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Winter 2021-22


Ji
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45 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

You're saying cold air is becoming a problem that might be more long-term. I mean ya don't have to hold back, lol (watch out when PSU starts using exclamation points, folks) Your warnings last year are part of the reason why I've gone more doom and gloom for future snow. Yet somehow...that's not a logical reaction? :rolleyes:

Fair question.  I think its a combination of a few things.  You take what we all see happening and know and go the extra mile.  Its a simple fact that snowfall averages have been on the decline in the DC area for the last 100 years.  The median is on the decline also.  The odds of a single digit snowfall winter are going up.  Its getting warmer.  All those are facts.  We all know that.  But you seem to say it like its some kind of new revelation every time.  

Second, and maybe this isnt accurate, but at times you seem to take it a little too far.  Acting like its never going to snow again.  (that is an exaggeration on my part) We are losing snow on the margins.  We will have more single digit snowfall years.  But we will get another HECS at some point.  We will probably still get a couple snowy winters every decade.  IMO where climo is degrading and hurting us most is in the non good winters.  I think a lot of winters that might have been 15-20" struggle to about 10" now.  Or a winter that would have been 10-15" is 5-10" now.  We are losing snowfall in marginal setups and some winters thats all we get.   But that doesn't mean it wont ever snow again. 

Lastly, you tend to find these "trends" that arent really trends and then when they, predictably, fail to repeat you get discouraged like that is another sign climo is getting worse.  Well climo IS getting worse but the fact we went an extra year or two without some overly specific snowstorm total isn't really the best way to measure that.  

 

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2 hours ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Now...someone help me out here:

Now, just from a layman's point of view...why doesn't warmer climate=warmer ENSO? Like, when ya say warmer waters I'm thinkin' like..."We'll why is the ENSO still cold?" Is it a different source of temperature at work, or?

You are asking some very basic questions here. Maybe read a little bit about ENSO, trade winds, and ocean thermocline.

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5 hours ago, CAPE said:

You are asking some very basic questions here. Maybe read a little bit about ENSO, trade winds, and ocean thermocline.

Yes...now that ya told me. But if I hadn't asked I wouldn't have known where to start. Didn't sound basic to me...basic would be which ENSO is warm and which is cold. But who the heck among those of us just casual observers...knows to even look up trade winds and "thermocline?" (had never even heard that term, nor did I know to look up trade winds). Don't assume you can easily Google everything (because ya gotta know what to look for first). I find that Googling weather geek stuff doesn't always work without a couple clues (that ya now gave me albeit snobbishly).

But....I remember someone warning me last season about asking basic questions here (shoulda listened). Albeit...I didn't think what I asked just now was so "basic" (I'd define that as LA nina=cold water, El Niño=warm water, lol)

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33 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Yes...now that ya told me. But if I hadn't asked I wouldn't have known where to start. Didn't sound basic to me...basic would be which ENSO is warm and which is cold. But who the heck among those of us just casual observers...knows to even look up trade winds and "thermocline?" (had never even heard that term, nor did I know to look up trade winds). Don't assume you can easily Google everything (because ya gotta know what to look for first). I find that Googling weather geek stuff doesn't always work without a couple clues (that ya now gave me albeit snobbishly).

But....I remember someone warning me last season about asking basic questions here (shoulda listened). Albeit...I didn't think what I asked just now was so "basic" (I'd define that as LA nina=cold water, El Niño=warm water, lol)

It wasn't snobbish lol. If you simply search "understanding ENSO" you will be off and running, including finding the 'geek stuff'. Everyone can be an expert on everything because Google!

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I would not give up hope for this winter. For one thing, warm Octobers have often been followed by productive winters in the northeast so that can't hurt the chances for the Mid-Atlantic. Don't know how your region did with the epic Dec  26th 1947 (NYC region) storm but that followed the warmest October on record. Octobers of 1963 and 1971 were high on the list also, and had at least reasonable winters with spells of mild and cold and one decent snowfall event (again this is for the northeast, I don't have your historical records at hand). 

And on the other hand cold Octobers have often been followed by unproductive winters. 

This of course is only analogue forecasting without reference to teleconnections or other more sophisticated indices.

Some of the years that have looked rather similar to 2021 (albeit in cooler climate decades) include 1898 which had a famously cold and snowy winter following on. 1916 had a cold winter (1916-17), not sure as to snowfall with that. 

Also would point out that recent storms are showing tendencies to do things that we can say would be good for snow potential if they did similar things in the heart of the winter season. 

Overall I am going to make a fairly moderate prediction (in the snowfall contest) but I do think there is potential for this to turn out better than some are fearing. Totals around 15-25 inches may be attainable. It won't likely be a top ten sort of winter but there may be one memorable cold spell and snowstorm associated. 

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12 hours ago, Cobalt said:

:unsure:

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That's pretty bad... and almost everyone has admitted the PAC SST's are as bad as they could possibly be across the entire basin.  And that is very good reason to be pessimistic about the winter. 

If we are trying to search for reasons to have hope the north atl isn't the same torch it was in 2011.  There are also non SST factors to consider like the state of the NAM and Solar influences.  I would be pretty surprised if this ended up being a very snowy winter.  It lacks any or all of the variables attributed to past big winters.  That said...I probably would have said that heading into 1996 also.  Hindsight is 20/20 and in retrospect there were some subtle signs with the north pac SST and QBO that could have hinted...but still that year sticks out as a huge fluke.  And maybe in our lifetime something like that happens again.  

 

One idea floating around that some calling for a colder snowier winter are pointing towards is the QBO but I am skeptical.  Sometimes a mean anomaly map can lie.  Yes if you take all strongly negative QBO winters you get a cold correlation, but first if you sort them only by cold enso the correlation is much weaker.  There is a map DT made floating around that is in error because he included 2014/15 mistakenly as a la nina year.  That skewed the anomaly a LOT.   But there is still a slight cold anomaly but its the result of a couple very cold years and then slightly more mild years.  The end result is slightly below average temps but with a small data set the predictive benefit of that seems low to me.  Furthermore the cold seems very December centered and a cold December can be wasted around here very easily.  I do think we likely get a cold December...and probably some snow.  But I am skeptical that leads to a snowy winter overall.  We could hope for something like the 2006 nina where we got a few snows in December then lucked into that one MECS in February and ended up with a pretty high snowfall total.  

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11 hours ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Now...someone help me out here:

Now, just from a layman's point of view...why doesn't warmer climate=warmer ENSO? Like, when ya say warmer waters I'm thinkin' like..."We'll why is the ENSO still cold?" Is it a different source of temperature at work, or?

In simplified terms the enso El Niño La Niña cycle is caused by patterns in the trade winds. la Nina is associated with stronger trade winds which up Wells colder waters and then pushes that colder water west across the enso regions. El Niño is associated with weaker trade winds which allows the waters to warm  

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2 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

In simplified terms the enso El Niño La Niña cycle is caused by patterns in the trade winds. la Nina is associated with stronger trade winds which up Wells colder waters and then pushes that colder water west across the enso regions. El Niño is associated with weaker trade winds which allows the waters to warm  

He needs to put in some effort and learn more than the easy button shallow overview. No substitute for having a more profound understanding of the mechanisms, esp given this is a major driver for winter patterns and he seems very interested in understanding why above average snowfall doesn't happen here on the reg. Bad teacher!! B)

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20 minutes ago, CAPE said:

He needs to put in some effort and learn more than the easy button shallow overview. No substitute for having a more profound understanding of the mechanisms, esp given this is a major driver for winter patterns and he seems very interested in understanding why above average snowfall doesn't happen here on the reg. Bad teacher!! B)

Disagree with the last sentence: I'm not surprised about why it doesn't happen more often...I'm learning how much of a roulette this is. 

But ENSO on the other hand is a bit more involved. Now mind you I'm somewhat content with the simpler answer he gave...and it took me a round about way for Googling: I simply looked to see if stirring a cup of hot water cools it down--and sure enough it does! (Hoping I read it right, lol). So it makes sense that the mire wind that blows the cooler the otherwise warm water! :D So PSU's simple answer led me to a (hopefully) helpful illustration of what happens. Which now makes the talk of "upwelling" and such make more sense...which is, ironically, not so much of a shallow answer after all.

So Mr. @CAPE, stick that in yer cod :lol:

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2 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Disagree with the last sentence: I'm not surprised about why it doesn't happen more often...I'm learning how much of a roulette this is. 

But ENSO on the other hand is a bit more involved. Now mind you I'm somewhat content with the simpler answer he gave...and it took me a round about way for Googling: I simply looked to see if stirring a cup of hot water cools it down--and sure enough it does! (Hoping I read it right, lol). So it makes sense that the mire wind that blows the cooler the otherwise warm water! :D So PSU's simple answer led me to a (hopefully) helpful illustration of what happens. Which now makes the talk of "upwelling" and such make more sense...which is, ironically, not so much of a shallow answer after all.

So Mr. @CAPE, stick that in yer cod :lol:

I literally told you what to google to find all the basic info, and more if you wanted to go there. I teach for a living too. Always challenge your students. ;)

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27 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Disagree with the last sentence: I'm not surprised about why it doesn't happen more often...I'm learning how much of a roulette this is. 

But ENSO on the other hand is a bit more involved. Now mind you I'm somewhat content with the simpler answer he gave...and it took me a round about way for Googling: I simply looked to see if stirring a cup of hot water cools it down--and sure enough it does! (Hoping I read it right, lol). So it makes sense that the mire wind that blows the cooler the otherwise warm water! :D So PSU's simple answer led me to a (hopefully) helpful illustration of what happens. Which now makes the talk of "upwelling" and such make more sense...which is, ironically, not so much of a shallow answer after all.

So Mr. @CAPE, stick that in yer cod :lol:

Why it happens is irrelevant when it comes to trying to predict its effects in our region come winter.

Ill be the first to say that I know jack shit about it, but I feel this is a good stance to take … it’s way to complex to think you’re gonna predict weather at 2-4 months using one factor alone.

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If you are counting on our source regions to help deliver cold into our area this month the odds look very poor. 

Many record highs in areas that should be much, much colder.  Same issues as last year, and only getting worse.

Snow cover looks pathetic as well. 

 

 

 

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