Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving Feast May Include Pumpkin Pie & Snow This Year

Squirrel in Lafayette last year enjoying pumpkin pie
before the Blizzard of 2007

The big news out of the Weather Center in the wee hours of the morning guessed it...chances of snow for Thanksgiving. I do not sleep when snow is in the forecast, just ask my wife or parents. So let's talk! Thanksgiving Week looks like a major storm will wind up in the Midwest. There are teleconnections taking place all over the globe that portend a huge storm bringing everything from severe weather to snow hitting hard by late next week in the Midwest and eastern portion of the United States.

We found out last night in our winter weather special that this is a Gordon Lightfoot Winter. It matches well with 1975-76 that was known for its raging storms and wild weather. Gordon Lightfoot wrote the famous song about the wreck of the Edmund Fitgerald that sunk in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. Here we are in 2007, and the same patterns are being telegraphed by nature of big storms that lie ahead. Lafayette will even having a chance of wrap-around snow on Thanksgiving.

Teleconnections simply mean that changing weather conditions in one part of the world can affect areas far from the source in huge ways. I am closely watching the Pacific-North American teleconnection by looking at the Gulf Of Alaska, the North Alantic Oscillation which is another teleconnection dealing with pressures near Greenland, and an eastern Pacific teleconnection called the La Nina, that you may be familiar with. See on the nightly news there is only a half-hour to work with and the weather is inevitably cut short. My producer would love to give me more time but it just is not feasible. If more time was given you would know that the La Nina is just one teleconnection of dozens that are looked at all around the world to help forecast weather, weeks and months in advance. I am also looking at pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. We certainly have a "global climate". Take a look at all the different links to our weather that I typically use to forecast months in advance. Most of them are abbreviated so I could fit them all in and there are a few not even listed!

Our weather on earth is lined up like dominoes and this could be a triple whammy for the Midwest. If we do get a big storm next week, I think this is a sure sign of a snowy and cold pattern that will likely grip our area through Christmas. All the chips are lined up at this time, now it is just a game of wait and see to make sure those dominoes fall like I think they will. I know it is early, but I wanted to warn you of the possible elephant in your backyard before it happens, so you are ready! Tonight we will take a closer look at your Thanksgiving forecast on the news and in the short-term your latest weekend forecast.

Mare's tails over Lafayette

Our blog question of the day:

A few years ago I saw on a place mat in a Rhode Island restaurant something about "Mare's Tails" referring to clouds. I had no idea what that was. I suppose it's an old folk lore thing. Can you tell me anything about this & what it's supposed to mean?
The other day I saw what looked like Mare's Tails & wondered what it meant.

Ernie Fisher

Thanks for the great question. Mare's tails are actually real and named after cirrus clouds that take the shape of mare's tails or look like horses tails in the sky. You can see that in the picture above. These are formed by falling ice crystals usually located over 30,000 feet high in the atmosphere. The ice crystals are then sheared by high upper-level winds. This is usually a sign of abrupt changes in the weather on the way. Many times these mare's tails are caused by the nose of a jet stream moving in which of course is nature's highway of storms. So there you have it. When I lived in New England we had plenty of Mare's tails in Vermont. No wonder I tracked a storm sytem about every other day! The experience was invaluable!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOVE the song about the Edmond Fitzgerald! Not so sure I share the same excitement about snow as you, LOL! But...please, snow rather than ICE!!
congrats on that baby nephew!
Mary Anne