Monday, November 28, 2011

Dog Days of November Bark Up A Storm for One More Day

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wow! I am quickly checking in with you before the big change hits! I am finishing up some yard work and running errands in more 80 degree weather today! You see Joanna Pringle sent in a picture of Ducotti the half Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix who loves to watch First Coast News weather! Well it is good to know I have at least one fan...LOL.

In the summer we call those hot, hazy, lazy 90 degree days, dog days. Once we get into the autumn and winter I consider 80 degree weather dog day weather, especially when we have the air conditioner on. While we are basking in unusually warm weather for most of today much of the country is wishing they were here. Jackson, Mississippi is in the upper 30s with their earliest snow in 20 years.  Texas has already seen record lows in Corpus Cristi and Victoria where it was a bone-chilling 27 degrees. The low pressure causing all this crazy weather has a little bit of everything. It has plenty of flooding rain with portions of Alabama reporting over a five inch deluge this morning!

This means get ready for a dog fight as this colder air clashes with our warm atmosphere. Temperatures could fall in some areas here at home could fall as much as 30 degrees in only 6 hours. This front means business. The good news is we have not had any severe weather reports yet. But with the daytime heating and the warm sunshine we have had today will add instability to the atmosphere and we cannot rule out some gusts over 50 mph with a few of the stronger late day thunderstorms. We are already seeing gusts to 35 mph in our sunny, blue skies this morning outside of thunderstorms. Wind advisories are in effect. There is plenty of wind to work with as a low-level jet stream will continue to howl over the area.

We will not see widespread severe weather. Notice the latest CAPE indices or a measure of how much fuel the atmosphere has to fire up our thunderstorms is on the low side. We are also lacking deep-level moisture in the atmosphere  which will keep us from being put in any kind of severe weather watch box. But we need to stay alert. You cannot just play by the numbers when forecasting. When you go from late summer to winter in just a few hours you certainly have to not just get out the winter coats but keep your guard up. Keep your eyes to the west-southwest. That is where the thunderstorms will be moving from.

What does this mean for December? Our mantra here on my weather blog is that what happens in November nature tends to remember come winter! Last year it was the Greenland high pressure controlling our weather. It sent one cold blast after another our way and and we had to endure our coldest December on record with 4 record lows and temperatures running an unheard of 9.1 degrees below normal. We had 20 freezes and usually we only average about 17 freezes for an entire winter. It was so cold there were flurries at the Jaguar-Redskin game on December 26th.

This year we will NOT see a repeat. The warm breezes from the Bermuda high pressure will win out.
We have a weaker La Nina (equatorial Pacific Ocean temps slightly below normal). The latest models are showing much colder water off the California coastline, a more dominant Aleutian low pressure with plenty of cold and snow for Alaska and northwestern Canada, and a stronger than normal high pressure off the Florida coastline. The areas of blue on the map above depicts where most of the true polar air will be.This does not mean we will not have any cold weather for December. Not at all. But the pattern favors us having quick shots of cold air followed by nice warm spells. So buckle up the rollercoaster ride continues. Rainfall is not looking very promising and I will detail this here on the blog over the next few days. But temperature-wise this forecast is good news for my lawn still recovering from last winter!

This early unusual snow setting up in the deep South, where Memphis could even see two inches of snow is telling us where our December storm track is setting up. It could be an icy, snowy December from portions of northeast Texas into the heart of the Midwest. Already another big snow/ice event is setting up for this time next week and it will be an even bigger deal.

Speaking of the Midwest, I used to enjoy shoveling that first inch of snow when I was a  meteorologist in Lafayette, Indiana. We called it the Golden Snow Shovel Award for the viewer that came closest to guessing when we would have our first inch of snow. While I am too far away to shovel this year, I can at least keep all my Midwest friends safe! Here is what I am thinking....get out your snow shovels or should I say brooms? Lafayette by early tomorrow evening a heavy, wet snow moves in for 3-5 hours. The ground will be soaked and warm with temperatures at the surface just above freezing. This means I am forecasting 1-2" of snow for Lafayette. Indianapolis will likely on have slushy cat tracks with up to 1" possible. If you live from Logansport to Rochester and Goshen you may see the jackpot snow of 2-4 inches. This band may extend as far south as Kokomo. This same storm will keep highs here in north Florida and south Georgia stuck in the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday!

Check back here on the blog and I will have your first sneak peek of what we can expect on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Remember it looks like another wild weather ride as we head into December. Talk to you soon! I better go get those outdoor errands done!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mike Prangley! My husband and I think you're the best meteorologist ever. We live in Upstate NY these days, but we loved your forecasts and blogging when you were in Lafayette. We were talking weather the other day and wondered who you were forecasting for these days. It's great to see that you're still blogging and enjoying the weather! Enjoy some balmy holiday weather for us -- we've already had two accumulating snows this year -- the first before Halloween! :)