather season. Our viewing area had the lowest amount of tornado watches in all of tornado alley. There were parts of our viewing area that had no tornado watches the entire season, which is just amazing.
The weather pattern is very different this year. We will go over the details of how much rain and severe weather we will have in the spring outlook on April 4, 3013.