Colder winter expected

Monday, October 22, 2001

T.J. Languell was born June 20, 1898. Now a resident of Chateau Girardeau, Languell is among a growing centenarian population. According to 2000 census information, more than 50,000 Americans are 100 years old or older.The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Old man winter is expected to bring below-average temperatures to Missouri and Kansas again during this coming season.

"Brace for the cold," said meteorologist Suzanne Fortin of the weather service office in Pleasant Hill.

Missouri and Kansas residents should expect temperatures to be a few degrees below normal for the end of fall and the first half of winter, Fortin said.

Daily highs are expected to be in the 40s by the end of November, dropping steadily into the 30s by the new year.

For the second consecutive year, no established El Nino or La Nina event has emerged to disrupt the normal weather patterns. That means the oscillation -- a ring of air that circles the globe near the latitude of Moscow and southern Alaska -- is in control, the National Weather Service said in its national winter forecast released last week.

When the oscillation is spinning fast it acts like a force field, keeping arctic air in the Arctic, where it belongs. When it slows down, temperatures turn cold from Canada to Mexico. Weather service officials expect the oscillation to be a little sluggish during the coming winter, but it warned the oscillation is unpredictable.

Fortin said there was warmth near Australia pushing east and a big trough of low pressure over the East Coast -- a nice setup for waves of reinforcing arctic air to sweep south over the Plains.

"That typically means low temperatures for us," she said. "So the pattern should be a little cooler than normal, though there doesn't look like the strong likelihood of excessive snowfall. But it will be cold."

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