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Dig out the coats: November to be 'significantly colder than last year' in northeastern US

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Winter will continue to get a grip on the weather in the northeastern United States during November as waves of colder air roll in with occasional storms.

In the short term, warmth that has persisted over much of the Central states during October will bulge into the mid-Atlantic next week. However, waves of chilly air will limit the warmups over upstate New York and New England.

The waves of chilly air will become more aggressive with weaker warmups in between from mid-November into December, as is typically the case, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

"In most areas of the Northeast, this November will likely be perceived as being rather cold," Pastelok said. "We expect this November, and this winter for that matter, to be significantly colder than last year, but temperatures are likely to average near normal."

Temperatures averaged 6-10 degrees above average during the period from November through December in 2015.

Normal temperatures trend downward significantly during November and into December.

At the start of November, normal high temperatures range from middle 60s in southeastern Virginia to the middle 40s in northern Maine. By the first week in December, normal high temperatures range from the middle 50s in southeastern Virginia to the lower 30s in northern Maine.

"Additional storms similar to the ones that brought snow this week can repeat during the late fall and early part of the winter," Pastelok said.

The latter part of October delivered two storms with doses of cold rain and accumulating wet snow across some of the higher elevations and the normally colder northern areas.

The anticipated pattern for November and into December will be due to a strong jet stream over the northern tier of the nation. The jet stream, which is a fast river of air, high in the atmosphere, also represents the boundary between cold air to its north and warm air to its south.

While cold and snow can sweep toward part of the New England coast and the central Appalachians, snow will not be in a hurry to sweep toward the mid-Atlantic Interstate 95 corridor into early December.

The anticipated cold waves should lead to lake-effect snow in portions of western and upstate New York, western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio.

Warm Great Lakes waters will initially cause a rain and snow mix immediately downwind of the lakes, but as the weeks progress and the air gets colder, accumulating snow will expand toward the lakeshore areas and into lower elevations.

Motorists can beat the rush just ahead of the first big snowstorm of the season by preparing their vehicle for winter now.

Make sure windshield wipers are in good condition, the antifreeze can handle the frigid mornings and there is significant tread on the tires. While winter (snow) tires are the best option, a fresh set of all-weather tires with an aggressive tread and sufficient thickness can get most drivers through the bulk of winter road conditions.