© 2019 Terry Swails

IF YOU BUILD THE COLD, THE SNOW WILL COME...

October 25, 2019

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Well there's a lot of chatter about snow next week. That concern is still on the table, especially with the cold that's coming. For some perspective, look at these lows the EURO is forecasting in Colorado Halloween morning. Below zero reading are likely in Denver and just west in some of the higher terrain, 20 to 26 below is shown. On the lower right corner of the graphic you can see a minimum of 26.8 degrees projected somewhere in that sea of aqua marine colors. It's possible all-time October records could fall!

As you know, you can't have snow without cold and there's no doubt we're going to get our share of that starting the middle of next week. These are the projected highs November 1st around Iowa. Normal highs are in the mid to upper 50s so we'll be a good 30 degrees short of that.

Here's the mechanism for this rare cold snap, a deep 500mb trough centered over the Midwest and a strong ridge out west. The positive heights you see in the Gulf of Alaska (bright red blob) are the most pronounced anywhere in North America. That's a strong sign that the flood gates are open for cold air to move southeast into the central U.S. 

These are the 5 day temperature departures for the period October 28-November 2nd. That's a vast reservoir of cold air.

It's my belief that the ridge in the Gulf of Alaska (the red blob) is tied to above normal sea surface temperatures which you can see below.

 

Unless something can disrupt the "blob of warmth" I suspect this will be a big player in our weather this winter. That could keep the EPO negative much of the season meaning we've got some decent potential for a very chilly winter.  Here's what the negative EPO looks like in winter. That cross polar flow can be pretty frisky.

While I doubt the cold will lock in for winter once it arrives next week, the EURO weeklies do have temperatures averaging below normal the next 46 days, out to December 9th. These are the departures.

Here's the 32 day departures which are even colder through November 25th. Both of the departures have the classic look of the west coast ridge and negative EPO.

And, if you bring the cold the snow usually follows The weeklies have this for snow out through December 9th. The southern extent of the snow is quite impressive depicting the depth and intensity of the early season cold.

One of the analogs I'm considering for this winter's weather, especially with regards to sea surface temperature is 2013-14. If you've forgotten, that was a cold winter with above normal snow over the Midwest and Great Lakes. In Chicago it was the third snowiest and coldest winter on record! The 67.4" of snow that fell was 40" above normal. Man, would I take that.

On the topic of snow next week, there's been some important convergence in solutions with the GFS showing a tendency to move towards the camp of the EURO. The operational not so much but the GEFS ensembles without question. Here's what the GEFS has for snow next week.

This is what the EURO ensemble shows for snowfall, this coming in two waves...one Tuesday and the other Thursday.

I'm pleased to see some trend towards agreement between the ensembles of the GFS and EURO. However, it is still early and there's plenty of time for change. That said, as of late Thursday night it sure looks like snow of some magnitude has a chance of finding my area next week. With every passing day we'll be able to deny or confirm the threat going forward. Stay tuned and roll weather...TS

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