Skip Fall, Let’s Head for Winter

For the warm weather lovers, do not fret, we are not “literally” heading into winter this early; however, the pattern is one that we might get there early this year. As noted a couple of times, September is usually sunny and pleasant with very few cloudy days and rain threats but this September across the region is the polar opposite. Brief days of nice temperatures and sunshine are quickly followed by many more days of clouds, light rain and drizzle, along with cool Northerly breezes. This week will continue to be more of the same. Rain showers and clouds dominating with intermittent days of only filtered sunshine. Some may want to know when is that last time a September across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley have exhibited weather like this? The answer is I do not have a clue. Even the more long term meteorologists or hobbyists of weather have been saying they cannot remember something like this in September, either.

Upper Levels Look Like November Already; Courtesy of NCEP

When combing through some of the modeling out a couple weeks the pattern wants to head straight to November and skip October all together. The map above is a picture of the upper levels of the atmosphere at around 18,000 feet. Now while this is just a model guidance the fact that something like this even shows up this early in the year leads one to believe that the progression into late fall and early winter is going to come very early this year. To see something this deep and that wound up for September is very rare. So if you are a lover of winter weather and early snows things are shaping up for this to occur this year.

Th first warning shot came this last week with widespread frosts and killing freezes across the Upper Midwest, Great Plains, western Lakes, Michigan and northern New England. This is on average three to four weeks ahead of schedule. International Falls, Minnesota, the “Icebox of the Nation”, fell to 19 degrees on September 15 where there typical low for the night is 42 degrees. Translating that into the Ohio Valley and the long term pattern killing freezes and damaging frosts could encompass the area by early October. Some areas in Indiana and Ohio in very rural and well-sheltered areas have already experienced a light frost so the potential is certainly there. Frosts were expected for these areas in the region back in late Spring and it has happened.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Next Weekend’s Spoiler Upper Level Low; Courtesy of NCEP

Bringing things back to the shorter term, scattered rain showers will be across the region tonight and occasional showers will be around for most of Monday and Monday evening. Tuesday and Wednesday look primarily dry but a shower or two could be around at any time. The next cold front will cross the area late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning and reinforce the cool air over the Ohio Valley. The problem, as addressed on the last post, continues to be for next weekend. Differences are abound right now with a couple models suggesting cool and dry while others say raw and wet. I am leaning toward the cool and wet because our pattern is one that promotes clouds and cool weather. Many want sunshine and warm weather as long as it can last before we delve deep into the depths of cold and snow but next weekend appears not to be one of those weekends.

Despite summer being out of the picture for 2011, the tropics can still be a thorn in the side of some forecasting. Last week was quiet but from over a week ago, mentions of fronts getting hung up and interacting with tropical waves will have to be watched for potential of development. Suggestions are such that this could begin to evolve late this week. Development will be slow but for those believing that we could dismiss the tropics for 2011 will have to think again. There is plenty of time to watch where this will go so we will keep an eye out to see how it could affect the weather across the United States the week of September 26th.

One thing can be said for sure on this entire pattern and that is bizarre.

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By Weather Specialist Josh Ketchen

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