Well, the sounds of gas blowers, the approach of high school football playoffs and (mercifully) the end of an election means one thing for me: It's snow time!
Only one problem -- it apparently doesn't snow here any more.
At least that's been the case in recent winters.
But I'm here to sing a different tune, winter weather fans.
I'm getting my first report of the winter off to a bold start by saying this: We WILL have an accumulating snow of 2 inches or more this winter.
OK, now that I've made a fool out of myself, here is the prevailing view on this winter from people who actually know what they're talking about.
Mainly, the picture is this: most of the atmosphereic "signals" are weak or neutral.
Last year we were in a La Nina which ended up being a disaster for us.
An index called the NAO, was in its positive state for virtually the entire winter. What we want is a negative NAO -- which is loosely defined as high pressure over Greenland which "blocks" systems from progressing across the country and traps cold air over the lower 48 states.
There are some indications that we will see periods of -NAO this winter.
Another problem in the last few winters has been a strong "Pacific Jet" which sends systems crashing ashore in the Northwest. These systems cut across the northern tier, keeping cold air locked in Canada.
Again, there are indications that this pattern will not dominate the entire winter.
Using other even more complicated signals, a number of pro mets feel like late November and December might well be the coldest months of the winter. They forsee a January thaw, followed by perhaps one more shot of cold in February.
Looking at current model trends, some credence is lent to this idea. We will get quite cold this Saturday night and Sunday and into next week -- temperatures that feel more like mid-January than mid-November.
And there are indications from computer models that the cold air will be hanging around, perhaps until Thanksgiving and beyond.
While it is unusual to see snow here in November (remember the year it snowed during the Shelby parade not too long ago?) it's not impossible. And once the calendar turns to December, our chances of snow ramp up quickly with literally every day that passses.
So, I think we break our losing streak on snow this year and I wouldn't be surprised for us to see some snow threats as early as around Thanksgiving and certainly into December.
Keep an eye on this blog for updates all winter long and don't forget to signup for e-mail weather alerts if you want to know when my updates are posted.