From Warm November to December Chill

The seesaw of temperature swings continue in North Central Wisconsin.  As I mentioned earlier here on the blog, September was warm, followed by a chilly October and with November in the books, no surprise, it was another warm one.  It looks likely November 2009 is going to be in the top 5 for warmest on record in Wausau and many other locations in the region.  Here's how the numbers broke down compared to the climatological averages in Wausau:

Based on information from the Wisconsin State Climatology Office and our record book here in the Weather Lab, there was a warmer November this decade, back in 2001.  Looking over the numbers here is a side by side comparison.

                                        November 2001              November 2009
# 60 Degree Days:                   5                                        3
# 50 Degree Days:                  14                                       8
# 40 Degree Days:                   5                                       16
# 30 Degree Days:                   6                                        3
Average Temperature           42.0 degrees                    40.2 degrees
Amount of Snow                      2.9"                                    Trace
Total Precipitation                  2.36"                                   0.65"

So this November was nearly 2 degrees cooler than that of 8 years ago, but interestingly we picked up less snow this go around.  If you are wondering, back in 2001, that record warm November lead to a relatively mild December 2001, with 3 record highs.  On the flip side, the first week of December this year appears to feature our first taste of winter type temperatures in the region.  The reason for this, the jet stream diving southward, carved out by a strong storm system that will be impacting the eastern third of the country from Wednesday through Saturday.

Here in Wisconsin, we will only get some fringe effects of light snow in the eastern half of the state from that storm, but lake effect snow is likely to kick into high gear in the Lake Superior snowbelts with brisk winds pulling cold air down from Canada.  So we may not have the winter wonderland of cold and snow like last December (which featured record snowfall for the month), but the cold air should allow for the ski hills to have the snow guns going on a regular basis as temperatures should stay below the 28 degree mark.  Be sure to dress warmly at least for the next 7 to 10 days.  I do think it is safe to say, there are going to be colder times ahead this winter.

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