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Winter has been sleeping soundly for months alleviating the need for coats, gloves, and shovels. Quietly, the days have been growing shorter and the sun less direct. Several mornings have been tinged by frost and the cool nights are a regular reminder that the push towards winter is on. With November less than two weeks away, it's just a matter of time before these subtle changes yield some rude results. It happens every year, it's just a matter of when?

If trends continue to hold, we may well be on the road to the first tangible signs of winter by the end of the month. The evidence is growing that a strong system may lead us in that direction the end of next week. To get the ball rolling, let's start with some teleconnections that are signaling a change.

First, the PNA (Pacific North America Oscillation), which is forecast to go negative Sunday and remain there through next Saturday.

What that implies is a deep western trough that should bring warm air and moisture into the Midwest next week. You can see the 500mb jet stream anomalies associated with the negative PNA below.

One can also see the EURO's projected 500mb flow October 28th is a very close approximation.

Here you can see the temperature departures that the pattern creates and the sharp thermal boundary that results.

Next Thursday (October 26th) the negative PNA and its SW flow is sending temperatures into the 70s and 80s from the Plains east. 20s are found in Montana.

With the slow movement of the trough impulses riding the boundary will generate periods of precipitation for several days. An interesting component adding to the rain will be the moisture ingested from tropical storm Norma now off the coast of Mexico. That energy spins up an initial wave or rain next Wednesday or Thursday (depending on the model).

Friday, a secondary wave is shown near the Canadian border with more rain ahead of a strong cold front in the Mississippi River Valley.

With strong dynamics, prolonged forcing, and ample moisture, this has the makings of another significant rain event over much of the central U.S. The EURO shows this for rainfall potential starting next Wednesday and ending October 29th.

The GFS has a remarkably similar trend for the same period.


Following the system, the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) and WPO (western Pacific Oscillation) are both forecast to go into strongly negative phases. At the same time, the negative PNA flips to a positive phase.



The EPO and WPO are important teleconnections because they signal high pressure over much of the north Pacific. As you can see below, that triggers a buckle in the jet that forces the western trough to move east into the Midwest next weekend. That favors sharply colder weather east of the Rockies.

Adding some extra confidence to the idea of colder weather is the MJO trying to make a push into phase 7 around October 24th. As you can see phase 7 correlates to below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation in late October.

Both the EURO and GFS are in agreement on that idea with the EURO showing temperature departures like this October 29th.

Several models are flirting with the idea of snow somewhere in the upper Midwest. This is highly contingent on phasing and storm track so there is no real confidence yet as to whether or not this plays out. As it is, the ensembles of the EURO, GFS, and Canadian GEM came in with a runs like this. Many areas have at least a shot at seeing their first flakes of white gold.



The Canadian GEM

We're still a week away from all of this but the point here is that this event seems well teleconnected and even at this distance, the operational models are in reasonably good agreement on the major facets involved. In summary, we are likely to see several days of mild weather next week that could include a couple days in the 70s. Rain (potentially heavy), seems like a good bet midweek and beyond. Last but not least, there should be a sharp turn to colder weather towards the conclusion of the event. Some snowflakes are a consideration. Winter seems to be stirring. The only thing that could keep the "bear" from waking up is if the phasing shown does not materialize or reach the magnitude shown. That kills the cold air that will play a major role in what impacts are seen. That's where we stand for now. Roll weather...TS



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