Joe’s Weather Blog: Transition Time Is Here + Royals Weather Woes? (TUE-10/7)

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Good morning…October can be one of the best months around here…and I’ve always felt that typically from mid-September through mid-October is the best time of the year around these parts for outdoor things…sure there are a few clunkers out there but as the jetstream speeds up, usually it doesn’t last long at all.

Forecast:

Rest of today: Mixed clouds and sunshine with west to NW winds around 10-20 MPH. Highs in the 70s.

Tonight: Fair skies…there may be some clouds around and that may be an issue with a lunar eclipse that will occur tomorrow AM before daybreak (more on that in the discussion). Lows near 50°

Tomorrow: Again partly cloudy skies and near seasonable conditions with highs near 75°.

Discussion:

Fast moving disturbances and subtle wind shifts moving through the Plains states have helped to create on and off clouds through the region over the past few days. As expected every so often despite the dry atmosphere below a certain level (below the cloud bases) there is enough rain falling from the clouds that the rain makes it to the ground. This happened SUN and again yesterday evening…

These fast moving disturbances give us fits in some ways, because they can be difficult to time properly from a few days out and also trying to figure out IF they will create any rain to begin with and where that rain will fall…

We’re also into the time of the year where the jetstream above us has a strong tendency to strength. This happens EVERY year and continues through the late winter months into early spring. It’s simply the reult of strong temperature changes/differences occurring between the tropics and the poles. As the days get colder and colder across the poles (and the days get shorter and shorter) the cold weather gets stronger and stronger up there…and the jetstream strengthens. There are other facets involved as well including the positions of various disturbances etc…but you get the idea…as we head more into the fall and winter season the jetstream gets stronger and stronger.

This results in our computer models which are decent in reliability through the first few days…then fair from days 3-5…then at best so-so after that…to have issues in trying to figure things out. These issues manifest themselves as all sorts of forecasts from run to run and day to day. Also the various models that we look at i.e. the GFS and the EURO will have polar opposite views on what happens after the 5th or 6th day. There are ways to get more confidence in what may happen down the road when the models are flipping and flopping around like a fish out of water…some meteorologists use them others barely no they exist and that would be the ensemble runs of the various long range models.

Long-time readers know that I’m a fan of this approach and I show them on occasion on the blog. Basically what they are are the model being run with different circumstances…perhaps with different initial conditions (what is happening now) or even different equations within the model scope. Then end result though then can be all averaged out and from that you get other possible forecast scenarios. Should the ensemble runs be close to the regular run of a model in the longer range…you can have more confidence (but yet still end up being very wrong) about what will happen in the future.

That’s a lot of writing to basically say that as we transition the seasons the models are less and less reliable usually the farther out they go. What appears to be a very wet time ahead (for example early next week, potentially impacting the Royals games at the “K” per the EURO model and what may turn out to be OK weather per the GFS model…show the lack of agreement with all the various players out there.

Let’s just pick the GFS model for next Monday evening…this is from Penn State…

 

Notice the upper right and lower right maps showing the surface patter (UR) and the precip (LR)…now low at the various other models that are used to figure out the ensembles…

 

Notice on some of the “other versions” there is a surface storm in the N Plains to on top of us to not even existing at all. So we know something will be out there…somewhere but will it mess up the Royals and the early part of next week? Frankly it’s just too early to say with any confidence whatsoever.

Basically in a nutshell…long range forecasts during this time of the year (from the 4th > 7th day+) are highly changeable and should not be considered etched in stone. The forecasts will change from day to day for many forecasters and perhaps the motto for awhile is not to forecast an extreme one way or another. Don’t go too warm or too cold…don’t go crazy with rain chances because it’s too variable. I look at this stuff all the time…day and night…and I wouldn’t trust my own forecast past day 5 right now with any confidence because they are so changeable…it’s the nature of the beast and when I hear that, down the road, our computer models will be able to reliably forecast the weather with little human interaction…I just laugh. Most to all of those apps on your phone by the way are typically computer generated with little to no human interaction…good luck with those forecasts as well.

I’ve written a lot this morning…tomorrow we’ll talk about how the remnants of a hurricane (Simon) may give us/enhance some rain later this week. Actually we may have rain in the area as early as later WED night into THU.

That’s it for today…blog went in a different direction that what I intended…but that happens every so often…

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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