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At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'm going to take one more try at flipping this pattern to cold by the end of December. Despite our recent cool down we remain in phase 6 of the MJO and will be in it for at least another 6-10 days. That means more mild temperatures. But, I now have good agreement from the long range EURO and GEFS that we are crossing the line and should be solidly in MJO phase 7 by Christmas with the EURO closing in on phase 8. You can see the progression in the phase diagram below. The EURO on the left, the GEFS on the right. Additionally, I've included the MJO temperature analogs for those phases in December.

It's clear for all to see that phase 6 is mild and phases 7 & 8 are very much on the cold side. Without the use of any model guidance the assumption from the MJO is that things remain mild up to December 20th and then the last 7-10 days of December we tank. At that point, we are already 3 weeks later on this change than I had envisioned back in September. I think a man deserves a little grace period for a forecast as old as that. However, the grace period is up and if things don't go my way by Christmas I'm throwing in the towel and will take my lumps for my long range failures. I should just stick with the short range stuff and forget climatology!

The reason I'm reluctant to give up just yet is more than the MJO itself. The EURO weeklies tonight indicate both the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) and the AO (Arctic Oscillation) go negative by Christmas. Negative anomalies in those teleconnections strongly indicates below normal temperatures.



If the AO and EPO go negative and the MJO is well into phase 7, the cold will come. Modeling is still not as bullish on cold air as those teleconnections would indicate but during the period December 25 to January 1st the weeklies have a decidedly colder look.

Like I say, it's crunch time for the meteorological question, what's it going to be boy, yes or know? (Thank you Meatloaf)

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Tuesday promises to be another cold day with highs in the 20s but it will have a different look. Clouds will be over the area at sunrise and late morning into early afternoon there could be a period of light snow or flurries. Forcing is minimal and the air is very dry so the issue is saturation. If we can reach that point (which looks to be a challenge especially across the south), some very minor accumulations are possible. When I say minor, I'm talking about a dusting. Most solutions are not much more than flurries but the EURO does indicate a few spots near HWY 20 with close to 1/2 inch. That is the worst case scenario and right now an outlier. Here's the snowfall forecasts from the EURO and GFS.



After this little blip fades warmer weather builds back into the area with highs Wednesday into the 30s building to the low 40s north to mid 50s south on Thursday. That gets us back into the warm sector of our next storm which rides northeast across the area later Friday and Friday night. While there is a chance of rain the track directly overhead could split my area to the NW and SE. One thing seems likely and that's the fact that avoiding a major shift south, most of my area will avoid the snow ( the possible exception would be the far NW which could be grazed by some very light amounts). Models are all in agreement the brunt of the accumulations will fall from NW Iowa into southern Minnesota and NW Wisconsin. The snow output of the EURO and GFS are below for Friday night.



Overall this is a pretty dynamic system but the track, the tendency for dry weather, and models to over forecast rain recently leaves me questioning the EURO and its bullish rain totals. For now I like what the GFS and GEM are showing. Here's the two camps.

The wet EURO

The Drier GFS

The GEM, drier and similar to the GFS.


At this point in the coming weekend the MJO is still drifting through phase 6 indicating another big warm-up into mid December. Look at the ridge the GFS is predicting over the heart of the nation going into December 14th. That is putrid. I can't even look at that with two eyes (I have to close one). A stinking paint bomb!

Here's what you get for 7 day temperature departures December 12th through the 18th. Oh man is that a warm look. It's a dry one too. The absolute best of both worlds if you like mild boring storm free weather. Here's to you if that's your thing. As for me, I'm crying a river.

That's as much pain as I can stand to talk about in one day. We'll see if anything new pops up in my next post. As always I appreciate you. Roll weather...TS


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