Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Warmth Continues...When Will It Flip To Winter?

No one is complaining about the above normal temperatures after the two past harsh winters. Above normal temperatures across the eastern 1/2 of the US.  This warmth is not unexpected given the strong El Nino reaching peak strength though I am somewhat surprised that the warmth has been this consistent.

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It can't last forever.  So when will it flip or at least trend colder with higher chances of snow!

Remember our preliminary December outlook issued back in early September showed the core of the high pressure/warmth across the northern states into Canada with the core of the low pressure centers across the south (panhandle low type systems).
Through the first week or so, the core of each HIGH and LOW is much stronger than anticipated yet they are roughly in the same position as our forecast 3 months ago indicated. However, the southern lows (Panhandle type) are far weaker and, as of this writing--December 8th--are just now showing signs of developing. (see the smaller "Ls").
Since November, the warmth has been extensive with below normal temperatures in the west. Warmer colors indicate above normal temperatures, cooler colors below normal temperatures.



Some computer model projections have been bullish in tracking these southern lows further east and the warm ridge further north into Canada by the beginning of Christmas week.



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The big questions for the end of the month and Christmas week: 1) How fast will the ridge lift north and 2) how strong will the low in the southwest/panhandle region push east?

We do know this: Any easterly migration of the southwest low along the southern jet stream will increase our chances of a wet panhandle-type snow by month's end. 

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The chances we will receive wet snow from a panhandle low will climb further after the first of the year. 


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9 comments:

Pem hutchinson said...

Warmer climate has often led to "stuck" pattern In winter lately. Don't be surprised if we get a brief flip to colder then back to torch. Seems we may have the reverse of the past few winters where west was locked into the RRR.

Scott Sabol said...

Pam, the RRR was driven by the abnormally warm eastern Pacific SSTs. The El Nino is largely driving this warmth this December. Nothing against climate change (no agenda here)

Pem hutchinson said...

True. I just feel that patterns are much less progressive in winter than 30 years ago. I'm not an AGW pusher but there is a difference and stuck happens much more than decades ago. Product of less of a difference between temps in Arctic vs mid-latitude?? Always enjoy your posts you are my Midwest guy!!

Unknown said...

Do any of your models mirror the winter of 2012-2013? I remember cutting my grass Early March .....Very warm winter

Adrian said...

Do any of your models mirror the winter of 2012-2013? I remember cutting my grass Early March .....Very warm winter

Adrian said...

Do any of your models mirror the winter of 2012-2013? I remember cutting my grass Early March .....Very warm winter

Mike Hobbs said...

Hi Scott is there going to be any prolonged periods of cold air this winter or just a few days and back to miled again.

Mike Hobbs said...

Hi Scott. Are we going to get any prolonged cold shots this winter or just a few days,then back to above normal temps. Like its been.

Mike Hobbs said...

I love the cold and snow. The last 2 years were very cool. Lol I moved from eastlake to Leroy to be more in the snow belt.