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Isotherm

My Winter Outlook 2019-2020

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The outlook ALL of us have been waiting for. Man. Been revisiting this main page Multiple times per day  just waiting for this .. this is seriously like the old Sears Wishbook coming out lol. 

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Averages are what they are for East Coast cities like NYC that had bonanza seasons over the last 15 years for a reason. Only reasonable that the pendulum swings the other direction and we have below normal snow winters and Nina patterns dominate (which favor the upper Midwest and NNE). That’s certainly what last winter was (even though it technically wasn’t a Nina) and this November is evolving much the same way already. Who knows what this winter brings but great analysis for why this one might be quite similar. 

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Good luck. I think this is a much harder winter to predict than last year.

My raw analogs had the Dakotas and Montana cold too, but I looked back to the 1890s and I can't find any stretch where Billings or Bismarck had four severe winters in a row, and they've had three so I warmed them up.

I have an NAO indicator, May-Apr NAO values, and Sept-Mar NAO values as a blend. By that metric, 1990, 1993, 2012, 2017 are fairly similar and do imply a +NAO overall, but I also do get the sense that one winter month will be negative. I was skeptical of my own indicator, but the NAO has been near neutral lately, maybe it will persist or go more positive? March did tend to feature a -NAO in the years I listed.

One thing to watch this year will be the SOI in December. It's very hard to get the East cold in February if the SOI pops above +4 in December, and its more or less impossible going by the past 100-years or so if it pops above +8 like it did in 2018.

I'm still researching it, but there is some tendency for the MJO to go kind of nutty during the solar minimum year (i.e. backward progressions, loops, stalls, etc) and I think that's a risk too this year. I've done some correlations on the velocity/speed of movement for the MJO thunderstorm cluster by solar activity.

If the West is to have a fairly cold winter, I suspect it will be driven by lows and dry air believe it or not. I don't think our highs are going to be below average. It's pretty hard to get a cold winter in the SW in a winter after an El Nino, although 1992 and 2003 do stand as relatively recent exceptions. The NW can be very cold if the PDO does go negative though, as you show. 

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Tom will probably nail this one since he's forecasting warmer than normal with BN snowfall. Any BN snowfall/AN temp call is safe regardless of year nowadays it seems..

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I don't have a crystal ball, but so far the SOI correlations you'd expect to work are working. In other words, a big -SOI in September (it was -13) tends to indicate a cold November in Texas. The cold depicted in the North/West in February is unlikely to me barring a big positive SOI month (like in December 2018).

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3 hours ago, jm1220 said:

Averages are what they are for East Coast cities like NYC that had bonanza seasons over the last 15 years for a reason. Only reasonable that the pendulum swings the other direction and we have below normal snow winters and Nina patterns dominate (which favor the upper Midwest and NNE). That’s certainly what last winter was (even though it technically wasn’t a Nina) and this November is evolving much the same way already. Who knows what this winter brings but great analysis for why this one might be quite similar. 

ENSO state proving to be useless if a technical Nino keeps creating Nina patterns. 

And yes we've had a very good, long run and now it's time to embrace the mild, BN snow winters.

But if it's going to be a bad winter then just give me another 01/02 or 11/12 and let the whole thing torch. I'm tired of this late winter crap that's been popping up past few seasons. 

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15 hours ago, JakkelWx said:

Tom will probably nail this one since he's forecasting warmer than normal with BN snowfall. Any BN snowfall/AN temp call is safe regardless of year nowadays it seems..

Really?

Have you lived here for the last 15 winters?

One or both of those factors would have busted during most of them

 

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18 hours ago, bkviking said:

The outlook ALL of us have been waiting for. Man. Been revisiting this main page Multiple times per day  just waiting for this .. this is seriously like the old Sears Wishbook coming out lol. 

 

 

Thanks very much for those kind words.

Thanks all for the comments as well.

@40/70 Benchmark, re your inquiry, I think the best response is "that depends." Whether the weak el nino behaves as a Nino atmospherically would be of pertinent importance; whether it forces the necessary alterations to elicit the formation of blocking in the northern hemisphere; whether the response is a fully engaged and tropospherically receptive one. In a strict sense of the definition of weak El Nino, that in and of itself would not necessarily change my conclusions in any material way.

@raindancewx, thanks for the comments and good luck with your forecast, too.

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17 hours ago, jm1220 said:

Averages are what they are for East Coast cities like NYC that had bonanza seasons over the last 15 years for a reason. Only reasonable that the pendulum swings the other direction and we have below normal snow winters and Nina patterns dominate (which favor the upper Midwest and NNE). That’s certainly what last winter was (even though it technically wasn’t a Nina) and this November is evolving much the same way already. Who knows what this winter brings but great analysis for why this one might be quite similar. 

I wonder if thats what happened in the 80s, because we've had some la nina winters with a lot of snow!  I just think what happened last winter is a stable pattern that needs something huge to dislodge it, thats why we had a whole decade like that in the 80s lol

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4 minutes ago, Isotherm said:

 

 

 

Thanks very much for those kind words.

Thanks all for the comments as well.

@40/70 Benchmark, re your inquiry, I think the best response is "that depends." Whether the weak el nino behaves as a Nino atmospherically would be of pertinent importance; whether it forces the necessary alterations to elicit the formation of blocking in the northern hemisphere; whether the response is a fully engaged and tropospherically receptive one.

Tom I liked your bracketed range of 16-24, but looking through this decade, it seems like our winters are all either <20 or >30.  In view of that fact, does <20 seem like the most likely scenario?

 

Also what role will the solar minimum play?  Could that result in lower than expected temperatures (and thus more snow?)

 

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54 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

I wonder if thats what happened in the 80s, because we've had some la nina winters with a lot of snow!  I just think what happened last winter is a stable pattern that needs something huge to dislodge it, thats why we had a whole decade like that in the 80s lol

It is kind of funny.  The 80s as a decade averaged more snow than the 90s in CNJ (using Rutgers' #s), but all you hear about is how bad the 80s were. 

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2 minutes ago, frankdp23 said:

It is kind of funny.  The 80s as a decade averaged more snow than the 90s in CNJ (using Rutgers' #s), but all you hear about is how bad the 80s were. 

Well, the 80s were colder than what we have now, and suppressed systems were commonplace.  Look at DC's snowfall averages, they were actually much higher back then.  Also lack of HECS aside from April 1982 and February 1983.

 

 

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3 hours ago, jfklganyc said:

Really?

Have you lived here for the last 15 winters?

One or both of those factors would have busted during most of them

 

I'm not trying to end up very disappointed when I call for much above normal snowfall and below normal temperatures because that usually ends up in disaster here by the ocean (I'm not saying all winters have been bad here) but I usually hedge warmer and less snow down here because that's simply our climo in the Central Mid-Atlantic. My close proximity to the ocean usually means less snowfall and moderated temps.

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2 hours ago, Isotherm said:

 

 

 

Thanks very much for those kind words.

Thanks all for the comments as well.

@40/70 Benchmark, re your inquiry, I think the best response is "that depends." Whether the weak el nino behaves as a Nino atmospherically would be of pertinent importance; whether it forces the necessary alterations to elicit the formation of blocking in the northern hemisphere; whether the response is a fully engaged and tropospherically receptive one. In a strict sense of the definition of weak El Nino, that in and of itself would not necessarily change my conclusions in any material way.

@raindancewx, thanks for the comments and good luck with your forecast, too.

Well, that is tacit ..agreed. Those are all questions that I'm currently grappling with. ...

Great job, btw ...

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3 hours ago, LibertyBell said:

I wonder if thats what happened in the 80s, because we've had some la nina winters with a lot of snow!  I just think what happened last winter is a stable pattern that needs something huge to dislodge it, thats why we had a whole decade like that in the 80s lol

We’ve had recent Ninas that behaved like Ninas like 2007-08 and kept nailing New England and the Midwest, and others like 2010-11 that didn’t behave that way and were snowy further south. Last winter was a weak Nino but you would think was a strong Nina from how much of the season unfolded. The MJO was also a big part of that. It certainly seems like things now are unfolding similarly to last winter. Without strong blocking to the north, we were bound to have a lousy winter last year. 

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15 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

We’ve had recent Ninas that behaved like Ninas like 2007-08 and kept nailing New England and the Midwest, and others like 2010-11 that didn’t behave that way and were snowy further south. Last winter was a weak Nino but you would think was a strong Nina from how much of the season unfolded. The MJO was also a big part of that. It certainly seems like things now are unfolding similarly to last winter. Without strong blocking to the north, we were bound to have a lousy winter last year. 

I’m especially curious as to why the ATL-side blocking seems to establish itself in the spring.  Even though we did well in those EPO-driven winters a few years back, it seems like the Atlantic only began to line up just in time to spoil the spring....

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18 minutes ago, Eduardo said:

I’m especially curious as to why the ATL-side blocking seems to establish itself in the spring.  Even though we did well in those EPO-driven winters a few years back, it seems like the Atlantic only began to line up just in time to spoil the spring....

It happened a lot in the 80s too.  Mild winters followed by cold rainy springs.  89-90 comes to mind which went from cold and dry to mild and wet to cold again in April.  We went from mid to upper 80s in Mid March to a 1-2" "snowstorm" in early April lol.

 

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38 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

We’ve had recent Ninas that behaved like Ninas like 2007-08 and kept nailing New England and the Midwest, and others like 2010-11 that didn’t behave that way and were snowy further south. Last winter was a weak Nino but you would think was a strong Nina from how much of the season unfolded. The MJO was also a big part of that. It certainly seems like things now are unfolding similarly to last winter. Without strong blocking to the north, we were bound to have a lousy winter last year. 

The worst is the split flow pattern which gives more snow to people both south and north of us.

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22 minutes ago, Eduardo said:

I’m especially curious as to why the ATL-side blocking seems to establish itself in the spring.  Even though we did well in those EPO-driven winters a few years back, it seems like the Atlantic only began to line up just in time to spoil the spring....

There are stats to support this.  I believe a -NAO is most likely to occur in May than in any other month.

 

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1 hour ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

Well, that is tacit ..agreed. Those are all questions that I'm currently grappling with. ...

Great job, btw ...

 

Thanks, and I look forward to reading yours. The more detailed answer to your question is essentially delineated in my outlook -- the various factors involved in determining the "Status" of the atmosphere so to speak.

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Talked about this in the NYC subforum, but back in the days before the internet I found a 6/6 correlation between  the cold October warm November couplet and >40" NYC snowfalls reading monthly avg data from The Weather Almanac (1951-90).  This year is the opposite, so Tom's call of normal or below normal snowfall seems valid.

  

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