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Winter 2020-2021


ORH_wxman
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27 minutes ago, Typhoon Tip said:

It’s an early signaler but I suspect we run into gradient saturation and similar neggie interference patterning as it gets deeper ..,

Quickstart —> stalls and may be a late push ... been recurring theme  

Wouldn't the warm pool in the Pacific encourage more ridging towards the Aleutians and even further east towards the EPO domain? A -PDO combined with a Nina would allow for more ridging across the Aleutians and Alaska, no? 2008-09 had an impressive North Pacific ridge that was poleward. Dec 08-Jan 09 wasn't crazy cold in the east, but it was persistent nonetheless. Locally we only had 2 days above freezing in Jan 09. 

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13 minutes ago, Snowstorms said:

Wouldn't the warm pool in the Pacific encourage more ridging towards the Aleutians and even further east towards the EPO domain? A -PDO combined with a Nina would allow for more ridging across the Aleutians and Alaska, no? 2008-09 had an impressive North Pacific ridge that was poleward. Dec 08-Jan 09 wasn't crazy cold in the east, but it was persistent nonetheless. Locally we only had 2 days above freezing in Jan 09. 

You want aleutians troughing vs ridging,  Ridging further East into the main body of AK is preferable and that’s what the ssta is signaling now....but will it stay?

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If you try to reconcile trends in the QBO and trends in the ENSO pattern year/year you get the same outlook as my actual (tentative) winter analogs more or less. Last year the y/y trend in Nino 3.4 and the QBO matched with 2004, and the winter was pretty similar, so I think I have the right idea for what to expect this year given that the QBO/ENSO trend blend matches my analogs. The up/down you see is whether the QBO trend was moving up or down from the prior month. You can see each trend was the same for Jan-Aug in 2004 and 2019, and the ENSO trend was El Nino after warm Nino 3.4. I think the ENSO trend matters a lot, because 2002 was actually a very close QBO/ENSO match, but it had a very different prior year ENSO. So 2019-20 looked nothing like 2002-03 nationally.

These are from my winter outlook draft -

QBO-Trend-Matches-2.png

Something like this for 2020-21. I'l refine it if September comes in very different on the monthly QBO index though.

QBO-Trend-Matches-1.png

You can see, the trend in each month in the blended average matches 2020. So you'd expect the QBO to be around +6 for September, or at least higher than August. The year over year ENSO drop is probably more like 27.1 to 25.5 than 27.9 to 26.1, but it's close enough. I went with a blend because the La Nina / near La Nina +QBO winters following El Ninos are all pretty poor matches for either QBO intensity, or monthly trends. 1966 is way out for -QBO intensity early on. 1973 has the wrong month/month trend in most months. 1980 was trending up all year, so the timing is off. 1998 is off a lot by timing and magnitude. So the best matches are 2010 and 2016, but even they aren't that strong really. We're not going to see the 3C drop off in Nino 3.4 those two years had, and the 2020 QBO is way more positive each month compared to 2010. 

QBO-Trend-Matches-3.png

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On 9/11/2020 at 6:47 AM, UnitedWx said:

That December '92 storm was one I'll never forget. I thought I was dreaming! We couldn't even get our Christmas tree from our normal source because it closed down the tree farm in Riverton CT because of the depth and significant drifting.

Now there's a location I had to google...

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13 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

The methodology looked to be temps, than precip. Not sure if that is the best way to gauge. 

Either way, you can see how confused it is in Northeast and New England... supporting the idea that other factors matter more than ENSO, or at least that the signal is fairly muted and could go either way.

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2 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Either way, you can see how confused it is in Northeast and New England... supporting the idea that other factors matter more than ENSO, or at least that the signal is fairly muted and could go either way.

I enjoy the research that folks put into it but just bring me AN precip and we’ll roll the dice. I really don’t care what enso, qbo, solar spots, or alien invasions are being predicted....precip with just enough cold works. 

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10 hours ago, raindancewx said:

If you try to reconcile trends in the QBO and trends in the ENSO pattern year/year you get the same outlook as my actual (tentative) winter analogs more or less. Last year the y/y trend in Nino 3.4 and the QBO matched with 2004, and the winter was pretty similar, so I think I have the right idea for what to expect this year given that the QBO/ENSO trend blend matches my analogs. The up/down you see is whether the QBO trend was moving up or down from the prior month. You can see each trend was the same for Jan-Aug in 2004 and 2019, and the ENSO trend was El Nino after warm Nino 3.4. I think the ENSO trend matters a lot, because 2002 was actually a very close QBO/ENSO match, but it had a very different prior year ENSO. So 2019-20 looked nothing like 2002-03 nationally.

These are from my winter outlook draft -

QBO-Trend-Matches-2.png

Something like this for 2020-21. I'l refine it if September comes in very different on the monthly QBO index though.

QBO-Trend-Matches-1.png

You can see, the trend in each month in the blended average matches 2020. So you'd expect the QBO to be around +6 for September, or at least higher than August. The year over year ENSO drop is probably more like 27.1 to 25.5 than 27.9 to 26.1, but it's close enough. I went with a blend because the La Nina / near La Nina +QBO winters following El Ninos are all pretty poor matches for either QBO intensity, or monthly trends. 1966 is way out for -QBO intensity early on. 1973 has the wrong month/month trend in most months. 1980 was trending up all year, so the timing is off. 1998 is off a lot by timing and magnitude. So the best matches are 2010 and 2016, but even they aren't that strong really. We're not going to see the 3C drop off in Nino 3.4 those two years had, and the 2020 QBO is way more positive each month compared to 2010. 

QBO-Trend-Matches-3.png

Last winter was nothing like 2004-2005 for the northeast in terms of snowfall.

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I have to say, I am very confused on what exactly looks to happen here in northern Connecticut.  As long as it is NOT like last year ( early December was awesome though ) the rest of the year sucked, then I will be happy. Plus... It only takes 1 great snowstorm or Blizzard to make the season feel like it was a good one. 

I have learned though ( last year was a good example ) not to take a forecast to heart as it will and does change. Almost every media forum, meteotologist, were calling for stellar Winter conditions here in Southern New England, and they all had mud on their face by late January when they realized that it was not coming to fruition. So, I always keep faith as thongs can and do change from week to week. 

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My point isn't so much that the pattern is a perfect match in 2019-20 and 2004-05 in the NE or nationally, just that it's a lot closer than 2002-03 and 2019-20 which is probably a closer ENSO/QBO match, but much worse for actual temperatures. The point is that incorporating the year/year tendency seems to have helped pick a better year since randomly picking which of the best QBO/ENSO matches to use doesn't seem to really add anything. Last year was another good example of the low-solar El Nino thing for Boston - temperatures in winter are pretty correlated with total snow, and you've never had more than a +50% snow season in a low solar El Nino back to the 1800s, with over 90% of the years below 45 inches. So it's not shocking that 2004-05, which wasn't really low solar (my cut off is 50 sunspots/year), was a better winter. The MJO also behaved a lot like 1997-98 last year at times, with help from a similar bad IOD pattern for a lot of the US and all of that.

I've said before, I'm not a big fan of the QBO as a meaningful indicator. There is no good, strong QBO match by both magnitude and timing to this year anyway given the timing of the switch in trend downward to upward in the anomalies in Spring. 

Snow totals in La Ninas in the Northeast are pretty directly correlated to the ACE index in the Atlantic, so that's something to watch. The season looks like it will quiet down a lot after Wednesday once Paulette and Sally are dead or at least dying/extratropical. Teddy may be the only thing left, since Vicky should die off pretty quick. I am looking forward to seeing what Ray comes up with, I reckon he owes you all about 80 inches of snow from the past two years in Boston. 

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19 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

'04-'05 and last year took totally different paths too after December...last winter, December was extremely wet with near normal temps and then a blowtorch/dry rest of the winter....while '04-'05 was consistently pretty wet and not warm the whole winter.

2004-05 had the rarity of above normal snows in every individual month November to March.   We kicked off the season with a nice 3-6 event Veterans Day weekend.  Max (capecod04) had just moved to the area and messenger (RIP) was active that season as well.  

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10 hours ago, WxWatcher007 said:

I’m sure you posted about it but I missed this. How does it correlate?

I think it's the old belief that hurricanes throw heat energy into the NAO domain. I remember that was the belief awhile back. I feel like that is more myth vs truth. Nina's always have more tropical activity and usually aren't conducive for blocking in that area given faster mid latitude flow. Not to say it couldn't happen...but just speaking on climo. 

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19 hours ago, Snowcrazed71 said:

I have to say, I am very confused on what exactly looks to happen here in northern Connecticut.  As long as it is NOT like last year ( early December was awesome though ) the rest of the year sucked, then I will be happy. Plus... It only takes 1 great snowstorm or Blizzard to make the season feel like it was a good one. 

I have learned though ( last year was a good example ) not to take a forecast to heart as it will and does change. Almost every media forum, meteotologist, were calling for stellar Winter conditions here in Southern New England, and they all had mud on their face by late January when they realized that it was not coming to fruition. So, I always keep faith as thongs can and do change from week to week. 

May help if we stop using words like 'exact' at/for locations that are below the synoptic, probably more like super-synoptic scale, when in context of seasonal speculation. 

Assuming for the moment that you are just using common figures of speech with these turn of phrases, even so neither is within the purview of capacity or any skill to predict therein/from ... not even close.  Seasonal forecasting is done at continental scopes and scales, where therein we may break down into smaller quadratures - such as, the SW, the NW, the Northern Plains, the S ... SE, the Great Lakes, OV, MA and NE regions, although we could argue the these latter four could be grouped together.  We say these regions will average arid, wet, cool, or warmer, respective of their longer termed climate normals ( usually at minimum a 30-year mean .. but often extending to 120 and so forth ).   

Then there is a subjective vs objective 'grading' of the seasonal forecast - whole 'nother head game.  If a seasonal forecast 'suggests' dry and warm (say) in New England, that just means that at some point(s) along the way ... whether persistently albeit modestly warm bias, or, a few shorter duration hot spells interceded by cool backs ( where an when we can have epic blizzards mind you!)... then the winter forecast will verify similarly in either scenario - but the former gets the genius tag because the latter had those three crucial and fairness obscuring idiosyncratic fight starter storms... ha. 

I see that a lot though.  Some enthusiast waiting in their silent observation, comes in and says ... 'so let me get this straight, your saying my backyard' ...  No seasonal forecast can do that.  The best you can do is look at seasonal forecast for warmer(cooler) and wet(drier) interchangeably as they may be, and roll the dice and figure that if the forecast has any substantive value, 'I may experience days warmer(cooler) and wet(drier) some > 50% of the days'.

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3 hours ago, weathafella said:

2004-05 had the rarity of above normal snows in every individual month November to March.   We kicked off the season with a nice 3-6 event Veterans Day weekend.  Max (capecod04) had just moved to the area and messenger (RIP) was active that season as well.  

Yeah it's hard to pull off AN snow in every month including November....1995-1996 did it too. Off the top of my head I can't think of any others.....'93-'94 came close, but we only got a few tenths in November.

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On 9/13/2020 at 6:56 PM, Fozz said:

My gut feeling says this will be a pretty good winter, but COVID might stop us from fully enjoying it. My main concern is how safe it is to stay at a hotel or AirBnB for any ski weekend in NNE.

Based on last winter, which was practically a repeat of 2001-02 and unimpressive even by the standards of my old home, going the extra distance to NNE was worth it just about every single time. It was not too bad up there.

I know everyone's circumstances are different, but I was thinking the exact opposite. Due to covid I would be able to enjoy the Winter more since I am working from home. Getting fresh air or taking walks outside is very low risk and with many other activities still closed, it seems like there would be plenty of walking in the great outdoors to be had. I do see your point about ski resorts though.

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23 hours ago, Snowstorms said:

2004-05 had several cold snaps too. Most of Jan 2005 was pretty cold. Last winter was devoid of any cold. We also got 65" locally. 

Last met Winter was very mild here, but season snowfall was average thanks in part to the 4th snowiest November, 12th snowiest April, and 4th snowiest May on record lol. Actual Winter was very disappointing outside of the month stretch from mid January through mid February.  2004-05 on the other hand was kind of close to average temperature wise with way above average snowfall, and most of this heavy snowfall came during actual Winter. A great season that would get a lot more attention if it wasn't followed so closely by so many other great winters. The 2 winters had almost nothing in common from a sensible weather standpoint here.

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1 hour ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yeah it's hard to pull off AN snow in every month including November....1995-1996 did it too. Off the top of my head I can't think of any others.....'93-'94 came close, but we only got a few tenths in November.

2007-08 missed November but did real well DJFM.  Not so for 2004-05 as all the serious storms missed us through the 1st week of February - nothing bigger than 3.4" which is pitiful for here.  The 31 days Feb 10-March 12 made up for it with 60".  Last winter was BN for snow but the first time I've had a 3"+ snowstorm in 7 consecutive months.  1981-82 in Ft. Kent had 1"+ snows Oct-May, only time I've seen that.

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38 minutes ago, tamarack said:

2007-08 missed November but did real well DJFM.  Not so for 2004-05 as all the serious storms missed us through the 1st week of February - nothing bigger than 3.4" which is pitiful for here.  The 31 days Feb 10-March 12 made up for it with 60".  Last winter was BN for snow but the first time I've had a 3"+ snowstorm in 7 consecutive months.  1981-82 in Ft. Kent had 1"+ snows Oct-May, only time I've seen that.

Looking for other seasons in more detail and not off the top of my head......

'76-'77 narrowly missed at ORH...Feb '77 was slightly below normal for snowfall but all other months were above. It appears that '95-'96 is indeed the only other season outside of '04-'05....and actually '04-'05 didn't qualify at ORH (it did for BOS though)....December '04 was about 1.5" below normal for snow.

 

'02-'03 came close but March fizzled badly after the first week that gave a 5-6" event. '77-'78 also very narrowly came close but November only mustered 2.2" vs a 3.0" average.

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