The first week of this month will end up being the warmest November week in 38 years. A good part of this warmth appears to have a tie-in to the strongest El Nino since the historical 1997-98 event. El Nino is expected to remain especially strong at least into early winter, before weakening at least gradually as winter unfolds.
The current phase of El Nino and other oscillating patterns in the Atlantic and Pacific favors building of warmer high pressure aloft over the eastern US much of the time, which favors warmer than average temperatures at the surface. At the same time, there may be a tendency for occasional cold dips in the Polar jet stream into the western US, as is the case as I write this thread. Right now, all the skiing is out west in the mountains, and there it will stay for much of the month. The warm ridging of high pressure in the east makes an early opening to New England and WNY ski resorts quite unlikely this month at least until we get closer to Thanksgiving–and probably beyond that. So, I continue to have fairly high confidence the start of our cold weather season will be milder than average. A repeat of anything like last year’s infamous “Snowvember” is highly unlikely. Uncertainty will likely begin to increase by the latter part of winter when many models forecast El Nino to weaken. If El Nino becomes weak at that time, its warming influence will wane, if not disappear altogether. Todd Santos and I will take a closer look at our Winter Outlook during the 5pm news hour on Monday, November 16th.
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