Joe’s Weather World: If you’re a snow lover…the pattern is… (FRI-12/4)


Good Friday to you…bright, chilly and frosty out there to start the day. Another pretty good turnaround though is coming Yesterday we ended up at 46° in the mid afternoon, which was pretty impressive because it was snowing in parts of the Metro for a while a few hours beforehand.

The snow yesterday along with the wintry mix wasn’t that big of a deal really. Curious stuff perhaps but because of the timing, never accumulated or created any issues. It did look impressive for awhile on radar but with the warmer pavement and ground it all melted as it fell.

Now the focus will be on the temperatures into the end of next week with our next potential weather maker about a week away.



Today: Sunny and pleasant with highs in the lower 50s

Tonight: Seasonable with lows in the mid 20s

Tomorrow: Sunny with highs in the lower 50s

Sunday: A bit more blustery with highs well into the 40s



So let’s start with the title of the blog…if you’re a snow lover, the pattern is?


I don’t even think what happened yesterday is overly exciting. It almost felt like an early November “oh hey look it’s snowing” curiosity event. When it’s in the mid 40s within hours of flakes…great for most but from a weather standpoint…meh.

With the focus over the next 6+ days being how warm it can get…and perhaps IF or when we get into the 60s…well that won’t do it for snow lovers.

Yesterday was a fascinating day in Canada. I’ve been mentioning this on twitter or the blog for about a week now. The interesting case of northern Canada and the NW Territories where temperatures were going to be running close to 50° above average. Really phenomenal stuff for parts of the hemisphere that get very little sunshine during this time of the year. Temperatures yesterday reached around 50° for highs in parts of the NW Territories when their average high is around 1° above.

Take a look at this…the craziness that has been happening up there…this map shows the temperature anomalies around the hemisphere.

The Arctic region is running 5.4°C above average…or close to 10° above average °F.

Look at northern Canada…that is a tremendous bubble of warmth. There are multiple reasons for this happening including a Pacific flow of air that has been warmed up even more…the fact that it should be crazy cold up there now…and a few other things…but still that’s impressive!

Take a look at that bubble this morning on the GFS model…again this is up around 5,000 feet or so. The map shows anomalies in °C…you almost double that to get to °F.

No follow that bubble down the road…

Later Monday
Later Wednesday

Look at that…right on top of the area!

The reason why I bring this up is to some extent the “bubble” of warmth is coming out of Canada and dropping southeastwards to some extent. The warmer air aloft will be arriving in the Plains region next week lock stock and barrel. As a result our temperatures are going to soar…and I think there’s at least two days that could nudge 60° or higher.

Other forecasters will catch on to this soon…when the conventional data shows the potential. Forecasters who take deeper dives though…see potential well before it happens. Sometimes we swing and miss but sometimes we nail it…and my confidence continues to grow that those who “play it safe” will be going too what I’m seeing within days. Models are meant to be guidance…your experience and deeper dives are meant to be used to take what the model shows (if you think it’s right) and extrapolate to potential weather here at the ground.

Wednesday and Thursday have the greatest potential for 60-65° weather. Yesterday I showed you how there was a run of mild weather at the same time in 2015…history and analogs (comparing a set-up to the past weather with a similar set-up)can also be a guide. We’ll see. I don’t think we get to record warmth (upper 60s) but I won’t totally rule it out either.

Regardless…it will be warm I think…it’s a matter of how warm.

What is also interesting is that some meteorologists will directly tie what happens around here with various indices such as the Arctic Oscillation and the North American Oscillation. We refer to this as the AO and NAO. I’ve written about them in the past and conventional wisdom is that if one or both are negative, we’re supposed to be colder.

In this set-up both are forecast to be negative next week…arguing for cold…BUT that won’t be happening obviously. Just shows that you can’t look at just one or two things and draw straight lines to conventional wisdom.

This amount of warm air at the surface and aloft means that whatever system comes our way later in the week is coming into mostly mild weather really. It looks to be a fast mover too with questionable amounts of rain in the Plains.

The possible system for us will be breaking off a dip dip in the jet stream off western Alaska that will drop into the the western US and into the Baja CA area before potentially coming out later in the week at some point. We’ll see what shape it’s in when this happens. The GFS has a much more active pattern into mid month but I’m not totally sold on this yet and even that looks wonky because…well let’s look towards the ends of the ensemble run…this would be leading up to before Christmas.

This shows a return to downslope warming in the Plains valid for the 19th.

Yeah that stinks for snow-lovers. There will be some chillier periods but nothing lasting. Tough to get excited about this if you want snow. There may be storms around though…and maybe we can find a needle in the haystack for something, perhaps on the backside of a storm…but classic Plains snowstorms may be tougher to achieve with this overall look.

That’s it for today…and for the weekend. Have a good one. I’m off on Monday and with the lack of weather expected again…I may not get another update out till Tuesday.

The feature photo comes from Darrell Cooper out towards English Landing Park last night. Another great sunset.


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