I look at a lot of models every day but mostly I use the Hi Res, Nam and GFS for my forecasts. Once one begins mixing in the European forecast models things take a turn towards more head scratching in long range forecasting. The Atmospheric and Environmental Research graphic above for December-January-February is what is being predicted by many of us who research these things for this winter (temperature-wise).
This is set up by a Greenland block and ridging in the Gulf of Alaska contributing to troughing in eastern North America and cooling temperatures. Ridging in the Gulf of Alaska often results in mild temperatures along the West Coast but cold temperatures east of the Rockies. Sea ice extent has been well below normal this fall on the North Pacific side of the Arctic and this may favor ridging north of Alaska helping to nudge any ridging in the North Pacific closer to the North American continent and therefore a colder solution east of the Rockies. It appears this will start setting up around December 9th or so and from what I can tell from shorter term models will be around through Christmas.
After Christmas the models start to differ using the European forecasts. Some show a warming trend after a brief period of cold as the Arctic oscillation once again goes positive and put us back in a zonal pattern with our weather coming off the Pacific. The three models below (you can click to enlarge them) are showing near to above normal temperatures for DJF. There is a hint in the CFSv2 models showing a warm up after Christmas. So, as forecasters its a a toss of the dice.
As for the shorter term moving into December we will see our zonal pattern continue across the U.S. through the end of next week and then the Arctic air will break loose as the flow will be from the Northwest. Day time highs could be in the 20s with lows in the single digits to low teens.
The first graphic shows temperatures from the 9th to the 15th, the second is showing the lake effect kicking in with up to 12 inches of snow along the lake shore counties during that same period. So, if all of this falls into place, which seems to be the case, we should see a flip in our climate making the area ski resorts, winter enthusiasts and snow plow operators jumping for joy. My new snow blower is itching to come out and play.
High pressure will bring fair and cooler weather today then a front comes through later tonight with some light rain and snow. Rain showers will end Thursday morning with fair weather returning into the weekend. So if you want to get the Christmas decorations up on the house this weekend will be your best chance. We already have the yard and fence decorations up, I am going to get the house done this weekend. If you have night time photos of your house lit up with lights email them to me and I will use them as the feature image.
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