BLOG: November Review, December Preview, Winter Update

November is in the books and what a November it was in Youngstown! At times it seemed as though we had skipped November and December and went straight to January. Here’s a look at how this November shakes out historically.

As always, statistics are for the Youngstown-Warren airport in Vienna, Trumbull County. Your backyard may have had some very different numbers.

SNOW: It was a snowier than average month and, thanks to some “bonus” snow on Thanksgiving, this November ranks comfortably in the Top 10:


This November ranks 5th for number of days that measurable snow was recorded: snowmeas

TEMPERATURES: It was, of course, quite cold. Here’s the complete November stats, which include temperatures and precipitation: novyng

So, it was 4.3 degrees below average for the month. That is a significant number over a 30 day period. No surprise, it was one of the coldest Novembers on record in Youngstown: tempranks

We were not alone. Look at how much of the country had a colder-than-average November: usnov

With the VERY cold start to 2014, a cool-ish Summer and now a very cold November, it is no surprise that 2014 is shaping up to be one of the coldest calendar years on record in Youngstown:


So what does December hold??? Well if you were not a fan of how November went, I have some good news for you, Winter has been put on hold for a while. The first half of December is not looking all that cold and snowy at all. The current weather pattern features a cold air mass charging east, but no HUGE troughs over the East, no chunk of the dreaded POLAR VORTEX dumb belling across southern Canada. In other words, cold shots in this pattern are brief. 500now

This week will bring some ups and downs temperature-wise, but by the weekend it’s looking like much of the country will have Pacific, not Arctic air: 500sat

Here’s the 16 day temperature outlook on the GFS Ensemble model. I think it’s in the ballpark through Day 10 then is probably too cold after that. I get we see lots of highs in the 40s and even some 50+ days through mid-month. KYNG_2014113012_min_max_16

As we get closer to Christmas, I suspect the pattern will start to favor more frequent cold shots and probably some opportunities for snow.

WINTER UPDATE: I think our Winter (December-February) forecast is on track. If you remember, we are forecasting a colder than average Winter (not quite as cold as last year) and a somewhat snowier than average Winter (not quite as snowy as last year).  The forecast does not need to change despite the expected mild start to December. Remember….last Winter was BRUTAL and yet December was MILDER than average! (By a little.) dec13

For “fun” I thought I would see what the Winter (Dec-Feb) was like after our coldest and snowiest Novembers on record. Does a cold and snowy November mean that the Winter as a whole will be bad? Some years yes, some no….but the AVERAGE of all those Winters was cold: tempcomposite

Precipitation (rain and snow) was above average when you combine all those years: precipcomposite

So, you could say that the ODDS of a cold and snowy Winter are higher in seasons that follow a cold and snowy November.

Thanks for reading!


BLOG: Windy Monday, White Thanksgiving??

Happy Monday!

Lots going on as we head toward Thanksgiving, so let’s get right to it. On the weather map this morning we have a strong cold front marching toward Ohio. Out ahead of it, it’s VERY mild! ustempsThat low pressure system over the northern Great Lakes is deepening rapidly, and the current pressure is as low as 980mb: pressure

This is making for a LOT of wind around the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. Wind advisories are up, and for good reason. At 5,000 feet above our heads, the wind early this afternoon will be screaming at 60-85mph: 850wind

It will be windy down here at the surface because of the tight pressure gradient, but any downward transfer of energy , especially one caused by a shower, will result in a wind gust that could reach 50 mph or so. Here’s a look at the sustained winds early this afternoon: sfcwind

I mentioned a shower…..ahead of the front, a few showers will break out around midday. Here’s the noon simulated radar: noon

It’s even possible to have some thunder in those midday showers. The Storm Prediction Center has the region outlined for the chance for a thunderstorm today. There’s even a low-end “marginal” risk of severe weather (damaging winds) in western Ohio: day1otlk_1300

Cold air will return tonight through the end of the week, but it will not be nearly as harsh as the air we had a week ago. Thanksgiving, of course, is Thursday. LOTS of people will be traveling Wednesday and Thursday. We expect a tranquil day locally on Wednesday. BUT, there will be trouble west and especially….EAST. A significant snow storm will impact the East Coast, and while  the highest accumulations will likely be away from the immediate coast, BIG travel delays are a sure bet at many major hubs such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and DC. This could have a “ripple effect” on air travel nationwide. So if you or a loved one is flying out of or into Cleveland or Pittsburgh Wednesday into Wednesday night….there may be delays even though the local weather will be fine. gfs

To our west, there will be a minor “clipper” system that will leave smaller snow accumulations in places such as St. Louis and Chicago….but it can still be enough to cause problems on such a busy travel day.

What about Turkey Day itself?? That same clipper will make for a cold day around Youngstown and we are likely to see some flurries. At this point, accumulations are not looking LIKELY, but I also cannot rule out an inch or so. The latest SREF plumes show a spread of 0″-1.2″ Thursday: srefWe will of course be fine tuning that forecast in the next day or 2.

Getting up at some crazy hour to shop Friday morning? There could be some flurries. And it WILL be cold! Wind chills: gfs_windchill_ohio_35

What’s the longer range set to bring? On another busy travel day Sunday, we expect no problems around the region. Temperatures should rebound nicely early in December: gefsOVERALL, December may shape up to be the most “tolerable”, relative to average, of all the months from November-March. We do expect some of the harsh cold that November brought to return on several occasions during January and February. It will not happen as frequently in December.

Thanks for reading!