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About psuhoffman

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    Manchester, MD

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  1. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    Yes because the -NAO never developed. A ridge off the west coast can work with blocking. Without it the SE ridge flexes too much for us.
  2. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    The euro look is troubling but it failed miserably on that domain 2 of the last 3 years. Some of the SST derived NAO index predictions are as negative as I’ve ever seen them. Those have also failed some in recent years but not usually as spectacularly as the climate models have.
  3. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    That’s a look I would roll with. The ridge in the eastern PAC would cause a mean flow into the CONUS out of Canada. It’s far enough west that the dreaded southeast ridge pops but with plenty of cold pressing to the central US and that blocking/50/50 setup a SE ridge wouldn’t be that bad when it’s as weak as it is on that plot. I would bet some decent snows happened with that look. All that analysts is useless though since I put no stock in one run or one climate model from this far out.
  4. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    It looks like an interior pattern
  5. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    I also suspect that could be part of the culprit. From my somewhat limited understanding of thermal dynamics an increased thermal gradient certainly could enhance the jet. Just common sense level reasoning would open the door to that possibility. Our resident arseclown avant- regent hiatus whatever would probably be glad to post 15 pages on it!!!
  6. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    Totally agree. But I do like to analyze why the models fail also to help pick out errors better in the future. Last winter the main issues seemed to be the continued problems with tropical forcing. The guidance continuously overestimated the forcing in favorable regions of the tropical pacific and underestimated the forcing near the maritime continent. Additionally the long range guidance repeatedly underestimated the strength of the pacific jet. Persistence won wrt both factors last winter. If we can identify the underlying factors to both something can be learned. There are theories. The ssta off Australia. The strat warming at both poles. Persistence itself isn’t helpful since any pattern can flip at any time. But if we could figure out what was causing the persistence we could prevent the same mistake next time.
  7. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    Lol yea! I could still see a major positive bust happen if we were ever on the back edge of a miller b that ended up bombing just west of projections. Those sharp back edges where snowfall can go from nothing to a foot very quickly is still hard to pin down by nwp. It’s still possible (just unlikely) for us to be predicted just outside that sharp cutoff and see it end up west of us kind of like a reverse December 2000 or 2010. Unfortunately those setups shift east at the last minute way more often than west but I think it’s still possible. That’s about the only scenario where I could see nwp totally missing a big time snowfall from very close range anymore.
  8. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    Also 2017-18 was actually a snowy winter all around us. We were unlucky in a very meso scale way with a lot of close misses. From a pattern sense I don’t think counting that as a bad winter would be accurate. And if that hadn’t had as much bad luck we would have had above avg snow 4 of the last 6 years. Even so we have had above avg 3 of the last 6. And 2 of the other 3 were very close to avg not duds at all by our standards. Considering we only typically get above avg snow 30% of the time and we get a total crap dud winter about 30% the we’re due index isn’t as good as you think imo. If anything we are due for a total crap dud virtually snowless winter. Luckily as I pointed out above the we’re due index is nonsense so this is irrelevant...just saying if it were a real thing we still aren’t close to being due a snowy winter based on historical trends and averages.
  9. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    History does have credence. Except what history shows is that going into every winter the odds of having above average snowfall in our area is the same (about 30%) regardless of what happened the year before. The odds of stringing too many below avg years together us low of course simply because of coumpounding odds each year (like the odds of getting 10 heads in a row tossing a coin). But no matter how many heads in a row you’ve had the odds on that next toss are still 50/50. History shows it’s the same principle for snowfall here.
  10. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    64/65 and 99/2000 were decent. 17/18 could have been better. Above normal snowfall was all around us we just got unlucky...and still finished with respectable totals most places. Of course 95/96. But when I say decent I mean 15-20” in the cities. 96 was the only blockbuster Niña so if we do go Niña better toss any dreams of a good winter and just hope it ends up a decent one and not a total dud.
  11. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    East based Nina’s aren’t as bad as west. They are much colder. Sometimes too dry though. When we do get a decent Nina they are almost always ease based though. Seems no matter the phase we want warmer waters in the central pac to center whatever forcing there is.
  12. psuhoffman

    Is next winter looking like a disaster?

    There are some good, some ambiguous, and some not good signals att. Certainly doesn’t look doomed.
  13. psuhoffman

    July Banter 2019

    He taught one of my forecasting classes at PSU before he left, first to work at the Franklin Institute I think then TWC after that. Guess he landed back at PSU. True story, in November 1997 I was in his class and if there was something interesting he would devote some time at the end of class to look at the models and discuss it. I remember him downplaying a snow threat because the NGM and AVN were too warm at the surface and a friend of mine brought up the big snow on the ETA. He said “I would pretty much ignore that”. Two days later as we sat in class during a snowstorm (I think we ended up with about 7”) my friend gave him some crap over that. He took it with a good sense of humor. I imagine that is a must in this field.
  14. psuhoffman

    May Banter 2019

    My 4 year old son pretends he is chasing tornadoes.
  15. psuhoffman

    April/May Medium-Long range

    The correlation to increased snowfall in the mid Atlantic seems to be the winter immediately following the minimum. However, it’s such a small sample size the correlation could be due to coincidence with other factors.