Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Will the Midwest be taping into some heavy arctic air next week?

‘Heavens to mergatroid’, as Snagglepuss might well have put it,' there’s a change in the air over America next week!' At any rate, advanced National Weather computer modeling seems to portend an ‘incursion’ of very cold arctic air arriving my way on or about the fourth of January! And yes, by golly, there might even be a bit of moisture coming along with this changing of the guard!

Stay tuned! It only gets more interesting from here and, remember,,, Only the most faint of heart would dare make these half-assed forecasts that I do! Well...never mind! I've already fainted....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Snow possible for December the 26th

This time of year as we head closer to the winter icebox that is January, a light snow is forecast to fall from a pesky little area of low pressure over night Monday and possibly into the morning hours of Tuesday, December the 27th. Accumulations of up to an inch on grassy surfaces may occur although the timing and temperature levels could go either way from snow to rain and even back again.

In either case it will be a wet, cold and overcast beginning for the start of the last week of 2011. The light in the tunnel right now is that we can expect moderate and even warm conditions as we finish out the week!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It is my hope that the coming year will see a resurgence of belief in God and in his Son who died on the cross for our sins. May 2012 also be a year where the people of this great nation come together and work for the betterment of all. Amen!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Post Christmas Wx looks to be above normal!

A couple of day before the Christmas Holiday, all seems quiet on the western front. The forecast for much of the Midwest is for clear and moderate conditions on though much of the week to come. There is a bare chance of some snow flakes mixed with rain as a fast moving low pressure system moves over southern Missouri on the Monday (December 26th) time frame. After that, however, it looks to be clear sailing with above normal temperatures as a zonal weather flow sets up across the middle of the nation.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December temps moderating for last part of the month!

It should as the temperature for the first three weeks of the month have been running well above average and the third week was way out there with temperatures averaging 8 degrees higher than normal! That’s been true in southwest Missouri anyways. Now, while I’m no fan of global warming, I’ll still take that over global cooling any day. The fact is it’s a lot cheaper to cool a home than it is to heat one. This year my total electric bill is on tack to be about 30% less than the year before. Savings that I can really use!

With just one more week or so of the month to go, the weather professionals are calling for moderating temperatures which means warmer than normal temperatures and I can certainly live with that!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter forecast for 2011-12

Yes, it's time for the weather forecast for the coming winter of 2011-2012, which I would like to remind everyone, is right around the corner! The following post represents paraphrased and copied wording from information I gleaned off reliable sources. It may or may not be accurate in all regards. I like to post these to see, months from now, just how accurate they were.
Beginning with trends, last winter was the coldest in 30 years across many parts of the US. Some eastern parts of the US plunged to a record -50F with the Northeast of the US also seeing many records broken. Temperatures, in general, were below normal for large Midwestern and Eastern cities like New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and Minneapolis. Snowstorms shattered records in New York City in December 2010 and January 2011 to make January the snowiest ever recorded.

So let me turn to the US winter forecast for 2011/2012.

La Niña cooling the equatorial seas of the Pacific and was one of the strongest on record during 2010/2011. (Less warm air rises during La Niña conditions with a cooling influence on the atmosphere that has big implications on global climate and global weather patterns). The changes in global weather patterns originate from air pressure changes in atmospheric cycles known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NOA) and Arctic Oscillation (AO).

The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data suggests neutral conditions ahead, but a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) may yet suggest otherwise. (The PDO is a pattern of Pacific climate variance that recently switched to negative (cold) and will remain that way for the next two to three decades). It is considered likely that La Niña will return more frequently during this time period as a negative PDO results in stronger La Niña (cooling) and weaker El Niño (warming) episodes.

Another fly in the ointment is the current low period of solar activity we find ourselves in. Lower levels of solar output act as a primary driver of atmospheric cycles that influence blocking activity patterns/ridges.

Meteorologists, as they consider all of these factors, are currently leaning towards a particularly harsh winter for many parts of the US during 2011-2012. Large parts of Central and North America will face below average temperatures with above average snowfall throughout this winter Temperatures in many Eastern and Western parts of the US are also continued to be forecast below average with above average snowfall amounts.

The Pacific Northwest region will not escape as the scientists also predict this region will experience a very severe winter, including the Cascades snow pack which is likely to see increased levels due to the negative (cold) phase of the PDO.
The bottom line is most everyone may get some measure of extreme weather this coming winter; so get out there and buy yourself a heavy duty snow shovel, or better yet, book an extended stay in the Bahamas!

Note: For anyone with an interest, here is what I wrote about last winter (2010-11) which was based on the Farmer's Almanac. Also, in late October, NOAA has released this update!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A blizzard in the heartland of America signals the start of winter!

It seems Old Man Winter was just a day early as a major winter storm barreled across some mid western states on December the 20th. Snowfall totals exceeded a foot as whiteout conditions were observed in states like Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The question now is whether this storm is the beginning of a snowy trend or just an early fluke of nature?

One thing is for sure. The temperatures in my neck of the woods have been warmer than normal. A trend that was observed in October and continues to the day of this post. In December alone the average temperature has been five degree higher than historical standards. We’ve also had plenty of rain; over nine inches all told in November and December as of the 20th.  Now, while this system has brought only rain to southwest Missouri, there is another system that is expected to coming through on the 23rd that might give off a bit of the white stuff.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter weather more likely now on Monday Dec 19

After looking at some of the grids and after making some wild guesses, I think there is an increasing likelihood for snow or sleet or ice to impact portions of southwest Missouri as early as Monday evening, December the 19th. While the exact track and type of precipitation at still up in the air, the odds are that Missouri locations along a belt extending from a Cassville to Salem line will be battleground central.

Whether or not this will pan out is anybodies guess. But, it will be fun tracking the low pressure system coming out of the Baja region of California beginning sometime over the coming weekend.

Following is some of the latest professional discussion from the NWS:

“As it stand right now...a track from Cassville to Salem would yield a period of rain on Monday and on Monday night...with precipitation changing to snow as cold air streams in behind the surface low and a well developed 'TROWAL*' structure moves over much of Missouri.

Obviously...the surface track will likely change from its current depiction in the computer "Model World"...and even just a small change either north or south will cause a drastic change on thermal profiles and the precipitation type...as well as surface temperatures and thus any wintry precipitation accumulations.”

*Trough of Warm Air ALoft. Typically used during winter weather, it is a "tongue" of relatively warm/moist air aloft that wraps around to the north and west of a mature cyclone. It is best analyzed between 750-550 milibars using equivalent potential temperature (theta-e). Areas of intense lift and frontogenesis are commonly associated with TROWALs, hence they are favored regions for heavy and/or prolonged precipitation. During a winter storm, the heaviest snowfall amounts frequently occur along and north of the TROWAL axis.

December 18 followup: Still looking good for some snow to impact the I-44 corridor by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Heaviest snow looks to be in Texas panhandle region at this time.

December 19 followup: It now looks as though parts of AZ and NM will get his with lots of snow with blizzard conditions possible is some areas. Also impacted, at this time will be parts of western Kansas. The forecasted northerly track of this storm would seem to indicate that  southwest Missouri will miss out on much of the wintry action settling instead for a mostly rain event.

December 20 followup: Now looking like the system of snow will pretty much miss Missouri entirely. Still, it did pack quite a punch in some of the states off to the west!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Someone may get hit with winter right before it’s actually winter!

Does that make sense? Right now not even the big weather computers have a clue on what might transpire on or about December the 20th. That’s where good guessers (not geezers) like me come into play. So here I go.

This composite radar image for the northern hemisphere looks interesting to me. Two features in particular caught my gaze. One, the lower jet of the coast of California looks to be rather healthy. It can often serve as a transport for moisture across the lower forty. Second is the low pressure center currently just off the southern shores of Alaska. I wonder if it will be a player for the early next week time frame (five days from now)?

Now, according to my informed sources (a woolly worm), the thinking is for the development of a cutoff low somewhere off the southern California coast that may persist there for a time before it gets kicked out to travel across the southern states, bringing moisture with it as it does. The timing, as usual, will be everything, but I clearly think there’s a chance that this wet puppy will meet up with a large cold air trough barreling down from the northwest. The end result could be wintry precipitation for some lucky state or states.

December 2011 Weather recap for first two weeks!

If I had to say in a word what the first two weeks of December 2011 were like I would have to say cloudy and dull. But, that’s would be saying a good thing main due to the fact that cloudy days in the wintertime often translate into warmer temperatures. Did that happen this year?  Why yes! We were almost four degrees warmer (West Plains data, not Springfield used for this comparison) than the 30 year average of 35F. This graph also compares 2010 to this year and yes it has been warmer. Hopefully this will translate in to lower electric bills by month end. One can only hope.

Precipitation thankfully has also been plentiful. With three inches in the book, we only need another inch to hit the target of about four inches to make this an average month in that department. Forsyth Missouri has been the beneficiary of a narrow band of periodic rainfall  that has been swept in on the cold fronts. I’m thinking that people living to the north of my location have not been as fortunate. The state of Texas is still caught in a drought situation that some say may worsen with time…

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Midwest headed for the deep freeze?

After a brief flirtation with wintry precipitation on Monday, December the 5th, we will finish the rest of the week dry but colder than normal. This will be due to the weather patterns that will feature a cross polar flow which will usher in very cold polar air in a series of waves with nothing to stop them. Combined with this feature will be a gulf that is shut off as far as moisture in concerned. This pattern should persist through the Saturday, December the 10th when a new shift could bring warming temperatures once again.

This pattern of chill down followed  by warmups  could well set the stage for some interesting winter weather as we approach the middle of December!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Get prepared to see some flakes!

[click to enlarge, and no it's not a penis]

Now, I’m not talking about people! Goodness knows we have enough of those around where I live in SW Missouri! No, I'm referring to snow flakes. Lots and lots of snow flakes as it may turn out.

That's the current thinking of the National Weather Service out of Springfield Missouri. Somewhere around one inch is possible over a wide area beginning sometime on Monday, December the 5th in the early hours. That is assuming it doesn't all melt as it lands on ground that is still fairly warm! The probability of this occurring stands at 40% as of this point in time.

Behind this cold front, that will pass through the Forsyth area late Sunday, will be a blast of rather frigid air, courtesy of our friends to the north! Darn those Canadians.

Followup: As of early morning Monday, December the 5th, it is becoming apparent that no snow will accumulate anywhere in the southwest Missouri corridor. Having said that, it was still a close thing. You have to give credit to just how good the weather guys have gotten over that past decade!

Followup: I was amazed to see a little bit of snow cover the morning of December the 6th! Tiz the Season!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Light snow possible for December 5th and 6th!

Ah, so good to hear the ‘S-word’ this early in the season. With winter not even starting until the 21st of the month, here we have a chance for a ‘couple of shots’ of snow sometime this coming Monday and Tuesday. Right now that’s just a best guess from the National Weather Service, but they insist that ‘no matter what computer model prevails’, we will be getting progressively colder by next week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Weather Summery for Forsyth for 2011

Location: Forsyth Missouri 65653

 [click to enlarge]

If one were to accept Global Warming as fact, then the month of November for 2011 was ‘normal’. The temperature mean for the month was 49°F versus a historical average of 45°F. So, we were 4 degrees warmer than the average. One interesting side note was that while the daytime temps were cooler than normal, the nighttime was much warmer than normal.

The month was also wetter with 5.6 inches of precipitation against a 30 year average of 5.9 inches. (Note that I am using source data for West Plains Mo. Rather than Springfield).

This pattern of ‘wetter’ and warmer runs against other indicators including the state of waters off the South Americas. Right now we are in a La Nina phase which would normal indicate dryer conditions for the Central United States.

Disclaimer: All data in the table of figures was obtained on location using a Davis Weather Monitor II station along with software by Ambient. The author is not responsible for the accuracy reported in this blog. It is intended for recreational interest only.