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Date: 11/4/2014

Title: The Gales of November

There is a famous line in Gordon Lightfoot’s classic “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” about how bad things happen “when the gales of November come early”. Of course, that line refers to the stormy November weather on Lake Superior that was a key factor to that tragedy.
For this November it looks like the “Gales of November” may indeed come early again for many areas of the Great Lakes and upper Midwest. Beef producers in the central and northern areas of the United States should get prepared for some November gales coming soon.
Over the course of the next two weeks, the jet stream will buckle over the eastern Pacific. This buckling will push up a big ridge of high pressure over and near the west coast of Canada. This will in turn, drive some very cold air right out of Siberia and into the nation’s mid section by early next week.
Much colder than normal temperatures, wind and some snow will be on the way by early next week for many areas from the east slopes of the Rockies eastward into the Northern Plains, Corn Belt, Great Lakes and then eventually into the New England region by late next week.
We may have been given a “sneak preview” to what is coming this winter over this past weekend when record cold and snow invaded many areas of the eastern United States. The earliest snow on record fell in South Carolina (a 125 year old record), temperatures dropped below freezing as far south as Florida and over a foot and half snow fell in the Smoky Mountains of  North Carolina. Portions of Maine received over 20 inches of snow.
There are many things coming together over the northern hemisphere over the next several weeks that are suggestive of lots of cold coming to the nation from the east slopes of the Rockies to the east coast in November and perhaps December.
For beef producers west of the Continental Divide you will be spared the worst as most of the cold will be directed to your east in November. However, for beef producers in the central and eastern areas of the United States, be ready for winter weather soon.