9:00 AM CDT | September 28, 2018
If you can believe it, we are almost finished with September. Just today and two more days, and it will be October. Every October, a new weather pattern sets up according to the recurring cycle theory. Those of you who have followed Texas Storm Watch for some time now are already very familiar with this theory. The recurring cycle theory holds that a unique pattern sets up every year in the fall, usually from early October through mid or late November. This cycle will repeat with the same features in play until the following fall. The same features cycle, but there are seasonal differences in the strength and location of these features. I first discovered this theory back in 2010 when I came across an article from a Kansas City Meteorologist, Gary Lezak. He came up with this theory back in the 1990s and still discusses it today. What causes a new weather pattern to develop each fall? He believes that it could have to do with the autumnal equinox, which basically resets the weather pattern. It is fascinating to follow because no weather pattern is exactly the same. For a recent example of how beneficial this theory is as a forecasting tool, read this article from September 4th: http://texasstormwatch.com/2018/09/tropical-storm-gordon-makes-landfall-in-mississippi.html.
Right now, we are experiencing some of the old pattern and some of the new developing pattern. We will switch fully to the new weather pattern during the first week of October. In a few more weeks, we will have a better idea of what to expect this winter and beyond. The weather models have been showing a trough moving onshore the West Coast at the start of October. Where they have disagreed over the last few days is what happens. Does this energy continue eastward into the Plains? Does it stay to our west as a ridge builds into the Plains? The latest guidance has trended more toward the first scenario. Most show this energy weakening but still continuing eastward into the Plains. Hopefully, we see several pieces of energy move into the region during the next few weeks. This would be a good sign with this developing weather pattern.
Finally, check out how much our drought has improved! A good portion of the state is now drought-free. There are no pockets of exceptional drought, and only a few areas of extreme drought. We need additional rainfall in West Texas and parts of Central Texas to continue this trend. The old weather pattern that has brought extremes to the state since last fall will soon completely fall apart, and the new one will take hold. I will continue to update the blog, so check back for the latest updates.