Many thanks to those who have chipped in to help keep PTW going for 2024. I've received numerous cards in the mail, words of encouragement passed along through VENMO, and I sincerely appreciate all of it. I am currently 55% funded for the year ahead and could use the support of those who have yet to contribute. For ways to contribute, please check out the donation page by clicking on the banner below. Thank you!
Not your typical El Niño going here
While the pattern has been quiet, I have spent time looking at the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) current set up and history. There is a technical blog put out by the Climate Prediction Center that posted last week which discusses it. We are moderate El Niño territory at this point and heading toward strong status.
In trying to figure out where the train is headed, I looked up some historical data. As I sifted through the numbers and charts, I found some similarities to 1972-73 initially, but then put that on the back burner. Why? This El Niño has developed so quickly that the sea surface temperatures around it has yet to catch up with it. The chart of anomalous sea surface temperatures above shows warm and mild sea surface temperatures (SST) in the north and south Pacific that usually are abnormally cold in El Niño years. The stronger El Niño, the colder those temperatures get. Even with the parade of storms in the Gulf of Alaska this fall, they have not affected the SSTs that much. Some of the long-term forecasters I read that are far better at seasonal outlooks are noting that their ideas may be wrong because of the SSTs being out of sorts. While the process of meteorological voodoo in figuring out the long term is always tricky, we're heading into unchartered territory given this scenario. This could cause some preseason ideas to bust, including mine.
Looking at the general idea through mid-December shows warmer than normal temperatures overall in the mid-latitudes. The zonal west to east flow with periodic troughs and ridges passing through continues to be the main pattern theme. There is little in the way of blocking, but there could be some slow-moving long wave frontal boundaries as what may be on tap for the upcoming weekend. Temperatures overall are expected to average out to near normal for the time of year.
The concern I have is with the cold air that is building in the Arctic. There are hints of a potential stratospheric warming event later in November or early December. While those are extremely difficult to predict, IF that happens, that could bring shots of cold air into the region like we haven't had in a while. I am seeing some shifts in the monthlies that are indicating that potential. It makes sense given the pattern has been zonally troughy over the past couple of weeks. With more cold air around, that increases snow chances, by default.
The other wrench in this is the volcanic activity occurring in Iceland. That is expected to erupt at any time. With the spewing of ash and gas into the air along with gravity waves, it will undoubtedly affect the pattern in the long term. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.
Storm potential Saturday
Friday 7 AM to Sunday 7 AM - A long wave frontal boundary is currently expected to drag up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. A developing ridge out in the Atlantic helps to steer a potential ocean storm with sub-tropical moisture up the east coast. In typical fashion, guidance likes to make it juicy this far out with the operational models with ensemble ideas a bit more sensible at this range.
There is a fair chance that the mountains and potentially the north may get a few sloppy inches of snow out of this. How far to the south and east of the Quebec border region it goes depends on the progression of the frontal boundary before the moisture from the south arrives. There could be some wind with this, and possibly some shoreline concerns. While the new moon is early this week (Monday) tides are expected to run a bit high in time for the weekend, with Saturday early afternoon high tide to monitor.
I've got your back... if you have mine
Temperatures and outlook into next week
After the late week warm up, temperatures head south starting Sunday and appear to stay below normal into the next week. After Saturday's storm, there are some ideas about a storm next Wednesday into Thanksgiving, but at this point it is way too early to get into specifics, other than to say there is a chance.
Winter SKYWARN training sessions upcoming
The cost and training are FREE. You do not have to be meteorologically savvy to become a trained spotter. All that is needed is a causal interest in weather and a desire to learn more about it. The seminars are fast paced with a lot of information, along with items you may not have been aware of.
This is the WINTER weather seminar. If you participated in the SPRING seminar, you should attend this one to be fully trained. If you are a current spotter and have not done one of these in the past three years, you should sign up for a refresher.
For training through NWS Caribou (Aroostook, Hancock, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Northern Somerset, and Washington Counties), please click on the following dates to register:
Wednesday, November 15th from 6 - 7:15 PM
Friday, November 17th from 6 - 7:15 PM
For more information, please check out the NWS Caribou SKYWARN page.
For training through NWS Gray (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, central and southern Somerset, Waldo, and York Counties along with ALL of New Hampshire), please click on the following dates to register:
Monday, November 13 from 6 - 7:30 PM
NWS Gray is also offering a special COASTAL FLOOD spotter training seminar
Wednesday November 15th from 6 - 7:30 PM
This was well attended last fall. I know a few of you missed it last year that wanted to participate, so here is your chance.
For more information, please check out the NWS Gray SKYWARN page.
Thank you for your years of following and for your financial support.
It is because of your funding that this operation continues.
God bless and stay strong.
Be good to yourself.
I will be away Friday November 17th
through Sunday November 19th.
Stay updated, stay on alert, and stay safe!
NOTE: The forecast information depicted on this platform is for general information purposes only for the public and is not designed or intended for commercial use. For those seeking pinpoint weather information for business operations, you should use a private sector source. For information about where to find commercial forecasters to assist your business, please message me and I will be happy to help you.