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Signs Of Winter

November 28, 2012, 4:33 PM by Scot Mundt

I’m starting to see signs that winter is on the way.

You’ve often heard Brian Karstens and I mention that the pattern that sets up in October usually dictates the weather pattern for the winter.  This all goes back to what is known as the LRC, or Lezak’s Recurring Cycle.  You can learn more about it here.

Anyway, there were a couple of things that stood out in October.  The first was the wind storm October 18/19.  That’s when South Dakota had wind gusts ranging from 74 mph at Ellsworth AFB to 52 mph in Sioux Falls. 

Here’s a look at the surface map from October 18, notice the strong low in Minnesota/Wisconsin and the tightly packed isobars throughout South Dakota.


Here’s the model run from Wednesday (11/28) morning for the evening of December 3rd.  The low is farther north, but the overall features of a strong low and tightly packed isobars are there.  As of now, it doesn’t look like our winds will be as strong as what we had in October.  But, the winds will increase and the temperatures will drop.  We’ll also have to watch for areas of light snow, mainly in northern South Dakota. This is lining up to be 47 days after the wind storm in October, so we might be on a 47 day cycle this year.

 

The next system in October moved through around the 25th.  This one gave some in KELOLAND the first snow of the 2012-2013 season.  In Sioux Falls it dropped 1.1”, Marshall 1.0”, Mitchell 0.7”, Yankton 0.5”, Huron 0.4”, and Watertown 0.4”. 
 

Here’s a look at the surface map from that morning.  You can see the elongated cold front to our east and south.  It also brought well below average temperatures for a couple of days to much of the upper plains and Rockies.

 

Here’s what the model is thinking for December 10th (47 days after October 25).  It shows a storm system well to our south, with much colder air pouring into the upper plains.  We’ll have to watch for the possibility of snow too.  The fact that this will be December 10th and the snow pack in Canada (possibly still in ND by that time), it will be VERY cold.

At this time, my confidence is high in the fact that temperatures will get VERYcold around that time, but my confidence on any big snow storms is low.

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