The only area of interest in the U.S. weather wise today is in Maine where there are winter weather advisories in place for the central and northern counties where up to nine inches of snow may fall later today through Wednesday night. When I lived there in the 70s this was no big deal. Keep in mind that Maine doesn’t have the road system we have here in Michigan. About 90 percent of Maine is forested, the highest percentage of any state. This includes some 12 million acres in the northern part of Maine where few people live. In comparison Michigan is 51.2 % forested. Maine has 46,879 lane miles of roads compared to 256,806 for Michigan and 675,580 for Texas. A lane-mile is a measure of the total length of traveled pavement surface. Lane-miles is the centerline length (in miles) multiplied by the number of lanes. Maine also has some large plow trucks and blowers to keep the roads clear.
Our other area of interest today is Hurricane Willa which is at cat 4 and will make land fall later today in Mexico. For a brief time on Monday, Willa was a Category 5 hurricane but it has steadily weakened since then due to an eyewall replacement cycle and increasing wind shear. A hurricane warning is in effect from San Blas to Mazatlán, including Las Islas Marias. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Playa Perula to San Blas and from north of Mazatlán to Bahia Tempehuaya.
Locally, up to 18 inches of rain is possible in western Jalisco, western Nayarit, southern Sinaloa and far southern Durango in Mexico, according to the NHC. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible farther inland across the rest of Durango and portions of Zacateca, southeast Chihuahua and Coahuila.
Dangerous flash flooding and landslides will occur because of the heavy rain in those areas.
After dissipating over Mexico’s mountainous terrain, the remnant upper-level energy and moisture from Willa will eventually enhance rainfall in Texas and perhaps the northern Gulf Coast Wednesday into Thursday. Willa is just the fourth Eastern Pacific hurricane to reach Category 5 strength in the month of October dating to 1971. The others were Patricia (2015), Rick (2009) and Kenna (2002). There have been 10 major hurricanes in 2018, including Willa, which ties 1992 as the most major hurricanes seen in the northeast Pacific in one year.
I got some raking and mulching done yesterday. I am lucky to have property surrounded by woodland where I can put the fallen leaves. I use my lawn tractor to mulch the leaves and it also makes a great blower. Most of the trees down here have fallen with the exception of a persistent cottonwood I have in the side yard. Up on M-89 there are still a lot of leaves on the trees.
We will see increasing clouds today with northwest winds blowing across the lake, chances of rain are around 2% so it will continue to remain dry. Our next chance of rain should hold off until Saturday.
Regarding the winter forecast Dr. Judah Cohen has an interesting article in his weekly blog post.
He states “Central Pacific El Niños are more favorable for cold winters in the Eastern US relative to Eastern Pacific El Niños. Therefore the model(s) could be incorrectly predicting a mild Eastern US winter based on El Niño.”
This is one of my concerns regarding how far the El Nino will move eastward.
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