WHO'S THAT KNOCKING ON THE DOOR...
T MINUS 130 TO LIFTOFF...
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JACK FROST'S BIG BROTHER, MR. FREEZE...
Who's that knocking on the door? We've already had a few visits from Jack Frost this fall but until recently his big brother "Freeze" has spared us any unpleasantries. Unfortunately, he's in the neighborhood now and he'll be delivering a "hard freeze" (a temperature of 28 degrees or lower) that puts an end to the growing season. Some of you in the NW have already been down around 27 and that's put an end to much of the tender vegetation there. 28 or lower is considered a killing freeze and even hardy plants usually go down in conditions like that. So, between this morning and Wednesday morning we've got more chances for similar temperatures and it looks like the end of the 2021 growing season is over, or soon will be around the Midwest.
At the surface you can see the sprawling Canadian high pressure that delivers the cold.
At 500mb you can clearly visualize the northerly flow that has opened the door to the coldest readings of the season so far.
As for lows, 20's should be found Tuesday morning in much of my area. The far south may hold closer to 30 if winds hold up and skies stay clear. Wednesday morning looks to be the coldest though when most areas end up in the range of 23-27. Here's the projected lows on the EURO Wednesday morning.
The daytime hours will be fresh as well with highs remaining in the mid 40s Tuesday and Wednesday despite plenty of sunshine.
The overall air mass will be bone dry and that leaves the region with excellent harvest weather right on into the weekend. Available water vapor Tuesday is estimated to be 1/4 or less across my area.
Going into the weekend winds will turn southerly and slowly but surely temperatures will moderate into the 50s and could close in on 60 by Sunday. However, despite the south winds moisture return is minimal and overall the next 7-10 days appear dry across much of the nation. Here's the precipitation departures over that 7 day period.
WHAT'S THE FUTURE HOLD?
With the quiet pattern we are entering for a time, there's not much to talk about in that period so let's switch gears and look into the long range. A good place to start is the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation). Here's what the GFS and EURO are indicating through November 15th. Both the GFS (on the left) and EURO (on the right) indicate a steady move through phases 3,4,5, and finally 6.
For the most part those are generally mild November phases as you can see in the temperature correlations below. The data on the deterministic models certainly supports that idea. Therefore, I think it's reasonable to assume that once we pop out of this cold snap late week, the period November 5-15th should average above normal. It also looks rather dry, especially through November 11th or 12th.
Now going back to the MJO forecasts, around or shortly after November 15th, both the EURO and GFS indicate there's a good chance we move from phase 6 to 7. That is a significant shift as the temperature anomalies flip from mild to cold as depicted below. I think somewhere in that November 15-20th time frame we should watch for another pattern change that brings a more wintry brand of weather to the Midwest.
That's about the time when we need to start paying attention to what could be the impacts of the new sudden stratospheric warming that continues to evolve at high latitudes. You can see it surging over the top approaching Alaska November 9th. At some point, I think that is going to deliver an Arctic air mass to the Midwest, most likely in December.
I did get a look at Monday night's EURO weeklies and this is what they show for mean snowfall by mid-December. Not only is that a pretty snowy look, it has large amounts falling in the snow belts of the Great Lakes. That implies an abundance of cold air which ties in with my thoughts about December.
The weeklies 500mb jet stream flow the evening of December 16th looks this way. Rest assured if that set-up materialized much of the country (especially the Midwest) would be in the deep freeze. Time will tell.
That's where things stand for now. Thank you for allowing me the time away to attend to my father's funeral. Your kind messages of sympathy and support were greatly appreciated by me and my family.
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