The quiet season is over, and now it's time to write more frequently and formally. A warm and wet October turned into a colder and drier than normal November, our first real colder than normal November in a few years.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner! In addition, we're a little over a week away from the start of meteorological winter on December 1st. Let's take a look at the week ahead, which does look unsettled before and after the holiday, and a quick look at the overall medium range pattern.
The start of the holiday week will return us to below normal temperatures, in the wake of our weekend front. Tomorrow looks fine but seasonably cold with sunny conditions and highs returning to the upper 30s to low 40s.
Tuesday also looks fine and seasonably cold but our pre-Thanksgiving storm will be approaching, meaning that we will see increasing clouds over the course of the day. It looks like any precipitation will hold off until after 5pm. There is the chance of some brief rain/snow mix in the highest elevations in northern CT, but no accumulation is expected.
The travel day before Thanksgiving does not look great. If you are traveling north into places like New Hampshire and Vermont, you may want to leave for those locations earlier to avoid possible wintry precipitation. For Connecticut, however, Wednesday looks wet and breezy, particularly in the first half of the day.
I don't anticipate major issues with wind. Rain may be moderate to heavy at times, particularly in the morning hours. By mid-afternoon however, I expect that we will have cleared out, allowing for better travel. This will probably be the warmest day of the week, with southerly flow putting highs in the upper 40s to low 50s.
Thanksgiving Day & Friday
Thanksgiving itself looks like a quiet day, with cooler and breezy conditions. Once again, I do not expect any significant issues with wind. It should be sunny with highs in the 40s. Region wide, the day looks fine. The day after Thanksgiving looks quiet as well, with continued colder than normal temperatures in the 40s and sunny conditions, with increasing clouds late in advance of our next storm system.
The end of the forecast period looks unsettled as well. The guidance has coalesced around another system, potentially a coastal storm, moving into the region Saturday. There is still a bit of a split, which is normal at this range, on the strength and timing of this system, but it looks like Saturday at least is wet, and Sunday could be in jeopardy as well if this is a slower moving coastal.
The 18z GFS below, which again is just one solution of one model run, has a bona fide coastal complete with colder air wrapping in to our north. Despite it being a colder than normal November, having the necessary cold for a snow event across Connecticut is still very hard, meaning a cold rain is most likely. It's something to watch regardless of the precipitation type, as this system will likely impact travel.
Overall, expect a rain event late Tuesday into the first half of Wednesday, and again on Saturday possibly into early Sunday. Image courtesy of TropicalTidbits.
Monday: Mostly sunny and seasonably cold. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny early with increasing clouds and rain late. Chance of brief mixed precipitation in higher elevations. Highs in the low to mid 40s. Chance of rain 90%. Chance of (elevated) mixed precipitation 30%.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy and breezy with rain through early afternoon, followed by gradual clearing. Highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s. Chance of rain 100%.
Thanksgiving Day: Mostly sunny and breezy, with cooler conditions. Highs in the low to mid 40s.
Friday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds late. Highs in the mid to upper 40s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with rain. Highs in the low to mid 40s. Chance of rain 60%.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy with rain showers possible early. Highs in the low to mid 40s. Chance of rain 30%.
Now let's turn to the medium range pattern.
How much does a colder than normal November matter for December? I think it matters some as we look to have turned the corner from a warm October to colder than normal November and early December. For those of you following the last few years, that hasn't been the case. A warm November 2022 led into a historically bad winter across Connecticut.
The look is different so far this season, albeit fragile, as we go from late November into early December. Our overall cold source regions to our north and west have actually been cold, and the broader pattern over the Pacific and North America has allowed for consistent cold loading into the region.
As we turn the page into December, it becomes a little easier for wintry precip events to pop up if timed right, particularly in interior CT. For now, it looks like the moderate to strong El Nino is still feeling the effects of our past Nina. In a Nino year, we can usually expect a warmer than normal and less snowy December. We will see if that asserts itself by mid-December, but for now, early December may feel festive for once.
Stay tuned to our winter forecast, to be released by the start of meteorological winter on December 1.
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