The ‘LRC’ – From October to Now

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  In today’s blog entry we are going to focus on the weather pattern, and I’ll show that the same pattern that set-up last October, continues to repeat right now! 

First let’s quickly touch on the Father’s Day forecast.  The same challenges we discussed leading up to Sunday will continue to exist, when and where will the showers and storms develop and how widespread will they become.  A general chance of showers and storms remains in the forecast.  Again I want to stress…DO NOT cancel any outdoor plans you may have for Father’s Day, just have a plan ‘B’ ready.

Below is the RPM high resolution forecast for later Sunday.  Notice the widely scattered showers and t-storms.  This is why it is so difficult to pin down timing and location.  Hopefully the light easterly wind will keep the rain away from southeast Wisconsin!

RPM Fathers Day

Let’s move on and discuss a topic we haven’t touched on in a few weeks…the repeating weather pattern or the ‘LRC. 

The ’LRC’ which stands for Lezak’s Recurring Cycle is a weather pattern theory based on the following:

  • A unique weather pattern sets up every year between October 1st and November 10th
  • The weather pattern cycles, repeats, and continues through winter, spring and into summer. Identifying the cycle length helps tremendously when making long range weather predictions.
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established and also repeat at regular times within the cycle. These dominant repeating features are a clue to where storm systems will reach peak strength, and where they will be their weakest.
  • The LRC is a winter-long pattern! There is a pattern! It isn’t just one long-wave trough, storm system, or ridge. It is a sequence of troughs and ridges that are cycling across the Northern Hemisphere.

 To put this in very simple terms, the weather pattern that occurs in October and November repeats thru the winter, spring, and into summer.  The cycle duration for this season’s pattern has been around 46-52 days, with most events repeating about every 50 days.

Within the next 6 weeks the pattern will begin to fade and fall apart.  But since the pattern is still cycling, I wanted to show you where we are at now, and compare it to past cycles in the pattern.

Let’s start with the GFS forecast 500mb(middle of the atmosphere) map for June 21.  I labeled the features I will key in on when looking back to previous cycles.

GFS June 21 500mb

Let’s look back 251 days, or 5 cycles ago when the pattern was just forming.  The archived 500mb map below is from October 13.

500mb October 13, 2010

Now 48 days later the pattern cycled back, with the 500mb features again falling into the long term longwaves.  Below is the 500mb map from November 30.

500mb November 30, 2010

Now let’s jump ahead to May 1.  Below is the 500mb map on that day.

500mb May 1, 2011


I’ve been using the LRC for 5 years now, it still amazes me to see features the moved through our area back in October cycle through the flow 5 or 6 times in an ‘LRC season’.  Remember…the pattern we are in now will begin to fade in July, and a new pattern will set-up this Fall.

So my question to you, are you excited for a new pattern, or would you like to see this one continue which brought a snowy and cold winter, and a damp and cooler than average summer so far?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day and happy Father’s Day to all the dads that read this blog!

Jeremy Nelson




34 Responses

  1. I want it to go away, hate the cold and winter. Is it time for a move to the south? What are their patterns Jeremy?

    • Laura…the pattern we are in now is the one we’ll have to live with for most of the summer. If you want a new pattern, you’ll have to wait until October. By mid-November we will issue our winter forecast. Okay…enough talk about cold and winter:)


    • I can’t imagine anybody wanting to endure what they have to go through during the summer. The other seasons they have the advantage, but I bet you 90% of southerners envy our weather during the summer.

  2. How about choice 3. I’d like to see a warmer than average winter and a cooler, but dry summer. I’m curious what setup is necessary for this because this has happened before. It isn’t always warmer winter, warmer summer or colder winter, cooler summer.

    Hopefully this pattern is fading though because the string of warm ups is on the way starting later this month and this week (excluding Wednesday) has been near perfect.

    • Daniel,

      Not sure, but you bring up a good point. As for this week, probably some 80s for you a couple of days. Your type of weather is back Friday-Sunday!


  3. New pattern! I want hot summers and not so much cold and snow in the winter. Last year was much better. Was there a different pattern then?

    • Monika…the pattern was much different in late 2009 through the summer of 2010. It supported above average temperatures. Something we have not had much of in Milwaukee in the past 9 months.

      We’ll have to see what the new pattern holds for us when it sets-up this Fall. I would rather see warmer weather too:)


      • Thanks for the info Jeremy. It doees seem to be quite different than last year, though I do remember the summer of 2009 to be a bit cool. Makes me wonder if there is an every other year kind of pattern.

  4. I don’t mind the cold and snowy winter but I want SUMMER! Not highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 50s. I want 80s and 90s for highs and 60s and 70s for lows. I’d love to live in the South for just one summer. Imagine not even having to think about wearing a jacket or sweater for three to four months a year. Maybe I would satrt to hate it but I’d like to at least give it a try for just one summer.

    I know this is probably hoping for too much, but maybe the weather can get all of this coolness out of its system and give us some warm muggy nights for Summerfest!

  5. Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Hi Jeremy,

    Glad to see you’ve been able to get around to saying a few words about the LRC again. Around the beginning of the month, it seems the weather ‘zigged’ rather than ‘zagged’ according to the LRC and thus we had a brief heat wave rather than a significant cool down. To keep this comment brief, my questions are: Was that a significant event? Anything about the past two weeks or so of weather have you thinking possible ‘adjustments’ to your long term summer forecast?
    As for this years LRC ‘weather’ and since it’s my first exposure to it, I hope a bit of an attempt at humor will be taken as such. If you ask me, the weather used to be a lot nicer around here before we got involved with all this ‘LRC stuff’!!

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony,

      The hot spell earlier this month wasn’t seen by me, but it did fit into the pattern when I looked closer. It was tied to November 22 and the warmup around there. I talked about the severe wx threat but missed the warm-up. Don’t think I would have mentioned 3 straight record highs though:) Overall the forecast has worked out well. We should get back to average or above for rainfall this week.


      • Jeremy, I dug into the heat wave and I am wondering if you could verify my thoughts on the pattern leading up to it. Had to go back to Oct to see a high pressure ridge somewhat in command. The question is, when this feature repeats in late July will we have another scorcher? I am betting we will, considering the weakening jet, but how much will the fading cycle play into it. I am anxious to see what goes down.

        I am looking forward to another cycle only because it’ll be unique. Personally I’ve really enjoyed this cycle as a snow lover, as an avid golfer I’ve grown some annoyances though. Already two league rounds of golf in the rain, the first when it was 45 and raining the second 55 and raining… all within the past month time frame.

        Overall it’s been a great first year following the LRC. Thanks for all the great learning opportunities and fun. The pro down at our municipal golf course here in Oshkosh is an avid follower of the LRC now. Pretty sweet.

      • Sunday, June 19, 2011


        Thanks for the reply. From it, I’m assuming then the weather week or so following the end of May warmup is not to be taken as a sign that the LRC suddenly quit working and became unuseable for the remainder of this year. As for the possibility of ‘adjustments’ to your forecast, I was wondering if that week or so of weather might mean it has to be taken into consideration by perhaps shoving everything to follow a week or so further into the future. For example, the next LRC predicted signature storm possibly coming a week later than previously forecast. I’m assuming from your reply that’s not the case. Just wanted to elaborate a bit as to what the thinking behind my questions was. Thanks again. Appreciate your efforts in terms of forecasts and blog interaction.

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony, I find it funny that you blame the LRC for our weather. 🙂

      • Hi Josh,

        The scary part is that the next person who you hear something similar from might actually be serious!


      • Tony, it’s kinda like the chicken or the egg.

      • My point exactly, Josh. Obviously the LRC came first otherwise the weather wouldn’t know what to do!!


  6. What is your forecast for Mon-Wed???/
    I have been seeing a good chance for rain….

    • Rich,

      Make sure to check out our newscasts…I kept a chance of showers and storms in the 7 day through Thursday.


      • I know about thy news cast !!!!
        But i may not be able to watch,that is why I asked about the Mon-Wed forecast…
        Please give more details ..
        Rich G. …

  7. Does the pattern always start on a set date, or is it just a general time period? Does the first cycle still have some remnants of the old cycle imbedded within it?

  8. Apart from the warmup a couple weeks ago, the weather has been sub par. It is way too wet overall in the whole Midwest, and we’ve been stuck in a pattern of East winds bringing in cool to cold air off of the lake. The only exception was when the wind actually shifted to the West and it warmed up.

    When looking at your 500 mb maps in the cycle, it looks like the storm tracks were all to the North and West of us. When looking at the current maps, it seems like the Jetstream is South of us. Shouldn’t that be moving farther North this time of the year? It would be nice to get the storm track to move elsewhere and allow us an extended quiet stretch of weather. Making outdoor plans this year has really been a challenge.

    • Dave,

      I tried to show the parts of the pattern that would have a flow a little closer to where we are now. That’s why I didn’t show the January and March flow. You can get an idea of where the jet stream is located on 500mb maps, but it is best to look at the 300mb level to get a more exact location.

      And yes, I’d rather have last summer’s weather back minus the tornadoes and floods.


  9. Looks like we’re into the ‘widely scattered’ portion of the forecast!

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  10. Is there a possibity at all with this pattern that we will kid 90 degrees at all?

    • Milwaukee already has recorded 3 90 degree days. We will make it to 90 or better again this summer. Probably not for the next 7-10 days. I assume Tuesday will be too cloudy to get out of the low 80s. Lots of summer left, so hang in there.


    • We already did 3 times and there are certainly opportunities coming up throughout July and August. Watch for these parts of the cycle,

      June 30 – July 2…
      Last cycle in early to mid May brought Madison three straight days of mid 80s and Chicago three days in the upper 80s to around 90.

      July 12…
      Last cycle on May 22 brought mid 80s to everyone and the cycle before that in early April brought Chicago a near 80 degree day.

      July 20 – 21…
      The signature warm up which brings us way above average temperatures every time. Seeing that the average temp those days is 82, we wouldn’t even have to get much above average to get above 90 degrees.

      July 27 – 29…
      Three record highs broken or tied last time around. Could be another scorcher if the pattern hasn’t faded too much by then.

      All of August…
      Anything goes as the current pattern falls apart. Last year we were drenched in June and July, yet August was very dry. This month takes us back to the pre-LRC days when nothing is known in the long term.

      • Daniel,

        The summer is tough sledding with the LRC outside ot the ‘big’ features. And by July the flow is so weak, along with a fading pattern that it is hard to attempt specific forecasts. That is why I only mentioned 2 things during July. We’ll see what happens, but I have a feeling this summer is all or nothing in regards to temps. Not sure if we’ll get to 11 or 12 90 degrees days…most of that will hinge on August.


  11. Ok, I’m hoping so! I got nervous when the hot days we had got so cool right after.

  12. I personally can not WAIT for the current LRC to break up. All this cool, rainy “summer” business goes against everything I know as a Wisconsinite! I have been hoping for a Noah’s Ark trip every weekend since Memorial day, but the weekend weather continues to be far too cool for a water park visit. I want it in the 90’s, and I want the humidity to be stifling! Now THAT is summer in Wisconsin! 🙂

    • Scott,

      Don’t plan your watermark visit next weekend. July 4th weekend looks warmer. 3 days of heat has been about it so far this ‘summer’. At least electric bills should be lower.


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