The most interesting weather news that comes around early every month is the ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) diagnostic discussion and the latest one arrived yesterday. Here at StormTrack9 we monitor the progress of the ENSO cycle closely because it usually has a significant effect on our Winter weather. There was a moderate to strong La Nina in the Pacific Ocean last Winter and our conditions in Wisconsin were colder and more snowy than normal. The Winter also seemed to last forever as the La Nina ocean pattern continued into the Spring.
So what is happening this year? The latest ENSO discussion indicates that a weak La Nina has formed and that it will remain weak to moderate over the next couple of months. In contrast to last year, the La Nina should end a bit earlier (based on historical comparisons). It should be strongest in December and January and then weaken late in the Winter. Even though there isn’t an exact correlation between our Winter conditions and La Nina, the last 3 times we have experienced La Nina, our Winter conditions have been more harsh. Thus, if we are to have some heavier snow or extended periods of colder than normal temps, I think it will occur during the first half of the Winter. If La Nina weakens in February and March (as projected) then I expect that late Winter and early Spring should be warmer than last year with less snow.
Another important update is the list of top 4 winners in the FIRST SNOWFALL CONTEST of 2011. This morning on Wake-Up Wisconsin we randomly drew the top four and they are:
- 1st Place: Renee Kolpacki (Free car washes for a year + $50 R-store gift card)
- 2nd Place: Bob Butkus ($150 R-store gift card)
- 3rd Place: Rose Marie Piekarski ($100 R-store gift card)
- 4th Place: Dale Hanneman ($50 R-store gift card)
Everyone else who predicted the correct date of the first snowfall (9th of November) wins a free car wash coupon from the R-stores. For those who won and are reading this, the prizes will be mailed out next week. Congratulations to all the super snowfall forecasters. 16 people predicted the correct date. Thanks a bunch to the R-stores for once again providing the prizes.
One other very interesting weather nugget for this Veteran’s Day is an extreme change in temperature on November 11th back in 1911. In Oklahoma city they recorded a record high of 83 and a record low of 17 ON THE SAME DAY. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting weather records of all time. I doubt we would ever see this here in Wisconsin. It would have to happen during the Winter if we ever had a chance, and the temperature would have to go from around 40 down to -30 in one day. Here are the rest of the details from that extreme day:
1911 – The central U.S. experienced perhaps its most dramatic cold wave of record. During the early morning temperatures across the Central Plains ranged from 68 degrees at Kansas City to 4 above North Platte NE. In Kansas City, the temperature warmed to a record 76 degrees by late morning before the arctic front moved in from the northwest. Skies become overcast, winds shifted to the northwest, and the mercury began to plummet. By early afternoon it was cold enough to snow, and by midnight the temperature had dipped to a record cold reading of 11 degrees above zero. Oklahoma City also established a record high of 83 degrees and record low of 17 degrees that same day. In southeastern Kansas, the temperature at Independence plunged from 83 degrees to 33 degrees in just one hour. The arctic cold front produced severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the Mississippi Valley, a blizzard in the Ohio Va
This post was written by jloew on November 11, 2011