Joe’s Weather Blog: La Nina is here (officially) (FRI-11/10)

Brrrrr. I spent part of my day day out at Kaufmann Stadium…checking out their garage sale Saturday morning and also the renovations that are going on with the field. Their getting the shipment of new grass this weekend and will be installing it next week. That timing is good because, at least for a few days, next week will be milder overall that the chilly days of late.


Tonight: Fair skies and steady temperatures. We should drop somewhat this evening and then level off overnight towards daybreak Saturday. Lows in the 30-35° or so. Winds may start increasing overnight…

Saturday: What sunshine we get will be during the AM…it will get progressively windier and also grayer. Odds are some mist/drizzle may start showing up in the afternoon. Winds will be from the SE/S at 15-25 MPH. It should be a cool day with highs only in the mid 40s. Light and fast moving rain showers are possible tomorrow night as well.

Sunday: Clearing skies and the better of the two weekend days with highs around 50°


Today is the 16th straight day with below average temperatures. That’s a pretty remarkable run in my opinion. I called the NWS down in Pleasant Hill and was wondering how long it’s been since we had so many consecutive days of below average temperatures…I was getting ready to dive back to the cold snowy winters of 5+ years ago…and lo and behold they passed along to me that it happened a few months ago! From July 28th to August 18th we had a stretch of 22 straight days with below average temperatures. I even think I remember writing about that…but I totally forgot. Thanks to Pleasant Hill for reminding me!

In the big picture though this hasn’t been the greatest month to date.

Also of note is that so far this month is in the top 15 for the coldest starts to November. After today’s data gets factored in…we should be in the top 10!

If we want to go farther back…and look at the average temperatures since the 1st of October…here is how MO/KS stands…

A lot more in the way of cooler than average temperatures on the KS side.

IF we want to broaden out the scope even more and look at the year as a whole…notice again the streaks of below/above average temperatures…also of note…the data for KC is taken at the International Airport and NOT at the Downtown Airport as the map is labeled. Not sure why that one red spike is there in the middle of the late July/August streak of chilly temperatures compared to average.

Still FAR more above average temperatures

Meanwhile, there continues to be light at the end of this cold tunnel that we’ve been in…not so much for the weekend but for a few days next week. We should soar well into the 50s, if not 60s for a few days next week. There will be another cold front later in the week that will bring us a couple of days of chillier weather…although the coldest weather should be diverted toward the upper Midwest and towards the Lakes region.

We missed the record low by 4° today. I had a feeling we wouldn’t get there, although IF there wasn’t cloud cover around…we probably would have.

The title of the blog today refers to La Nina…and yesterday the folks at NOAA officially declared a La Nina “event”. For this to happen sea water temperatures in a certain area of the Equatorial Pacific have to be below average by a certain amount. Take a look at the global sea surface temperature anomalies…

Note the area towards and off the coast of western South America…extending along the Equator into the central Pacific. That is La Nina showing it’s face…here is a close-up

So for a La Nina to be declared…water temperatures in that general area have to maintain these below average anomalies in addition to some other somewhat more complicated factors…

via NOAA…La Niña “criteria”…

Average sea surface temperatures in the Niño-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5°N-5°S, 120°W-170°W) were at least 0.5°C (0.9°F) cooler than average in the preceding month, AND

an average anomaly of at least -0.5°C has persisted or is expected to persist for 5 consecutive, overlapping 3-month periods (e.g., DJF, JFM, FMA, etc), AND

the atmosphere over the tropical Pacific exhibits changes commonly associated with La Niña, including one or more of the following:
stronger than usual easterly trade winds, an increase in cloudiness and rainfall over Indonesia and a corresponding drop in average surface pressure, a decrease in cloudiness and rainfall in the eastern tropical Pacific, and an increase in the average surface pressure.”

end text…

So there is a lot that’s happening and has happened. As I mentioned a few days ago (Monday?) in my opinion at least there has been some good “fingerprints” on the weather pattern of what happens during La Ninas so far in the US and Canada.

For those of us in the weather world…this has been a somewhat familiar pattern (mostly) over the last 4-6 weeks it feels like. Check out the average look to the jet stream forecast, up around 30,000 feet or so for for the end of next week through the 20th…

Do you sort of see the similarities? The strongest winds are through the upper Midwest and off the NE part of the country. That “U” dip is a trough (colder air)…for the western part of the US, they’ll be under a somewhat flat “ridge” which means warmth. IF we can get that “U” to move out to see…much of the nation could be flooded with relatively mild air…and that potential is there for at least part of Thanksgiving week I think.

OK that’s enough for the day…there were some great sunrise pictures sent in today…so the feature photo comes from Liz Tuttle…the altocumulus clouds really created the perfect picture this morning!


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