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Winter is Still on Hold

Matt Ross @ 1:00 AM

The Non-Winter of 2006-07 continues this week with persistent highs in the 50s. We are on day 24 of consecutive days above normal and there is no reason to believe that we won't hit 30 straight days and possibly longer.


Forecast Confidence: HighClear, Seasonably Warm. Today will be partly to mostly sunny and breezy. Afternoon high temps will be around 50 degrees, about 8 degrees above average.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Forecast Confidence: HighSunny, Mild. Tonight will be clear and cold. Overnight lows will dip to the upper 20s in the burbs and around the freezing mark in town. Wednesday will be sunny with temps running a good 10-15 degrees above normal. Afternoon highs will be around 55 degrees. See Jason's forecast for the rest of the week and weekend.

Modeling continues to indicate a change in the pattern occurring in 7-10 days. However it will take longer than that before it affects sensible weather in our backyard. The European weather model depicted above shows a significant ridge over Alaska 10 days from now. This will act as a mechanism to force cold air into Canada and eventually into the East Coast. Modeling has been fairly consistent with this feature. While this is not a done deal by any means, at least there is some promise on the horizon for cold and snow lovers. Image courtesy of ECMWF.

December Recap

December 2006 finished 4.7 degrees above normal with an average temperature of 44.21 degrees. This ties it for 9th warmest December on record with 1931, 1956, and 1994. In addition to the consecutive days above normal streak mentioned in the top paragraph, National Airport hasn't been below freezing since December 10th. We had 1 day with high temps in the 30s, 11 in the 40s, 14 in the 50s, 3 in the 60s, and 2 in the 70s. December was also quite dry with only 1.56" of rain, about 50% of our norm for the month.

In our Winter Outlook, we called for a normal December, leaning slightly above. Our "bust" is slightly mitigated by the following factors. We didn't call for a below normal December and in fact leaned slightly toward a warmer than a colder one. We had December as the warmest of the 3 winter months and this is likely to be the case, although not a done deal by any means. In our outlook we expressed our concern that the cold water in the Gulf of Alaska and the possibility of a positive North Atlantic Oscillation(NAO) might lead to warmer than predicted temps. We gave it a 25% chance of happening and it did in fact come to fruition in December. Overall Grade: D+/C-.

I hope to bring our GPA up in January, but to be brutally honest, I don't think the cold that is likely to arrive mid-month will be enough to erase the positive departures we will accumulate over the next 10-15 days. I'd say our call for -2 to -4 for January is in serious jeopardy right now.

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