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Glenn Zimmerman’s long-range fall forecast

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Glenn Zimmerman’s long-range fall forecast

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – I know we are getting a late start to the Fall outlook, this being middle of September. But so far, September has acted just like every other September. The first two weeks are always a bit warm. In fact, they’re always warmer than you think they should be. Fall products are all around us from Pumpkin Spiced whatnots to Octoberfest fizzy drinks.

So it’s supposed to be cooler, right? Generally, that is not the case. But since this is a forecast, lets look at the rest of September.

September:

The average high temperatures for the last couple of weeks of this month will drop from the lower 80s to the upper 70s. So generally the trend is for the cooler air to start to arrive soon. But since we have been in a warm trend, I think we will average out above normal for the next couple of weeks.

Last year we had a warm end to September and this year is similar. 2020 also had a very dry September, and that will be the case this year too with below normal rainfall. Let’s watch the tropics for an outlier storm, but dry is the word.

October:

October is the month you want to be all Fall. Dry air, cool mornings, leaves changing, boot weather. We have all those things this year as we have another mixed up month. We will start the month on the dry side, like its an extension of the dry wrap up of September. So, for the first couple of weeks of October there is some nice outside time. We hope that lines up with the weekends for camping and hiking. The second half of the month looks wet, and cool which is similar to last October.

Remember, the overall pattern is similar to 2020, so this may be a similar October. Rain will be prominent in the second half of the month just like last year. And with that rain, temperatures will run below normal, close to last year too.

And yes, I’m gonna go there: The earliest ever snowfall was October 11, 1909 and we had snow on Halloween in 2019 and 2017.

November:

November is where things get interesting. Some years it’s hard to not consider this a winter month but we have had some early snows over the last few years. 2018 and 2019 both had some significant early-month snowstorms. But remember this is a flip flop year, so while October was cooler than normal, November will average warmer than normal, especially the first half of the month.

We talk a lot about “normal” temperatures and “average” temperatures. Remember, those numbers are just the average of extremes. So while the early part of the month is warmer than normal, the second half of the month could bring that average down.

There is research being done on cool Mays and how that relates to the setup for winter. Seems weird, right? But our cool May may lead to a quick start for Winter. What does that mean for us? Let’s watch for an early start to the winter cold. I’m thinking late November. And yes, that could mean some winter precipitation too!

November starts mild just like last year, then temps will drop the second half of the month. With that mild start, we are dry for the first half of the month, then with the transition to cool or cold. We will see the bulk of the November precipitation in the second half of the month. That’s all pretty similar to last year, I just think we end up colder by Thanksgiving.

One more thing…

There is a lot of data coming out now from the longer-range models and from the Climate Prediction Center hinting at the upcoming winter pattern. We are going into our second consecutive La Nina winter pattern. While last winter was cold at times, and we had a little snow. A second La Nina winter could be a whole different thing. Winter may get going faster, and there could be more cold during the second half. Then there are the snow chances, but I am really getting ahead of myself. We will save all that info for our Winter Outlook in November. Until then, lets enjoy Fall!

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