Weather outlook: Cool is likely to continue in December

“Thursday morning. Cold. Feeling good. Mary Raugh as lively as ever. Everybody all well. Hope to get home Saturday. Will let you know later. Dad.”

That’s the message on a postcard of Duluth’s Carnegie Library mailed to Miss Anna Ruth Fulton at P.O. Box 142 in Gilbert on Jan. 7, 1909. Dad, Mary and Anna are all long gone, but 109 years later, cold weather remains. It was with us in November and will likely linger in December.

According to climate numbers compiled by the National Weather Service in Duluth, November was 6 degrees colder than normal. That makes 2018 0.37 degree colder than normal so far; 2017 ended at 0.7 degree warmer than normal.

There’s a lot of back and forth about how December and the rest of winter will roll. One almanac says bitterly cold and snowy while another almanac says warm and not too snowy. The National Weather Service leans that way, too. But there’s also a source running around social media claiming the polar vortex will make things awfully cold. That’s two against two.

For the short term, here’s what we can hope for weather trends in December: the 1st and 2nd could be sunny and mild, the 3rd to 7th could be snowy, the 8th to 14th could get a cold snap, the 15th to 21st could be mild and snowy, and the 22nd to 31st could be another clear, cold Arctic outbreak. The general trend for December will be for four degrees cooler than normal for the monthly average with about 10 inches of snow which is normal.

For whatever its worth, the long range indicators are running towards January and February being warmer than normal with lower than normal precip. Whatever comes our way, I hope it is the way you like! Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Dave Anderson is a CBS 3 meteorologist. He is a native of Ely and currently lives in Duluth, MN. He writes a monthly weather outlook article which he shares with Hometown Focus.

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