POSTED: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 10:55am
UPDATED: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 6:15am
Image: Snow Last December in El Paso
We've entered December, which is the start of meteorological winter (note: calendar winter begins on the Winter Solstice, which is December 21st). This is typically when we start to see the coldest weather of the year, with the coldest average temperatures for El Paso at the end of the month. Last year at this time, under the influence of an El Niño weather pattern, we had already seen 5 1/2 inches of snow. This year we've seen some cold weather sneak in, but our snow outlook has been bleak at best. So how are we looking for the short term and for the month ahead? Our general outlook is warm through the weekend with a colder airmass due to a weak upper trough of low pressure early next week. We have no rain or snow in the forecast next seven to ten days.
For the month ahead we've got your outlook courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center. It looks as though we're in for a mild and dry December. You can likely thank a prevailing La Niña  weather pattern for the anomalous warmth this month (and for much of the winter ahead). Check out the graphics below:
Looking back at November:
We closed out a very dry but seasonal (temperature wise) month of November for El Paso. Typical temperature swings were found throughout November, with a warm open to the month and two significant cool downs in the middle and the closing days of the month. No temperature records were set, but the coldest air of the season leaked into the region on the 26th and 30th. Our only bit of rain was a trace recorded on the 15th while we saw a significant dust/wind storm on the 28th.