2012 Comes In Like A Lamb
QUIET WEATHER WEEK
We are looking at a benign weather pattern for North Texas over the next week or so. The storm track is staying well to the north, keeping us with ample sunshine and rain-free conditions. In the upper levels of the atmosphere, the wind flow should remain more or less out of the northwest, which keeps us on the cool or mild side. A weak upper low is forecast to develop in south Texas on Friday, but it appears any rain will stay well off to the east of North Texas, as we’ll continue to be starved for moisture.
Tonight…Clear & cold. Low 31° Wind: South 5-10 mph
Tomorrow…Sunny, breezy & cool. High 57° Wind: South 15-25 mph
Wednesday…Mostly sunny & cool. High 57°
Thursday…Sunny & mild. High 62°
The perpetual sermon from the weather department this season will be “it’s nice to see the sun, but we could still use the rain.” Most of North Texas is still officially in drought, although we did see marked improvement during the month of December. On average, January is a cool and somewhat cloudy month. In fact, it has more cloudy days, on average, than any other month. So again, enjoy the sunshine while it’s here this week.
FEELING MORE LIKE A LA NIÑA WINTER
La Niña conditions are present in the Pacific right now, meaning there are below average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific ocean. Under these circumstances will generally see warmer and drier conditions during winter in North Texas. During the last week of December and forecasting for the next 7-10 days here in North Texas, we have and will experience weather more typical of a La Niña year.
We meteorologists keep up with other cycles, or oscillations, in the atmosphere and in the oceans. During the much of the month of December, we experienced wet and cloudy conditions here in North Texas, despite the presences of La Niña. One of the main reasons for this is what’s called the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which is another oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon. It is harder to pinpoint and track than La Niña, but basically the “MJO” is indicated by above-average & below-average oscillations of temperature & precipitation in the Southern Pacific & Indian Oceans.
We had an active MJO during late November and the first half of December. During a La Niña winter, the MJO can give our weather patterns in the United States mood swings…causing the southern branch of the jet stream to become more active into southern California and northern Mexico. This, in turn, brings North Texas increased opportunities for clouds and rain. Currently the MJO is fairly quiet, which means that our La Niña wins out for the most part and means we have generally quiet, dry weather in North Texas.
You can read more about the Madden-Julian Oscillation here.