An Early Winter Forecast

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If I remember correctly, Chief Meteorologist Mike Thompson was giving some early forecast thoughts a couple of weeks ago about the winter forecast. Well I’ve gone to the source, or actually the source came to me, and I can, without a doubt, attest to the accuracy of the source material in developing this early winter forecast.

Bob Minor from Prairie Village is a regular FOX 4 viewer and he keeps an eye on the definitive trends when it comes to long range winter forecasting. In this case he’s talking about the latest data, not from any fancy computer model….or another heavily researched statistical analysis…no it’s from the Woolly Worm model! Here is what he sent me yesterday…click on this image to make it larger.

To prove the accuracy of the model he wanted to show the verification from last year. That’s MT showing the worm with a very large brown stripe and very little black. According to folklore…errr statistical research ;)…the more brown on the worm the less harsh the winter will be. Well we all know how last winter turned out…our lowest snow amount ever recorded and temperatures that were the 7th warmest on record. I’d say the Woolly worm model did rather well. Now take a look at the image in the upper left…that’s this year’s worm…errr model run that is. Notice ALL black….not a good sign for those who want back to back warm, snowless winter’s. Yes the worm is predicting a rather harsh winter.

To be honest with you, the humans in the FOX 4 weather department also take a stab at this in November, before the first significant flakes fall. Our performance, shall we say, leaves much to be desired over the last 5+ years. Personally my forecasts have been wretched, so much so that I really don’t even want to bother again this season because they’ve been so wrong in the past. I’m sure they’ll tell us to do it again, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be way off again but that’s the nature of the beast.

A lot of folks have been asking me what the winter will be like. Well after coming off the insane non-winter last year, my initial guess is that this will be a more typical winter in these parts with more snow and more frequent cold outbreaks compared to last winter. That’s not really saying anything because 1) there were no cold outbreaks of substance last winter and 2) there wasn’t any snow…so even IF we get 10″ of snow it will be a worse winter compared to last season!

OK, instead of worrying about that, let’s talk about a major shot of chilly air that will quickly move in on Saturday AM. This airmass will be coming straight from Canada and will deliver the “coolest” air of the season. Combined with the winds on SAT AM a definite fall chill will be in the air, as a matter of fact highs may struggle to get into the middle 60s, and may actually steady out in the afternoon as the bulk of the cool air descends into the region. I’ll say it for the umteenth time…remember the frost potential SAT AM, especially to the north of the KC metro, although some in the metro may also have some patchy frost as well. Consider yourself forewarned gardeners!

The latest drought report shows continued minor-decent improvements on the MO side…with a reduction in the severe-extreme categories and a total elimination of the exceptional category.

On the KS side…there was little change except for a decent reduction (10% coverage) of the worst of the drought (exceptional).

Since April 1st we’ve had 10.70″ of rainfall officially for KC. That is still some 14.5″ below average in that time span. At this point we may have to wait till the middle/end of next week for a better rain opportunity.

There will be rain out there later tonight into tomorrow early AM…odds favor areas towards the S/SE of the metro, more towards the Lakes region for the rain/storms to hit as is depicted in this image.

Have a great day!

Joe

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