Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter Forecast and Thanksgiving Travel

If you are interested in what could be on the way to Kansas this winter, be sure to watch Sunday night at 10 for a preview of what we think will happen this winter in our area. Last year we had a healthy El Nino, where the ocean water along the equator was warmer than normal. This year, the water is cooler than average along the equator and it is known as La Nina (click image for a larger picture). It looks like it will have an impact on the weather conditions this winter, keeping most of Kansas dry and a little warmer than normal. Previous La Nina winters have shown tendencies for below average snowfall with temperatures just above average. But we also believe there is a better chance for ice in the months ahead, which is never a good thing. As anyone knows, ice accumulation is bad for many different reasons, and we'll hope to avoid a major ice storm, but the chance is certainly there this year as the cold air may not go as far south as it did last winter. So if you remember, try to catch our story Sunday night and chat live with us just after the story airs. We can answer some questions then.

I'm posting another graphic to show the travel weather in the middle of Thanksgiving week. We shouldn't have any major storms to worry about, but light snow is possible from northern Colorado to Iowa and Minnesota Tuesday or Wednesday (most of it will pass Kansas by to the north). What is so surprising to me is the load of Arctic air that will plunge south heading into Thanksgiving day. It's not unheard of, but a strong blast of cold air (like the one we'll see next week) is a little unusual in the 2nd half of November and afternoon highs will struggle to reach the upper 30s.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great job on explaining the El Nino/ La Nina cycle. That kind of information is buried in tons of data at NOAA. You raised the bar on long range forecasts.

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