A Below Normal End to Meteorological Fall

November 2012 was the first below normal month in the greater Hartford area since March 2011. It’s been more 20 months since we’ve seen a month where temperatures averaged below normal!


With an average temperature of an even 40.0º November 2012 managed to get come in at 2.4º below normal. It was a dry month too – with only 0.40″ of precipitation recorded – making November 2012 the driest on record. Incidentally, Bridgeport had their snowiest November on record.

There’s no question it’s been a remarkable stretch of at or above normal weather. The stretch also included a rather dramatic turnaround from one of the snowiest winters on record 2010-2011 to one of the mildest and least snowy on record 2011-2012.

Here’s what the 2010-2011 winter looked like in the northern hemisphere.


Now isn’t that a thing of beauty? A gorgeous (west-based!!) -NAO signal with above normal heights over Greenland, the Davis Strait and the Labrador Sea. At the same time a powerful block from the Aleutians up through the Bering Strait helped dislodge cold from the North Pole. No surprise we had a series of below normal winter months.

The January 2011 500 mb anomalies are even more beautiful. Not surprisingly that we had a record amount of snow statewide during this epic month of non-stop winter.


-AO, +PNA, -NAO. Gold, Jerry, Gold!

If you want to shed a tear for winter just look at winter 2011-2012.

DJF2012Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. A positive NAO was only part of the problem. Low heights over Alaska seems to never want to leave. Ridging over the central north Pacific gave us a fire hose Pacific jet that essentially flooded the country with mild air.


Virtually the entire country was above normal during winter 2011-2012. What a disaster. So here we sit on the first day of meteorological winter and it’s only natural to look ahead at winter 2012-2013. I’ll be honest with you I don’t really look ahead beyond a month. It’s just not my thing. But I do feel reasonably comfortable looking 2 or 3 weeks ahead.

While the next few days will be a torch we do have some winter to look forward to in the near future. Here’s the day 10 18z GEFS 500mb mean. While it’s not perfect it does look close to a pattern that would be favorable for some wintry precipitation in New England.


The 12z Euro ensembles also look like they could turn a bit wintry between 12/10 and 12/20 with a very active jet stream and cold spilling from the northern plains into the northeast. The boundary that sets up will the be focal point for storminess. Let’s cross our fingers for some snow but at this point I feel pretty good about 1 or 2 chances for mixed precipitation at the least and possibly a legit snowstorm!


One thought on “A Below Normal End to Meteorological Fall

  1. Pingback: The Great Torch of 2012 | Way Too Much Weather

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