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November 6, 2008

Weather Watch


When Montana and North Dakota got much warmer weather than northern Florida early last week, we correctly predicted that the wintry conditions would quickly give way to Indian Summer. The jet stream retreated far to the north, with all the major storms far to our west or along the coast well to our south. With this kind of pattern, the next significant snowfall will be many weeks away, and any change to a classic late autumn weather pattern may not occur until Thanksgiving week. On Election Day a developing storm system over the northern Great Plains moved very slowly eastward, with a southwest flow of unseasonably warm air well ahead of the low.

At the same time, high pressure remained in place over New England, while an intensifying storm system east of Cape Hatteras not only effectively blocked the western low, it caused another wild upside-down temperature pattern.

Cool easterly winds blowing counterclockwise around the low, kept temperatures well below normal from the east coast of Florida northward to the Virginia coast. The high was just 66 degrees at Jacksonville, Florida, and with a cool rain all day the high at Raleigh was only 58 degrees. At the same time, the mercury soared to the mid-70’s in northern Michigan, and to 71 degrees at Rochester, NY and at Minneapolis.

The “reverse temperature anomaly” signaled a continuation of very mild, dry weather in the Western Catskills, and on Friday a very mild southwesterly flow will send temperatures to the mid-60’s with partly sunny skies. áShowers will finally arrive Friday night and continue early Saturday morning as a cold front approaches from the west. A dry slow just ahead of low pressure that will lift northward to the western Great Lakes, will bring some partial sunshine mid-day Saturday, then a few showers as the front crosses our region later in the afternon and evening; highs on Saturday from 57 to 62 degrees. Much cooler air will take over on northwest winds on Saturday night, with the chance of rain or snow showers.

It will seem cold on Sunday, but we’re only getting back to normal temperatures for the second week of November; with variable cloudiness and some sunshine and a northwets wind; highs will be from 45 to 50 degrees; there’s the chance of a few showers. As a northwest flow continues on Monday and Tuesday, look for intervals of clouds and sunshine and highs in the mid to uppr 40’s. Mark Hanok is an Otego-based meteorologist. You can visit him on the World Wide Web at http://members.