What's up with our weather pattern so far? Normally I wouldn't mind it but I got some good outdoor gear for Christmas and would like to use it.
From the Climate Prediction Center:
SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES (SSTS) ACROSS THE EAST-CENTRAL EQUATORIAL PACIFIC
OCEAN CURRENTLY AVERAGE ABOUT -1.0 DEGREES C BELOW NORMAL. THESE SSTS ARE
ACCOMPANIED BY ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION ANOMALIES OVER THE REGION THAT INDICATE LA NINA CONDITIONS ARE PRESENT. THE MEAN MAGNITUDE OF THE OBSERVED ANOMALIES
HAVE REMAINED FAIRLY STEADY FOR THE PAST MONTH OR SO, AND SUGGEST WEAK TO
MODERATE LA NINA CONDITIONS. MOST CLIMATE MODELS PREDICT THE WEAK TO MODERATE LA NINA CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, FOLLOWED BY A GRADUAL
RETURN TO NEUTRAL ENSO CONDITIONS BY LATE SPRING. THE CLIMATE MODELS, TOGETHER
WITH VARIOUS STATISTICAL TOOLS SUGGEST THAT LA NINA WILL LIKELY HAVE AN IMPACT
ON THE MEAN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION CONDITIONS FOR SIGNIFICANT PORTIONS
OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WINTER AND INTO NEXT SPRING.
The North Atlantic Oscillation is also in a positive phase right now and has been for most of December. Usually a positive phase yields warmer temperatures for the middle and eastern US. The forecast for the NAO is trending negative over the next week and if it verifies you can expect temperatures a bit cooler.
The jet stream has just been cranked way up north so far this winter and with little/no snow on the ground in the upper midwest, temperatures aren't as cool and temperatures swing a little bit higher during the day as a result.
... just a couple things to note.
Last edited by MNCYWX; 01-02-2012 at 09:21 AM.
"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it." -- Albert Einstein
It isnt just La Nina that is making our winter so mild...
There are lots of other large scale weather patterns helping out. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has been stuck in phase 5 for weeks now. This typically produces warm and mild in the Midwest. This is based on thunderstorm locations in the Indian Ocean.
We have been stuck in a positive Arctic Oscillation pattern for weeks now as well. This means the cold air is locked up to our North.
Most importantly, a lack of snow in Iowa and points to our west and South is really helping the warm air stream here without modification.
If we had a few inches of snow, it would easily get below zero by daybreak Tuesday morning in Central Iowa, instead it will be 10F or warmer tonight.
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