Good morning. There hasn’t been any backing off the cold forecasts from late last week, only more confirmation…on with the bits:
Nov 13, 1986 coldest Lower 48 avg. at 23.1°
Then Nov 16-17, 1997 (24.4, 26.2°)
Nov 18, 2000 (24.9°)
These are coldest days prior to Nov 20.
— Ryan | weather.us (@RyanMaue) November 10, 2014
The forecast for CONUS (the contiguous 48 states) on 11/13/15 is 25.3, which would make it the 4th coldest pre-Nov 20 day in the CONUS since 1986 and the coldest since 2000.
Take a look at this graphic which is an average temperature map for the next 15 days, or through November 25. NOTE: the values are CELSIUS:
This significance of this early cold shot is not just how historically cold it is, but for how long well below average temps will be sticking around and the area of the United States this will affect. This is two weeks worth of well below normal in the major HDD areas of the country and close to that in the Southeast. Given some widespread snow cover that is in the forecast for the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions, it will only serve to enhance the reach and the strength of the reach of this cold blast.
This is a huge jump start for winter heating for nearly the entire eastern two-thirds of the CONUS. You may be starting your home heating routes a few weeks earlier than normal and that could be widespread. A two to three week jump will be incredibly significant come January, if the winter forecasts hold true.
Strong grain drying demand has led to a great deal of contract paring these past six weeks and this early cold shot could lead to an interesting predicament in mid to late January with folks running out of their fixed price contracts and in the spot market buying product. This could lead to some wet barrel premiums, although I do not expect anything as extreme as last winter.
It might be wise to put paper to pen and estimate your needs the next 8 weeks given a possible jump start to home heating season. If you think you may be short in late Jan and into Feb related to fixed prices, you may want to consider locking in some of the current pricing to avoid some pain at the rack in two months. Given where prices are right now, I don’t think anyone could be hurt by doing that.