An Unusually Cold Spell for November

November 12, 2014 0 Comments

Now that the blast of Arctic air has arrived signifying the start of our heavily advertised mid November cold snap, we can focus on making some comparisons with previous years and speculating on what the upcoming winter might bring. The first 20 something high temperature of the season was on Tuesday, a day that also featured the first measurable snowfall in most of the area. While snowfall amounts in the days to come appear to be pretty typical of November, a month that features an average of 6 inches overall, our temperatures will be way off the mark from climate statistics as we’ll likely be around 20 degrees colder than normal over the course of the next week to ten days. Looking back at our weather data from the last 10 to 15 years, there have been wintry stretches in our Novembers, but nothing like what we’re going to be facing in the middle of this month. The reason is a massive dip in the jet stream, probably caused by the Super Typhoon in the northern Pacific last week and the upper level pattern’s compensation for that perturbation.

The jet stream has already shifted southward and over the course of the next week will reside in the southern half of the United States, allowing arctic air to dominate the majority of the country and keeping the active weather mainly to our south.

The jet stream has already shifted southward and over the course of the next week will reside in the southern half of the United States, allowing arctic air to dominate the majority of the country and keeping the active weather mainly to our south.

The only year I could find in our climate data that compared with what we’re facing this month was 1997 when we had a week to 10 day stretch in the middle of the month where 20s and low 30s were the rule and our average high temperatures were roughly 15 degrees colder than normal. That’s still not as cold as the weather we’re expecting this time around.

November of 1997 featured a similarly timed cold spell. The season overall was slightly less snowy tan normal and temperatures actually warmed a great deal by late in the season.

November of 1997 featured a similarly timed cold spell. The season overall was slightly less snowy tan normal and temperatures actually warmed a great deal by late in the season.

1997-1998 was, of course, one of the strongest El Nino winters on record and our temperatures warmed a great deal after mid January. Aside from a rather snowy January where 17 inches fell in Rochester, we had a fairly quiet winter with an overall seasonal total of 42 inches. High temperatures were mainly in the 30 and 40s in February and then slightly warmer than normal through the majority of March with a few 50s and upper 60s late in the month. We’ve been following the El Nino predictions for this winter and as we’ve discussed a few times, the likelihood of a strong or even moderate El Nino winter like 1997-98 is looking very small, there is still a chance for a weak El Nino scenario where things warm later in the season after a frigid start. It will be fun to watch and see what happens this winter. Will El Nino play a role in our weather? Here’s a link to a recent discussion regarding the chances for an El Nino winter. http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2857

Share

About the Author:

Leave a Reply