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Even if you're weather challenged, chances are you've noticed the past year has been one of great extremes and contrasts, not just in the Midwest but all around the nation. One aspect of the weather that's been consistent is the trend towards colder than average conditions across the NC United States with warmth prevailing in the southeast. Thirteen states had a top ten year to date period with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia all reporting their warmest January-October period ever. Far from that around here.

Above average January-October precipitation has dominated much of the country with record wet statewide ranks set in South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. Only the southeast and southwest were dry.

October temperatures were consistent with the yearly trends, warm southeast and cold northwest.

October precipitation remained generous over much of the nation with the wet weather finally spilling into the southeastern U.S. where it was greatly needed.

Going into November about 18 percent of the country was experiencing some form of drought conditions.

So far November is showing a tendency to be unusually cold. As far as I can tell the first week has come in as the 4th coldest on record according to the satellite era data. With what's coming in the next 10 days there is a good chance the first half of the month could end up close to the all-time coldest. Look at the extent of the cold so far this November.

Here's the 6-10 day outlook for temperatures. This won't help the averages.

And now for precipitation. With the strong NW flow in place both precipitation and temperatures will be well below average.

In Cedar Rapids CPC shows a 93 percent chance of below normal temperatures the next 7 days with only a 24 percent chance of above normal precipitation.

Many people have asked me is this the ball game? Are we going right into winter? Of course I don't have a definitive answer to that question but it would be quite remarkable if we did not have some relaxation of the pattern before we really get into the thick of winter. In fact, there is a pretty strong tendency for cold Novembers to be followed by mild Decembers. Not always, but about 65 percent of the time.

One thing I've noticed is that many of the cold Novembers occurred during El Nino years with warmth following at some point in December. This year we are in a neutral 3.4 enso state and in my opinion that gives us a better chance of carrying some of the cold into December. I still think a quiet sun, warm sea surface temperatures in the north Pacific, and a lack of an El Nino or La Nina gives us a strong chance at periodic cold shots into December.

What's driving the bus right now is the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation). I mentioned a week ago that I was seeing signs that it may break out of this deep negative phase its been in after November 15th. Today you can see both the EURO and GFS ensembles are shown going positive in the time frame of November 17th to the 21st (the GEFS is slower).

Often this flip would really make me feel confident we were headed to a much warmer pattern, especially if the MJO (Madden Jullien Oscillation) was going into warm phases. However, the MJO is shown quickly departing 6 (a well known warm phase...and we're not seeing warmth) and rolling into 7, 8, and 1. In November, those 3 are all cold phases.

My broad sense take is that we just can't maintain this type of cold for much longer than 10 days. At the very least we should see a trend toward a more seasonal brand of temperatures by November 20th. But, if the MJO does indeed go into 7, 8, and 1... you can see those phases are anything but warm.

Maybe the EPO just makes a short stay in positive territory before returning to the cold negative state its been in. No way to know but something isn't right with the teleconnections and that is a red flag. This is going to be a challenge to figure out but for now plan on some moderation in approximately 10 days. It's anybody's guess if it stays into December but my hunch is probably not. Time will tell.

Meantime nothing happening Thursday but cold and blustery conditions under mostly sunny skies. For many, highs will struggle to get out of the 20s . Normal here is 48. Have a fine day and roll weather...TS


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