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February 2019 Winter Speculation

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Indicators that the 12th-20th or so might be a return to a favorable window for winter weather. No guarantee that it will actually happen or that if the 500mb pattern/mjo get into a good place that it will mean anything wintry falls from the sky either.  But the Pacific/EPO region should become more favorable and we might get more favorable results downstream from it. The OPs are, as always, struggling with things but in this case, for the most part as we move closer in time they have looked more favorable. The FV3 went from a western trough to an eastern trough over a 4 day model evolution as it reels things in from the day 15 to day 10 range. The EPS develops cross-polar flow with a -EPO by day 10 and  broad nationwide trough. The GEFS has all of Canada very cold, the SE ridge fights things here but it's losing towards the end of the run. Winter of 1993 was not dissimilar to this one, we got no snow of significant note until the last week of February when 4-5 inches finally fell. I don't think a blizzard would come to pass after it like 1993, but I do feel like we're going to flip back to cold in March, even if it's a wet cold instead of a white one.

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I'd be willing to bet once the models initialize in the better MJO phases we start to get some decent fantasy storms on the ops. Like you said, none of it may actually make it to verification time, but would be nice to see again. 

This winter has almost convinced me that for the sport of model watching, the MJO is all. Now that doesn't mean I think it necessarily is all when it comes to our weather--far from it. But for NWP stability in storm tracks/ and plain old 8 - 15 day fantasy storms, it seems to play a big role. 

I like psuhoffman's idea I quoted in an earlier post. Paraphrase: is the MJO wave is waning and reemerging to take a tour of the colder phases for once and when it gets to the Indian Ocean again, say phase 3 or so, well.... We always like the transition storm that's when I suspect we get a chance, maybe 2 if we're lucky. I would guess it is an all or nothing kind of thing (when is it not anymore though), in the sense that barring a wild late season storm (always possible), this will be it. No epic, winter-long pattern, sadly ever materializes.  I'll even go so far as to try to pick a window. Hey, if I'm wrong, I'm no more wrong than I was for believing and showing the weeklies for two straight months. 

The Anglo Saxons had a saying: "Things go always as they must"

Between the nones and ides of March. Sorry, gonna make everyone look that one up.  The ides does fall a bit later in March and Oct., so maybe around the 10th.

Maybe if we're lucky we get an earlier shot mid to late Feb too.  

Like you said 1993 is a heck of a year to toss around and one that I may never see again in my lifetime, so don't no body go gettin' their hopes up. I do remember Johnny Wood standing in front of a lit up radar map of the SE saying: "I know a bunch of these have missed us up to this point, but it doesn't look like this one will."

But since I'm on a gif kick right now, here's a reanalysis gif of Feb 1993 (had to make it in 3 parts because of size), just so we can see differences and maybe fantasize a bit about the good old days; the ancient times. Please, no one take this as me suggesting 93 redux is coming, but we can dream. 

Watch out for cryptids and nightmare James Vanderbeeks in the .gifs though, lol: 

giphy.gif Part 1 (Feb 1 - 15)

giphy.gif part deux (Feb 16 - March 2)

giphy.gif the Grand Finale, March 2 - March 14

 

 

 

 

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I have been enjoying the warm weather.  I do like what the GEFS has been cooking today during the LR.  Hopefully, it will still be there tomorrow!  Like these 9:00PM starts for TN basketball...I sort of get tired of waiting.  

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In 1993 the first half of February was warm, near record highs in the mid 60s around the 8th/9th. Cooled off by Valentines day and finally by the 25th is actually snowed. January 1993 was a relentless blowtorch that finished +6, so it was way warmer than the January we just finished.

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Models were to cool today.Nashville hit 74 today and broke the record back in 2008.Chances are  Wed and Thurs. the records will fall just as well

 

 

_Maximum.png

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The FV3 returns record setting cold to the midwest and moderate cold here. The extreme warmth pattern breaks after Friday and doesn't really return the rest of the run, it just gets colder and colder as we get deeper into February. Not as cold as a couple of years ago, but still very much below normal.

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I can't wait to see what the Fv3 spits out when we get it to initiate the MJO in phase 1. 
EDIT: And before someone says it will be wrong. I get that. It is the Fv3 after all. More of a curiosity to me. 
 
 

The V3 is like a self esteem builder when you need a pick me up.


.
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We need the PNA to at least get to neutral or go positive between the 18 and the end of the month for one last window (excluding a freak storm). Everything else looks good for that timeframe.

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Hypothetically......

In the land of hypothetically because my optimism is finally running real low 

If the American guidance is right about the amp of the MJO,

giphy.gif 

the last time and only time since the Australian BOM has been recording the OLR data that the MJO has entered entered into phase 8 at such a high amplitude, was late March, 2015. 

This is the pattern that resulted for N. America:

giphy.gif 

Yeah, I know it's only the GEFS, but if you split it with the Euro, you get a nice phase 8 - 1. 

And yeah the above pattern ain't exactly epic, but it did offer a transient PNA ridge. 

Maybe I'm trying to empty my positive tank so I can just start over. Gotta clean the wound out before real healing can begin, lol. 

 

 

bom mjo.png

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And look at that radar from late March 2015:

https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/current/mcview.phtml?prod=usrad&java=script&mode=archive&frames=500&interval=60&year=2015&month=3&day=20&hour=0&minute=0 

we get a nice shortwave pass from a Gulf storm, then some severe storms for severe chasing folks! 

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43 minutes ago, Holston_River_Rambler said:

giphy.gif

Now, I asked last night if we could hit 80. We may have already.

giphy.gif

 

Now I wonder if multiple places get to 80, can isolated locations hit the low 80s? 

 

You can definitely see the downlope flow helping eastern areas. My thermometer is at 78 degrees currently.  I’d rather have cold and snow, but it’s as perfect as you could ask for in February.

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2 hours ago, ShawnEastTN said:

85 here in Sevierville currently.  Out here for work, need AC in the car, ridiculous!

I’ve noticed that area is often quite a bit warmer than areas around it. Does downsloping play an effect in it? A lot of times, even in cold air regimes, that area will be 5-10 degrees warmer than even Knoxville or Dandridge to the east. Certainly it’s warmer quite often than Morristown, and it’s really not that far away.

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I bet it is LeConte and Clingmans. 2 of the highest peaks in the eastern US oughta give some good downsloping if the wind was just right.  LeConte especially. There's a huge vertical difference from it's peak to say Douglas Lake. 

That area seems to clear out of clouds more quickly too in this type of situation. 

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Weeklies of the Euro:

giphy.gif 

CFS weeklies:

giphy.gif 

More of just a "will they actually work out this time" sort of a post at this point. And maybe, years from now, going back to this thread, someone will be able to see just how bad they failed, if they do again. 

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And just like that the Fv3 is frozen on TT.

Every

single

time

it has been about to show some epic storm the past few days, it freezes on one site or the other. Interdimensional travel is hard. 

On a more real note thoughts on the pattern advertised by the GEFS and EPS

EPS

 giphy.gif 

GEFS

giphy.gif 

I know the means are smoothed by the averages of 50 or 20 members, depending on the model, but we all know those means won't be reality. It will look a lot more chaotic.

But, let's pretend for a minute that both are advertising something like what the 500mb flow will look like. Where would the boundary set up in such a zonal look in February? Would it move around significantly after a system pulled away? Or is it training rains and flood? 

Could you end up with a storm track that looked something like this (using the normalized map because it shows the black lines better):

giphy.gif 

I think if we do get the -NAO (and as y'all know I'm not a fan of just the -NAO), but that should help buckle the flow upstream from us and maybe help with the Pac as it slows the flow down, as though you had stuck a big piece of plywood into a stream. It creates a dam, right?

The GFS is doing that thing it did with the strat in Dec, except this time with the -NAO. It won't let it go, even if it keeps pushing it back bit by bit.

giphy.gif 

The past two years when the GFS has done this with large scale features like the -NAO or the strat, it seems to me it has been right in the end. It has support from the EPS, the GEFS, and even the GEPS is trying. 

Also, special bonus for jax. Look at that East Asia Rule ridge. Looks toasty, but I may be reading it incorrectly. 

 

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If one wants a a nice example of of how a -NAO can influence a storm pattern, take a look at the 6z GFS at 500 and then at the surface .  BTW, I am absolutely not saying that storm around 180 is going to happen as there is very little to no support from other wx models.  One can see that the area of confluence is moved south and east.  That second system(after the 180 system) is a slider.  If we can get the -NAO to pop, that is an example of a storm pattern that results from it.  Again, just not a ton of support for anything wintry right now...but that is an example of what we want.   Fairly boring pattern at the moment, so thought it might be interesting to look at one of the few nice runs spit out by global models during recent weeks.

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I agree with @Carvers Gap that the NAO can still matter, even on the snow side. Also agree the model run is a good case study but nothing more.

Yes @Jed33 downslope plays a role there. Hybrid yesterday, everyone was so warm. Pure downslope days that area will be warmer than points farther southwest (like CHA).

Back to winter, maybe, NWP hints at cold around the 20th. Weeklies and EPS all show the colder few days. However we've been pushing back this cold period for 7-10 days already. Plus each low press wants to cut. Keep reminding myself, all it takes is one.

Or the other team could win the coin toss, and low press cuts through Missouri, lol!

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2 minutes ago, nrgjeff said:

I agree with @Carvers Gap that the NAO can still matter, even on the snow side. Also agree the model run is a good case study but nothing more.

Yes @Jed33 downslope plays a role there. Hybrid yesterday, everyone was so warm. Pure downslope days that area will be warmer than points farther southwest (like CHA).

Back to winter, maybe, NWP hints at cold around the 20th. Weeklies and EPS all show the colder few days. However we've been pushing back this cold period for 7-10 days already. Plus each low press wants to cut. Keep reminding myself, all it takes is one.

Or the other team could win the coin toss, and low press cuts through Missouri, lol!

Thanks for the writeup.  

What do you make of the MJO maybe going into phase 8 but the trough remaining in the West on modeling?  With the SOI dropping and the MJO in colder phases, are we maybe (finally) seeing some coupling with the current ENSO state? 

I have been eyeing that last week as well.  Agree w the pushback comment regarding the pattern...often a red flag.  Even up here at TRI, we often need pretty strong cold during late February in order to get snow.  Often, average cold won't do it during that last week.

On a random model run like the 6z GFS, it seems for us to get one to take the "low road" there has to be a system in front that acts like a temporary 50/50 and forces the next system south.  If we are going to score, I think we are going to have to get a set-up where that first system forces the second south and hope that we have just enough cold.   Without that -NAO, seems like that is our best chance.  I don't hold out much hope for any type of prolonged winter pattern(I could always we wrong) as it is just so late in the season.  The last card in the deck to play is that changing wavelengths in late February sometimes allow for storms to pop to our SE even during what is otherwise a bad pattern for snow.  

Also, this might be a year where the mountains get hammered during March, especially during the early part of the month.  Plenty of moisture and maybe some hints that cold will be at elevation.  You all know that I reference my dislike of 90s winters often...but they had some monster spring snows during that decade up high.  

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  I haven't been posting much this week as the pattern has been about as hostile as one can find for snow in the Upper South.  Hopefully, we can at least get one last window that will allow us to track something before winter wraps up.  

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@Carvers Gap I know you asked Jeff and you may have seen this, but in case you hadn't:

 In the comments, psuhoffman asks him directly about what's going on in terms of what we need to boot the SE ridge, but he hasn't answered.

Doesn't necessarily help us, or answer any questions, but there is apparently a correlation. 

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2 hours ago, Holston_River_Rambler said:

@Carvers Gap I know you asked Jeff and you may have seen this, but in case you hadn't:

 In the comments, psuhoffman asks him directly about what's going on in terms of what we need to boot the SE ridge, but he hasn't answered.

Doesn't necessarily help us, or answer any questions, but there is apparently a correlation. 

Thanks for sharing that.  I knew that I had seen that somewhere - maybe your original post.  I suspect w the tanking SOI and MJO going into favorable phases, that we get a look or two on the EC.  Get a -EPO w a trough east of Hawaii and a -NAO...at some point one would think that trough is coming east.  The question is will it be cold enough here for winter weather during the last week of February.  BN temps are not always money at that time.   We might actually need much below normal.  I do like what I am seeing for at least one last legitimate window.  And I keep thinking that El Nino winters almost always make me throw in the towel early, only to finally deliver.  It certainly looks like a hostile pattern for at least the next week.  But with wavelengths changing up...all bets are off on any model being super accurate IMHO.  So, we are basically hunting for a storm instead of a long lasting pattern.  Now, IMHO we need to hunt a pattern that will support a storm...but it may be a short-lived window or two. I definitely like the one-two punch idea that some models show.  

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