THE LOOK & FEEL OF EL NINO, FOR NOW....
After a wet start to December, we've now gone 9 days with no measurable precipitation (through Tuesday). While some meager amounts are possible Wednesday and Thursday, it won't amount to much around here as the dry pattern continues.
What we're seeing right now is is quite typical of an El Nino, which we are experiencing. It's not classic in the sense that the warmest waters are in the central Pacific instead of the coastal waters of South America. That makes it a Modoki El Nino. No matter the type, the weather right now fits the classic look of a traditional event. The polar jet stream is displace north blocking intrusions of Arctic air. The storm producing southern jet stream is actively soaking the south.
Take a look at how well precipitation patterns have fit the El Nino expectations the past 7 days.
Relatively to average, temperatures are expected to be coolest south and warmest form SW Canada to the NC United States. Once again the trend fits the El Nino mode.
The question now is how long does this continue? Is this a harbinger of the rest of winter? Well, lets start with the first question of how long this lasts. Everything I've seen points to another 8-14 days.
Here's the temperature forecast through Christmas. This may be a bit over extended but at least through the 22nd above normal readings look likely.
Precipitation is a tougher challenge to forecast, especially beyond 7 days. If the GFS has its way my area sees virtually nothing the next 16 days all the way out to December 27th. Jeepers, that would be 25 days with no measurable precipitation here in Cedar Rapids if that works out. Say it ain't so!
The EURO is going down a similar road showing this through 9 days, December 21.
To the last question, is this the trend for the winter as a whole? I still feel that once we get out of the warm MJO phases we should trend toward a negative AO (Arctic Oscillation) much of January-March. You can see what that type of pattern brings below...essentially winter! So I'm still sticking to my guns of a colder than average winter with at least normal snowfall.
For now, we live the good life, mild and dry! Roll weather...TS