Colder than normal December ahead

HOUSTON - After what's likely to go down as one of the warmest Novembers on record, next month is likely to swing the other way and become colder than normal. Winter is coming! Does this mean snow? That's unlikely for Houston any winter, but stranger things have happened. This blog isn't about snow, but how low it'll go.

Average highs in early to mid-December run close to 65°. The long range suggests many days will only be in the 50s. Freezes are also more likely.  Gone are the 70s and 80s for a while, when the calendar turns.

Long-range patterns are never set in stone, but due to a shift in the hemispheric pattern (the, "arctic oscillation" tele-connection pattern goes generally into a negative phase) we're set to see a greater chance for Canadian air to spill south. While some days in December will be comfortable, a few really cold days and nights will pull down our monthly average readings. We may even see a few damaging freezes.

Here's the kicker: Speaking of weather patterns, this winter will also be a, "La Nina" year. That's  a nickname for when the Pacific waters near Ecuador become colder than normal (instead of the warmer than normal "El Nino"). This often results in a weather pattern across North America where the jet stream is pegged farther north than normal, yielding generally warm-than-normal weather with less precipitation. 

So overall, this winter season may yet be warmer than normal, but at least for December, we may be chilly. Ultimately, this could manifest in a brief winter and an early Spring.

Hey, be heads-up for severe weather over the next few weeks. The next chance is Monday, November 28th. 

-Brooks 
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