Actually the weather is almost springlike along much of the east coast. Even my buddy in Halifax, Nova Scotia has temperatures above freezing. The weather in Roanoke has been pretty nice and might even cause your mind to wander to the beach.
Actually the beach weather has been pretty good also with temperatures approaching seventy degrees Fahrenheit some days. Still we all know in our heart of hearts that this cannot last and that we must have cold weather so the greedy oil barons ( I will leave coal out of this since I don't want to be lynched) can have their pound of flesh.
When we lived in Atlantic Canada, usually about this time of year, the temperature would start falling. A huge dome of cold air would slip relentlessly south and east. Each day would be shock to the senses. Today's low temperature would end up being tomorrow's high. Sometimes the cycle would continue for a whole week. One of the worst episodes that I remember was in January 1982. I actually looked up some weather records and found that on January 17, 1982 it dropped to one degree Fahrenheit in Augusta, Ga. and in Philadelphia. In that particular episode of cold, seventy five cities in the eastern US set record lows for the day.
That day on our farm (now a B&B) twenty miles north of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and 1100 miles north and east of Roanoke, the temperature bottomed out after a number of days of steady drops at minus forty degrees. I actually remember the day well since our youngest daughter was born then. It was so cold I actually hung blankets over the windows. Though minus forty was very unusual, even more unusual was the snow and high winds which were said to have gusted to over 60 miles per hour. Normally when it got that cold the winds became silent and there was no precipitation. That day was different. We had a near blizzard in arctic temperatures. In fact the next day, something that rarely happened took place. Schools were actually closed in our snow belt district. (The first year we lived there, we had three feet of snow) Officials were worried that students might touch power lines because in some places the snow piles had gotten within touching distance of the wires.
It's hard to say what kind of winter Roanoke will get this winter. Mountain weather is a huge challenge. USA Today had an article yesterday, "El Nino promises warmer, drier winter in north."
I haven't noticed if Kevin Myatt has issued his annual winter weather forecast for the Roanoke area, but I did notice he mentioned in his latest post, "Winter weather a matter of ups and downs," that Roanoke and Blacksburg were among the spots that did not have record lows late last week. I picked up from the weather service that North Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and a number of areas on NC's Crystal Coast recorded record lows in the seventeen to twenty one degrees Fahrenheit.
I am ready to put in my request for a winter weather Christmas present. I would like one snow storm to come Christmas eve and be gone by Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. That should do nicely.
If you are interested in deciphering the winter forecast for you area, here is a link to NOAA's final winter 2006-07 forecast.
The best I can tell Roanoke has an equal chance of being wetter or drier and cooler or warmer. Just pick the weather you want and wish for it. That will probably work as well as anything.
The North Carolina coast looks to have a fair chance of normal temperatures with the odds being favorable for a little more moisture.
I guess we'll just have to see how all this plays out since there is no predicting it.