State climatologist Justin Glisan says November numbers were unremarkable except for a slight increase in the amount of precipitation.
“A little over two inches for the statewide average — and that’s almost three-tenths of an inch above average. So, the first month of the fall season in which we had above average precipitation for the state,” Glisan says.
He says the temperature was right in line with the November average. “Overall if we look at temperatures right at 37 degrees that average temperature, so the daytime high overnight low add them together and divide by two, so right on the button in terms of climatology,” he says.
Glisan says the short-term forecast for December is mixed. “As we move into December and January — the two coldest and driest months of the year — when we look at the outlook for six to ten and eight to 14 days — we do see an elevated signal for colder temperatures and then near normal precipitation, so at least to the first half of the month,” according to Glisan.
The longer-term forecast doesn’t signal a lot of snowfall. “Elevated probabilities of colder and drier conditions for the state. So, that suggests less snowfall. Now we’re still stuck in that La Nina phase which dictates where the storm tracks that’s up over the United States,” Glisan says. “So we are seeing basically a classic line in your signature on the precipitation front and what you see a bullseye of above average precipitation in the Ohio Valley in the Pacific Northwest, but that dry signal is showing up for the state of Iowa.”
He says the forecast now for later in the winter shows a shift from LaNina to a more neutral position. “Right in between La Nina and El Nino as we get into the February, March April timeframe. So we’re seeing a shift in the probability of what are the normal conditions across the eastern half of Iowa, and an equal chance of above below, or near average in western Iowa,” Glisan says. Today marks the beginning of the meteorological winter in the northern hemisphere.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)