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The Seasonal Snowfall Futility Markers


North Balti Zen
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PPS... we will still get seasons where the predominant pattern includes both an AK ridge AND an eastern trough so that we get constant injections of cross polar air and snowy years because of it.  But those are incredibly rare things and so this is about what our fate is during the majority of the time when that is not the case.  And even in those in between years it will still snow some...it's not like we are seeing no snow at all the last 7 years.  Last year we got some incredibly unlikely luck with some wave spacing in early Jan and for coastal areas a perfectly timed phase in late January to get snow so I am not saying it won't ever snow...just that it seems to be taking an increasingly unlikely confluence of events to make it happen.  

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30 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

What about last Jan? We had cold then, didn't we? And I can remember other cold Januarys since 2016 as well...and a few where the nina just didn't deliver favorable tracks and we were cold enough but missed the precip. So I can see one example (Feb 2020) where you can say warm...(maybe another Feb 2021), but I'm not seeing the warm Januarys you're seeing here. (Again, last year around this time we had a couple threats! And Feb just did what nina Febs do, imo)

Last January we had an Aleutian trough with an AK ridge and cross polar flow.  But the reason it didn't end up snowier in a more widespread sense ( some localized parts of our area got lucky but it wasn't a snowy season on a larger scale) was what is a common problem with cross polar flow...we didn't have any help on the atlantic side.  As I've said a cross polar flow pattern is 1 rare and 2 not even the best pattern for us to get reliable snow.  Last January was a rare example of cross polar flow...and not all of the area even got that much out of it.  So it was a fairly rare thing (one cold month surrounded by warmth) and it wasn't even that affective at giving us a lot of snow, so not sure why that should make me feel that much better.  

 

OH...and it wasn't even THAT cold considering the pattern frankly 

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1 hour ago, Ralph Wiggum said:

CFS says Feb has plenty of cold air up North to tapcfs-mon_01_T850a_nhem_1.thumb.png.e137dcf5286e1c818cb9ee70cb7ec898.png

I see a repetitive problem we have here.  To get it cold enough to our north we need a +AO  or low pressure over canada pattern but we are too far south to get that cold to really help us in the zonal pattern that will invariably develop under that in the mid latitudes.  But when we get the high latitude pattern we need to cause the jet to buckle to out south our source region temps are torched.  High latitude blocking was always associated with warm anomalies to our north.  But those warm anomalies were still cold enough to snow here.  But now that when we have upper level high pressure over Canada it completely torches our source regions to the point its no longer workable.  

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36 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

PPS... we will still get seasons where the predominant pattern includes both an AK ridge AND an eastern trough so that we get constant injections of cross polar air and snowy years because of it.  But those are incredibly rare things and so this is about what our fate is during the majority of the time when that is not the case.  And even in those in between years it will still snow some...it's not like we are seeing no snow at all the last 7 years.  Last year we got some incredibly unlikely luck with some wave spacing in early Jan and for coastal areas a perfectly timed phase in late January to get snow so I am not saying it won't ever snow...just that it seems to be taking an increasingly unlikely confluence of events to make it happen.  

I need to find the graph that demonstrates this, but you could add this to the list of "positives" in the new base state. IIRC we are seeing more extreme -EPO events like Nov and Dec 2022 than we were 20-30+ years ago. As you've mentioned it tends to be a pretty weak signal of snowfall, but in non-nina years (the 13-14 and 14-15s), it can carry an entire AN snowfall season. In the end that would likely just mean that a given decade would have 2-3 PAC driven years, but mitigated by the fact that you'd also be seeing 2-3+ complete duds, with the rest in between (which is basically what we've seen during the past 10 winters). And as you've mentioned, cross-polar flow seems to be losing its bite too, so if we start to fail with even basic cold in those setups.. maybe it's time to find a new hobby in pouring copious amounts of liquid nitrogen into the Pacific ocean.

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2 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

 

 

 

I had wanted to try to avoid this general topic completely but its become obvious that is impossible...but I will keep my part of this discussion to this thread so as not to annoy those that would rather not think about this in the main thread.  

@Terpeast I see this as all related.  A lot of this is just conjecture at this time simply because we don't yet have a long enough period of data to prove with statistical significance but some very bright minds along with well designed simulations have theorized that there is a causality between AGW and several of these chronic pacific issues we have been having for a majority of our winter seasons recently from the expansion of the Hadley Cell to some of the persistent SST issues in the tropical Indian and Pacific, to the prevalence of a la nina base state.   Then, add in that on top of the longwave pattern issues created by these problems in the Pac, regardless of that at any given moment in time warm anomalies over the NH land masses are outnumbering cold about 70-30.  So even without those issues simply by pure chance our odds of having cold over us are going to be more difficult.  And lastly...there is conjecture that the SST changes also related to warming in the Atlantic are partly aiding the prevalence of the WAR (which is also a feedback issue from the pac longwave pattern as well!) and why its been difficult to get or sustain a 50/50 feature.  Basically, there are a lot of interrelated factors caused by warming, but every single one of them seems to be the opposite of what we would want.  The only factor related to warming that could work in our favor is the increase in precipitation patterns during the cold season in general.  And I do think we have seen evidence of this in the rare cases where we get a cold season but that benefit only matters when its cold which is becoming increasingly rare.  

@CAPE and @WxUSAF both of your analysis of the issues regarding the specific details we need (50/50 or perfect phasing) are 100% accurate.  My point is just, at some point it feels hopeless if we need some super anomalous string of events to go exactly perfectly to get snow as if we are living in coastal SC or something.   My point the last few days when I voiced my concern with this setup has been the snow solutions seemed to be relying on something I don't see as very likely and even if it did happen is certainly not something we can expect to become a reliable repetitive way to get snow.   Needing some mid latitude system to phase and bomb into a super cyclone and lead to the inception of a TPV in exactly the perfect location at exactly the perfect time is not the way I want to have to roll here.  

Yes a 50/50 is a feature in just about every one of our 20" snowstorms.  Because to get a storm that big in the DC/Balt area we need some pretty major resistance to the WAA necessary.  We are too far south to be obliterated by a CCB like NYC north...the only way we get a HECS here is if a majority of that snow comes from a strong WAA feed ahead of the wave and for that to stay all snow and produce prolific totals we need a 50/50.  But I am not lamenting that this isn't going to be a 20" storm.  What happened to getting a 6" snow from a messy storm where the mountains and get 20" from a setup like this.  When I examined every 4"+ snow at BWI years ago that made up a lot of our events.  Frankly very very very few of our storms were because we lucked into the absolutely perfect conditions, and when that happened thats when we got those 20" storms.  But most of the snow events were messy.  What happened to getting 3" at DCA and 5" at BWI and 6" at IAD from a messy storm where we mix but the big snow is to our NW.  That used to be the typical outcome of a system that tracked to our south but everything wasn't "perfect".  Lately it seems we need perfect to get any snow.  

Basically...the storms like these below...

Hi    Low   QPF    Snowfall

36-30    1.13     4.6

37-30       .77     4.1

45-33      .86      6.9

34-31      .92      3.0

37-33      .92     3.4

39-32      .72      3.0

43-33      1.09    5.5

39-31       1.04     6.9

39-32       .67       3.4

33-30       1.63      6.4

38-33        1.03       3.3

I pulled all of these were from DCA from my past snowfall study.  Look at the temps and precip...these were all obviously mix storms...and I remember the H5 from most of these it was because there was no 50/50 and a marginal "pac puke" as we call it lately, airmass to work with...but they were good tracks during mid winter and so we at least got some snow from them.  And my area did great from all these storms.  I think they were all 12" plus up here.  But now...look at many of the permutations in the 3 ensembles.  They have perfect track systems with rain to Montreal!   Another good example is 1998.  I bring that up because that year is showing up in current analogs a lot.  And yea that year SUCKED for DC snow so its easy to say "well this happened before".  But I was at Penn State that year and we got crushed with snowstorm after snowstorm all winter.  Even my area here had about 20" that season because all those perfect track rainstorms in DC were a messy mix with a few inches of snow up here.  Places with elevation to the NW of the cities actually got quite a bit of snow that winter.  But most of the permutations of this are rain even in those places with a perfect track, and we've had several of these over the last few years.  That is my bigger concern.  We can't seem to get any frozen event, even a flawed mixed type, unless everything is perfect or some incredibly unlikely string of dominoes all fall exactly the right way.  

And lastly, yea the pac is the problem.  But guess what the PAC is what is upstream from us, its HUGE, its the largest heat source on the planet, and other than the rare times when there is cross polar flow (and that isn't even really a good longwave pattern to get a system under us!) we will be dealing with an airmass that has significant influence from the PAC.   The airmass this week isn't pure tropical pac puke.  There is quite a mix of flow from the Yukon area mixed in with mid latitude pacific air.  The problem is its torching even in the Yukon, and the mid latitude pac air is +5 to +10 also!  And both of those facts don't seem to be a right now at this moment bad luck kinda of problem.  They seem to be a permanent base state status quo lately.  

@Weather Will I am not giving up, there is still a path to get snow here.  The phased bomb 50/50 scenario could come back.  Or Wxusaf's scenario of a perfect phase could happen.   But what is depressing to me is how difficult that is and how that is never going to be a reliable way for us to get snow.  Look at the ensembles.  They are very good simulations based on the current conditions.  They are realistic possible permutations.  And the vast majority of the permutations show a rain solution even with a perfect track and even in places to our NW.  Even if we get lucky and we get some super bomb to cause a TPV to form exactly where we need it and this ends up snow...that doesn't change the fact that it was a realistic scenario that a storm could take an absolutely perfect track on what is statistically the coldest week of the year in DC, and it would be nothing but rain all the way to Canada!  That is alarming in a larger 30k foot view kinda way to me.  I am not focused on the specifics of this event, that is a bigger problem imo.  

 

2 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

PS: I just feel like the micro excuses are wearing out at this point.  It’s been a string of overly specific reasons/excuses why a pretty good synoptic setup failed.  "December climo sucks", the pacific was bad, no HL blocking, the WAR...but what they all have in common is no cold air.  And frankly we've failed with exact opposite pacific patterns recently so I am tired of the "its the pacific" excuse.  The pacific is always going to be there upstream of us so if we can't snow because the pacific is too warm thats never going away.  

Thank you for making these posts, as someone growing up during the past 7 winters it’s nice to see a good post on why it’s been so bad. Ultimately the price we for destroying the environment is large and very evident to see as I grow up, and it’s cool to see how all of that shows up in our snow climo. I guess growing up without semi normal snowfall is just another thing my generation gets to pay for others kicking doing anything about climate change down the road. 

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1 hour ago, SnowenOutThere said:

I guess growing up without semi normal snowfall is just another thing my generation gets to pay for others kicking doing anything about climate change down the road. 

Would you take a pre-industrial climate if you had to live a pre-industrial life?  Heck would you want a 1950's climate if you only had access to 1950 technology?  The environmental degradation caused by the industrial revolution is probably the cause of our current snow woes.  Fair enough  Would you trade it back?

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8 minutes ago, cbmclean said:

Would you take a pre-industrial climate if you had to live a pre-industrial life?  Heck would you want a 1950's climate if you only had access to 1950 technology?  The environmental degradation caused by the industrial revolution is probably the cause of our current snow woes.  Fair enough  Would you trade it back?

I wouldn’t live a pre industrial life but we’ve known about the climate issue since the 1920s, we’ve had opportunities to switch to more renewable energy sources in the 80s, we wouldn’t need to live a pre industrial life to save the climate but instead recognize that exponential economic growth isn’t a good thing. 

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12 minutes ago, SnowenOutThere said:

I wouldn’t live a pre industrial life but we’ve known about the climate issue since the 1920s, we’ve had opportunities to switch to more renewable energy sources in the 80s, we wouldn’t need to live a pre industrial life to save the climate but instead recognize that exponential economic growth isn’t a good thing. 

But exponential economic (and its intertwined scientific growth) is the ONLY reason you and I are currently sitting in heated houses typing on computers right this second.  In fact you and I might not be alive at all right now otherwise because the carrying capacity of the planet would be much less. 

I despise warm winters to the very core of my being.   I am not a shill for big coal or even remotely a climate denier.  AGW could possibly lead to enormous human suffering down the road.  But the fact is that to this point the ledger is heavily weighted to the positive in terms of cost/benefit, at least in MATERIAL terms.  (It's much murkier when you consider mental, spiritual and aesthetic factors).

Renewables are definitely the way of the future BUT they are not easy as you can see in Europe right now.  It is quite fortunate for them tat their winter has been so mild given the currewnt situation.  It will take decades of hard work to realize, and TBH we have to realize that it might not be possible without a drastic reduction in living standards.

I guess my overall point is: don't consider yourself an innocent who has been sinned against by stupid greedy ancestors.  If that isn't really your attitude I apologize for the assumption but I hear that attitude a lot and it irks me.

 

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44 minutes ago, cbmclean said:

Renewables are definitely the way of the future BUT they are not easy as you can see in Europe right now.  It is quite fortunate for them tat their winter has been so mild given the currewnt situation.  It will take decades of hard work to realize, and TBH we have to realize that it might not be possible without a drastic reduction in living standards.

I guess my overall point is: don't consider yourself an innocent who has been sinned against by stupid greedy ancestors.  If that isn't really your attitude I apologize for the assumption but I hear that attitude a lot and it irks me

My attitude is that past generations could have handled this whole crisis far better but instead those in power influenced people to vote in politicians that were short sighted and greedy thus delaying any action that would have helped the environment. So I don’t hate the past people for simply existing but I do hate those in power who delayed and persuaded people to act against their best interests. Nuclear power in america is a good example of that, if we constructed plants in the 80s and 90s we could have greatly decreased CO2 produced while keeping living standards up. Instead people were persuaded by groups backed by fossil fuels to oppose nuclear power setting us back in the quest to lower CO2 output 

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6 minutes ago, WesternFringe said:

Was it climate change that just brought Buffalo a once or twice a century blizzard?  Or that just gave Duluth, MN a record snowfall total for December?  Or that just gave us record breaking cold here in the mountains of western VA?

Or is only climate change when we don’t get the snow we wish for in our backyards? :rolleyes:

Both those places have a colder climate. You can add a couple degrees and it would affect way less of their snow events. It might even help more than it hurts in their cases. Warming is causing increased snowfall in some places. 
 

But our area a larger % of the snow comes with temps very close to 32.  Adding a couple degrees is more likely to hurt us.  Additionally we get snow from boundary waves not arctic waves or lake affect. Very different. 
 

let’s simply state 2 facts.

1)It is getting warmer. 

2) historically a lot of our snow fell with temps barely cold enough 

Those two facts when accepted together make this pretty obvious. 

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16 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Both those places have a colder climate. You can add a couple degrees and it would affect way less of their snow events. It might even help more than it hurts in their cases. Warming is causing increased snowfall in some places. 
 

But our area a larger % of the snow comes with temps very close to 32.  Adding a couple degrees is more likely to hurt us.  Additionally we get snow from boundary waves not arctic waves or lake affect. Very different. 
 

let’s simply state 2 facts.

1)It is getting warmer. 

2) historically a lot of our snow fell with temps barely cold enough 

Those two facts when accepted together make this pretty obvious. 

What about the record setting cold in Texas and Oklahoma last year?  Or close to record cold in Atlanta this year?  They don’t have a colder climate than us.

In the next decade or two I think we will be approaching very close to historical averages.  The pendulum swings.  In the 1970s they were worried about a quickly approaching ice age because of the extreme cold.  We shall see.

My parents who live nw of Atlanta have been seeing more snow than they used to a decade ago.  We have had really bad luck in the MA.  I am not arguing with that.  But sometimes it is just bad luck and not due to an over-arching phenomenon that is affecting the entire east coast equally.

But if people want to doom and gloom, people are going to doom and gloom.

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5 minutes ago, WesternFringe said:

In the next decade or two I think we will be approaching very close to historical averages.  The pendulum swings.  In the 1970s they were worried about a quickly approaching ice age because of the extreme cold.  We shall see.

It is warmer than it was 50/100/150 years ago. That’s not up for dispute. It’s just a fact. What’s disputable are 3 things.

1) How much of the cause is man (we don’t need to have that fight here it doesn’t matter to this discussion)

2) how much is cyclical 

3) if it’s cyclical when will the cycle reverse 

But none of those things impacts my point. I’m not debating what snow climo will be 50 years from now. I’m debating what our snow climo is RIGHT NOW compared to the past. That’s more relevant because we base our expectations and forecasts on analogs and historical precedents. My point is right now we are in a warmer base state and it’s hurting our snow prospects right now compared to eras many of us use as the baseline for expectations. 
 

You might be right that 20 years from now things have flipped and it’s getting colder. I don’t agree but I can’t prove that’s wrong. But why does that even matter to what I’m saying?  

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10 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

It is warmer than it was 50/100/150 years ago. That’s not up for dispute. It’s just a fact. What’s disputable are 3 things.

1) How much of the cause is man (we don’t need to have that fight here it doesn’t matter to this discussion)

2) how much is cyclical 

3) if it’s cyclical when will the cycle reverse 

But none of those things impacts my point. I’m not debating what snow climo will be 50 years from now. I’m debating what our snow climo is RIGHT NOW compared to the past. That’s more relevant because we base our expectations and forecasts on analogs and historical precedents. My point is right now we are in a warmer base state and it’s hurting our snow prospects right now compared to eras many of us use as the baseline for expectations. 
 

You might be right that 20 years from now things have flipped and it’s getting colder. I don’t agree but I can’t prove that’s wrong. But why does that even matter to what I’m saying?  

It matters because it seems that you and others are almost saying we can’t snow anymore.  Thus the ‘perfect track in the coldest week of the year can’t even snow’ comments.

We just had near record cold, just no precip around.  That’s merely called bad luck in my book.

I fundamentally disagree and think the law of averages means it will snow very well in the MA soon.  It might be the end of this winter or the next or the next.  I just don’t agree that bad luck in the last few years for some or many on this board (I had above climo last year) means that our immediate, medium, or long-term prospects for significant and healthy annual snow are doomed.

 

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18 minutes ago, WesternFringe said:

In the 1970s they were worried about a quickly approaching ice age because of the extreme cold.

This is a common fallacy. Around 10% of peer-reviewed papers discussing the future of our planet's climate in the 70s predicted cooling, meanwhile 62% predicted warming, and 28% had no stance. To be more relevant to this thread, you've mentioned record cold at local sites, but that has been over very short stretches. When just looking at the temperature departures for the past 2 winters across the CONUS, they skew pretty warm.

tave-anom-202112-202202.png.118cbb9d4290b5da84782b62dca4de3a.png

tave-anom-202012-202102.png.29503665a2c320260071525b7e593458.png

And yes, there were several record cold days or even weeks, notably with February 2021, and a bit less with the chilly January 2022. The issue is that one cold stretch or even month doesn't make a cold winter, and when those major cold patterns haven't aligned, we've defaulted to being much warmer than average.

 

This is obviously a small sample size but it was mainly meant to go over what you've said about the recent record cold. It's been mostly drowned out by warmer stretches taking up a majority of the rest of the winter, much like we're seeing now. Perhaps things will flip if we sustain a stretch of warmer ENSO years, but expecting cold and snowy seems to only work around 2-3 times per decade.

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6 minutes ago, Cobalt said:

This is a common fallacy. Around 10% of peer-reviewed papers discussing the future of our planet's climate in the 70s predicted cooling, meanwhile 62% predicted warming, and 28% had no stance. To be more relevant to this thread, you've mentioned record cold at local sites, but that has been over very short stretches. When just looking at the temperature departures for the past 2 winters across the CONUS, they skew pretty warm.

tave-anom-202112-202202.png.118cbb9d4290b5da84782b62dca4de3a.png

tave-anom-202012-202102.png.29503665a2c320260071525b7e593458.png

And yes, there were several record cold days or even weeks, notably with February 2021, and a bit less with the chilly January 2022. The issue is that one cold stretch or even month doesn't make a cold winter, and when those major cold patterns haven't aligned, we've defaulted to being much warmer than average.

 

This is obviously a small sample size but it was mainly meant to go over what you've said about the recent record cold. It's been mostly drowned out by warmer stretches taking up a majority of the rest of the winter, much like we're seeing now. Perhaps things will flip if we sustain a stretch of warmer ENSO years, but expecting cold and snowy seems to only work around 2-3 times per decade.

Good points.  I think that same analysis could apply to years before and after 2009-10 and before some great storms in 2014 and 2016. Etc

No doubt we are in a bad luck stretch and folks are stressed.  3 Ninas in a row will do that to you.  I just think recency bias makes people overly negative regarding our modern snowfall potential.  

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9 minutes ago, WesternFringe said:

It matters because it seems that you and others are almost saying we can’t snow anymore.  Thus the ‘perfect track in the coldest week of the year can’t even snow’ comments.

I fundamentally disagree and think the law of averages means it will snow very well in the MA soon.  It might be the end of this winter or the next or the next.  I just don’t agree that bad luck in the last few years for some or many on this board (I had above climo last year) means that our immediate, medium, or long-term prospects for significant and healthy annual snow are doomed.

You’re making a straw man argument. No one has said it can’t snow. As a matter I’d fact a few posts up in this thread I literally said it will still snow and we will still get snowy seasons.
 

But we are getting less.  In the last 50 years DC has gone from averaging about 4 1”+ events per season to 2.5.  They’ve gone from averaging about 18” to 14”.  Their odds of a single digit snow season has doubled!  Every metric has gone the same direction. 
 

Maybe in 5 years we change cycles and start some epic run but none of us can predict that.  I’m simply basing this on what’s actually happening recently and now.  
 

But I don’t think you realize how big a hole were in.  DC needs almost 20” this season just to avoid the last 7 years being the least snowy period ever!   Let’s say DC ends this season with 10” and that’s optimistic and would be one of the best turn around for a season that started this way…then for DC to end a 10 year period back to its long term avg DC needs to avg 41” of snow the next 3 seasons!  Even just to end 10 years back to the pathetic current lower avg (which wouldn’t even really refute my argument since the current 30 year avg is lower than the past) DC needs to avg 27” the next 3 seasons!  I dunno man that seems like a huge hole to be expecting us to dig out.  Seems more likely that at least for the near future the downward trend in snowfall continues. Even if DC gets 20” each of the next 3 years it will still end the 10 year period having lowered its snowfall average significantly under what was already a lowers avg from the last period. 

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1 hour ago, psuhoffman said:

You’re making a straw man argument. No one has said it can’t snow. As a matter I’d fact a few posts up in this thread I literally said it will still snow and we will still get snowy seasons.
 

But we are getting less.  In the last 50 years DC has gone from averaging about 4 1”+ events per season to 2.5.  They’ve gone from averaging about 18” to 14”.  Their odds of a single digit snow season has doubled!  Every metric has gone the same direction. 
 

Maybe in 5 years we change cycles and start some epic run but none of us can predict that.  I’m simply basing this on what’s actually happening recently and now.  
 

But I don’t think you realize how big a hole were in.  DC needs almost 20” this season just to avoid the last 7 years being the least snowy period ever!   Let’s say DC ends this season with 10” and that’s optimistic and would be one of the best turn around for a season that started this way…then for DC to end a 10 year period back to its long term avg DC needs to avg 41” of snow the next 3 seasons!  Even just to end 10 years back to the pathetic current lower avg (which wouldn’t even really refute my argument since the current 30 year avg is lower than the past) DC needs to avg 27” the next 3 seasons!  I dunno man that seems like a huge hole to be expecting us to dig out.  Seems more likely that at least for the near future the downward trend in snowfall continues. Even if DC gets 20” each of the next 3 years it will still end the 10 year period having lowered its snowfall average significantly under what was already a lowers avg from the last period. 

But I don’t think you realize how big a hole were in.  DC needs almost 20” this season just to avoid the last 7 years being the least snowy period ever!

I probably don’t realize how big the DC  snow is because of the imby bias where it hasn’t been horrible except for one year.  And the statistical analysis I ran said most of the variabilty is due to noise.

However, if it becomes the least snowy year ever, then the law of averages says it will snow a lot soon. Under my theory.  Again, we shall see.

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1 hour ago, psuhoffman said:

You’re making a straw man argument. No one has said it can’t snow. As a matter I’d fact a few posts up in this thread I literally said it will still snow and we will still get snowy seasons.
 

But we are getting less.  In the last 50 years DC has gone from averaging about 4 1”+ events per season to 2.5.  They’ve gone from averaging about 18” to 14”.  Their odds of a single digit snow season has doubled!  Every metric has gone the same direction. 
 

Maybe in 5 years we change cycles and start some epic run but none of us can predict that.  I’m simply basing this on what’s actually happening recently and now.  
 

But I don’t think you realize how big a hole were in.  DC needs almost 20” this season just to avoid the last 7 years being the least snowy period ever!   Let’s say DC ends this season with 10” and that’s optimistic and would be one of the best turn around for a season that started this way…then for DC to end a 10 year period back to its long term avg DC needs to avg 41” of snow the next 3 seasons!  Even just to end 10 years back to the pathetic current lower avg (which wouldn’t even really refute my argument since the current 30 year avg is lower than the past) DC needs to avg 27” the next 3 seasons!  I dunno man that seems like a huge hole to be expecting us to dig out.  Seems more likely that at least for the near future the downward trend in snowfall continues. Even if DC gets 20” each of the next 3 years it will still end the 10 year period having lowered its snowfall average significantly under what was already a lowers avg from the last period. 

All that. We're getting less. More seasons like the last 6...more...of this. Stuff that worked growing up not working anymore. It's not just this fail, but the prospect of fewer snowy winters in the future...frickin' depressing. I can take a bad season, but not the prospect having even MORE like this. And going up north might not even help--look at them right now! Basically living with little to no snow...don't even know if I can be happy like that, tbh Probably can but it'll take getting used too.

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15 hours ago, WesternFringe said:

But I don’t think you realize how big a hole were in.  DC needs almost 20” this season just to avoid the last 7 years being the least snowy period ever!

I probably don’t realize how big the DC  snow is because of the imby bias where it hasn’t been horrible except for one year.  And the statistical analysis I ran said most of the variabilty is due to noise.

However, if it becomes the least snowy year ever, then the law of averages says it will snow a lot soon. Under my theory.  Again, we shall see.

DC has averaged 8” the last 7 years!  Baltimore isn’t much better. Where you are isn’t nearly as impacted because of elevation. The warming has happened the most in the boundary layer. Your elevation helps mitigate that some. You’re also colder than DC usually. You also aren’t in an urban heat island. So I can see why where you are this doesn’t seem as dire. 

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I am seeing "shutout" area-wide musings from mets and learned folk in the main thread. A reminder of the targets...

BWI:

.7 - '49/'50

1.2 - '72/'73

1.8 - 2011/12

1.8 - 2019/20

2.3 - 2001/02

DCA

.1 - '97/'98

.1 - '72/'73

.6 - 2019/20

2.0 - 2011/12

2.2 - '75/'76

Dulles:

2.2 - '72/'73

2.6 - 2001/02

2.9 - 2019/20

3.7 - 2011/12

4.4 - '80/'81

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72/73 was an example of a snowless winter that ended up bottoming out at 9F at DCA.. much like this one. That winter might've hurt more though, as it had the infamous Southeast storm in February..

Feb1973SnowfallAccum.thumb.png.136177ee1bee59b5082b116ad2b83b31.png

I could not imagine the state of our subforum if something like that took place nowadays. 

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16 hours ago, North Balti Zen said:

I am seeing "shutout" area-wide musings from mets and learned folk in the main thread. A reminder of the targets...

BWI:

.7 - '49/'50

1.2 - '72/'73

1.8 - 2011/12

1.8 - 2019/20

2.3 - 2001/02

DCA

.1 - '97/'98

.1 - '72/'73

.6 - 2019/20

2.0 - 2011/12

2.2 - '75/'76

Dulles:

2.2 - '72/'73

2.6 - 2001/02

2.9 - 2019/20

3.7 - 2011/12

4.4 - '80/'81

Gotta love how 3 of the top winters and 3 of the bottom winters (snow-wise) were in our lifetimes (at least for those of us over 30).

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