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December 2020 Observations and Discussion


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Merry Christmas to all. Here is my family. My daughter is a college sophomore, my son a high school freshman, and my lovely wife is a 5th grade Language Arts teacher. Photo taken in November. 

Just a look outside from the upstairs of our high school facing south. Christmas Break starts tomorrow at 1:30. 

Merry Christmas from Southern California!

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1 hour ago, Stacsh said:

The GFS gives me 0.0 snow and .10 inches of precip through Dec 16th.  The good news is this will be great for the water level of Lake Michigan/Huron as it is slowly coming down.  

The flip-side bad news is all the local ponds are drying up and really stressing any wildlife dependent on them. The GLs didn't rise overnight and a region-wide drought is not a welcomed solution in my eyes. 

Winter 2020-21 Snow Total = 35.1"  Largest Storm: 10.2" (2/15-16)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 1.5 Dec: 3.6 Jan: 10.0 Feb: 20.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = 49.7"  Avg for last 10 seasons = 58.4" (118% of normal)

2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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Today's Euro has a rex block in the west for several days followed by what would be a rainy system just beyond day ten.

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season snowfall: 52.5"

 

'19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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KS may get a decent snow on Thursday, a small Watch area has been put out. Unfortunately the precip shield looks to struggle to make it to the Nebraska border. 

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Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   

2018-19: 55.5"   

2019-20: 17.6"   

2020-21: 49.4" (so far)

Average: 25.9"

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2 minutes ago, snowstorm83 said:

KS may get a decent snow on Thursday, a small Watch area has been put out. Unfortunately the precip shield looks to struggle to make it to the Nebraska border. 

Missed again.  Nothing shocks me anymore.  Just can't get any type of precipitation to form.  As always, the only hope is 15 days away.  

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1 hour ago, Beltrami Island said:

Waiting to see an improved pattern emerge 10 days out in the models before the bad pattern has even taken full effect is the worst part of following weather and weather models.  These times make me wish I was blissfully unaware like most people.

The next 7-10 days is pretty set in stone across much of Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes from all the models.  It's time to look long term, even just for fun.  

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57 minutes ago, Beltrami Island said:

Waiting to see an improved pattern emerge 10 days out in the models before the bad pattern has even taken full effect is the worst part of following weather and weather models.  These times make me wish I was blissfully unaware like most people.

yep. Gotta let the teleconnections take affect. Even if the forecasted -AO etc DO happen, it will take many days for it to take merit. Folks- we've been through this SAME thing the past several years with a late start to winter (or has what is said on this forum)-- Time after time ( year after year)  expecting different results with same input (mild air/ no moisture, or if wet= rain ) - takes time to resolve. Keep the Faith- but it's not happening in the next 10-12 days as I've said in previous posts. It's now in my personal thoughts going to be the week of ( or JUST before)  Christmas before any serious changes began to show themselves with BOTH cold air and snow for many reading. A False hope brings no merit to the forecaster when people hold accountable the forecaster. It may be JAN. Give merit to the persistance of the pattern, it's the real deal and no progs of maps can solve actually measured data and measured data points to a prolonged boring weather spell for many reading. Just my thoughts based on 25+ years in the forecast field. Prove me wrong. Strong data points show I'am correct. But "Hope" is still their for a White Christmas for most- but each hour that is running out. Hope all you want until the AO goes negative for at least a week. Carry on.

 

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The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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32 minutes ago, Grizzcoat said:

yep. Gotta let the teleconnections take affect. Even if the forecasted -AO etc DO happen, it will take many days for it to take merit. Folks- we've been through this SAME thing the past several years with a late start to winter (or has what is said on this forum)-- Time after time ( year after year)  expecting different results with same input (mild air/ no moisture, or if wet= rain ) - takes time to resolve. Keep the Faith- but it's not happening in the next 10-12 days as I've said in previous posts. It's now in my personal thoughts going to be the week of ( or JUST before)  Christmas before any serious changes began to show themselves with BOTH cold air and snow for many reading. A False hope brings no merit to the forecaster when people hold accountable the forecaster. It may be JAN. Give merit to the persistance of the pattern, it's the real deal and no progs of maps can solve actually measured data and measured data points to a prolonged boring weather spell for many reading. Just my thoughts based on 25+ years in the forecast field. Prove me wrong. Strong data points show I'am correct. But "Hope" is still their for a White Christmas for most- but each hour that is running out. Hope all you want until the AO goes negative for at least a week. Carry on.

 

What are your thoughts on the LRC? Do you put much stock in it or use it as a tool?

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1 hour ago, james1976 said:

What are your thoughts on the LRC? Do you put much stock in it or use it as a tool?

Don't know enough about it to be fair.  Haven't had time to really look into it. From those I trust -  they show no mention of it. Long range forecasting to those not involved (like me to knitting a rug) are already turned negative to "long range" forecasting. As- most times- we don't get it right in 2-4 days. Too them (and defense of LRC for temp) - I do think it's possible to see LRC of temps in GENERAL. But storms? ( in in a cycle? )  Of course they will come with temp grad changes. Never seen a AFD with mention of LRC is all I'am saying. Maybe indirectly.

But "indirectly" this DEC for the most- is a bust. To be blunt about it. Sorry. Forecasted the weather far too long. A "change" is always coming......  Can post all the maps you want - but until it happens - it's not happening .... people get caught up in models and all - for good purpose , I s'pose, but why? One looks at anything else in life not based on "failed" models" and would be fired. The public has a right to say in this- and we posting maps "saying 196 hours this or that" is HOGWASH.  We need to be humbled by our profession and then-- maybe more people would respect our "professional opinions" That's all for now. ...--

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The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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https://www.mlive.com/weather/2020/11/snow-forecasts-here-are-some-important-points-to-remember-as-we-enter-winter.html?fbclid=IwAR3nx7HHELHmyAvdke_denD2t8QbONxffpEIlHMz2WQQqaPDMnfQiRvQh0U

this is a good reminder for all of us I believe

"First off, an exact snow forecast for a storm starting five days from now and ending seven days is not possible. We can tell you that it looks like a storm that would accumulate six inches or more somewhere in the Great Lakes region. It’s our way of saying this will be a sizable storm somewhere in our region.

I know you want to know five days out how much snow exactly is on the way. It’s actually a great compliment to my field of meteorology. We have come so far in accuracy that you want more and more accuracy. That’s okay. That more and more accuracy is always improving. But for now- when you see a “scary, end of the world” snow graphic posted on Facebook, ask yourself who posted it. Also ask yourself how long before the storm starts. If it’s more than 48 hours before a storm is going to start, don’t put much belief in the snow forecast. If the snow is just starting to fall on your head, you can probably have pretty good confidence in the forecast."
 

 
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32 minutes ago, bud2380 said:

This probably has something to do with the CPCs above normal prediction.

 

850t_anom.conus.png

Nina??? Looks more like a strong Nino!

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Winter 2020-21 Snow Total = 35.1"  Largest Storm: 10.2" (2/15-16)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 1.5 Dec: 3.6 Jan: 10.0 Feb: 20.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = 49.7"  Avg for last 10 seasons = 58.4" (118% of normal)

2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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There aren't any GEFS or EPS members that have me with zero snow thru 384, that's the good news I guess.

I think Tom's right about the pattern change, but we'll need to wait until the end of this week to see it on models for realz. Right now it's still in wet dream range on GFS and ensembles.

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>1" Snowfalls for Fargo-Hector Int'l Airport in 2020-21: 10/20 (4.2"), 10/22 (2.7"), 12/23 (1.2"), 12/27 (1.8"), 12/29-30 (4.1"), 1/23 (1.9"), 4/13-14 (1.4")

 

Total Snowfall for 2020-2021 @ KFAR: 28.6"            Coldest Low: -25*F (2/15)

 

 

First flake of the season: 10/15 @ 21:27 CDT

 

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The Euro weeklies have been garbage this season. That being said, they do consistently show some serious arctic air building up in Canada into the extended. I mean, 46 days out it shows 850T anoms in the -5.6*C area in N SK. That's massive for that far out. Right now, that's what we're lacking.

The pattern will probably be more active in 14 or so days with some below normal temps, but I don't think we'll see a permanent shift to Winter until January.

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>1" Snowfalls for Fargo-Hector Int'l Airport in 2020-21: 10/20 (4.2"), 10/22 (2.7"), 12/23 (1.2"), 12/27 (1.8"), 12/29-30 (4.1"), 1/23 (1.9"), 4/13-14 (1.4")

 

Total Snowfall for 2020-2021 @ KFAR: 28.6"            Coldest Low: -25*F (2/15)

 

 

First flake of the season: 10/15 @ 21:27 CDT

 

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If there were to be a storm out of the upcoming active pattern, the weekend after next would be a good time to have that happen. The issue? Lack of cold air for the people who may be targeted.

EPS 1.png

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>1" Snowfalls for Fargo-Hector Int'l Airport in 2020-21: 10/20 (4.2"), 10/22 (2.7"), 12/23 (1.2"), 12/27 (1.8"), 12/29-30 (4.1"), 1/23 (1.9"), 4/13-14 (1.4")

 

Total Snowfall for 2020-2021 @ KFAR: 28.6"            Coldest Low: -25*F (2/15)

 

 

First flake of the season: 10/15 @ 21:27 CDT

 

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Hello from Chicago!!!  Brrrr...back in the saddle and it's cold outside (25F).  It's the coldest reading since early March.  I flew in late last night as wheels touched down right at midnight.  Skies were clear the entire trip back and once we began our decent into ORD, we flew through the "soup" as the old aviators called it.  When I grabbed my bags and headed for the doorways, I felt that cold air flowing through and it hit me like a wall!  My goodness, what a shock to the system.  I didn't have my furnace on and it was a "comfy" 44F...ummm, ya...it took like 3 hours to get into the 60's!

 

Anyhow, glad to be back home and it looks like the forecast has temps in the 40's all week long except for today.  Nothing but sunshine all week long which is kinda nice to see.

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Pretty impressive temps this AM without snowcover or - source region snowcover. Upper single digits ( for mins- map shows only current) common across much of IA. Would have been 0F or even colder with snowpack etc. image.png.32e6bd635caffbd50cbbc98d1d9e1bcd.png

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The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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Currently light snow w temps at 27F.

Watching a potential system for the weekend. As of now, looks like it will go south of the GL's region, but close enough to produce some snowshowers.

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Snowfall as of today:  Feb, 2021: 41.2"

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There seems to be some push back that any sensible winter wx shall return into our Sub.  As it stands now, I'm committed to my initial thinking that Ol' Man Winter will return after a bit of a hiatus.  Either all the models are wrong with their teleconnections forecasts...or...they are correct and we will see the operational runs "correct" in terms of where the colder air shall return.  Every single model as a -AO/-NAO through the extended and a developing -EPO by the 10th along with a slightly negative to neutral PNA.  These teleconnections suggest to look for a colder regime and a more active pattern due to the flip in the PNA.  IMHO, once we get past the middle part of this week and the cut-off low effecting the central states, the models will begin to see the cold that I believe is coming.  

 

With Winter on my mind, Hello to Met Winter!!!  Taking a look at the last 3 runs of the seasonal CanSIPS model, can you find the BUST???  Yup, near Scandinavia and Greenland....this model, along with several others, did not see this blocking pattern which creates a troughy look across the Eastern CONUS.  Does the trough in the East hang on all month???  I doubt it bc I do see the SER returning but it doesn't appear to be a strong signal for a stout SER.  Nonetheless, we will see the PNA play ball for a much more active SW Flow pattern.  I have several LR clues which support this idea:

1) LRC

2) Rising SOI

3) The predicted 10mb Strat pattern

 

gfs-ens_Tz10_nhem_28.png

 

Digging deeper, remember the GEFS forecast for the warm phases????  Not soo fast anymore...it's favoring the "null phase" just like the Euro has been showing and the JMA for sometime.  BTW, this is huge actually, because if we don't see the amplification into the warm phases like we saw in recent years, the MJO won't be as heavily weighted.  Let's hope they don't run the table into the warm phases.  

 

 

Finally, I'll end this post with my gut feeling along with LR model support that by the time we get closer towards the Winter Solstice the central CONUS should have a big rally in the snow dept.  As always, who cashes in on the goods will create the fun trying to figure that out.  If I were a betting man its going to be somewhere across the heartland and up into the GL's.   Have a blessed day folks!

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One last comment, can you script a better 500mb hemispheric pattern???  00z EPS and other modeling showing the same signal in the LR.  I mean, this screams Winter will return by the 13th...

 

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Welcome to December and the start of meteorological winter. With November now in the record books it can be pointed out that it was a mild and for our area sunny month. At Grand Rapids the mean was 44.3 that is a departure of 4.2 the high for the month was 77 and the low for the month was 22 there was just 0.4” of reported snow fall. November 2020 is now the 7th warmest November at Grand Rapids. At Muskegon the mean was 45.9 that is a departure of +5.7. The high for the month at Muskegon was 75 and the low was 24. There was 1.2” of snow fall. At Muskegon, this November is now the 5th warmest of record. At Holland the mean there was 45.7 a departure of +4.0. The high for the month was 77 and the low was 24. They do not report snow fall at Holland. As with Muskegon this was Hollands 5th warmest November of record. And to the east at Lansing the mean there was 44.1 a departure of +4.5 the high was 77 and the low was 21 Lansing reported 0.5” of snow fall. And it was the 7th warmest November of record there. Records go back at Lansing all the way to 1863. All locations now are well below average for seasonal snow fall. As as the start of December looks to be mild and dry that should continue for some time.

 

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Just posting for entertainment purposes only. Put what stock you want in Euro weeklies- and yes I understand the Euro has had a very difficult seeing any BN air masses this fall.

590x442_12010128_europcpwk3.jpg590x442_12010129_europcpwk4.jpg590x442_12010130_eurowk4temps.jpg

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The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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4 hours ago, Clinton said:

Happy first day of meterlogical winter.  Coldest morning of the season with a temp of 14.

Same here except my thermometer showed 14.5°. (Technically 15°)

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‘20 - ‘21 season snowfall = 39.3”

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5 hours ago, FAR_Weather said:

The Euro weeklies have been garbage this season. That being said, they do consistently show some serious arctic air building up in Canada into the extended. I mean, 46 days out it shows 850T anoms in the -5.6*C area in N SK. That's massive for that far out. Right now, that's what we're lacking.

The pattern will probably be more active in 14 or so days with some below normal temps, but I don't think we'll see a permanent shift to Winter until January.

ooh, I can't wait! 

Actually, that's what I'm stuck doing.

Can we just get some NW flow and clippers please? They don't dump much, but they're cold and good for a couple inches outside the LES belts. Would be nice just to see the lakes fired-up. Seems like it's been forever since we've had a good early LES outbreak. Really, is it that hard?

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Winter 2020-21 Snow Total = 35.1"  Largest Storm: 10.2" (2/15-16)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 1.5 Dec: 3.6 Jan: 10.0 Feb: 20.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = 49.7"  Avg for last 10 seasons = 58.4" (118% of normal)

2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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Since 2011, Dec in Lincoln has averaged 3.9" (1981-2010 avg is 5.9"). It looks like we're continuing that trend, maybe with accumulating snow in the last 10 days of the month. Compare that to Feb, which has averaged 9.1" since 2011. Getting time to hope for a backloaded winter. 

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Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   

2018-19: 55.5"   

2019-20: 17.6"   

2020-21: 49.4" (so far)

Average: 25.9"

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26 minutes ago, jaster220 said:

ooh, I can't wait! 

Actually, that's what I'm stuck doing.

Can we just get some NW flow and clippers please? They don't dump much, but they're cold and good for a couple inches outside the LES belts. Would be nice just to see the lakes fired-up. Seems like it's been forever since we've had a good early LES outbreak. Really, is it that hard?

The pattern is not conducive for big storms, but I agree w you 100% about getting clippers. These sometimes overperform and produce some good accumulations.

Snowfall as of today:  Feb, 2021: 41.2"

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Attm, its cloudy and cold w temps at 29F. Gotta tell ya, we might have not gotten a lot of snow from this storm, but it sure does look wintry outside w a snow cover ground. "Tis The Season y'all."

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Snowfall as of today:  Feb, 2021: 41.2"

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34 minutes ago, Niko said:

Attm, its cloudy and cold w temps at 29F. Gotta tell ya, we might have not gotten a lot of snow from this storm, but it sure does look wintry outside w a snow cover ground. "Tis The Season y'all."

Sunny and 39 here on the west side of the state.  If it's not going to snow in West Michigan in December it might as well be "mild" and sunny.  We don't get sun over here in December typically.  Feels great.  

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47 minutes ago, Stacsh said:

Sunny and 39 here on the west side of the state.  If it's not going to snow in West Michigan in December it might as well be "mild" and sunny.  We don't get sun over here in December typically.  Feels great.  

Enjoy it while it lasts.  At some point, it will get snowy and frigid.

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Snowfall as of today:  Feb, 2021: 41.2"

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Yeah, this is getting really boring unfortunately.  We had long stretches of dry benign weather all summer and fall though, so if we are on a cyclical pattern, then this should not really be a surprise.  I've been watching each run of the GFS to get a clue of a pattern change and it looks like were about 10 days away from any positive pattern change.  Maybe in a week something more interesting will show up to track. 

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Season Snowfall: 39.5"

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