Recordbreaking Lack of Snowfall

It's a weather forecast you can count on: If snow doesn't fall today, a 41-year-old record will.

Unless Sioux Falls gets at least a tenth of an inch of snow, this will be the latest in the season the city has gone without measurable snowfall since the National Weather Service started keeping track in 1946.

http://www.argusleader.com/news/Tuesdayarticle2.shtml

Thought this was pretty interesting - I sit here and wonder when the first snows are to arrive. We had a smidgeon two nights ago but all has been quiet so far this season.

They attribute it to a weak El Nino that's "acting like a strong one".
 
Well, we've had quite an active weather pattern down here in central Texas... typical of a strong El Nino episode.
 
the texas panhandle has been hit with 4 winter storms so far (all in Nov). we had more snow in November in amarillo then we average in a year and its not even winter yet. Now that december is here its beautiful. all this week we should have highs in the mid 60s. I know El nino gives the south more moisture but what effect does it have on the midwest and northeast?

We actually had some small hail here yesterday before the temp dropped 20 degrees.
 
It's been very active here, but the majority of the precip so far has been rain. Pretty muddy around here lately. We've had a few minor ~2" snows, but nothing more than that.

Have you noticed how cold it is up in Canada? That cold air is building and will eventually make it down here. With the lack of snowcover across the midwest and northern great plains it will moderate quickly though until we can get a good cover.
 
Lack of snow so far this year

To date, Cedarfalls Iowa has had no measurable snow so far this season and right now its a pretty good bet that around here we'll have a brown Christmas!
 
It's been very active here, but the majority of the precip so far has been rain. Pretty muddy around here lately. We've had a few minor ~2" snows, but nothing more than that.

Have you noticed how cold it is up in Canada? That cold air is building and will eventually make it down here. With the lack of snowcover across the midwest and northern great plains it will moderate quickly though until we can get a good cover.

Don't let your guards down too much! I feel a "Blizzard of 2005" coming on, crippling everyone from the southern plains to to the northeast (including the midwest, :)), and everyone in between with +18 inches and 50MPH-60MPH winds...
 
As seen from this SST anomaly chart http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html I think it's not really a classic El Nino. There are 2C positive anomalies over the northeast Pacific and the central Atlantic. I think both features are tending to lock ridging in those locations with troughing into the midwest and north-central US. As the flow around the Pacific ridge slides down the Rockies spine from Alaska it would seem to undergo radiational cooling that encourages little short-waves and cut-offs into the southwest US that find their way eastward into the main flow.

If the pattern is locking in for awhile as the GFS may be suggesting, the prog is coooooold and dry in the north-central and upper midwest regularly blasting to the east coast, unsettled in the southwest and Texas, and downright ugly in the southeast up through the mid-Atlantic. Happy New Year, you poor suckers! :p
 
We've had some unusual weather in Northern New Mexico as well. The average high this time of year in Los Alamos is 38F and the low is 18F. Today the high was 64F!!

Perhaps most significantly is that this temperature was measured at my apartment which resides at ~7,400 feet elevation. Having this warm of a temperature in the middle of December at that elevation is incredible!

I wish we would have this "San Diego like" weather all winter, but I bet the local ski hills are biting their nails hoping for a pattern change.
 
You know I was just thinking it's been a LONG time since we've had a good old fashioned ice storm around here. Those storms fascinate me even more than blizzards. To get freezing rain to fall continuously for a long enough period of time to have substantial accumulations requires everything to come together PERFECTLY.
 
You know I was just thinking it's been a LONG time since we've had a good old fashioned ice storm around here. Those storms fascinate me even more than blizzards. To get freezing rain to fall continuously for a long enough period of time to have substantial accumulations requires everything to come together PERFECTLY.

There we go, that's what we need. We had one here in MI a couple years ago with over an inch of ice... If I recall correctly, there was a really bad ice storm over the northeast and Quebec/Canada some number of years ago, where some locations had over 3 inches of ice accumulation over a period of about 4 days. Now that is nature at it's worst!
 
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