In a nutshell, until I see actual changes in the pattern and not just what weeklies, monthlies, or otherwise show, I like sticking with current patterns. Im not necessarily a member of the "atmosphere doesn't forget" club, but there is some validity to that as you can attest to, ie, patterns.....they are patterns because the tend to repeat. But even with the Ninos we have seen since 2000, it has been hard to get a -NAO to really stick like the old climo suggests. Climatology averages change over time as you are aware. So based on the decadal pattern we have been in (which could change so I dont sound contradictory....but "when"?) I think the NAO ridging will be transient again.
My discussion was also not about the NAO necessarily breaking down but more about how the weeklies and monthlies have this feature trying to lock-in and how epic patterns on progs such as this usually in terms of real weather require a breakdown or relax to get a big storm.
I completely agree that to have an AN snowfall year we dont NEED a HECS......heck (no pun intended) we dont even need a MECS or a SECS. Alot of us along I95 can nickel and dime our way to N or even AN.
As far as the WAR, it was a feature most of the summer which isnt abnormal BUT I noticed this feature held on longer than usual and when I gathered ideas back in Oct to form an outlook we were still dealing with this off and on. Maybe I have a bad taste still from 14-15(?) where that feature was a common theme....forgive me if I am referencing the wrong season btw. They tend to blend together in my middle age
And yeah, I could totally see a squashed pattern as well especially if the Atl remains flat and somewhat progressive tho other factors like a raging EPO ridge among others could overwhelm us with too much cold at times IF the LR stuff has any merit.