No Real Cold Air

November 2nd, 2013 at 2:05 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

ao.fcst   nao.fcstpna.fcst  Meteorologists look at a handful of index values that can give us a clue on long-range weather.  Here we have left to right the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the North Atlantic Oscillation and  (NAO) and the Pacific North America Pattern (PNA) as of Saturday morning.  Generally speaking, when the AO and NAO are negative, we get a trough in the Eastern U.S. and that usually brings cooler weather.  It can mean blocking to our north, forcing colder air down into the U.S. from Canada.  A negative PNA usually means a trough in the Western U.S. and ridging in the East.  The sum total of the three index values above (from Friday night) would indicate that the really cold stuff is going to stay away up north in Canada for at least a while.  Note that the AO seems to want to start downward around the 2nd week of November.  That might indicate a cold shot around the 3rd week of November.   The overnight GFS plot model doesn’t take G.R. below 30 into mid-November, with lots of days in the mid 40s to mid 50s.   The average high is 54 now…so we’re not drastically warmer than average here.   Many of the same features that we had last winter are still there (cool Pacific Decadal Oscillation, warm Atlantic Monthly Oscillation (AMO) and a neutral El-Nino Southern Oscillation.  This would favor a SW to NE storm track.  This would favor the coldest air relative to average across the northern Rockies into the northern Plains (Montana, the western Dakotas).  Cold shots into Michigan would be relatively short-lived.

There has been a trend in recent years toward less snow in November and more in February in West Michigan.   I also want to point out this table of peak flow on the Grand River.  It doesn’t include the April 2013 flood, which was approx. 34K cfs.   Look at 1904-05 and 1947-48.  Hmmm – seems the worst floods on the Grand River came in consecutive years!   Could we have another high water event this spring?   Also, look at the flow levels.  The floods of 1904-05 were considerably greater than the flood of last year.  In the 1904 flood, the water covered most all of downtown G.R. west all the way to John Ball Park!  See pics. at this link.  Like I said, many of the parameters haven’t changed since last winter.

11 Responses to “No Real Cold Air”

  1. kevin. w says:

    So a winter like last year with cold and snow starting late in January going into early May. Well 3 months of summer is fine by me.

  2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    The weather channel was talking about how the cold air would stay to our north until later in the winter, so both of your hypothesizes are correct. But it is still too early to actually predict when the snow will overpower our area…. Time will tell. And besides, snow in the first half of November isn’t all that common. We typically see most of the snowfall (and only 6 inches, if that) throughout the second half of the month. If you want to see a lot of snow, then jump on over to December! Which, speaking of December, we barely received any snow throughout that month the last couple of years. Maybe we can change that his year… Or simply repeat the late season snowfall pattern all over again. (Btw Bill, if it says to approve this comment, then it’s because I am using a new iPad and the fields haven’t been filled out yet :) )

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Good points, however Bill is already on record for a cold and snowy November! Let’s hope that he is correct!

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        he just stated that this month may not be as snowy as he expected, read the facts he gathered in the article above

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          That is not what he said at all. He said it may not hit till latter in the month! Get a grip!

        2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          second paragraph is what I meant…

  3. Barry in Zeeland says:

    Great news Bill! Got to love the title “No Cold Air”!! It does seem we’re in a pattern in recent years of nothing until late Jan and Feb. That would be great again as we will be in the Carribean at that time so it can snow like crazy then.

  4. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Winter, cold and SNOW will be hitting by early to mid December this year. Get Ready people! Those of you who think or are hoping for the snow not to hit till February will be in for a rude awakening. Mark it down!

  5. Bodawg says:

    There will likely be a rise in flu cases if this weather persists. The virus does well in these conditions.

  6. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    Love that news, Bill. Let’s hope that each month is like your forecast.


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