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Texas/New Mexico/Louisiana/Mexico Obs And Discussion Thread Part 7

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Things look bleak... A repeat of last winter might be a best case scenario at this point. Hope the last part of February or early March can deliver something.

I'll tell you the exact date it will snow: February 22nd. I will be traveling.

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Since it's slow here, the MA subforum is an absolute howl since the euro threw a curve at 12z.  Part of me is jealous.  The other part of me knows how nerve wracking it can be waiting for the next run.  

This is the worst part, watching the snow/sleet line creep in on your location :lol:  It looks like DC should be fine but I spent many a hour fretting over that. My MO was to have a glass of whiskey when the pingers started, if they were still going when I finished then I went to bed. 

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This is the worst part, watching the snow/sleet line creep in on your location :lol:  It looks like DC should be fine but I spent many a hour fretting over that. My MO was to have a glass of whiskey when the pingers started, if they were still going when I finished then I went to bed.

You're a pro. i can't sleep until the grass is covered or the event is completely over.

BTW, I think our window will be open later this year. Possibly up until the end of March.

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Well, it snowed a little from NYC to DC yesterday. That was fun to follow along with. I'm MAD I downplayed the event a few days ago when models were suppressing it and didn't fly back, hopefully next time I'll be smarter. 

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So are we starting to see some glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel? (talking specifically winter weather) I'm still in the punt the next two weeks ending around Feb 6/7th as it looks like the MJO emerges and amps up in Phase 4:

 

ECMF_phase_51m_full.gif

This is what the temp anomalies look like for Phase 4 during an El Nino:

 

FebENMJOphase4all2mT.gifand here is what the 12z GEFS is showing as we move towards then end of this two week window:

 

gfs-ens_T2ma5d_namer_10.png

This is were things start to look up a bit. Notice some cold anomalies starting to build in our source region. Will this verify? Who knows but the MJO has been pretty persistent this winter and we just saw a nice cycle that started in December and rolled almost all the way around until it encountered interference from El Nino. There has been a lot of discussion about this current El Nino and, from what I can gather, it is pretty widely accepted that this is a basin wide event. The recent MJO activity would certainly argue against an east based event. There is a pretty good body of literature out there detailing how the characteristics of the MJO change based on the  spatial characteristics of El Nino, East based events tend to suppress the MJO after the initial ramp up, possibly due to changes in the Walker Circulation (anyone who follows HM on Twitter has seen him highlight changes in the WC). Central based events tend to see a lot more MJO activity. So what is this El Nino? I don't claim to know but I found this chart very interesting:

 

CYOtxAOWMAAuEDQ.png

 

 

So, I would say there is at least above avg. confidence (on my part :lol:) that we will see another MJO cycle and this is what the models are showing:

 

CZGejEUUYAEFL5l.png

As the MJO cycles through Phase 5 & 6 the El Nion temp anomalies are encouraging for our area. Even more interesting, when  you roll the 500mb anomalies forward to Phase 6 you get this:

 

FebENMJOphase6all500mb.gifand when you pull the significant El Nino Texas snow storms you get this:

 

2hmee87.png

 

Who knows what will happen but I've been kicking this around in my head for a few days trying to keep from purchasing the platinum level  "Winter is Over" card. Luckily, I've been to busy to post this nonsense but today I found myself on a 3 hr flight with blazing internet access. 

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I still think March will get snowy in the SW (at least at elevation). I looked at years where March is the second snowiest month here, by prior observed conditions and it is a pretty decent match for observed conditions recently. Dec had 7.2" and Jan had 2.2" (to date), so I figure 3-6" in March, and 1-2" in Feb, plus any bonus snow in April. The same approach has Jan as our third snowiest month based on observed conditions.

 

One thing to watch: Albuquerque (and by extension the SW) does not tend to get a lot of snow if Philadelphia gets over 40" snow in an El Nino year. 40"+ in Philly is a good indication of a more Modoki-like pattern. They're around 23" now.

 

The analog package that has been working best for me - it's been good for snow, precip and high temps, based on Albuquerque Summer weather, had winter (DJF) only 25-50% wetter than normal in ABQ, and that's likely a decent proxy for the SW - with Jan drier than Feb and Dec wetter than Feb. Spring (MAM) on the other hand was 50-100% wetter than normal. JFM, FMA were both right around 2F below normal, which looks a decent call too - we're currently ~3F below normal for Jan but it has been trending up toward average slowly.

 

The six strongest El Ninos in DJF since 1930 all had cold Springs in the SW - ranging from 5F below normal to 1F above normal in ABQ - so I'm reasonably confident in a cold Spring.

 

My idea has been the East has one month of winter - Jan 20 to Feb 20 this season and then we go back to big cold lows in the SW. It already looks like we're starting to transition back to a more favorable pattern for the SW too, so my month of winter for the East may have been too long...

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Nice analysis Rob. Now you see why I was encouraged last week moving into February. There is also a very impressive Wave 1 episode developing at 10mb via the ECMWF EPS at hour 180. Should we get a legitimate SSW event next week, look out below.

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Nice analysis Rob. Now you see why I was encouraged last week moving into February. There is also a very impressive Wave 1 episode developing at 10mb via the ECMWF EPS at hour 180. Should we get a legitimate SSW event next week, look out below.

 

Thanks, it is fun to dust off what I learned in college/early work years and actually try and apply it every now and then, esp. since my job hasn't dealt with it much the past couple of years. I'll trust you (aggiegeog and others) on the SSW talk, that has really gotten popular over the past few years but I haven't had the time to put any research/learning towards it. 

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I still think March will get snowy in the SW (at least at elevation). I looked at years where March is the second snowiest month here, by prior observed conditions and it is a pretty decent match for observed conditions recently. Dec had 7.2" and Jan had 2.2" (to date), so I figure 3-6" in March, and 1-2" in Feb, plus any bonus snow in April. The same approach has Jan as our third snowiest month based on observed conditions.

 

One thing to watch: Albuquerque (and by extension the SW) does not tend to get a lot of snow if Philadelphia gets over 40" snow in an El Nino year. 40"+ in Philly is a good indication of a more Modoki-like pattern. They're around 23" now.

 

The analog package that has been working best for me - it's been good for snow, precip and high temps, based on Albuquerque Summer weather, had winter (DJF) only 25-50% wetter than normal in ABQ, and that's likely a decent proxy for the SW - with Jan drier than Feb and Dec wetter than Feb. Spring (MAM) on the other hand was 50-100% wetter than normal. JFM, FMA were both right around 2F below normal, which looks a decent call too - we're currently ~3F below normal for Jan but it has been trending up toward average slowly.

 

The six strongest El Ninos in DJF since 1930 all had cold Springs in the SW - ranging from 5F below normal to 1F above normal in ABQ - so I'm reasonably confident in a cold Spring.

 

My idea has been the East has one month of winter - Jan 20 to Feb 20 this season and then we go back to big cold lows in the SW. It already looks like we're starting to transition back to a more favorable pattern for the SW too, so my month of winter for the East may have been too long...

 

I hope you are right. I'll be back out that way in early April and would love to see a raging late season snow storm.

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Small chance of some flakes flying around the higher terrain here on Wednesday. Euro is not enthused, so I'm still skeptic.

Looks like it was a good model forecast after all (though it lost it for more than a few runs). It appears that flakes might fly at elevations>1000m with accumulations > 1in at 1500m+. I expect the strongest round of precipitation coupled with the lowest temps between 7am and 11am.

 

I will try to make the 1 hour climb up this rock in my backyard in the morning.

post-29-0-87251800-1453833137_thumb.jpg

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Looks like it was a good model forecast after all (though it lost it for more than a few runs). It appears that flakes might fly at elevations>1000m with accumulations > 1in at 1500m+. I expect the strongest round of precipitation coupled with the lowest temps between 7am and 11am.

I will try to make the 1 hour climb up this rock in my backyard in the morning.

20151215_102144.jpg

Nice! Look forward to the pics.

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Nice! Look forward to the pics.

Still having my doubts, but if there's anything remarkable, the pictures might be from somewhere around here (~1300m ASL), which is the top-down view of the above picture. The highest peak of the mountain is just a shade above 2000m.

 

post-29-0-21168800-1453835052_thumb.jpg

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Interesting, MJO was in Phase 6 for the big Christmas storm? There was a big system at Thanksgiving as well, so that is pretty close to a 30ish day repeating cycle. I'm not sure the MJO is totally driving this but it's not surprising to see things relax a bit and a 

 

My theory is the storm over NM on 12/12-13 and the blizzard from 12/26-27 will repeat with the active MJO.

 

My target dates for big storms are (+/- one day) 1/26, 2/9, 3/11, 3/25, 4/25, 5/9. One of the main reasons I have a big March and cold Spring.

 

Nice pic. 1/26 was the first date I picked for a decent storm in the SW - glad to see it verified for eastern NM and west TX.

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Another morning in the 20s here. One more coolish day then we get a week long warm up into the 70s followed by a major Arctic blast to kicknoff February.

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Another morning in the 20s here. One more coolish day then we get a week long warm up into the 70s followed by a major Arctic blast to kicknoff February.

 

The Canadian and ECMWF are not showing any such thing. Both keep the coldest air well north and east of Texas. The GFS is showing a deeper trough with anomalously cold H85 temps, but if you look at the raw model output for DFW, surface low temps are struggling to reach freezing. Not what I would classify as a major Arctic outbreak for this time of year by any means. Besides, the source region of the airmass is not true Arctic and the H5 pattern is not one to produce major Arctic outbreaks for Texas.  The GFS seems to be the outlier on the trough anyway. The GFS appears much too cold as usual.

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The Canadian and ECMWF are not showing any such thing. Both keep the coldest air well north and east of Texas. The GFS is showing a deeper trough with anomalously cold H85 temps, but if you look at the raw model output for DFW, surface low temps are struggling to reach freezing. Not what I would classify as a major Arctic outbreak for this time of year by any means. Besides, the source region of the airmass is not true Arctic and the H5 pattern is not one to produce major Arctic outbreaks for Texas.  The GFS seems to be the outlier on the trough anyway. The GFS appears much too cold as usual.

We will see, but I am sticking with the GFS and it continuing to trend south. It has been the pretty good lately with seeing things at long range. I fully expect to get the coldest air of the season (low so far is 23) the first weekend of Feb.

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I had to come down to work, but it's still snowing, and at a moderate rate. Probably nearing 2-3" when I left.

post-29-0-59161100-1453922645_thumb.jpg

post-29-0-24750500-1453922659_thumb.jpg

post-29-0-15570100-1453922664_thumb.jpg

post-29-0-54322800-1453922678_thumb.jpg

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We will see, but I am sticking with the GFS and it continuing to trend south. It has been the pretty good lately with seeing things at long range. I fully expect to get the coldest air of the season (low so far is 23) the first weekend of Feb.

 

Coldest air of the season, maybe, but major Arctic outbreak not at all. That is one thing this year has been reluctant to produce. DFW will struggle to get to 25.  With "major" Arctic air outbreak, I would expect lows in the low teens or even single digits for our area this time of year and I don't see anything like that coming.

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Coldest air of the season, maybe, but major Arctic outbreak not at all. That is one thing this year has been reluctant to produce. DFW will struggle to get to 25.  With "major" Arctic air outbreak, I would expect lows in the low teens or even single digits for our area this time of year and I don't see anything like that coming.

OK, I am with you there. This year has struggled to establish enough of an -EPO to get a true cross polar flow going. When was the last time we reached the single digits along the I-20 corridor? At least recently it seems like the bottom for a season is in the 13-16 range. Regarding next week's storm it will be another round of watching how far south into Mexico the storm digs and then what angle does it eject.

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OK, I am with you there. This year has struggled to establish enough of an -EPO to get a true cross polar flow going. When was the last time we reached the single digits along the I-20 corridor? At least recently it seems like the bottom for a season is in the 13-16 range. Regarding next week's storm it will be another round of watching how far south into Mexico the storm digs and then what angle does it eject.

 

1996 for DFW.  UHIE, and all that.  

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1996 for DFW.  UHIE, and all that.  

 

And it is the longest stretch in our weather history of not falling into the single digits. Climatology says we should do this 1 out of every 5 years. I'm beginning to question if it will ever be possible again for DFW. However we are still within the statistical range of falling below zero, which should be one 1 in 30 years. Last time was December 23, 1989. But that really may be impossible to achieve.

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