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Is next winter looking like a disaster?

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6 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Just want to preface this with the fact that this is not a prediction/thoughts whatsoever on the upcoming winter it is more so just for curiosity's sake. Climate models can have their issues and we are talking roughly 4+ months for the winter so it is somewhat at range. Not to mention they did have issues with this run to boot. Now it we continue to see this look in the coming months then I will get excited.

Below we have the 3 month 500 mb anoms for Dec-Feb.  This is a great look IMO. A large concentric ball of red (higher heights) centered on the pole with higher height anomalies centered both over Greenland (blocking) and eastern Russia (cross polar plow). This look would be suggestive of a very weak PV probably getting shoved around a good bit (think -AO). Under riding this we see the lower pressure anomalies straddling the mid latitudes (active weather pattern). Now if you look in the CONUS we have strong ridging driving all the way up into the arctic regions which is the vehicle to drive cold air into the central/eastern US. In response to this ridging we are seeing low pressure anomalies set up in the east (troughing). As I said I like this look a lot. What is even more impressive is the duration. We see the building of the heights begin in Sept and only by May do we see them breaking down. We are talking roughly 9 months. This would imply an early start to winter as well as a late ending with little to no breaks in between.

cansips.gif.2d8003a88a941fb907d94fc194507700.gif

 

Since I have been tracking (96) I can't ever recall seeing heights over the pole during the winter be at such magnitude, so concentric and centered on the pole and for such a long duration as what the CANSIPS is advertising. So I thought I would look into recent previous winters (back to 1981). Below we have some of the winters that featured stronger high latitude blocking. Notice that though some may share a feature or two of the above none are what I would call exactly a good match.

 

1985.gif.9813816ad94003135084b2a6d414efb7.gif2003.gif.1c43d7a8b3c1def013111f6d186fba35.gif2004.gif.053ad645dfb038f38b6e094e64594dcd.gif2006.gif.77d5ce57f49fb5c01614fa92785a41f2.gif2013.gif.d02caa8c8154f167abc0bb2be660dff5.gif2014.gif.1e9d1060040e9bb30be05f84313d058b.gif2016.gif.aa8d50e424a5605b7c7b0ef36941a3f6.gif2018.gif.f1265d5f88543dc14dd27d795dc16546.gif

2001.gif.09247f26d4be69b081750e00fa299a49.gif

 

That brings us to these two years. Below we have 1985-86. This is a good match. Though not as large in scope nor as concentric it does have good heights centered over the pole. The greater anomalies are also setting up over Greenland and nosing into eastern Russia. West coast ridging, east coast troughing. Also see neg anomalies in western Europe which the above Cansips has as well. The one thing it does show that the CANSIPS does not have are indications that we may have been dealing with WAR (Western Atlantic ridging) at times. But over all this is a pretty good match. And for those who are curious, 15.6 inches were recorded in Baltimore and 15.4 in DC that year. Would have expected better myself but have to question whether episodes of WAR played into those totals.

 

1986.gif.0da56467b04fc1530ba8943f4b12b723.gif

 

And then we have 2009-10. Though it doesn't match up as well with the mid-latitude pressure anomalies like the previous example it does match better in the upper latitudes. I am sure I don't have to list snowfall for this year. :) 

2010.gif.199ba51e8e1f2c81e083ea0e4e5e3a8b.gif

 

And before someone brings up 1996 here it is. As you can see it is more so the strategic placement of the blocking/higher heights in the upper latitudes more then anything else. Not a good match to

what we see with the CANSIP around the pole.

.1996.gif.61835d3bfa793e25f86ad3c9a43c812f.gif

 

 

 

Does anyone know how well CANSips has done in the past? Not sure if it matters or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next run were to not be as impressive.

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1 hour ago, Rhino16 said:

Does anyone know how well CANSips has done in the past? Not sure if it matters or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next run were to not be as impressive.

2 years ago it was on top of the Nina and did fairly well. Last year not so much. Anything beyond 2 years you will have to ask someone else as I really didn't take note of it.

Just an aside, but when you are quoting a long post such as above you might want to delete all but what is relevant to what you are commenting on. Saves people a lot of scrolling through dead space.

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2 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Just an aside, but when you are quoting a long post such as above you might want to delete all but what is relevant to what you are commenting on. 

Oh... you can do that! :poster_oops:

I don’t care how any model did last year, that winter never never happened.

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Was just glancing over the CANSIPS anomalies for the winter and comparing it to the CFS and they just do not jive. The heights over the pole are stronger on the CFS and yet the Cansips is the one going to town on the +height anomalies. They are using slightly different climatology years (CFS 1984-2009, Cansips 1981-2010) but I doubt very seriously that that is accounting for the huge discrepancies on anomalies between the two. Maybe a different methodology on computing the anomalies? Now I am looking at tropical tidbits so I am not sure whether it has been updated or not from the issues it had with its initial run but from comments I have seen the issues did not affect the heights so that is probably not the issue? In any case, either I am just plain thinking wrong or I have a feeling we should just probably toss the Aug Cansips run because I have a sneaky suspicion that the Sept run is going to look a lot different when it comes to the anomalies. Here's hoping I am wrong.

***Came across a good article in regards to the strat/trop PV. Very informational for those with a limited understanding of that. Video of the 2012/2013 SSW (sudden stratospheric warming) event and its impact on the strat pv is well worth watching.

http://www.severe-weather.eu/long-range-2/polar-vortex/

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1 hour ago, showmethesnow said:

Was just glancing over the CANSIPS anomalies for the winter and comparing it to the CFS and they just do not jive. The heights over the pole are stronger on the CFS and yet the Cansips is the one going to town on the +height anomalies. They are using slightly different climatology years (CFS 1984-2009, Cansips 1981-2010) but I doubt very seriously that that is accounting for the huge discrepancies on anomalies between the two. Maybe a different methodology on computing the anomalies? Now I am looking at tropical tidbits so I am not sure whether it has been updated or not from the issues it had with its initial run but from comments I have seen the issues did not affect the heights so that is probably not the issue? In any case, either I am just plain thinking wrong or I have a feeling we should just probably toss the Aug Cansips run because I have a sneaky suspicion that the Sept run is going to look a lot different when it comes to the anomalies. Here's hoping I am wrong.

***Came across a good article in regards to the strat/trop PV. Very informational for those with a limited understanding of that. Video of the 2012/2013 SSW (sudden stratospheric warming) event and its impact on the strat pv is well worth watching.

http://www.severe-weather.eu/long-range-2/polar-vortex/

That is a nice write up and cool vids on the SSW.

I am with you on the CanSIPS. Just going to wait and see what the Sept edition looks like in about 10 days. I also expect it will look quite different.

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@showmethesnow

Just saw this- its from Monday. Looks like he revised his initial tweet about the CanSIPS "fix". I thought the hindcast thing was mentioned in our discussion here, or maybe I saw it somewhere else. I didn't see this map posted anywhere in this thread, but maybe I missed it. Anyway it's interesting, and still a decent look.

 

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3 hours ago, C.A.P.E. said:

@showmethesnow

Just saw this- its from Monday. Looks like he revised his initial tweet about the CanSIPS "fix". I thought the hindcast thing was mentioned in our discussion here, or maybe I saw it somewhere else. I didn't see this map posted anywhere in this thread, but maybe I missed it. Anyway it's interesting, and still a decent look.

 

It's a risky look, one that we could score within as depicted or get totally screwed with just some minor changes. The ridging off the west coast is too far west but it should work as long we do see a western based -NAO in place. The strength and placement of that -NAO (blocking) should force systems farther south through the east then you would typically see with the ridging setting up off the west coast. But shift that -NAO to an east based one, weaken it or worse yet pull it out altogether and we are most likely pooched. What that ridging off the west coast will do is force troughing into the west and a corresponding bump up of heights/ridging in the east. You can see the minor height builds through the gulf and southern states but they are dampened because of the blocking to the north. But weaken, shift east or pull out the -NAO altogether and you will see those heights bump up forcing systems to our west. 

 

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3 minutes ago, showmethesnow said:

It's a risky look, one that we could score within as depicted or get totally screwed with just some minor changes. The ridging off the west coast is too far west but it should work as long we do see a western based -NAO in place. The strength and placement of that -NAO (blocking) should force systems farther south through the east then you would typically see with the ridging setting up off the west coast. But shift that -NAO to an east based one, weaken it or worse yet pull it out altogether and we are most likely pooched. What that ridging off the west coast will do is force troughing into the west and a corresponding bump up of heights/ridging in the east. You can see the minor height builds through the gulf and southern states but they are dampened because of the blocking to the north. But weaken, shift east or pull out the -NAO altogether and you will see those heights bump up forcing systems to our west. 

 

Details!

At this point it's at least nice to see the suggestion of a decent NA. CFS has been back and forth, and the Euro seasonal looks legit +NAO. We shall see.

As I said, my only tracking interest over the next 1-2 months are ENSO and PDO. The rest we wont know much about until later in fall.

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6 minutes ago, showmethesnow said:

It's a risky look, one that we could score within as depicted or get totally screwed with just some minor changes. The ridging off the west coast is too far west but it should work as long we do see a western based -NAO in place. The strength and placement of that -NAO (blocking) should force systems farther south through the east then you would typically see with the ridging setting up off the west coast. But shift that -NAO to an east based one, weaken it or worse yet pull it out altogether and we are most likely pooched. What that ridging off the west coast will do is force troughing into the west and a corresponding bump up of heights/ridging in the east. You can see the minor height builds through the gulf and southern states but they are dampened because of the blocking to the north. But weaken, shift east or pull out the -NAO altogether and you will see those heights bump up forcing systems to our west. 

 

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.  

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1 minute ago, C.A.P.E. said:

Details!

At this point it's at least nice to see the suggestion of a decent NA. CFS has been back and forth, and the Euro seasonal looks legit +NAO. We shall see.

As I said, my only tracking interest over the next 1-2 months are ENSO and PDO. The rest we wont know much about until later in fall.

Don't think I have seen the Euro seasonal yet. Take it it isn't such a great look?

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1 minute ago, psuhoffman said:

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.  

Hence my statement that we need to see the -NAO. :) 

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4 minutes ago, C.A.P.E. said:

Details!

At this point it's at least nice to see the suggestion of a decent NA. CFS has been back and forth, and the Euro seasonal looks legit +NAO. We shall see.

As I said, my only tracking interest over the next 1-2 months are ENSO and PDO. The rest we wont know much about until later in fall.

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. 

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9 minutes ago, showmethesnow said:

Don't think I have seen the Euro seasonal yet. Take it it isn't such a great look?

It was posted here I believe. Pretty nice looking PAC, and EPO ridge, but meh NA.

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11 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

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. 

I am slightly optimistic on a winter -NAO because it has been persistent throughout the summer, the QBO as we head into fall looks somewhat favorable, and we are at/near solar min. Also I believe we have had exactly 1(maybe 2) out of the last 24 winter months with an official -NAO. So we have Showme's WDI going for us.

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1 hour ago, showmethesnow said:

 The ridging off the west coast is too far west but it should work as long we do see a western based -NAO in place.

What that ridging off the west coast will do is force troughing into the west and a corresponding bump up of heights/ridging in the east.

 

Wasn’t that the issue this past winter, (or maybe the one before?) The ridging was way out, and everyone was sad.

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1 hour ago, Rhino16 said:

Wasn’t that the issue this past winter, (or maybe the one before?) The ridging was way out, and everyone was sad.

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. 

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2 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

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. 

So...is a non-existent -NAO during the winter months the new normal? (hope not) Or is it just on some decadal cycle as some have suggested? Been gone for a long time now...(2012-13 I think?)

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1 hour ago, Maestrobjwa said:

So...is a non-existent -NAO during the winter months the new normal? (hope not) Or is it just on some decadal cycle as some have suggested? Been gone for a long time now...(2012-13 I think?)

The winter NAO runs in cycles. I have no idea if or when it will flip. 

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11 hours ago, Rhino16 said:

Wasn’t that the issue this past winter, (or maybe the one before?) The ridging was way out, and everyone was sad.

Thought I would give a visual of what we are talking about in regards to the NAO when we have the ridging centered off the west coast. This will also give you an idea why we were rooting so hard for a legit -NAO last winter.

Below we have the CANSIPS Dec forecast. The ridging is centered up into the Gulf of Alaska. This will tend to force troughing into the southwest and that in turn will favor height builds/ridging into the east. But notice the heights are weak in the east. This is due to the -nao/50/50 combo that is set up. This will back the flow and tend to try to force troughing into the east. So essentially this block is dampening/putting a cap on height builds in the east as both these tendencies (trough/ridge) fight it out. You can follow the flow up around the Alaskan ridging, down into the southwest trough and then exiting off the east coast farther south then what you would typically see with the PAC aligned as it is. This is a snow look for our region.

cansipsdec.gif.a9c20c10ff2f09833c06aa2197c48c6b.gif

 

Now compare the above to what we see below (Feb 2018). The PAC is essentially the same but now we have the -NAO taken out. We see the flow swinging around the ridging forcing troughing into the southwest but as it moves eastward we are now seeing a difference. Notice that we are now seeing a neutralish NAO which is allowing the - anomalies in the 50/50 region to shift northward. This configuration is a weak block at best as the backing of the flow is minor. Thus we are not seeing the forcing of troughing in the east as in the previous example. With no longer having the pushback from this trough the southeast ridging is given free reign to do its thing and we see that with a very notable bump up of the Southeast ridging. And with that bump up the flow responds by flowing to our west and then off the coast in NE. This is not the look we want to see for snow.

feb2018.gif.1e38221d3f078a8b15edca9246924e1f.gif

 

ETA: We preferably want to see a western based -NAO or at worst a central based as I am not sure an eastern based -NAO would cut it. 

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11 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Thought I would give a visual of what we are talking about in regards to the NAO when we have the ridging centered off the west coast. This will also give you an idea why we were rooting so hard for a legit -NAO last winter.

Below we have the CANSIPS Dec forecast. The ridging is centered up into the Gulf of Alaska. This will tend to force troughing into the southwest and that in turn will favor height builds/ridging into the east. But notice the heights are weak in the east. This is due to the -nao/50/50 combo that is set up. This will back the flow and tend to try to force troughing into the east. So essentially this block is dampening/putting a cap on height builds in the east as both these tendencies (trough/ridge) fight it out. You can follow the flow up around the Alaskan ridging, down into the southwest trough and then exiting off the east coast farther south then what you would typically see with the PAC aligned as it is. This is a snow look for our region.

cansipsdec.gif.a9c20c10ff2f09833c06aa2197c48c6b.gif

 

Now compare the above to what we see below (Feb 2018). The PAC is essentially the same but now we have the -NAO taken out. We see the flow swinging around the ridging forcing troughing into the southwest but as it moves eastward we are now seeing a difference. Notice that we are now seeing a neutralish NAO which is allowing the - anomalies in the 50/50 region to shift northward. This configuration is a weak block at best as the backing of the flow is minor. Thus we are not seeing the forcing of troughing in the east as in the previous example. With no longer having the pushback from this trough the southeast ridging is given free reign to do its thing and we see that with a very notable bump up of the Southeast ridging. And with that bump up the flow responds by flowing to our west and then off the coast in NE. This is not the look we want to see for snow.

feb2018.gif.1e38221d3f078a8b15edca9246924e1f.gif

 

ETA: We preferably want to see a western based -NAO or at worst a central based as I am not sure an eastern based -NAO would cut it. 

The amplitude of the ridge trough configuration out west did us no favors. With that deep a trough in the west we needed a monster NAO block to offset and we got weak sauce instead.  That cansips is ok looking and it’s a slight adjustment either way from being great or crap. 

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23 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Hence my statement that we need to see the -NAO. :) 

I think we just need to assume it won't be there until it actually comes back (if it ever does!) and analyze accordingly! I'd much rather focus with that assumption than even considering it a possibility (and the inevitable Houdini that results, lol)

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43 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

The amplitude of the ridge trough configuration out west did us no favors. With that deep a trough in the west we needed a monster NAO block to offset and we got weak sauce instead.  That cansips is ok looking and it’s a slight adjustment either way from being great or crap. 

Agreed. Way too early to get into the subtleties. That general look at this juncture is a good one. Lets see what its got in another 10 days.

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Have very little knowledge on the subject myself except the bits and pieces I have read on this board but I have it from a good source that the Newfoundland cold pool this year bodes well for episodes of blocking (-NAO). Evidently it was very impressive (best since 09-10) during the May-July time period of which research suggests this is the key period.

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16 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Have very little knowledge on the subject myself except the bits and pieces I have read on this board but I have it from a good source that the Newfoundland cold pool this year bodes well for episodes of blocking (-NAO). Evidently it was very impressive (best since 09-10) during the May-July time period of which research suggests this is the key period.

That is a big reason the sst derived NAO forecasts are extremely negative. Those aren’t perfect either but have performed better than climate models lately. 

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17 hours ago, showmethesnow said:

Have very little knowledge on the subject myself except the bits and pieces I have read on this board but I have it from a good source that the Newfoundland cold pool this year bodes well for episodes of blocking (-NAO). Evidently it was very impressive (best since 09-10) during the May-July time period of which research suggests this is the key period.

You don't say...wonder how strong the correlation is? Hope it will have some meaning!

12 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

That is a big reason the sst derived NAO forecasts are extremely negative. Those aren’t perfect either but have performed better than climate models lately. 

Now which forecasts are the sst-derived ones?

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The relationship between the NAO monthly values in May-April and Sept-Mar as a blend tends to be pretty predictive for what it will do in winter, going by the past 20 years. May-Apr and Sept-Mar last year was near identical to 1975 for the NAO, and then the NAO was positive, but not extremely so, like in 1975.

August -NAO also tends to precede cold Decembers in the East, if Nino 4 warmth (currently near record warmth) doesn't over-rule it (stronger correlation for Nino 4 the closer you get to Dec). Should be a very difficult winter to forecast actually. I lean toward the US being warm in December, with a patch of near average in the South from NC to AZ, but we'll see.

5aBdgLO.png

Ensemble Mean NAO Outlook

 

 

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10 hours ago, raindancewx said:

The relationship between the NAO monthly values in May-April and Sept-Mar as a blend tends to be pretty predictive for what it will do in winter, going by the past 20 years. May-Apr and Sept-Mar last year was near identical to 1975 for the NAO, and then the NAO was positive, but not extremely so, like in 1975.

August -NAO also tends to precede cold Decembers in the East, if Nino 4 warmth (currently near record warmth) doesn't over-rule it (stronger correlation for Nino 4 the closer you get to Dec). Should be a very difficult winter to forecast actually. I lean toward the US being warm in December, with a patch of near average in the South from NC to AZ, but we'll see.

When you also look at the solar minimum and add a 12 month lag period there are winters that perform better after the actual solar bottom in terms of a -NAO. 

Although the SST signal this year shows we may be due for an averaged -NAO during the period from Dec to March it may actually end up being next winter that we benefit we benefit even though the cold pool signal argues it is this winter that may feature a -NAO. 

Even sensible weather at this point is a bit different as well. Feel this Fall may be a bit differ from last year in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic.  I read the Accuu Weather forecast and they predict a warm Fall and describes the NE section of the US to be pleasent. Hmm

Previous Falls we lingered warm well into October due to the robust WAR and warm Atlantic SSTs. Again not comfortable with how that plays out this year.

There are many drivers that are below the radar that could cause this Fall and the upcoming winter to cause the sensible weather to be dramatically different than what many folks may forecast. Even climo may not be the best way to go.  I like your posts @raindancewx  .    

 

 

 

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