Aug 13, 2012

The 2011-12 Lezak's Recurring Cycle

Last month I tweeted that I was not sure this pattern would repeat again this year. The GFS is telling me I was right, I wasn't sure.  It's in the medium range forecast plot once again.  The overall cycle is still in charge but there are signs it is evolving!

(Aug-18, 2012 - GFS 126HR 8/13)

If this pattern repeat happens on Aug-18, I think we have started the morph where we'll begin to actually notice the stark differences. According to my calendar, this will be happening way too early.  I suppose I should be patient. This same thing happened back in May when the maps coincided early and the cycle held together. The GFS actually hints at that same thing happening as it did in May. A simple case of jumping the gun as I may be a little excited for a new pattern to evolve.

(first posted on Jul-16, 2012)

The summertime jet is full effect. This means the 2011-12 cycle will soon begin to morph into the 2012-13 cycle. I will admit I am very anxious for this transition to begin. But, before I become truly entrenched into the hunt I want to recall how I got into this mess to begin with. In honor of the 2011-12 cycle I will follow the 500mb plots through my calendar. Nov-17 was the first I saw the cycle go full circle.

(Sep-30, 2011)

(Nov-17, 2011) - 48 Days

(Jan-2, 2012) - 46 Days

(Feb-17, 2012) - 46 Days

(Apr-3, 2012) - 46 Days

(May-21, 2012) - 48 Days

(Jul-8, 2012) - 48 Days

(first posted on Nov-18, 2011)

I was waiting to update the blog until there was an archived 500mb plot to compare cycles. That opportunity came Nov-18. A comparison for the days of Sep-30 and Nov-17 provides a result of a 48 day cycle duration as of this writing. Moving each of the days back one day in time also yields similar setups. Moving forward, the patterns are cycling. It is noticeable with this initial comparison how the strengthening and south ward march of the jet stream affects the cycle. It's time to get down and dirty with this years cycle and analyze the ever changing seasons as they bring with them their own unique twist. On a side note, as the season moves into winter the cycle duration will likely extend a few days and even more importantly, there is no more need for living in fantasy land to find the cycle! (fantasy land = long range computer models)

(first posted on Dec-30, 2011)

Much of my research has led me to the conclusion that the patterns within a particular cycle take on a more similar look and feel to the, 'every other' or non consecutive cycle rather than the one preceding or following that particular cycle. For example, cycle 1 & 3 & 5 are more similar to each other while cycle 2 & 4 & 6 are more similar to each other. The 'birthday' of the 2011-12 LRC is a great example and should be considered a signature feature. This time around the surface features and 500mb flow are shaping up very similar to Sep-30.

(first posted on Feb-21, 2011)

I was very much looking forward to this 'birthday' of sorts for this years LRC. It was scheduled to take place while we were to spend time in Marquette, MI. Realizing what the potential was excited us as we were in store for snow and waves if it were to act like the Sep or Jan version. However, what happened was more like the Nov version. We were still greeted with a little bit of snow and waves, but without the intensity we wished for. The conclusion I stated below has proven itself this time around, will it next time? Could another trip to Door County, WI for some big wave action be in store? Only time will tell. Happy birthday LRC. The 500mb map has been added below for comparison.


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. The 2011-12 LRC calendar can be found here and is also accessible from the LRC Analysis Tools section in the upper right portion of the blog. Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks for posting all this info. I live south of you but read your blog and have been watching your discussions out on the forums you're using to discuss the LRC. Watched Ch 12 here in Milwaukee and saw their forecast based on the LRC. Was hoping for a bit more detail on it, but they are expecting the signature storm right after Christmas weekend.

    Very anxious to see your data even if you're forecasting for a more pin-pointed location north of me.

  2. Don't be making fun of the Long Range Computer Models :) Or fantasy land as you put it LOL! Looking forward to your forecast, Josh.

  3. Brad B, thanks for visiting the blog! I read the WISN12 winter forecast on their blog as I was unable to view it. I think we can all agree that the week between XMAS and NYE will be active. I suspect Jeremy will go more into the detail you desire as the winter moves forward. Last year he released monthly forecasts that were very detailed and extremely accurate. The interaction on their blog has diminished completely since they moved to the new format, which is quite unfortunate. About the forecast data, I am also anxious to run the numbers!

    Tim, HA! I enjoy them too, please do not get me wrong. I have an idea for showing the cycle with 500mb maps that you might enjoy. Look for it 48 ish days from Oct-22. :)

  4. I'm watching the LRC thread in "the forums" and saw your post about the 12/2 potential. Don't get my hopes up! While my back isn't a fan of major snow I wouldn't mind seeing some now!

  5. Brad B, I don't want to get your hopes up, but the scenario is good possibility. The winds will be howling off Lake Michigan, surf will be up and the snow will be flying. See the link below for a radar loop from Oct-18 through Oct-21. The only thing I sense that could ruin a great couple days by the Lake is the path through the cycle a storm likely takes, which in my opinion is slightly south and east. It is unlikely it'll "magically move west". :)


    Also, the dates will most likely be the first week of Dec. Dec-5 thru Dec-8. Give or take a day, of course!

    1. Thanks for posting all this info. I live south of you but read your blog and have been watching your discussions out on the forums you're using to discuss the LRC.

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  6. Hi Josh,

    This NYE/NYD storm is shaping up pretty close to what we discussed on the 10th. Latest info I’ve seen shows you have a shot at some pretty good snow ;) Also shows I might have considerably more wind than snow. If the lights stay on and I don’t have to shovel; looks like this storm is giving each of us pretty much what we had hoped for!
    Happy New Year to you & a belated Merry Christmas!

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  7. Hi Tony! Happy belated holidays to you too. It would seem that when this NYE/NYD storm repeats at the end of March it could be a swift reminder of what winter is really like as we will have missed most of it this year. However, I am looking forward to the next recurrence around Feb-17 and being in the UP LES belts...

  8. Don't be making fun of the Long Range Computer Models :) Or fantasy land as you put it LOL! Looking forward to your forecast, Josh.