Warmer Start to Winter | NECN
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Meteorologists' Observations on the Weather

Warmer Start to Winter



    Meteorological Fall (Sept-Nov) is over.
    November goes in the books cooler and drier than normal.

    Meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) has begun. with a crazy 65 car pile up on I-290 in Worcester MA. The Massachusetts State Police fed these images of the crash on their twitter account.


    Due to 75 hours of sub freezing weather in New England, the temperature of this elevated roadway was below 32 degrees as very light drizzle coated the surface with 1/100" of ice. Thanks to the strongest High Pressure system in 2 years, 30.88", cold heavy air near the ground was over run by warmer and more humid air up in the sky.. the perfect recipe for icy roads.



    The Satellite image from Sunday December 1, 2013 below, shows New England is socked in with a thick layer of nimbostratus clouds. Warmer air overriding heavy cold air kept us gray all day. Note the brighter clouds south of Block Island. Those are convective cumulus clouds that resulted in a few downpours from Rhode Island to southern Maine as the sun went down. Inland Maine was still cold enough for snow. And the first snowfall of the season was occurring Sunday night into Monday along (and just north of) The Maine Turnpike. The dynamic, causing the heavier rain and snow, is cylcogenesis. This process occurs along the leading edge of warmer air trying to invade New England for the start of winter.


    In fact, if we leave the 60 degree weather in the Pre-Thanksgiving Day storm out, the first week of December is warmer than the last week of November.
    That warm Wednesday storm brought much needed 2-4 inches of rainfall along with southerly gusts past 60 mph. But it did not take long for the Montreal Express to kick back in for Thanksgiving.
    This Eric Bruch photo is from Jay Peak Resort on Thanksgiving afternoon. The lifts were not running, but Frank from Quebec came to hike and ride the knee deep snow that fell here Wednesday night.


    During the month of November Jay Peak, and Mount Washington NH, both reported more than 40" of snowfall.
    A great start to the ski season. Most of us can not recall such nice consistent snow for the month of November.

    Here is the view at sunset Sunday Dec 1 from Stowe Mountain Lodge, also in the Green Mountains of Vermont. At press time Sunday evening, 21 inches of snow covers the ground near the summit of Mt.Mansfield.


    The weather this first week of winter 2013/2014 features a major snow and cold blast from The Canadian Rockies to Central America! Usually that means warm to record warm east. But this year we have less warm air available than usual. Canada is full of deep cold, the likes we have not seen this time of year in a decade or so. It seems each time we start to warm up, all the sudden a new chill blasts in. A storm at sea Wednesday will try and hold the seasonable cold for us through Wednesday, along with sending some nice surf our way. Then the Rockies front may sneak in on Friday with rain or snow Friday into Saturday. We will leave the day to day details for later.

    Now, about that winter forecast?
    Last week we teased that Weir Lundstedt, (meteorologist from Merrimack New Hampshire, Jim Cantore's roommate at Lyndon State College Vermont 30 years ago) would be giving us an 'unofficial winter forecast'. He says, "it's not Science, it's a gut feeling"

    Here is Weir's Gut Feeling.

    "Weir's winter weather outlook….

    After a ( Top 10 ) dry Autumn with rather average temperatures,  mother nature will go back to what she does best.   Creating
    extremes ( no, not because of global warming ), but because extremes are what makes up the averages.  In other words,
    what we consider "normal" is made up of the average's of the extremes!!  So extremes is part of our normals!  Did you follow that?

    With that said,  I expect this to be a colder than normal winter throughout New England with above normal precipitation to make up for our deficit this past autumn!  Abnormally average temperatures will give way to below normal temperatures that may come in waves of record/near record cold like we are experiencing today, followed by some temporary warmups. The record/near record cold is thanks to an unusually cold summer which occurred across the northern latitudes.  Snowfall will be above normal in "ski country",  with near, or possibly below normal snow over parts of southern New England as occasional rain there may keep snowfall amounts down.   Just like last year,  we will see several MAJOR high impact storms with deep low pressure, high winds/coastal erosion, with best chance of a Blizzard the 1st or 2nd week of February.

    In summary,  this will be another winter that keeps meteorologists busy!  :-) "