Sunday, November 06, 2016

Records Are In Jeopardy For Latest First Freeze in the Midwest

Atlanta had at least 4 days with record high temperature in the last week and a half. It has finally cooled off, only 5°F above average the last few days. Of course, the average now is higher than it used to be, because of global warming.

Linda Lam
Published: November 6, 2016

Another side effect of the record warmth that has dominated much of the U.S. since October is the lacking of freezing temperatures. Most cities in the Midwest have yet to see the thermometer drop to the 32-degree mark and now records are in jeopardy.

A persistent upper-level ridge of high pressure has brought warmer than average temperatures to the Plains, Midwest, South, and at times the Northeast. There does not appear to be a pattern change until mid-November at the earliest.

Numerous daily record highs were set at the end of October and beginning of November and a few monthly record highs were even broken for November. More record highs have been set this weekend, including in Minneapolis which hit 73 degrees Saturday. This trend now has its sights set on breaking records for latest first freeze.

Temperatures below freezing have been hard to come by lately in the contiguous U.S. You need to head towards northern New England and some of the higher elevations of the inter-mountain West to find freezing conditions. Consequently, locations that would have normally seen their first freeze of the season are still waiting.


If the current warm forecast holds then more records may fall later this month. This includes Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago which both have records for latest freeze on Nov. 24, as well as St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cleveland which have their latest freezes currently on Nov. 27.


Even if records are not broken, many locations will see their first freeze a month or more later than their average first freeze.


There are indications than a southward dip in the jet stream may develop over the East mid-November, which may bring some colder temperatures to the region. It will be interesting to see if some East coast cities see their first freeze before parts of the Midwest.

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