Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Sometimes in a movie, 
the lines are so perfect."
- Jimmy Fallon from Saturday Night Live

Image from Weather Underground
posted by Forecaster Mark Ingalls
12:10 PM EDT 10/4/2011
A vigorous, almost-hurricane looking system arrived on the shores of the Pacific Northwest (Facebook page) this weekend, boasting an estimated central pressure of 984 millibars. This impressive-looking satellite image helped to further reinforce the warm October pattern we believe was set in motion by the effects of former Typhoon Roke (NASA). That system, after lashing Japan in mid-September as a Category 4 SuperTyphoon, trekked across the north Pacific and slammed into British Columbia with wind gusts up to 105 mph in Vancouver back on September 26 (AccuWeather)

Oklahoma Univ. Weather Lab
"It's all about the Pacific." That's the best line we have to describe the overall weather pattern heading into winter. The current high pressure ridge in the central U.S. looks to be locked in place, thanks to a Pacific influence. Will Ferrel, from 2010's "Other Guys" (with Mark Wahlberg) would agree trying to forecast against a strong Pacific-driven La Nina pattern, "you lose that battle 9 times out of 10." (Youtube video). What we believe this means for the rest of Autumn in North America may be similar to what was observed in 2007, 1989 or even 1970 (AMS article)The pattern followed this easy-to-read script. 

  • October: Generally mild to warm for much of the U.S. delaying the first killing frost by several weeks but ending cold and stormy.
  • November: Mild to warm, then a sharp snap-back to cold near Thanksgiving sprinkled with brief snow events in the Midwest and East.
  • December: Early season cold snaps with brief snow events, ending rainy and above normal.

  • For teachers planning field trips: Go now to early November 
  • For coaches wanting good long practices: Bank on mid-month
  • For builders assessing construction plans: Warm & storm-free for a good part of October; mid-month severe outbreak in the southern Plains; possible tropical activity along the Gulf or Southeast.  
  • For gardeners planning yardwork: Transplant those perennials!  
  • For powderhounds scoping for first tracks, Head northwest for the best. La Nina says places like Whistler-Blackcomb in the Coast Range will reap the rewards of the Pacific pattern this year.
(Forecasters Foot, Nic Robeson and the Long Range Team)