Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Miscellaneous Meteorology

Its Friday and its time for some miscellaneous meteorology tid-bits. An eclectic blend, if you will, of current weather topics with handy charts and colorful pictures. So settle in and get ready to jump around a bit as I clean off my desktop of all the jpegs I've been working on this week.


Cold weather is coming next week. The 500mB map shows a huge trough in the east and a ridge in the west. Also, the Greenland Block is present which will only aid in strengthening the eastern trough into November.
What a difference when you compare the first two weeks of October to the last two weeks upcoming.

Could we see wet snow IN SPOTS at the end of next week? You bet...

How many days do we typically have each winter with 6 inches or more of snow on the ground in Cleveland? Only 6 last year, 40 back in the winter of 2009-2010.

What decade had more days with at least 1/2" of snow on the ground in Cleveland? I checked the numbers for each decade since the 1910s. The 1970s were the snowiest followed by the 2000s (2000 through 2009)!
2013 continues to feature record low tornado numbers.
This is the first tropical season since 1994 where the Atlantic has NOT had a major hurricane (Category 3 or greater). If this trend continues, it would be the first season since 1968 where the Atlantic and Pacific (east of the International Dateline) have not had a major hurricane!

Could we still see warmer days? Historically, it happens a few times after October 17th and before the end of November. We had 4 last year. Over the last 30 years, we've only had 3 instances where the daytime highs never went about 70 in late October and early November in northern Ohio.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Will the Warm Fall Slow The Cooling of Lake Erie?


Last year, a similar question was asked on the heals of the incredibly warm summer of 2012. I did some quick checking of the lake water temperature data and compared 2012 to other recent summers. READ MY FULL POST HERE That research showed the lake seems to cool at relatively the same rate from September through November.

Will the lake cool similarly this year? 

The overall summer temperatures were very close to average. Yet the air temperatures this fall--since September 22nd--have been very warm, 5th warmest in 50- years!   Common sense would seem to point to a warmer lake later in the fall season. So I checked the Lake Erie water temperatures in the years with early fall warmth WARMER than this year.  The remaining years in the top 5 warmest (since 1964) are 1973, 2007, 1986 an 2005.

Data  Courtesy: NWS, Dick Goddard
It seems the Lake cools at about the same rate in each of these years. The differences year to year are very small.  By early December, the water temperatures differences are only a few degrees. In fact, in 1973, the WARMEST early fall in the last 50 years, the lake cooled FASTER then the other years in question only to level off in the last two weeks of November. 

How do these temperatures compared to other random years?  Check my blog post listed above and you'll find the water temperatures for 2010, 2009 and 2001.  The cooling is very similar to the above years.

So what does all of this mean?  Many factors contribute to the cooling of the lake like RUN OFF from heavy rain and THUNDERSTORM EVENTS and general lake circulation. 

Will lake effect snow be affected this year? Probably not. The lake seems to balance out the other external factors by the time we need to worry about lake effect snow.  The severity of the cold air moving over the lake and the strength of the wind (among some other) are more of a contributing factor.