IT FEELS SO FINE...
Over the last two weeks we we have gone from the fryer to the freezer with regards to our temperatures. Quite a journey to be sure. Here's the temperature departures November 1-10th as we crested the roller coaster
Below the departures November 12-20th as we came cascading down from the apex. A complete flip flop!
In Cedar Rapids the temperature went from 76 the 9th to a low of 6 the 19th, a 70 degree swing. With the wind chill figured in, it felt more like 80 degrees colder. That's about as big a swing as you will see in a weeks time. It was flat out cold over the weekend. The Iowa Minnesota football game Saturday saw temperatures down around 13 when the game ended. That's the coldest Iowa game I ever remember.
That is why it felt so good Monday to walk out without the coat zipped up and the gloves on. Highs in the 40s felt balmy after that little pre-winter stinger.
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WARMER DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
We now have entered a warmer period which is tied to the MJO entering phases that support moderation, namely 5 and 6. The temperature analogs on the right shows phase 6 is mild in November and a paint bomb of warmth in December.
However, the NCEP forecast takes the MJO quickly out of 6 and into 7 by the the beginning of December. As you can see below, phase 7 in December correlates to a cold pattern over much of the central U.S.
The question going forward is does the MJO remain in 7 and related cold phases of 8 or 1, or does it sneak back into 6 for a time? For clues on all this I went to Monday's latest run of the EURO weeklies. The control is very bullish on cold running the entire month. The 46 day temperature anomalies today through January 6th are quite significant.
Not only would the MJO be a big player in such cold, so too would be the EPO (Eastern Pacific Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation). As you can see the AO on the control is strongly and consistently negative into early January/
What that implies is the westerlies are in a weaker state due to higher pressure at the pole making it easier for polar air to penetrate the mid-latitudes.
The mean of the EPO on the weeklies is negative starting in December and if all three of these teleconnections line up at the same time in cold phases ( the MJO, EPO, AO), that could really open the door for cold in December.
The EURO weeklies mean temperature departure is not quite as cold as the control due to a larger sampling of members, some of which are not as cold as others. Those outliers are known as antilogs. It's still a cold look.
The control of the weeklies depicts this for snowfall through January 6th. Hard for me to see amounts like that.
The control has this for total snowfall through December 22nd.
Comparitively, the EURO mean snowfall total through January 6th
Its mean snowfall through December 22nd.
No matter how you slice it, Monday's run of the weeklies was cold and snowy in December. It is a model (and this is a long range forecast) so there's a lot of interpolation going on meaning this is not a sure thing yet. I'm not caught up in the details, just the trends which certainly look wintery. We'll know much more in a week or so. As it stands now, I think we still keep a relatively mild pattern going the first few days of December. The EURO indicates readings like this the next 10 days.
As mentioned above, we've got some good travel weather the rest of this week. There is a chance of light rain showers or sprinkles Thanksgiving but a split flow pattern keeps most of the forcing and lift north or south of my region. Rain chances do go up Saturday afternoon and night with southern stream energy that tries to phase in with the polar jet (or northern stream). At this distance, interactions such as these are very tough for models to mediate and determine how far north the system gets into my region. In the end, that will be determined by how much phasing occurs. If it's limited and less aggressive, consequences would be minimal . A full fledged merger could make it a a decent rain producer with amounts of 1/4 to1/2 inch. The southeast half of my area stands the best chance of anything significant. The good news is temperatures will be warm enough to keep precipitation type all rain. Currently the EURO is showing this for rain totals. Other models are further north or south currently making this is a low confidence forecast, something that may take another day or two to resolve.
Temperatures through Friday will be on the mild side with highs generally in the mid 40s north to low 50s south. Wednesday, a huge travel day appears to be dry and the warmest with highs close to 50 north to the mid 50s south. A veritable heat wave by recent standards. Highs Thanksgiving day with clouds and perhaps a shower should remain in the 40s...optimal eating weather!
With that, I will end this epic and move on. Until next time have a strong day and roll weather...TS