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Winter '21-22 Speculation Thread


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Was doing some initial digging into late fall and next winter.  VERY EARLY but possibly a western ridge setting up shop later next fall or at least in the nation's mid-section.  Not sure how that pans out here, but we will see.  I haven't really looked at ENSO stuff yet.  May swing by later this week with some early ideas.  Again, this thread is very much speculation at this range.  We sort of fine tune as we get closer.  So, the end of the thread is usually quite accurate in my experience.  For now, summer awaits...even as the last snowflakes fall on Mt Leconte and the Plateau today.  With it being late April now, we only have about five-ish more months until the next season's first snowflakes fly in higher elevations.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Looks like the Euro seasonal has an extended summer look with warmth continuing into September and October.   Then, it shifts the ridge out West for November.  For December, it has ridging out West and over Greenland.     December at 500 looks really good, though the temp map is warm over Canada as there is some hint of cold over Alaska which is a poor teleconnection for cold here - mixed signals but overall not a bad look.   It is June, so take with a huge grain.   Will be interesting to see if the ENSO manages to hover in the La Nada range by mid-winter.  Would be nice to see a bit of La Nina this fall as that would increase chances for an earlier start to winter, and then have it switch to neutral or a bit above.  Not saying that would happen, but it might decrease chances of a mid-late winter Nina induced torch.  Weak Nina all winter would be optimal IMO.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Usually try to get my winter forecast about around this time.  Will try with some quick prelim stuff:

1.  Think we have another early start to winter.

2.  So far on seasonal models...fall doesn't look half bad.  Pretty similar to the pattern now ---> transient ridges in the East and over the top with seasonal air over TN.  

3.  Would not be surprised if winter had a major thaw at the end of December again.  Question is, does it come back?  Not sure.  

4.  For whatever reason, just kind of has the feel of two similar back-to-back winters.  But we all know that is very rare to have similar winters like that.  

5.  At some point, I think the trough will tuck into southwest Canada and allow for Pacific or Gulf air to warm us up.  Been a reoccurring them for several winters.  Duration will decide our fate.

6.  I do think we see sharp bouts of cold - I think a little bit more than last year, but similar.  

7.   Really hoping we get some nice fall weather this year.  I am digging these cool nights that we have had for the past couple of months.  I suspect we get seasonal warmth for July and August.  IF we can get fall to start on time, I kind of feel like the summer might be short.  But beware of extended summer with Nina patterns or even Nina hangover patterns.  

Snowfall:  Slightly below average(but somebody may get a big thump....so we will see)

Temps:  Slightly AN for DJF but a potential cool start, and some severe cold shots thrown in for good measure.  Again, maybe some very long stretches without winter weather.  But I like our chances for a bit more cold this winter.

Precip: Normal

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I'm not sure what we will see winter wise but I do know that we've rarely had one cold/snowy/icy without having another one or two after it over the last twenty or thirty years. For that reason alone I wouldn't be surprised to see a fairly wintry pattern at times during D-M. I do know that while I enjoy most forms of cold/freezing weather, day after day of freezing fog and freezing drizzle is something I'd rather not see again any time soon. It profoundly changed the shape of the tree canopy here. 

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Might go back into another La Nina. That's a rinse repeat signal, per some of Carvers thoughts above. 

Yes John, Nashville NWS had a study several years ago about 5-year weather patterns. Can't find it now, but it was on their WFO site once upon a time. 

Southeast Tennessee is easy. Above normal temps. Below normal snow. I'll live vicariously through others on this forum. 

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The last ENSO probs I saw from a few days ago were 55% neutral, 30% La Nina, 15% El Nino for DJF with increasing neutral odds for JFM.  The oceans are odd right now with a lot of BN and AN that basically are blotchy across the basins. So at least the oceans aren't a rampaging torchfest any more and the La Nina did work in taking away a ton of that stored heat. 

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On 6/23/2021 at 9:59 PM, Carvers Gap said:

Usually try to get my winter forecast about around this time.  Will try with some quick prelim stuff:

1.  Think we have another early start to winter.

2.  So far on seasonal models...fall doesn't look half bad.  Pretty similar to the pattern now ---> transient ridges in the East and over the top with seasonal air over TN.  

3.  Would not be surprised if winter had a major thaw at the end of December again.  Question is, does it come back?  Not sure.  

4.  For whatever reason, just kind of has the feel of two similar back-to-back winters.  But we all know that is very rare to have similar winters like that.  

5.  At some point, I think the trough will tuck into southwest Canada and allow for Pacific or Gulf air to warm us up.  Been a reoccurring them for several winters.  Duration will decide our fate.

6.  I do think we see sharp bouts of cold - I think a little bit more than last year, but similar.  

7.   Really hoping we get some nice fall weather this year.  I am digging these cool nights that we have had for the past couple of months.  I suspect we get seasonal warmth for July and August.  IF we can get fall to start on time, I kind of feel like the summer might be short.  But beware of extended summer with Nina patterns or even Nina hangover patterns.  

Snowfall:  Slightly below average(but somebody may get a big thump....so we will see)

Temps:  Slightly AN for DJF but a potential cool start, and some severe cold shots thrown in for good measure.  Again, maybe some very long stretches without winter weather.  But I like our chances for a bit more cold this winter.

Precip: Normal

Interesting...we have had so many WAY ABOVE normal nights in the north the past couple years. It didn't even drop out of the 80s here one night this week! It was 87 degrees at 11 pm. Ridiculous.

I feel like the climate is changing so much with it commonly being warmer in the northern part of the country and you guys in the south actually being cooler. I know some of that relates to Low pressures hanging in the south...but the atmosphere has been so wonky. 

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4 hours ago, TugHillMatt said:

Interesting...we have had so many WAY ABOVE normal nights in the north the past couple years. It didn't even drop out of the 80s here one night this week! It was 87 degrees at 11 pm. Ridiculous.

I feel like the climate is changing so much with it commonly being warmer in the northern part of the country and you guys in the south actually being cooler. I know some of that relates to Low pressures hanging in the south...but the atmosphere has been so wonky. 

Man, just be glad you weren't in Eugene, Oregon, last week!!!   The West has actually had incredible winters during the past decade in the northern Rockies and front range.  The East is due, just not sure this is the year while fighting a La Nina.  But who knows.  I do think the IO firing in unfavorable locations of the MJO(unfavorable if one likes winter) is really throwing a wrench in things.  @nrgjeff has been all over that.  Bet it is a strong key this winter.  I am just not sure if one can predict its frequency and intensity during the middle of summer, or I would have mentioned it.

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18 hours ago, TugHillMatt said:

Interesting...we have had so many WAY ABOVE normal nights in the north the past couple years. It didn't even drop out of the 80s here one night this week! It was 87 degrees at 11 pm. Ridiculous.

I feel like the climate is changing so much with it commonly being warmer in the northern part of the country and you guys in the south actually being cooler. I know some of that relates to Low pressures hanging in the south...but the atmosphere has been so wonky. 

Here is a nugget from the CANSIP monthly forecasts(BTW, it is usually blind to cold outbreaks so TIFWIW).  It develops a -PDO(DJF) in conjunction with what looks like a La Nina which is displaced westward.  That is torch city for our area IMO.  Now, it could be wrong.   ENSO forecasts have some skill at this range, but I have been burned many times in early to mid summer by an ENSO forecast that flopped.  -PDO combined with La Nina is pretty much a ridge over the E and SE.  No idea if the CANSIPS is correct.  It does say that if we get winter Nov/Dec are our best options IMHO.  Hopefully I don't have any of that backwards.  @nrgjeff, does that seem right or am I oversimplifying this?

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10 hours ago, Carvers Gap said:

Here is a nugget from the CANSIP monthly forecasts(BTW, it is usually blind to cold outbreaks so TIFWIW).  It develops a -PDO(DJF) in conjunction with what looks like a La Nina which is displaced westward.  That is torch city for our area IMO.  Now, it could be wrong.   ENSO forecasts have some skill at this range, but I have been burned many times in early to mid summer by an ENSO forecast that flopped.  -PDO combined with La Nina is pretty much a ridge over the E and SE.  No idea if the CANSIPS is correct.  It does say that if we get winter Nov/Dec are our best options IMHO.  Hopefully I don't have any of that backwards.  @nrgjeff, does that seem right or am I oversimplifying this?

Bummer. Seems like so many setups bring WARMTH these days. With the atmosphere the way it's been lately, it seems to take LOTS to overcome a warm set up and get actual winter.

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On 7/1/2021 at 6:40 PM, TugHillMatt said:

Bummer. Seems like so many setups bring WARMTH these days. With the atmosphere the way it's been lately, it seems to take LOTS to overcome a warm set up and get actual winter.

The Euro is in which runs out to six months which means it gets us to January.  It has a full latitude trough running from the Rockies to the western Atlantic.  Looks like it has a fairly strong EPO signal with a warm Alaska.  Hopefully everyone knows the drill....huge grain of salt since this is July.  Just thought I would share.

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Yes @Carvers Gap that's reasonable analysis. Thought I replied. Either it got lost in the Forum update, or I thought about it and didn't actually post.

Euro monthly July 5 update is fairly snooze. January temps chart offers (false) hope, but the precip is Ohio Valley. That ain't good. Prefer Deep South rain to allow cold in here. Not that anything six months out is worth a grain of sand in the desert.

CFS does the same thing for February. Wake me up if that translates into severe wx. 

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3 hours ago, Carvers Gap said:

Have to agree with Cosgrove, thinking fall is looking much warmer than I thought a few weeks ago.  Anyone for another extended summer?

No  :angry:   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately I live in the south where it's always summer :P 

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Kind of an interesting "opposite" to my my recent post.  The CFSv2 is picking-up a Greenland Bock for early fall.  If that occurs(and it doesn't bridge into an E Coast ridge) that is a great sign for those of us who like seasonal fall temps.  I think climatology supports a warmer fall, but right now, I am not seeing that in all LR modeling.  The Euro is nearly opposite of the CFS suite.  So tough call this far out.  The Euro has a really bad bias of being too warm in its Weeklies forecast.  However, American modeling is often too cold.  Split the difference, and you get seasonable temps.  That said, if the American suite scores a coup(and correct me if I am wrong, but I "think"it picks up on Greenland blocking a bit better at range), extended summer would not occur.  So bottom line, nothing is a slam dunk this far out, and while climatology(building La Nina) supports extended summer, one wonders if we can actually sneak through fall without the atmosphere responding to the Nina.   I have learned not to discount the CFS of late.

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Yea winter may be a lot of +EPO. First I am cautiously optimistic we get a nice fall.

Persistence is seasonable to even slightly below normal temps. Humidity is ludicrous right now, but summer actual temps are so far canceled. Heat is parked in the North Central US.

A stubborn +ABNA contributes to persistence; however I acknowledge, spring to summer patterns can be meaningless the next fall. 

Fall foliage: If August continues the mild trend then soil moisture will be at or above normal going into September. Even if the hemispheric pattern shifts in September, foliage should be fine. By mid-Sept. trees start going to sleep before colors change. Only a ridiculously warm October would derail fall foliage. 

Risk of a warm October is on the table. However there's no reason to forecast much above normal temps at this time.

Winter looks ugly for those of us who like snow. Mid South (as noted above and ENSO thread) could snag a couple storms per Nina climo. Rest of the Valley might need a mesoscale miracle. Maybe spring will be good storm chasing.

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On 7/19/2021 at 2:24 PM, nrgjeff said:

Yea winter may be a lot of +EPO. First I am cautiously optimistic we get a nice fall.

Persistence is seasonable to even slightly below normal temps. Humidity is ludicrous right now, but summer actual temps are so far canceled. Heat is parked in the North Central US.

A stubborn +ABNA contributes to persistence; however I acknowledge, spring to summer patterns can be meaningless the next fall. 

Fall foliage: If August continues the mild trend then soil moisture will be at or above normal going into September. Even if the hemispheric pattern shifts in September, foliage should be fine. By mid-Sept. trees start going to sleep before colors change. Only a ridiculously warm October would derail fall foliage. 

Risk of a warm October is on the table. However there's no reason to forecast much above normal temps at this time.

Winter looks ugly for those of us who like snow. Mid South (as noted above and ENSO thread) could snag a couple storms per Nina climo. Rest of the Valley might need a mesoscale miracle. Maybe spring will be good storm chasing.

Jeff, I dont think many predicted last winter to be as cool as it was compared to previous winters at this time last year. 

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This follow up Nina, if it come to pass, looks like it will be a weak one with the ensemble forecast hovering around -.5 to -.6 in the winter months.  Last year was a moderate Nina and there's never been a moderate or strong Nina that followed a moderate Nina. Only one moderate ever produced a follow up at all. So we may yet land in neutral territory as 80 percent of moderate events produce a La Nada the following season.

 

With weak being the most likely scenario if we get the Nina, the follow up weak years temps were BN across the entire SE including the Tennessee Valley in the Sept-Nov timeframe. The west coast was particularly cool for those falls as well. So it might be a big pattern shift for them as we hit fall. When you factor in every follow up Nina year the Southeast still had BN temperatures in fall. There was a stark difference out west though, it was quite warm for most areas west of the Mississippi, especially the upper Midwest to the Pac NW. Which would strongly indicate the stronger the Nina the warmer the West in Autumn. 

The winter seasons for the weak Nina follow up years have a similar pattern to what has already been discussed here. Very cold upper midwest, slightly AN southeast with the Plateau being the approximate dividing line between normal temps and AN temps. We really saw that play out last year in the Nina. The February 10th-20th period saw several days with a massive difference from Tri-Cities to the Plateau and points westward with the classic SE ridge battle vs super cold air sliding down from the Upper Midwest. There were 20 degree differences in temperatures across each of the Grand Divisions with Tri in the mid 50s, the Plateau in the lower 30s, upper 10s in Clarksville/Nashville and lower 10s in NW Tn/NE Arkansas.

The two anomalies in the follow up weak Ninas are torchy 2018 and 1985 with it's legendary winter. Oddly if you remove them there's almost no change to the map for most of the region. Take away 2018 and northern Arkansas and NW Tennessee are slightly BN instead of near normal with nothing much changing for anywhere else. Take away 1985 and the only area that warms much is a small corridor from Chattanooga, to Knoxville to Tri-Cities with everyone else remaining roughly the same as far as departure from normal. 

If we do indeed avoid the Nina and go La Nada, things looks slightly better for the valley. The AN area slips over the Smokies and lines up from Cherokee to Boone and points East. The Upper Midwest remains frigid those years, which is where we get our cold from 90 percent of the time.  As long as Eastern Montana to Wisconsin gets really cold we have a chance of getting a good cold outbreak, especially the central and western Tennessee valley regions.

All the Nina talk is just one factor of many though. We sometimes see the atmosphere defy ENSO and act in opposite fashion to what ENSO would normally suggest. 

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John is correct in that a second year La Nina - which comes in weak that 2nd year - should be more bullish than a typical La Nina. The only thing for sure is John will have a better winter than me, haha! For new readers, he's not only north of me but at much greater elevation.

Yeah Kevin last winter got cold in Feb. That month by itself brought down the average winter temp toward normal. Without February it was mild. West Tennessee actually ended slightly colder than normal. East Tennessee I-75 corridor had a milder than normal winter. Repeat takes us to John's forecast. 

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