Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: If Eleven is Your Lucky Number, Read On
Now that we are into December, thought a look back at the month of November and also where we stand for the year to date would be in order. Also, the question arises regarding whether or not there is any forecast value with regard to those numbers for the coming winter; which by the way, is now upon us as climatologically speaking the winter months are considered to be Dec-Feb.
First, the month of November turned out to be more than 5 degrees colder than normal and the 9th coldest on record, going back to 1905. That was largely due to the week of Nov 11-18 which was the coldest on record for those dates. The month actually started off relatively warm and ended very warm, but that cold stretch in the middle was the dominant feature. That also made November only the second month out of the last seven that was colder than normal.
We also were slightly drier than normal with only 2.10” of moisture, along with .4” of snow during that record cold stretch. Normal moisture would be 2.81”.
Year to date numbers are rather interesting in that for the first 11 months of this year, we now rank as the 11th coolest on record and the 11th driest with total precipitation that is nearly 11” below normal. Don't know if 11 is a lucky number or not, but thought that coincidence was rather noteworthy.
I mentioned earlier that this November was one of the few recent months that was cooler than normal so you may be wondering why the year as a whole is running so cool. Keep in mind that each month from Jan-Apr was much below normal, July was nearly 5 degrees cooler than normal, and this past November was more than 5 degrees below normal. The other months were above normal with respect to temperature but only slightly, so the numbers favor a very cool year to date.
Ok, does this have any impact on the coming winter you may ask? Well, looking back at the previous years to date that were colder than we have been so far this year, the winters that followed were also colder than normal by almost a 2:1 margin. That fits in with the current outlook for this winter in that temperatures on average will be below normal. Don't misunderstand, that does not necessarily imply a severe winter, just that on average it is expected to be cooler than normal.
As mentioned earlier, Dec 1 from a climatological point of view marks the start of winter and the weather today was certainly appropriate. The north winds and clouds combined to keep us much colder than the pleasant 70s we had over the weekend; notice the max/min temperature map for today for example, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. By the way, for the most part those maximum temperatures occurred shortly after midnight.
Temperatures tonight will likely be in the teens to near 20 for most locations and could even be in the lower teens if the clouds clear out. Right now, that does not appear likely as the clouds should persist through sunrise, then gradually thin out during the course of the day. At least those gusty northerly winds will settle down overnight followed by a return to light southerly winds for Tuesday. Together with lots of afternoon sunshine, daytime highs should make to at least 40, so we will thaw out.
Those southerly winds along with increasing cloud cover should keep temperatures milder for Tue night with overnight lows generally in the low 30s expected. However, a return to NE winds behind a weak cool front and cloudy skies for much of the day Wednesday should hold temperatures into the 40s to near 50 at best which is still cooler than normal. That will be followed by daytime highs generally in the 50s and overnight lows generally in the low 40s.
However, there will also be lots of cloud cover right on through the weekend with a series of relatively weak fronts impacting the state along with some energy aloft which will provide at least a chance of showers each day into the weekend as well. Right now, Friday looks to have the best chance of rain and it will be all liquid by then. However, this more zonal flow aloft makes timing of the individual pockets of energy very uncertain so there will likely be some day to day changes with regard to the day(s) with the best chance of rain. Notice the 7 day QPF map which indicates at least some moisture for our side of the state.
Notice also the 8-14 day outlooks for temperature and precipitation which will take us through the first half of December. Current indications suggest a strong signal supporting above normal temperatures for much of the country, including our state. The outlook for precipitation over that period has a weaker, but still a wet signal for our state as well.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.