May 13, 2012

Eastern WI - May 10, 1990 & the LRC

The latest snowstorm on record to affect our area took place on May 10, 1990. I was living in Suamico, WI at the time and remember it well. Obviously, these record conditions sparked my interest of following it through the cycle to analyze the behavior of our atmosphere that year.

Below is the archived map from May 10, 1990. Easy to see from the map that there was a potent low pressure centered in Lower MI streaming cooler air into WI helping to produce the snow that fell.

Analyzing the data and maps from 1989-90 I concluded the cycle averaged around 54 days. Starting with May 10, 1990 moving back through the year I ran into these dates.

Oct-10, 1989 - 19891009-19891015.djvu
Dec-02, 1989 - 19891127-19891203.djvu - 54 days
Jan-25, 1990 - 19900122-19900128.djvu - 55 days
Mar-19, 1990 - 19900319-19900325.djvu - 54 days
May-10, 1990 - 19900507-19900513.djvu - 53 days

By using the archived maps above I was able to pick out the storm in every cycle with ease. I would suspect this storm could have been labeled a 'signature storm' that season. It recurred on schedule in the Great Lakes each and every time. Simply amazing. See the image below. Right click, select open in new tab/window to see a larger version.

The image below is of a tree that fell onto our garage that day due to the weight of the heavy snow.

(Suamico, WI - May 10, 1990)

Besides that particular storm the late winter season of 1989-90 had an extreme warm-up on March 12, 1990 that melted snow quickly creating flood conditions. I suspect that is me in the flood waters and I am sure I was wearing knee high rubber boots in the photo below.

(Suamico, WI - March 12, 1990)

Sticking with the same duration of around 54 days I was able to pick the dates listed below when following this particular pattern through the cycle. I am questioning my January comparison as it wavers from the average a little bit, but with this comparison the average is around 53 days. It is darn close.

Oct-05 - 19891002-19891008.djvu
Nov-27 - 19891127-19891203.djvu - 53 days
Jan-17 - 19900115-19900121.djvu - 51 days
Mar-12 - 19900312-19900318.djvu - 54 days
May-04 - 19900430-19900506.djvu - 53 days

By using the archived maps above I was able to pick out the western trough in every cycle with ease. It recurred on schedule and brought a southerly flow into the Great Lakes each time. Again, simply amazing. See the image below. Right click, select open in new tab/window to see a larger version.

If there are any questions or thoughts on my research and analysis of the material just let me know in the comments section of the blog. Thanks for reading! To see the archived maps click on the links next to the dates. You will need the Djvu Browser Plug-In to view the maps.

May 6, 2012

Weather Event Forecasting - Second Week Of May

I've updated the 500mb maps below with GFS 500mb forecast maps for the upcoming second week of May. They are the first map of each comparison and look different (there is yellow in them) than the archived maps. Again, the LRC provides a significant confidence factor in the long range models forecast. How will the surface weather affect us this Spring versus last Fall? Whatever it is, this version will provide a significant learning opportunity for all who follow the cycling weather patterns.

As for using the LRC trends to provide a weather forecast for Oshkosh, they point to a 2 in 5 chance of preicp for the 8th, but we are in the odd cycle of the 'every other' add-on theory. If it works out, it probably won't rain at OSNW3. High temps should range in the 60s. As for the 14th, the 2 in 5 chance of precip presents itself again but this recurrence is in the even cycle of the 'every other' add-on theory. This leads me to believe it will precipitate at OSNW3. Highs should be in the 60s. We'll see what happens.

originally posted on Apr 1, 2012
Potential #1 & #2 recurred on schedule. With these recurrences the precipitation made it back into NE WI. Potential #1 dropped over an inch. The cold air made it into the area as suspected as well. Places in northern WI had freezing overnight lows. These recurring features should repeat between May 8 and May 14. Maps and radar are updated. Perhaps some thunderstorms in Potential #1 and a cool and damp spell in Potential #2 ??? We shall see.

originally posted on Mar 19, 2012
These systems are on track and on schedule for the Midwest. This is another example of how the LRC provides a greater confidence factor in the long range models forecast.  In particular the GFS.  I have included the forecast 500mb maps for each potential. They are the first map in each sequence and are labeled as such.  As the time creeps closer I will be updating the forecast maps...

originally posted on Feb 14, 2012
The two events below will return during the last ten days of March. With the jet beginning the annual northward retreat around this time it will be interesting to see how much cold air comes down from Canada after Potential #2 moves out. This cold air could leave us with daily maximum temperatures in the 30's if it transpires. I would assume many spring activities will already be in full swing by this time and it will be a kind reminder that the winter of 2011-12 never really happened.

Potential #1 - May 8-9, 2012
Here at OSNW3 we recorded an inch of rain with this system back in early November, since that occurrence though, each counterpart has lacked the precipitation element as the system keeps ejecting east rather than northeast leaving Northeast WI out of the action. Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri on the other hand, have seen great energy released with this recurring storm system.

(Nov 3, 2011 - 500mb)
(Dec 21, 2011 - 500mb)
(Feb 5, 2012 - 500mb)
(Mar 23, 2012 - 500mb) 
(May 9, 2012 - 500mb)

Nov 2-11, 2011 - Radar
Dec 19-27, 2011 - Radar
Feb 3-11, 2012 - Radar
Mar 21-30, 2012 - Radar

Potential #2 - May 13-14, 2012
This storm initially created the case to be labeled the 'signature' storm for this years LRC in our area. It was our first good snowfall of the year. It is the 'notable event' in the OSNW3-Oshkosh Winter Forecast labeled 'Snowstorm/Cold' in each cycle. Here at OSNW3 we recorded over 3 inches of precip and over 2 inches of snow in a 3 day period in the first cycle. Without phasing of the jet stream the split flow has kept this system screaming further south and east each time through the cycle. While it gives the area a chance at precip and a sudden drop in temperature it certainly lacks 'signature storm' criteria.

(Nov 9, 2011 - 500mb)
(Dec 27, 2011 - 500mb)
(Feb 11, 2012 - 500mb)
(Mar 28, 2012 - 500mb)
(May 13, 2012 - 500mb)

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. To follow the cycling patterns please click on the 500mb maps and navigate back and forth from each of dates paying close attention to the overall flow.

May 5, 2012

The March Anomaly & LRC Center

March was a cycle data buster. Or was it? Below are two LRC forecast trends. One with the March data used in it and another without the March data used in it. In particular, the dates I wanted to throw out were Mar 3-26, but to make it quick I just threw out all March data. The trending data for this part of the cycle, highlighted in the images below, show rising temperatures, but as we know the cycling weather patterns go through seasonal twists due to jet position. Is it prudent to disregard cycle data to provide a better understanding of the LRC? How about when providing a long range forecast?

(Oshkosh Forecast Trend With March)

(Oshkosh Forecast Trend Without March)

We are currently a handful of cycles along in this years LRC and in any given cycle year being this far along choosing which cycle resembles one another certainly provides engaging results. For instance, the trend below shows what I labeled 'Cycle 1' and 'Cycle 4' in the forecast trends. The dates of these particular cycles are Nov7-Dec23 and Mar27-May12. (I understand that my 'forecast cycle 1' could very easily be cycle 2 or 3 depending how one chooses to the follow the cycling patterns). The two sets of data match up very well with the peeks and valleys flowing in parallel.

(Oshkosh MaxT - Nov7-Dec23 and Mar27-May12)

A .. SOND .. JF .. MAMJ .. J
(each letter is a month, starting with August left to right)

It certainly seems if we use a center point of where jet position is similar (JF) and move out in both directions from that point, that the particular cycles happening in the particular months should be more alike than any of the other cycles. Something to keep in my when perusing the forecast trends I provide. This potential phenomena in the LRC is evident in the trend above as each cycle moves farther from "center" JF.

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!

May 2, 2012

AccuWx 25 vs LRC 25

--- Original Entry Below (4/4/12)
I promote looking into a crystal ball. Especially if one has the means and tener cojones. I agree with what the AccuWx how to article states... "following trends in the weather is key".

(AccuWeather's 25 Day Forecast Trend for Oshkosh, WI)

(OSNW3's April Forecast Trend based on the LRC for Oshkosh, WI)

Analyzing the two trends above it is apparent they differ in the long range. I've cached the webpage that generated the AccuWx trend on April 4. It can be found here. As the month moves forward I will be comparing the trends and grading the verification. Fun, fun, fun. (the LRC based trends will update automatically as the actual temperatures are updated every couple days)


If someone unfamiliar with the LRC looks at my trends they'll most likely blow them off as some hodge podge BS, as many did toward the AccuWx 25 in the comments of the article linked above. But, on the other hand, if one is a little familiar with the LRC and follows along once and a while, then it is possible they will understand just what the trends provide. By analyzing the 500mb maps and data one can find the cycle within each year. It's a task not for the lighthearted. One thing to remember about the LRC is that it is not one storm that cycles, it is the longwave troughs and ridges that cycle. Seasonal positioning of the jet brings twists to each cycling pattern. It is important to 'live' the cycle. Taking a couple weeks off makes it very difficult to pick back up. I keep a 'LRC calendar' to aid in following along each year. Consider it my crutch. Total satisfaction can really only be achieved by following along.

I am bias to my region when following the LRC. However, this year I branched out and created more trends for other cities. The branching out proves to me that it would take quadruple the time and effort to follow along in all corners of the CONUS. I commend all who do. Currently I trend min/max temps and precip days. Each trend is laid out as if it were one cycle. Vertically scrolling up and down will lead the trends in and out of different cycles. The x's are the daily min/max deviation from the long term temperature average for the corresponding days in each cycle. The green line is the median deviation from average for the corresponding days in each cycle. The black line is the long term average. Precip occurring during a cycle is given a value of five on the scale. If precip occurs again in another cycle on the corresponding day, five is added to the number for the next cycle trend. Some days have better odds of precipitation because precipitation was recorded on the corresponding days in the cycle. They are displayed as a higher vertical line. For the days that have been archived, a "green cap" on the vertical line means precipitation was recorded on that day. Basically a tiered bias growing in potential each recurrence of recorded precip on corresponding days in the cycle.

All of the min/max temp and precip trends based on the LRC can be found here.

I truly believe anyone can make weather projections long term using the LRC. I've spent an great deal of effort coding this particular 'LRC model' and I am always trying to improve it. If you have any suggestions please let me know. It's all very obvious how a long range forecast can aid the average person, like myself. I use the LRC trend everyday.
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!