Aug 18, 2011

The LRC; Full Circle

The weekend of August 13-14 was the annual Oshkosh City Golf Tournament held at Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course. 180 golfers competed in flighted championships complete with galleries of golf fanatics and press photographers. Back in July our friend Steve Ziblut, the professional at Lakeshore, asked me about the potential weather forecast for the event based on the LRC. It was an exciting time as it was to be my first LRC based forecast for an actual reason. The forecast was uncharted territory for me as this is my first year following the LRC and the fact that it is common talk among the LRC professionals that forecasting potential weather in August using the LRC is a bit tricky with the weakening of the jet and it retreating north. I "officially" responded to him on July 29 after a thorough analysis of the 2010/11 cycle. A very small and to the point snippet of the forecast text I sent him via email is below.

"I would suspect a chance of a thunderstorm Fri/Sat with drier and cooler air on Sun. Temps in the low 80s upper 70s."

Regardless of what was to happen weather wise after I made the forecast, I felt good about the forecast I gave him using the LRC and figured I would learn from it exponentially, so there was nothing to lose. Turns out the forecast verified and better yet, Oshkosh lucked out on Saturday, August 13 as the storms pushed south of the area keeping us dry. On Sunday, August 14 the air was clean and crisp with mostly sunny skies.

Maps and surface data that helped me come to my forecast conclusion are below. I really liked what the 500mb map of June 22, 2011 was showing, and following the cycle back into last September, I liked what September 3, 2010 was showing me as well. The virtual bookend months of the LRC, September and June, gave a good premise for the cycle maintaining itself into August!

(500mb map from Sep-3, 2010)

(500mb map from Jun-22, 2011)

(500mb map from Aug-13, 2011) 

(LRC 2010-2011 Full Circle)
Jul-15, 2010
Sep-3, 2010(51)
Oct-20, 2010(48)
Dec-3, 2010(45)
Jan-24, 2011(53)
Mar-14, 2011(50)
May-2, 2011(50)
Jun-22, 2011(52)
Aug-13, 2011(53)

With the 'signature' storm scheduled for another return this weekend, August 20th, I will turn my research towards the trough and ridge setups from the past LRC year and try to pick up on any variations for this upcoming LRC year. I will be updating my LRC calendar with the focus of following another cycle year with comparisons to the previous cycle year. I will be graphing the 500mb data, highlighting the days in the calendar for a graphical 'seasonal' view of the events such as; the Great Lakes Cyclone and the cold spell after the March version keeping winter around until April, the unexpected early June heat wave and how it didn't pan out a second time in July and the Oshkosh City Tournament weekend with it's exceptional showing of the LRC coming full circle. However, more importantly, the completion of the spreadsheet that will compare LRC based 500mb forecasts versus GFS 500mb forecasts. Looking forward to it.

The dates I chose to analyze were derived from the LRC calendar I try to keep up to date as best I can. The calendar can be found here. If there are any questions or thoughts on my research and analysis of the LRC or how I presented the material just let me know in the comments section of the blog. Thanks for reading.