Weather Blog - This Approaching Storm, The LRC, Rain, & Snow

Lightning Over The Plaza Last Night
Posted at 6:26 AM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 09:06:27-05

Good morning bloggers,

That was one heck of a lightning display last night. It was almost constant thunder with the frequent lightning strikes. Lighting can go from cloud to air, cloud to cloud, and from cloud to ground. Sometimes that cloud to ground actually is triggered at the ground and shoots up into the cloud. A line of thunderstorms formed and broke the ice on the dry beginning to this month. And, now a very wet storm is approaching the region. This storm is right on schedule, and predicted by Weather2020 and the LRC from months ago. When we established this years cycle in December, our model predicted this up coming storm system to be very wet across the plains from around March 10th to 15th. The storm system will begin producing rain and snow later tonight and Friday. It will be rain in Kansas City with snow out over the western plains, and then there is a chance of snow in KC by mid-next week depending on the track and strength of the second system.

Look at this storm system, and look closely:

LRC Cycle 1 October 28, 2020

This map above is from the first cycle of this year's weather pattern. The low with three circles around it shows the storm system that produced an historic ice storm in Oklahoma City in late October. It also produced our first snow in Kansas City in late October. Well, that storm is in late October. The LRC predicted back then that there would be a similar storm forming right now, and there is, take a look below:

LRC Cycle 4

I numbered a few of the main features we have been tracking for five months already. Feature #2 shows the storm approaching us now, and look at the storm in that first map from October, from LRC cycle 1. So, this is LRC Cycle 1 and LRC Cycle 4. Let's look at cycles 2 and 3:

LRC Cycle 2

This map above shows the same five features in the second LRC cycle from December 10. Look below as we compare them to LRC Cycle 3, January 24th. This is one of our signature parts of this years cycling pattern. Cycles 1, 2, 3, and 4 all produced major significant events.

LRC Cycle 3

  • Oklahoma City: Cycle 1 - 4.52" liquid with a major ice storm. A devastating historic ice storm blasted a large part of Oklahoma. Cycle 2 - Two snow storms strike 46 days later with 7" of snow falling on top of the huge piles of tree branches in front of homes that had yet to have them removed. Cycle 3 - Around one inch of rain.
  • Denver, CO: Cycle 1 - 4" of snow & 4°. Cycle 2 - 6 straight days of snow with 5.1". Cycle 3 - 3 days of snow 1.2". Cycle 4 - a lot of snow in the forecast.
  • Kansas City: Cycle 1 - Five straight days of precipitation including around 1" of snow in October. Cycle 2 - Two days of rain with a low of 16°. Cycle 3 - 4 straight days of snow with 1.9" total. Cycle 4 - A heavy rain event and some snow is possible

Now, why do I show this to you, show you the cycling pattern? I have friends who say, "who cares if you knew this storm was going to cycle through now?". Well, I will let you think about that one, because we have learned so much more about this cycling pattern and our ability to use it in accurate long range predictions. This part of the pattern will cycle back through again around the end of April into early May, and again in mid-June just as summer will begin. In that June version, this system will likely be much farther north.

So, what is going on with this storm? Look at this incredible prediction from the new GFS model that will become operational in the coming days to weeks:

GFS-16 Model Prediction For Snowfall In The Next Week

What is that? 62" of snow in Boulder, CO. Is this possible? That is 5 feet of snow plus 2 more inches. WOW! Well, it is just a model, but if it is close, this is historic again! Other models are coming in with a lot less snow for them. It will depend on the track of the storm system that is forming in the next 24 hours.

What is causing this extreme weather in the past month, from the massive Arctic outbreak causing the Texas power disaster, to this current storm that is developing now? The pattern that set up last fall, as described by the LRC, is the cause. And, the influence from other forces, such as the Arctic Oscillation:

Arctic Oscillation Is Going Way Positive Now

The AO is surging to a very rarely seen high level of nearly +6, which is a complete flip from the -5 from a month ago. The negative AO directly lead to the Arctic Blast, and this huge high positive AO is leading to the conditions we are seeing develop now as this storm forms.

Impacts for Kansas City:

There is a set up for these two storm systems to produce significant amounts of rain in our area too. While last night's rain produced 0.41" of rain at KCI Airport, which washed away all of the leftover salt that was still on the roads from the recent February snows, most of the models are showing 2" to 3" of rain in our area in the next week:

Rainfall Forecast Next 7 Days

A cold front moved through last night. It will stall to our south and become a warm front and then start moving northward very slowly. As the storm system, that #2 feature on the above LRC discussion, moves slowly this way, there will be bands of rain and thunderstorms developing. Flooding is the main risk in our area. Here is the set up for Friday:

Surface Forecast Valid Noon Friday

The storm approaching will take four days to pass us, an then the second storm approaches Tuesday. Snow is not out of the question with the second storm in our area. Between now and then a few rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms will be likely.

Surface Forecast Valid 6 PM Sunday

Kansas City has been in one of the least impacted regions in this weather pattern. We have gotten very cold, but only have seen 12 inches of snow this winter. We have gotten wet, but we have not seen the extreme events that have happened elsewhere. This is all good news for our local economy. At the same time it is frustrating for those of us who love snow. Kansas City's biggest snowfall ever happened in March of 1912 when 25 inches fell in one storm. This year, all of our snows have been extremely small. There are some models that have snowflakes here on next Wednesday, but no accumulation.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: Partly cloudy with light winds shifting to the northeast this afternoon at only 5-10 mph. High: 50°
  • Tonight: Increasing clouds. Low: 38°
  • Friday: Cloudy with a 100% chance of rain developing. East winds increasing to 25 mph. Rainfall amounts around 1/2" with higher amounts south likely. High: 50°
  • Saturday: A 100% chance of rain. Rainfall amounts of .5" to 3" possible. The heavier amounts south. Flash Flood Watch south. High: 54°
  • Sunday: Cloudy with a 100% chance of rain, heavy at times. Total rainfall amounts by Sunday night 1" to 4" likely. The lighter amounts are more likely around Kansas City. High: 57°

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring the LRC & the cycling weather pattern. Have a great Thursday. I am still on vacation for a couple more days, but as always, analyzing the weather pattern and helping keep you updated with Kansas City's Most Accurate Forecast.