THE LONG WINDING ROAD OF WINTER...
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SLOWING TO A CRAWL...
Considering how fast the winter started, it has literally slowed to a crawl most of December. We've made up for some lost time. Question is, do we end up paying the piper? Astronomical winter starts today at 10:19 PM and more likely than not, we have a long and winding road ahead of us.
One thing is for sure, things are going to stay nice and mild through Christmas. Holiday travelers should have little to contend with in terms of precipitation until the 28th when some rain is shown, perhaps mixed with snow in parts of the upper Midwest. Right now, this is what the EURO shows for snow through Saturday morning Dec. 28th.
After that the pattern does have a good chance of turning colder (if) the ensembles of the EURO and the GEFS are correct in showing the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) going negative. Today both are depicting that scenario towards the end of December.
The GEFS EPO
The EURO EPO
This trend has showed up a couple times recently and then the models delayed or flip-flopped and we've steadily warmed with the MJO in phases favorable for mild temperatures. What I'm saying is I am cautious about jumping this trend. However, if it does hold one of the things I expect to see is exactly this, a negative EPO. I think it's a critical teleconnection that must happen (and remain intact) for us to get any semblance of winter. I also think it will take neutral or cold phases of the MJO to really get it going. I will be watching this like a hawk in the days ahead.
Friday the EURO MJO did make a run at it heading out of the warm phase 6 into 7,8, and a weak version of 1 late December and early January. Interesting...
These are the temperature analogs for 1, 7, and 8 in late December.
The U.S. climate model the CFSv2 also shows the colder trend in the 3 week period. Watch the transition by way of weekly temperature departures.
Week 1 December 21-28
Week 2 December 28-January 4th
Week 3 December 4th-January 11th. The whole nation takes a turn towards colder weather.