Nov 27, 2010

Not A "Normal" November, Or Is It?

Typical for the month of November is the extreme difference we endure between the highest high and lowest low. Thus far OSNW3 has recorded a maximum temperature of 62.4 degrees and minimum temperature of 14.7 degrees. Currently we are just over 3 degrees above the monthly mean and just under 2 inches below the monthly precipitation total. As for what is to come, "The feature that produced the wind storm should come back in some form in the first 10 days of December" - Jeremy Nelson of WeatherWatch12. Welcome back The Great Lakes Cyclone, perhaps? Jeremy has issued his winter outlook and will be pinning down the actual length of the LRC during the month of December. Think snow!

(OSNW3 Weather Brief)
(OSNW3 November Observations)

(OSNW3 November 2010 Summary)

(click on graph for the month summary data - it will open a new tab/window)

----

First Snowfall Accumulation
On November 24, 2010 a wet snow preceded a sleet and rain filled evening. Accumulating to 0.2" it became the 2010-11 seasons first. Year after year this occasion is an exciting time. This year in particular as my two year old daughter made her first snow observation! Time lapse located here.

(Nov 24, 2010 - 0.2")


Other stations around Winnebago county, CoCoRaHS and NWS, did not report a snowfall accumulation, however, the WWTP in Oshkosh did report a Trace. It's important to remember that variances in exposure of the measurement site reflect local weather differences along with the frequency of the actual measurement.

----

Today's Normal Temperatures
Each morning our favorite meteorologists tell us what "normal" is for the day ahead. More times than not, the forecast's relationship to "normal" is magnified as the temperatures waver from it. So, what is "normal" really? Interestingly enough, "normal" is more "abnormal" than one would think. Not very often do we experience "normal" weather to the standards of our averages.

I did a study of the last 30 years in Oshkosh (1981-2010*) on temperatures in the month of November to determine the number of "normal" days we actually experience. For this analysis I considered maximum and minimum temperatures that were +/- 3 degrees of the 30 year average (1971-2000) temperature, "normal". The results are more extraordinary than I imagined. Of the past 30 years Oshkosh has not had a single November day that produced a "normal" temperature more often than a 3 degree variation from average. It would seem, what is "normal" is really a variation of departures from average and that these variations are what is actually typical or "normal" (see link below**). Below are graphical representations of the maximum and minimum temperatures. Also, provided is this link to the spreadsheet data for a deeper analysis of the Oshkosh numbers.

(Maximum Temperature Graph)


(Minimum Temperature Graph)


*2007-2010 data observed at OSNW3 | Oshkosh-North, 1981-2006 data provided by the NWS Green Bay for OSHKOSH (476330)

**For a more in depth look at the "Misconceptions about what is 'normal' for the atmosphere" by Chuck Doswell, click here. The link was first brought to my attention by lrcweather in this WeatherWatch12 blog comment section. It is a fun read.

----

A Tribute to Great Lake Waves
Earlier this week Steven posted a video of the waves on Lake Michigan in south east Wisconsin resulting from the storm that brought this seasons first snowfall accumulation to OSNW3. In honor of that I would like to list my most exciting times witnessing waves on the Great Lakes. First in a list of four occasions is Lake Superior on January 18, 2003. As Casey and I crept upon the black rocks on the north side of Presque Isle in Marquette, MI the sight of massive waves came into focus. Clicking the link below will bring up a Picasa web album and a series of pics/vids of that day (scroll backwards). These videos are rated PG-13 for strong language. Second on the list is Lake Michigan on January 8, 2010 when I ventured onto the ice shelves at North Point Park in Sheboygan, WI to get a better glimpse of the ice caked waves. More on this day in this blog entry. The video is linked below and because of a malfunctioning camera there is no sound. Third on the list is again Lake Michigan on October 23, 2009 when very strong north east winds blew into the Deland Park break wall also in Sheboygan, WI. Clicking the link below will bring up a Picasa web album and a series of pics/vids of that day. Fourth on the list is Lake Winnebago (Although it is not a Great Lake it is in the Great Lakes Basin) on September 24, 2010 when strong west winds sustained themselves all day at 20-30 mphs. My vantage point was County Park near Stockbridge, WI. To this day these waves are the biggest I've witnessed on the second largest freshwater lake within any state in the United States. Video linked below.

January 18, 2003 - Lake Superior
October 23, 2009 - Lake Michigan
January 8, 2010 - Lake Michigan
September 24, 2010 - Lake Winnebago

(The Great Lakes)


----

Front Of House
I haphazardly raked the leaves so I could get a FOH shot that looks different than the last few. Looking forward to a white landscape. Up the road about 60 miles at my Mom's location, she also measured her first snowfall accumulation of the season. Nine tenths of an inch fell as well did the same amount at another observer's location a few miles away. Other snow totals in Brown county were below a half inch.

(FOH - Nov 27, 2010)