Interestingly when you are retired and not dealing with the daily grind and other stuff that comes up at the weather office, you actually get more of a chance to look at other weathermen's views on climate, the weather and in this case; their winter outlooks.
A very common gripe right now across the land is the relatively warm November and what does this foretell for the winter and their winter outlooks. I can't vouch for their outlooks but I can do a little more investigation on my own. Therefore, I went back and took all my analogue years at Detroit and plugged in the above normal Novembers that preceded the winters. Now mind you, November is only a little better than half way over but is does look like the month will average above normal looking at the extended models so we'll go with that assumption.
I found only three Novembers in the 16 analogues that averaged above normal and they were: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (BTW: I feel 1964-65 is a good analogue winter along with 1974-75) and firstname.lastname@example.org (new Nov normal now is 41.6). Here are the composite maps for those above normal Novembers and subsequent winter months that followed from my analogues. Note: pay attention to the below/above normal numerical departures since they change as some months/seasons were more extreme (like Jan for example).
be the transition month relative to normal.
Some of you may be thinking: ok fine but with such a small sample of just three Novembers, how much does that really tell? I tend to agree, therefore I plugged in the normal to above normal Novembers and then, the sample jumped up to nearly half of my analogues (7 out of 16 but as you can tell, a cold November was still dominant). Anyhoo, when taking the normal to above normal Novembers in the analogue years, you get the following composites:
It's basically the same trend, Decembers were still somewhat mild but with a big change happening by mid to late December (or even as late as early January) which then persisted into February and even March with this bigger sample. I can recall some winters in these parts where the cold and snowy weather really didn't begin to around the holiday season with exact timing always a forecast issue. In my outlook I stated: the coldest weather relative to normal would be mid to/or late season and with this new data added, I'm sticking to it.
It seems this ole' switcheroo or flip-flop temperature trend was quite common when the
late autumn and even early winter season started out mild. I only had a few really mild
winters in the whole sample (but then again I have learned, never say never it CAN happen). The past trend here, however, does point to a notable change as the season evolves and like anything else, time will tell and we shall see.
Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian