As I type this post, we’re about to enter into a 2 day period of Midsummer Heat (with some accompanying humidity), to be followed by a sharp cool down late in the week. For some spots well north & northeast of the immediate metro area, the 90 degree mark should be cracked. A gusty SW wind tends to force more heating over northern Niagara, Orleans and Genesee Counties, while it keeps the temps from soaring so high in the metro area. A cold front crossing the region early Thursday will be accompanied by scattered showers & tstorms, which will have to be monitored for intensity, ushering in rather chilly air by Friday morning. On Friday, an upslope flow from the N or NE will favor more cloudiness developing during the day, along with some possible minor lake response for a few showers. The weekend which follows will feature tons o’ sun, with cool temps on Saturday, and some moderation for Sunday. Another set of fronts will approach our region early next week. The ensemble means (average trends in upper level winds) still suggest above average temperatures prevailing by later next week and possibly into the following week on most days.
The latest ENSO forecast still strongly favors neutral ENSO (no el nino, no la nina) into late winter or early spring next year. By itself, this neutral ENSO would allow more variability and more frequent cold outbreaks in the cold weather season. But ENSO does not operate “by itself” and quite a few other variables/oscillations cannot yet be determined so far in advance. The Climate Prediction Ctr is still indicating better than even odds of another milder than average winter over large swaths of the country, including our region. Me? I’m not so sure, and choose to take a wait-and-see attitude about how this winter may go. I was surprised to learn the Buffalo News actually gave the scientifically worthless gibberish of the Farmers’ Almanac prominent placement while I was off, with their ridiculous prediction for a big storm in the NY area for the Superbowl. Even if it happened, it would have not the slightest thing to do with the Farmers’ Almanac prediction, because their predictions are based on the aforementioned gibberish with no scientific validity or foundation.
The MJO/Madden-Julian Oscillation is expected to weaken by week 2, which will again make conditions for tropical cyclones to develop more unlikely again in the Atlantic hurricane basin. We are close to the all time record for a latest first hurricane in record-keeping history in the Atlantic. September is typically the most active month of all, and there is bound to be more activity by the end of the month than we’ve seen this season. But for the MJO to move toward an unfavorable phase makes even that climatology less likely to bear that much fruit. For a year with a neutral ENSO to have such little activity is unexpected. One of the culprits has been a rich plume of Saharan dust coming off Africa way out into the Atlantic, which discourages tropical development. Another negative is a large area of dry air over the central Atlantic, where cooler sea surface temps prevail…larger than usual. Tropical Storm Humberto, brewing as I type, will probably become a hurricane. But most track models take the storm northwestward and then northward into this dry air, so it will be not be a threat to the US or the Caribbean. An unusual year, to say the least.