Not Over ‘Till It’s Over

I keep bearing a face that grimaces every time we get a shot of warm air. “This is it guys.” “This is our last warm day.” “Enjoy that ice cream in the right environment.” “We aren’t going to see it for another 4 or 5 months!!”

Is that another strong trough I see upstream going to bring us some warm air for the weekend again? Alright. No complaints, but get it over with.

If early Fall temps keep teasing me like this, my winter self will start to get jealous. He is still upset by Winter 11-12′. He wants some revenge action.

Winter 12-13′ is really up in the air. One of usual players holding key cards come wintertime, is that El Nino and La Nina factor. An El Nino pattern was expected to be in place this year, but symptoms are lacking. While neither is expected to show up at this time, we will look for a ‘Equal Chance’ or neutral ENSO outlook. This was briefly discussed by the Grand Rapids NWS office as they previewed the Winter season:

The location of the polar jet stream shown in the diagram puts Southwest Lower Michigan near the boundary dividing cold polar air and the more temperate air that comes from the eastern Pacific. This suggests that cold spells and warm spells could be more extreme compared to the previous two winters. The winter of 2012/2013 could resemble the winters of 2004/2005 and 2008/2009, which often had two weeks of warmer than normal temperatures followed by two weeks of colder than normal conditions.

So that is something to look towards as we eventually get cooler.

I’m missing the white stuff. The closest I have seen so far is a bit of frozen ice pellets Sandy tossed our way. Biking around in it was fun for the first two minutes. Anything more and it felt like a bunch of people pinching your face.

My thoughts on Sandy were mixed.

It was no doubt a massive and historic storm. In the history of weather prediction, not one scenario fits it. Usually with a predictable storm, past storms can be analyzed and forecasts generated based on what happened. Sandy was loosely based around Hurricane Hazel of 1954. Hazel struck the East Coast much further south along the border of North/South Carolina, but it still offered a glimpse into front/hurricane interaction. Hazel similarities were first compared when Sandy was still developing in the Caribbean. Once Sandy moved further north, the guess was between the GFS and ECWFM models. GFS took Sandy out to sea, while the European model had the distinctive turn towards New Jersey.

We all know which path was correct. The National Hurricane Center did a great job in making the proper adjustment to model tracks, and had the landfall position nailed down to a 30 miles radius 4 or 5 days out. A great show for human and numerical weather prediction. I hope to further learn about this. (only so I can dominate everyone on the WxChallenge)

Weather in our neighborhood looks good. Those warm temperatures I was talking about are actually going to happen. While it may be a little dreary, temps will near 60 on Saturday, and may be comfortably there on Sunday. Sunday night will be wet, and temperatures will drop quite a bit as a strong cold front moves through. So much so, areas could see first white cover of the season (yes, snow).

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About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

2 Responses to Not Over ‘Till It’s Over

  1. Peyrefitte Jr, Ashton G says:

    Greg,

    A couple of comments—first, ENSO Neutral conditions are a real atmospheric state, one in which other factors that help control winter can make their presence felt. Secondly, I noticed in your forecast on the board that you were giving calm winds a specific direction. The direction of a calm wind is∞. I’ll show you this next time I see you.

    It sure doesn’t look like any synoptic snow yet; the really cold air is still bottled up over the Pole.

    A.P.

  2. Pamela says:

    Greg,
    I was getting accustomed to the temperatures of the past couple winters. From what you are saying, I better be sure to have a new winter coat this year. Unfortunately, the ice cream shoppe, Twisters, closed up for the season the middle of last month. Otherwise, it sounds like I might have enjoyed one last peanut butter cup flurry for the year tomorrow after my ballroom dance lesson. You mentioned Hazel. I heard a lot about that storm when I was growing up. It seems that the threat of that storm sent my family to our church, for refuge, until it had passed. Every Hazel story ended with the same question…where you born yet?, followed by the statement…one of you kids wasn’t born yet. Yup, that would be me! Your grandfather might have a story or two to share about Hazel.
    Pamela
    PS. I always enjoy the photos on your blog.

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