Ups and Downs in Temperature, but probably More Downs than Ups

This is a time of year in which normal climatology brings us lots of ups and downs in weather. We’ve recently had a few Novembers in which temperatures averaged a fair amount above average. This November often been Windier and occasionally Stormier than in those recent years.

This week of November 18th starts out seasonably cold and shifts over to seasonably mild temperatures before another transition to wintry temperatures occurs this weekend. This weekend: “Aye, there’s the rub.” Lots of uncertainty abounds, with large difference between the models, and their ensemble means. Sunday night, there were signs in the European model of a storm system which would have headed toward eastern New England and which might have given us a chance at some widespread snow. The Euro’s subsequent run took that storm farther north and east, with something of a cold blast moving in by Saturday night and Sunday. The GFS never showed that first Euro storm being close enough to us to give us widespread snow, nor did the Canadian. However,  there is good agreement the coldest airmass of the season will be on its way this weekend with gusty winds and snow showers, along with some lake effect snow potential on a NW flow, which would focus the heavier LES on the hills again, well south. The GFS is considerably faster, bringing that arctic airmass in Saturday afternoon. I won’t dismiss that speed, since last week’s late week GFS wasn’t bad on the speed of Sunday night’s cold front. As of this Monday evening (bottom line) there are no good signs of a widespread heavier synoptic snowfall in WNY this weekend–though I’m not ruling out such signs recurring in future runs. But there’ll be no questioning the wintry atmosphere, with temps probably staying in the mid-upper 20s on a cold, windy Sunday, with a little moderation early next week. The GFS is chillier for Thanksgiving Day than the Euro, which has kept us consistently seasonable for that day. I won’t touch precipitation this far out.

For the bigger picture, the Climate Prediction Ctr (for newcomers…we just call it CPC) expresses high confidence for below average temperatures in the 6-10 day outlook, and average confidence for the 8-14 day outlook. That major 6-10 day cold anomaly may imply much below average temperatures for that whole stretch. However, I’m still expecting some ups within those downs. Here’s why. The indices don’t match up with a western ridge/eastern trough all that well. While I would expect the 2nd half, or even the last 2/3 of the weekend to be much colder than average, the pattern remains too progressive for a stable wrn ridge/ern trough to take up residence for too long a time. Plus, the positive heights which are showing up so frequently over the far SE also may be related to the lack of a persistently -NAO/-AO, and help to flatten the trough in the Grt Lks and NE. There continue to be no signs of a fundamental change in the PNA to cold/+ phase, so a western ridge which could force a cross polar flow simply won’t be there in the next 2 weeks. This doesn’t mean I’m expecting big Ups with any major above average temp periods…just not steady arctic air.

The MJO remains “incoherent”, weakly active, and is not expected to have a measurable impact on global weather in the next 2 weeks, at least not at our latitude. The ENSO forecast remains unchanged…neutral through next spring.

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144 thoughts on “Ups and Downs in Temperature, but probably More Downs than Ups

  1. Oh, I was just trying to sympathize with the people who want more snow. Hasn’t been dull at all– we’ve had a bit of everything. (Except a monster lake effect event.)

  2. Let me point out to TS that if we were to get the upper amount of the range in the WWA (not that I think we necessarily will), November 2013 would have the third highest snowfall in the last ten years. Outliers really skew what we think of as normal around here!

  3. That’s the first storm total forecast map I’ve seen from the NWS. Is it a new feature? Looks like 4 to 6 inches for my area. We shall see.

  4. I believe it’s a new product. I’ll post our Vividcast output on FB this evening,and try to get the link to this blog…or you folks can watch, in a few minutes.

  5. Don’s in-house model was a little less generous with snow amounts for the Niagara Frontier, Rochester area included. It only showed 1-2″ for Rochester.

  6. Here is the image of the snow totals from Vividcast. The magenta area in SW Chautauqua Co would correspond to about 8-12″. A cautionary note: meandering, skinny bands of Lake Effect with sometimes erratic Lake Huron connections on a NW flow are less than highly reliable.

  7. Not by too much, since I don’t expect the skinny bands to have much of a residence time in any given location, unless we get the ultra-rare connection that Niagara Falls had several years back, when they had steady state S+ for a lengthy period and got buried. Remember, the numbers displayed are for a point (i.e. Jamestown, Rochester) on the map, not an area. The colors have more of an areal representation. However, I DO think the amounts for Albion and Rochester and the area coverage to be too light. If the wind is too NNW rather than NW, though, that takes out the Lake Huron connection for the ern burbs of Rochester. The model runs again, so I’ll have updated projections at 10 & 11.

  8. As for the east coast storm, the ECMWF and its ensemble mean continue to keep it clearly too far to our east to have an impact here, though there are a few ensemble members–just a few–which keep it farther west. The Canadian, seldom my first pick for a model, does show the low on a track which would bring measurable snow to WNY, with its ensemble mean just a bit farther east. As I’ve said ad nauseum, the mean (this far out in time) is generally the preferred choice over an operational run. The GFS is too far east, but not so far as the ECMWF, nor is its mean.

    Bottom line: an impact for WNY from this storm is down, but not out. Not yet.

  9. FWIW local wrf models are showing the lake effect band lifting into the BUF metro area late Sunday night into Monday,Also the 12z Canadian shows moderate snowfall for our area during next week’s storm.

  10. Ayuud, the Canadian GEM is not the only one….this from the 3:36 AFD KBUF…enjoy…
    .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/…

    THE COASTAL STORM WILL MOVE NORTHWARD ON WEDNESDAY WITH ECMWF
    SHOWING THE BULK OF THE STORM STAYING TO THE EAST OF OUR FORECAST
    AREA. THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON CENTRAL AND EASTERN TO
    NORTHERN NEW YORK STATE…AND A SLIGHTLY MORE WESTWARD POSITION OF
    THE TRACK WILL AFFECT THE ENTIRE STATE. THERE IS A STRONG SIGNATURE
    OF A TRAILING DEFORMATION BAND ACROSS WESTERN NEW YORK WHICH MAY
    PRODUCE A BAND OF SNOW WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH EVENING.

    What a change!

  11. Yes, this is a significant change. Both the usually less reliable Canadian GEM and the ECMWF have fairly similar solutions, and both depict that deformation zone. In their ensembles, the storm track is not radically different in the mean from the operational runs. The operational 12 ECMWF brings the storm far enough inland (cutting across the Piedmont of the Carolinas) so that there even could be a period of mixed rain/snow before the deformation zone arrives in the arctic air behind the storm as just snow.

    The 12z GFS still keeps the storm in the southern branch of the jet, with no phasing. That would still take the storm far, far away and out to sea. Its ensemble mean is not quite so far south and east, but it keeps us out of the running for this storm.

    This is why I emphasized repeatedly that even while the models and ensembles were favoring a storm track too far east to impact us, the vast amount of baroclinicity over the SE along the arctic boundary still left high uncertainty (due to the climatology in that kind of an airmass moisture/temperature clash) whether the majority of the guidance was headed in the right direction. Uncertainty remains high this far out, so don’t pop your champagne corks just yet.

  12. Hello Don,
    I’m driving to New Hope, PA on Wed for the holidays.I heard about the potential for a coastal storm. Should I leave the Buff area on Tues or is Wed still ok. As you know I will be travelling through the Poconos to get to destination. Thank You!

  13. Still loads of uncertainty on this system. But as of now, if you have a choice you might consider not waiting until Wednesday. I’m off duty, so my analysis is incomplete.

  14. I missed the part on the AFD from KBUF that discusses the Monday night Tuesdays time frame for area wide light snow and lake effect NE of the lakes monday night….as if this could not get any better…potentially of course.

  15. So it’s the busiest travel time of the year and more snow would be potentially better? What are you like 13 years old?

  16. Have to agree with Rick on this one. Snow around the Thanksgiving holiday would not be good. Flights could be delayed or cancelled. More people are on the roads, traffic volume runs high. The good thing is that the forecast is far from certain. Hopefully it doesn’t happen and the snow stays well south where the ski resorts can use it.

  17. Rick/Hauser,
    I am excited to see some snow fall this week. This is a blog for weather enthusiasts. The blog will be full of posts hoping for a heavy snow event so if you don’t care for snow/weather you may be in the wrong place.

  18. Few if any weather enthusiasts I know hope for perilous weather around the holidays. They are more thoughtful than that. Being a weather enthusiast does not translate to being a lover of frozen liquid flakes. I’m a big time weather enthusiast and loathe snow. So there you go, “Luke”. I wouldn’t worry about snow though. The storm probably won’t have much of an impact here, if any.

  19. Blah, blah, blah. Same old personalities here singing their same tired song about cold and snow. Here’s to wishing for a snowy, cold and windy Thanksgiving holiday! The more the better! This is Western New York after all.

  20. I like snow. I don’t like inconvenience to travelers. I really don’t like the tone this blog takes when people show up and argue.

    Best results seem to be when people keep emotional response to the weather off-limits on this blog. “Cheering” for or against seems to just cause problems, and the worst of it seems to happen in the winter when DP is away. Let’s face it, we don’t know the current probabilities about this week’s weather. If you CAN provide some meteorological discussion, I’m all ears, but complaining about other posters is just not on.

  21. Willie,
    By no means am I wishing for perilous conditions where peoples lives are at risk, only making the point that as weather(or at this time snow) enthusiasts that people shouldn’t be berating other people on this blog for wishing for more snow. I personally love snow. I love the challenge of driving in it, the sight of it, and that my dogs love playing in it. What I don’t like is seeing people being referred to as 13 year olds for their live of snow, that is the definition of ignorance.

  22. Straight from the morning afd out of BUF..
    “A DEEPER LAYER MOISTURE AND COOLER TEMPERATURES WITHIN THE BOUNDARY
    LAYER SHOULD LEAD TO A MORE WIDESPREAD LIGHT SNOW ON MONDAY NIGHT
    THROUGH TUESDAY…WITH AN OPPORTUNITY FOR LAKE EFFECT SNOWS
    NORTHEAST OF THE LAKES MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING.

    THE WEATHER COULD GET MORE INTERESTING TUESDAY NIGHT. THREE OF THE
    OPERATIONAL MODELS AND THE LATEST SREF GUIDANCE ALL SHOW A MORE
    WESTWARD TRACK TO THE SURFACE LOW THAT WILL BE LIFTING NORTH FROM
    THE GULF COAST STATES. THE GFS IS STILL THE ODD MODEL OUT IN THAT IT
    TRACKS THE CENTER OF THE LOW FARTHER TO THE EAST. WITH MODEL
    CONSENSUS NOW SHOWING A MORE WESTWARD TRACK…WILL SHOW AT LEAST
    LIKELY POPS FOR MEASURABLE PCPN TUESDAY NIGHT. THE LATEST
    TEMPERATURE PROFILES SUGGEST THAT SNOW WILL BE THE PREDOMINANT PCPN
    TYPE…BUT IF THE WARMER ECMWF SOLUTION VERIFIES…THERE WILL BE A
    BETTER CHANCE FOR A MIX OF PCPN…ESPECIALLY EAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.
    WE WILL KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THIS SITUATION SINCE THE THANKSGIVING
    TRAVEL TIMEFRAME MAY BE SUBSTANTIALLY IMPACTED.”

  23. Hello Don,

    Thanks for answering my post. I will heed your advice and prepare my family to leave from Buff for the Philly area Tuesday unless something changes. My childrens grandparents are in their 80’s. These are precious times for the little ones but we also need to be safe.
    Thanks…

  24. Yes, that storm is looking better for us! Woo Hoo!! Hoping for some Thanksgiving snow to shovel! And all the national attention of the oldfest race (Turkey Trot) being run in the snow in Buffalo, NY! That’d be pretty cool to see!

  25. Do I have to post another over the top post again to put things in perspective? THIS IS A WEATHER BLOG PEOPLE!!! It’s full of people who like weather and especially snow. And, we may even wish or hope for it once and a while. Go figure! You old fuddy duddy’s need to find somewhere else to go. You may as well go to an RV blog and complain that people are too into their campers.

    Pat, I’m with you buddy! Bring it on! Thanksgiving day, Christmas, New Years Eve, Mother nature is going to give us snow when she wants to give us snow. AS LONG AS WE GET SNOW!!!!!

  26. Whether TS or anyone else wishes for snow, the weather will do what it wants, so I don’t see the point of scolds popping on here to yell about how no one should hope for snow.

    That said, the quality of these comments goes down to near zero when the personal attacks start. So in Don’s absence, why don’t we regulars self-police a bit and just not respond to the personal attacks.

    Looking forward to see if models converge on a solution today.

  27. I agree Ben thanks for the neutral and logical post. I too am curious about the models…latest GFS brings the storm more in line with the other three…in fact I’ve seen a few forecasts now for the mid Atlantic region predicting heavy rain for the major cities which means to this untrained follower that there is a better consensus of a more inland track. If that is the case I would wonder about a winter storm watch being discussed being in place with tomorrow’s forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday. Time will tell.

  28. I haven’t recalled a November in recent years with temperatures being so frigid so early. Nothing more than a few flurries here along the lake yesterday. Anyone post some links to these models (Tuesday-Thursday time frame obviously). Thanks !

  29. Still too early to get excited? I couldn’t help myself and looked at a certain accuweather forecaster’s look at the ECMWF 84 hour snowfall map, and it looks REAL nice, the NAM and ECMWF appear to have us in at least a 6+ inch zone, we are right on the western edge of the big snows, Rochester and Syracuse would be in at least a 12+ zone “IF” this pans out, of course, if the track shifts even a little bit further east, we would likely miss out. Gonna be a nailbiter for sure for us snow lovers on the storm track.

  30. Dave

    Great pic…. sledable snow for sure. Keep them coming.
    We need maps of snow sleet rain so folk know when to time their trips.

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