Friday, December 22, 2017

Update - December 22, 2017

There has been little change in the outlook from the previous post I did on the 13th (you can read it by clicking here).

The colder air finally arrived for the central part of the county, but because of the dry air and dry ground, temperatures haven't been THAT cold.  More shots of cold will be arriving to finish out the month and year.

Significant precipitation still does not appear to be in the offing, unfortunately. 

Looking at the mornings satellite image...

The system coming up from southeast New Mexico (red X) will spread precipitation to as close as southeast Kansas.  Excessive rainfall will occur from northeast Texas through middle Appalachians through the weekend.  In most years this would be an ideal situation for much of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to get a fair amount of precipitation.  Not this year.

On the satellite image the other red X up in the BC region will slide southeast and will bring a band of snow from western Nebraska to northern Missouri, primarily late on the 23rd into Christmas Eve morning.  There was also a very strong storm moving towards the Gulf of Alaska.  Remnants of this storm will likely impact the high plains with cold air, but any precipitation will probably stay north of I-70.  The cold will follow late Christmas Day into the 26th.  Tuesday the 27th will likely be the coldest day of next week.  The precipitation signal remains bleak for a while.  I'm hoping for something around the 2nd of January, give or take a day or two.  But that is a  "hoping", not "expecting".   We'll see.  Otherwise, it looks rather bleak at the moment.

As far as expected precipitation through the end of next week, here is the outlook from the Weather Prediction Center (and it looks reasonable)...

With the very dry pattern this past several months, the drought is expanding.  Here is the latest drought monitor...
And the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center does not paint a favorable outlook through the end of March...

 I'll try and update again later next week.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Update 12/13/17

In the previous post I did on the 7th (if you didn't see it you can read it by clicking here), I discussed the dry weather and the brief cold.  I said at the end of the post "There should still be a few opportunities later this month and into early January."  There are finally signs of a change but not necessarily to wet, but definitely to cold!  In November I thought that really cold air could arrive after the 10th (thinking mid-month).  There have frontal passages but without snowcover to the north and with the air being highly modified as it dries coming over the Rockies, all we've got is brief cold but a lot of wind and dry humidity.

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) that I've discussed a million and one times, is still chugging away out across the western Pacific and is finally reaching a location in the Pacific that it will contribute to retrogressing the ridge farther west, at least for a period of time.  Here is the latest satellite showing this ridge (squiggly blue line)...

  The really cold air remains in place across Siberia and parts of Europe and Canada.  There is a sharp gradient across the Pacific.  With the MJO arriving in a favorable location, the result will be this retrogression and allowing the cold to shift farther west in the states, once some amplification takes place.  That means that the high plains will finally see a really cold shot of cold air that this time will last more than a day or two.   The most likely time for this to happen will be around December 22 (give or take a day or two).  Into January there should be reoccurring shots of cold (intermixed with a few warmer days).  

But about precipitation....

Normally these Arctic intrusions will also help to "squeeze" out some snow but it is usually dry and fluffy unless there is a storm system interacting with the cold.  At this point, there is a small chance of one of these storm systems around Christmas and perhaps around the New Year.  But I'm not really optimistic about that happening.  But keep your fingers crossed because at least there is a small glimmer of hope.  BTW, if you follow our friend on Facebook that posts output from the notoriously bad GFS - you will probably see maps of excessive snowfall.  This model has produced some heavy snow in it's output, but then followed by absolutely nothing - which is a common occurrence with long range models.  Don't bother reading his explanations of the model output as they are normally riddled with inaccuracies (I'm not sure HOW he got a degree that he claims to have).  Geez!

More next week.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Update - 12/7/17

Just a quick update with my free-time limited...

In the post I did on the 30th (if you did not read it, you can do so by clicking here), my pessimistic side was showing through.  That "side" is growing!

This morning had the coldest air of the season across the high plains with many areas well into the single digits.  This was expected, albeit a touch ahead of schedule. Initially, I thought the cold for this area would be longer lasting based on the expected pattern.  At this point, even with a massive ridge across the western U.S., this extended period doesn't appear to be the case.  The cold will "reload" and will make another appearance later this month, but for now I'm not seeing much more than an occasional glancing blow, at least for another 7 to 10 days. 

Dryness....I'm getting more and more concerned about this dry period that MOST of the high plains has been in since early October.  Although I still expect 3 or 4 decent storm chances this winter, those dry stretches will likely be rather long.  If we don't get much out of those 3 or 4 chances, it's going to be really ugly for the start of the growing season.

There should still be a few opportunities later this month and into early January.  Nothing is showing up at the present either by computer model or by mere observation of the pattern.  I'll update again next week and see what might be cooking.