Friday, October 19, 2018

Update 10/19/2018

In the previous post I did on the 11th (read it by clicking here), the discussion was on the VERY wet period that was in the process of ending and the expected cold coming on the heals.  As most are aware, the cold behind the system was record setting at some location, but regardless was cold enough to do damage to some of the fall crops, most unfortunately.  I saw some readings down into the single digits, especially where there was decent snow cover.  The snow was not unexpected either as I did mention that too.  However, unexpectedly there was light rain yesterday and last night across much of the high plains.  This COULD be one of the signals I'll be looking for as I make the outlook going into the next growing season.  More on that later.

In the meantime, here is the latest satellite image....

There are a couple of interesting and possibly important features on this map.  First, as I mentioned the rain that fell yesterday and last night had been unexpected when I did the post on the 11th.  It was a weak feature that was "left over" from the pattern that brought the cold.  I did not foresee this moving into the plains and providing support for precipitation.  Presently there is another weak system (the X over central California).  It is another minor system that looks like it could provide support for a tad more rain next week for the high plains (around Tue/Wed or so).  This could be one of those signals for things to come this winter.  More on that later.

Also on the satellite image is the red x on the southeast (bottom right) side of the image above.  This is yet another tropical system in the Pacific that will impact Texas as it moves north and northeast as it weakens.  Wow this flooding across central Texas has been unreal and these additional system will extend and even worsen the flooding.   

Here is the precipitation outlook through the end of next week that is provided by the Weather Prediction Center....

Back to the satellite image, the jetstream (strong winds aloft) that extends from  the tropical pacific across Hawaii (green line on the bottom left) probably won't impact the plains yet, but it is also another signal I'll be watching for this winter.

I've had several ask about favorable field week going well into November (primarily to finish harvesting fall crops).   In general, it appears somewhat favorable going into the first week of November with just a few minor rain events (i.e., the one next Tue/Wed).  I don't expect warm and windy though at least through Halloween. I really don't have a good feeling for November but if I was to take a guess - I would go with normal to above normal temperatures on average and near to below normal on precipitation.  Again, just a wag.

The fall is one of the most difficult times to make an outlook as the new pattern is just now getting established, as I've discussed numerous times in this blog over the years.  It depends on where the forcing for the pattern is located and how much contribution each area is providing that is producing the pattern.  The very wet start to October; the record or near record cold;  the minor systems across the southern Rockies and Great basin;  the excessive rainfall in central Texas; the continued tropical systems moving north into the southern U.S.; the tropical jetstream that is moving out of the tropics and across Hawaii... - these are just SOME of the signals I'll be incorporating into an outlook going forward.  Other things will be considered too.  But what is causing those outcomes?  That is the six million dollar question that I'm trying to determine.

You may have seen the OFFICIAL outlook that was released by the Climate Prediction Center on Thursday the 19th.  I disagree with it!  What I really don't like is their message which is "A mild Winter is expected".  Mild to me implies warm with many days of golfing opportunities.  But mild for winter might really mean above normal temperatures compared to winter temperatures that are generally pretty cold.  Really to have a good idea, I would still need another 3-4 weeks to watch this new pattern unfold.

My initial gut feeling and thoughts is this winter should be much snowier (or maybe more freezing rain) with temperatures at or below normal.  I should say snowier from October 1 through April 30.  My best analog year I found is 2009/2010 (for various reasons). As time gets into November, I should have a much better idea so will fine tune (or completely throw out) that initial gut feeling.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Update - 10/11/18

In the quick post I did on Friday (read it by clicking here) I showed the map of potential rainfall from then until the end of this week.  All-in-all that was a pretty good outlook!.  The largest amount of measured rain was near Overland Park with 11.39" but there were many, many reports of 6 to 10 inches across much of Kansas, western and northwest Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle!  The flooding that ensued was at major levels and there may end up being record marks reaches before all the water recedes.

Back on the 28th of September I mentioned a hard freeze by the middle of October.  There has already been some light freeze conditions in parts of western Kansas (and killing freeze in Nebraska) but the coldest with this current pattern is still a few days away - but get ready!

First, here is a map of rainfall from this wet period ending early this morning (11th)...(click for a larger map)

BTW, the rainfall at the Dodge City airport has already shattered the October record!  The previous wettest October at the airport was 5.00" in 2008 and at the office the total is already 5.95"!  Records go back to 1874!

Looking at the afternoon satellite image....

The flow aloft remains active!  There will be some overrunning of the cold air in place that will generate light rain tonight and for a while of Friday.  The on to the southwest....Hurricane Sergio was moving northeast towards northwest Mexico and the remnants will cross Oklahoma Friday night or Saturday.  More heavy rain is likely across that area.  At the same time, the red X (upper level system) that was approaching western Canada today will dive south into the Rockies over the weekend.  That will help tap into some really chilly air that will be delivered to the high plains late Sunday into Monday.  With the flow aloft, there will likely be a good deal of precipitation with the cold air - yes that means SNOW!  I won't give specifics in this posting as forecasting amounts will depend on exact placement of upper level dynamics.  But, it does appear likely that some areas of the high plains will receive more than six inches of snow!  One source you can check is  Replace the "ddc" with the NWS office that covers your area (ict, gld, ama, gid, etc.).

Temperatures will be falling most of Sunday and freezing conditions will have already overspread the high plains by nightfall Sunday.  Morning temperatures Monday will likely be down into the teens across the higher elevations of the high plains (i.e., near the Colorado border) with readings well into the 20s as far east as as Pratt and Medicine Lodge.

Here is the expected precipitation amounts through next Thursday (although the majority will fall before Tuesday)...

After mid-week, the pattern should start to shift a bit so that dryer and "warmer" weather will return and should start to dry things out, although that will take some time as it won't get that warm.   I hope to have some time by next week to go into detail of what to expect going into next Spring.  I'll need some quality time to get an idea.  That update will be coming soon.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Update 10/5/18

Unfortunately there has been no fee time and I've been on the road just about every day.  Just a very quick update for the upcoming wet period...

During the last few days, I'm sure most of you have see various maps that resemble this....

The map above is the outlook through next Friday the 13th from the Weather Prediction Center.  The amounts should not be taken literally but the area of maximum rainfall should be pretty close to the area that receives the heaviest rains over this next 7 day period.  Many areas in the heavier rain area will receive at least 5 inches during this period.  I won't be surprised at all to see observations of 10 inches for this 7 day period, somewhere within the orange/brown.  It won't come all at once but over the period of 3 or 4 systems.  But obviously this would be too much considering agriculture activities. The risk of flooding in many locations that had flooding back in early September is a real threat.

I'll do my best to update early next week.