On January 11, 2019, as a winter storm was developing, we participated as Chief Meteorologist Dean Wysocki developed his forecast for broadcast on Channel 8.

We viewed a number of forecast models and listened to the strategies used by Dean to develop the forecast. 

We learned how winter forecasting is more of a challenge than any other time. When rain is forecast - whether it is 1" or more - it does not make a big difference. But, with snow - the more inches the more challenge. And, depending on the time over which the snow falls also determines if it is a winter storm warning or advisory. Even with a high number of inches, if it is over a number of hours it is not a severe weather situation.

While viewing the models, Dean showed us how the predicted precipitation changed from northern Lancaster County to southern Lancaster. The snow prediction was from 1" to 8" and that any shift in the line could mean a dramatic difference in the amount of snow in any area. Based on Dean's review of the models at the time he predicted 5-6" snow in Lincoln; northern Lancaster County maybe 1" and southern Lancaster County as much as 8".

Dean stated that 3 days ago the storm coming up this weekend was not even appearing on the weather models. Things are more predictable as we get closer. Anything beyond 48 hours is simply a prediction.

Dean shared Gary Lezak's (Kansas City Meteorologist) Recurring Cycle forecast concept which is still being developed. Gary developed the theory after tracking weather for a number of years and finding patterns in storms. Understanding the number of days between storms has provided accuracy in forecasting. His theory has been widely published and he is developing the computer app. The free app should help wedding, vacation and event planners plot out dates with favorable weather, Lezak said in a video release on the app.

Dean posted this photo of Lincoln South Rotary Club during his 5 and 6 o'clock forecasts on Channel 8 news on January 11:

Dean's Bio:

Dean is from Plainfield, Illinois, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago, although he’ll admit that Nebraska is home too.  “I've always considered Nebraska home,” Dean said upon his return to Lincoln.  Because of the close proximity to Chicago, Dean’s dad took him to the Cubs games at Wrigley Field.  Dean later was able to treat his dad to a private tour of Wrigley Field, including meeting the legendary and Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray.  From the age of six, Dean was destined to become a meteorologist.  “The “Blizzard of 1979” in Chicago really peaked my interest in weather”, Dean recalls.

His passion to inform the public and teach about the weather is what led him to Northern Illinois University, where he graduated with a degree in Atmospheric Science.  He has worked at television stations in North Platte, Omaha, Waterloo, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Phoenix during the course of his career, in addition to Channel 8 KLKN-TV.  In 1996, Dean became Channel 8 KLKN-TV’s first Chief Meteorologist.  He was at the forefront of the station’s weather coverage on countless occasions, including the Beatrice tornado in May 1996 and the freak snow storm in October 1997.  Dean came back to Channel 8 Eyewitness News in 2017 and is Lincoln’s Own Weather Experts’ Chief Meteorologist. “I loved Lincoln, my first “tour of duty”, so to get the opportunity to come back…I feel blessed”, says Dean. “I’ve been lucky because they say if you love your job, you never work a day in your life.”  Dean continues, “I love what I do and I think the enthusiasm comes across to the viewer.”

He’s always watching the weather, but when he’s not at work, you can find him working out, golfing, playing tennis, camping and/or biking.  If it’s outdoors, he’s up for it.  He is also a Big Red fan and fan of Chicago sports teams, except the White Sox, of course.  No true Cubs fan would ever cheer for the Sox.