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Winter 2022-23


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Immediate DC area aside, the eastern lowlands of the MA have done decently in recent Ninas (and maybe Ninas trending neutral). Not sure how to account for it other than luck- managing to be just close enough to get in on the late developing/offshore coastals in a cold, progressive pattern that more typically would result in a complete miss at our latitude and nail eastern NE.

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19 minutes ago, CAPE said:

Immediate DC area aside, the eastern lowlands of the MA have done decently in recent Ninas (and maybe Ninas trending neutral). Not sure how to account for it other than luck- managing to be just close enough to get in on the late developing/offshore coastals in a cold, progressive pattern that more typically would result in a complete miss at our latitude and nail eastern NE.

I don't think its luck...there is a repetitive trend during Nina's that when it does get cold there are progressive waves that seem to have a better chance the further east you are in our region.   On top of that there tend to be a lot of miller b storms due to the lack of a strong STJ and those, while not usually prolific, do sometimes clip our eastern regions a bit as well.  Signs of this repetitive pattern have shown up at times in 2009, 2011, 2017, 2018, and 2022.  I think there is enough evidence, and Nina snowfall anomaly maps show this as well, that the immediate 95 corridor (where most live!) is the absolute snowfall minimum in a nina.  Further west tends to get a bit more snow from temperature dependent systems and further east has a better chance of getting clipped by the progressive waves and miller b's.  DC and Baltimore are in the exact worst location and most likely to get screwed.  I think that's climo not bad luck.  

ETA: simply put...the further west you can go before getting any elevation advantages...the worse off you are in a progressive pattern.  

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7 hours ago, RIC_WX said:

Last year the holidays were warmer in absolute terms (50’s for days) than 2021 Memorial Day weekend at DCL (43*F the whole time) and that was a bona fide fact.  No matter how many more years I got that is a feat I am betting won’t repeat.

I literally slept Memorial Day weekend next to a kerosene heater and Christmas it was too warm to burn the wood stove without raising the windows.  I would really like to avoid that this year.

Yes, the temps coupled with rain everyday that week made for a miserable week last December.  It was one of those 1 every 10 year kind of horrendous stretches IMO.  And I forgot about the Memorial Day weather.  

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24 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

I don't think its luck...there is a repetitive trend during Nina's that when it does get cold there are progressive waves that seem to have a better chance the further east you are in our region.   On top of that there tend to be a lot of miller b storms due to the lack of a strong STJ and those, while not usually prolific, do sometimes clip our eastern regions a bit as well.  Signs of this repetitive pattern have shown up at times in 2009, 2011, 2017, 2018, and 2022.  I think there is enough evidence, and Nina snowfall anomaly maps show this as well, that the immediate 95 corridor (where most live!) is the absolute snowfall minimum in a nina.  Further west tends to get a bit more snow from temperature dependent systems and further east has a better chance of getting clipped by the progressive waves and miller b's.  DC and Baltimore are in the exact worst location and most likely to get screwed.  I think that's climo not bad luck.  

ETA: simply put...the further west you can go before getting any elevation advantages...the worse off you are in a progressive pattern.  

Good post. You are right, there is a tendency for a snow 'hole' in the middle part of the region during Ninas. Eastern areas also did well in the 2010 boxing day storm. I managed 5" here, but it was still frustrating knowing there was a foot plus just to my east.

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4 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

I think some are making this more complicated than perhaps it has to be.  It is true that prior to 2000 there were plenty of healthy snowfall years in and around DC due to some minor factors going our way in otherwise unfavorable enso state.  But since 2000 that just hasn't been true anymore.  Since 2000 these are all the DC snowfall totals in -enso years and neutral years following a nina year (which tend to mimic nina results)

3.2", 13.6", 4.9", 7.5", 10.1", 2.0", 3.1", 3.4", 7.8", 0.6", 5.4", 13.2".  

The avg is 6" and the range is 0.6" to 13.6".

Every single season was below avg.

The truth is we have only done well in either a nino or a neutral year NOT following a nina.  So...it seems unless we are praying for some super anomalous fluke a reasonable expectation is "below avg" with a range somewhere between 1" and 13".  I don't think we really are likely to get much benefit from minor positive drivers in the pattern anymore...it seems we now need the major base states to all line up in our favor to get a snowy winter in and around DC.

If you live in the western and northern highlands of our regions this does not pertain to you...those areas can still manage a healthy snowfall total in less favorable seasons.  

I really appreciate your analysis. Always enjoy reading your posts.

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1 hour ago, psuhoffman said:

I don't think its luck...there is a repetitive trend during Nina's that when it does get cold there are progressive waves that seem to have a better chance the further east you are in our region.   On top of that there tend to be a lot of miller b storms due to the lack of a strong STJ and those, while not usually prolific, do sometimes clip our eastern regions a bit as well.  Signs of this repetitive pattern have shown up at times in 2009, 2011, 2017, 2018, and 2022.  I think there is enough evidence, and Nina snowfall anomaly maps show this as well, that the immediate 95 corridor (where most live!) is the absolute snowfall minimum in a nina.  Further west tends to get a bit more snow from temperature dependent systems and further east has a better chance of getting clipped by the progressive waves and miller b's.  DC and Baltimore are in the exact worst location and most likely to get screwed.  I think that's climo not bad luck.  

ETA: simply put...the further west you can go before getting any elevation advantages...the worse off you are in a progressive pattern.  

I agree with you that it's standard nina climo that we usually get stuck between suppressed cold/dry and warm/wet cutter tracks. 

With a moderate but weakening nina, -PDO, and the NAO being projected to avg weakly positive, I still lean towards a below normal snowfall this winter.

But there are a couple of X factors that didn't exist on previous analogs - one being that the ATL hurricane season has been uncharacteristically quiet, and two being the H2O vapor eruption with undetermined effects on the stratosphere (i.e. there is a long chain of "ifs" that must come true to get -AO from a NH strat warming as a result).

Again, leaning BN snowfall, but leaving the door open to a couple of surprises.

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49 minutes ago, CAPE said:

Good post. You are right, there is a tendency for a snow 'hole' in the middle part of the region during Ninas. Eastern areas also did well in the 2010 boxing day storm. I managed 5" here, but it was still frustrating knowing there was a foot plus just to my east.

:whistle:

Signed,

Resident of the middle part of the region

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4 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

I think some are making this more complicated than perhaps it has to be.  It is true that prior to 2000 there were plenty of healthy snowfall years in and around DC due to some minor factors going our way in otherwise unfavorable enso state.  But since 2000 that just hasn't been true anymore.  Since 2000 these are all the DC snowfall totals in -enso years and neutral years following a nina year (which tend to mimic nina results)

3.2", 13.6", 4.9", 7.5", 10.1", 2.0", 3.1", 3.4", 7.8", 0.6", 5.4", 13.2".  

The avg is 6" and the range is 0.6" to 13.6".

Every single season was below avg.

The truth is we have only done well in either a nino or a neutral year NOT following a nina.  So...it seems unless we are praying for some super anomalous fluke a reasonable expectation is "below avg" with a range somewhere between 1" and 13".  I don't think we really are likely to get much benefit from minor positive drivers in the pattern anymore...it seems we now need the major base states to all line up in our favor to get a snowy winter in and around DC.

If you live in the western and northern highlands of our regions this does not pertain to you...those areas can still manage a healthy snowfall total in less favorable seasons.  

That 0.6" is 19/20, right? That was a neutral iirc, but it was preceded by a weak Nino in 18/19, so not sure it fits the qualifications you mentioned. Regardless, even with that out of the dataset it's easy to tell where the floor and ceilings are given current climo.

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5 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

Since 2000 these are all the DC snowfall totals in -enso years and neutral years following a nina year (which tend to mimic nina results)

3.2", 13.6", 4.9", 7.5", 10.1", 2.0", 3.1", 3.4", 7.8", 0.6", 5.4", 13.2".  

The avg is 6" and the range is 0.6" to 13.6".

Every single season was below avg.

 

For IAD, the range is between 2.6" and 15.8", average is 9".

Source https://www.weather.gov/media/lwx/climate/iadsnow.pdf

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2 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

I don't think its luck...there is a repetitive trend during Nina's that when it does get cold there are progressive waves that seem to have a better chance the further east you are in our region.   On top of that there tend to be a lot of miller b storms due to the lack of a strong STJ and those, while not usually prolific, do sometimes clip our eastern regions a bit as well.  Signs of this repetitive pattern have shown up at times in 2009, 2011, 2017, 2018, and 2022.  I think there is enough evidence, and Nina snowfall anomaly maps show this as well, that the immediate 95 corridor (where most live!) is the absolute snowfall minimum in a nina.  Further west tends to get a bit more snow from temperature dependent systems and further east has a better chance of getting clipped by the progressive waves and miller b's.  DC and Baltimore are in the exact worst location and most likely to get screwed.  I think that's climo not bad luck.  

ETA: simply put...the further west you can go before getting any elevation advantages...the worse off you are in a progressive pattern.  

This. I think some here forget about this part. Outside of the consideration of usual "chaos" of weather where you can always get an anomaly, I don't get the "ninas aren't so bad" chorus--unless those saying that don't live in the middle, lol As you said it has been a repetitive pattern--particularly over the last 10-15 years.

Now, I get we can be screwed in other ensos as well--and sure, you can get to median still (albeit through 1-2" events). However, as the numbers you posted have shown, that THIS particular kind of fail happens the most under ninas (and rarely deviates from that tendency). Like you don't even have to even know the snowfall totals...but just look at the radar during any big storm during a nina and see that dang hole, lol Now on a positive note...you can still get enough scenery snow and decent cold for it to "feel" like winter. It just comes by those 1-2" events I mentioned (like 2018 when we got to 18" just by a bunch of those events, lol). But if you're looking for a little more of a punch...ninas ain't it most of the time!

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6 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

I think some are making this more complicated than perhaps it has to be.  It is true that prior to 2000 there were plenty of healthy snowfall years in and around DC due to some minor factors going our way in otherwise unfavorable enso state.  But since 2000 that just hasn't been true anymore.  Since 2000 these are all the DC snowfall totals in -enso years and neutral years following a nina year (which tend to mimic nina results)

3.2", 13.6", 4.9", 7.5", 10.1", 2.0", 3.1", 3.4", 7.8", 0.6", 5.4", 13.2".  

The avg is 6" and the range is 0.6" to 13.6".

Every single season was below avg.

The truth is we have only done well in either a nino or a neutral year NOT following a nina.  So...it seems unless we are praying for some super anomalous fluke a reasonable expectation is "below avg" with a range somewhere between 1" and 13".  I don't think we really are likely to get much benefit from minor positive drivers in the pattern anymore...it seems we now need the major base states to all line up in our favor to get a snowy winter in and around DC.

If you live in the western and northern highlands of our regions this does not pertain to you...those areas can still manage a healthy snowfall total in less favorable seasons.  

For that set of years (Winter season, DCA):

  • Below normal precip:  6
  • Near normal precip: 4
  • Above normal precip:  1

 

  • Above normal temps:  7
  • Near normal temps:  3
  • Below normal temps:  1

The only ok combos were '05-06 (13.6") with near normal precip and temps and '20-21 (5.4") with above normal precip and near normal temps.  

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3 hours ago, Cobalt said:

That 0.6" is 19/20, right? That was a neutral iirc, but it was preceded by a weak Nino in 18/19, so not sure it fits the qualifications you mentioned. Regardless, even with that out of the dataset it's easy to tell where the floor and ceilings are given current climo.

You’re right. My bad. I am not sure how that ended up in there. Remove that. So the range is 2”-13.6”. 

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It is MY thought, that this type of action is what the DC Metropolitan Region will be celebrating this winter!

https://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0201D&L=skivt-l&P=R11466

Sunday      As advertised, the big storm came in from the Pacific and Lost Trail reported another 12 inches of new snow on top of the foot they had already received in the past couple of days. The powder was getting serious. E and I joined some friends from the lab and got right to work on Thunder, a steep trail under lift 2. The latest round of snow had fallen really light, around 5% H2O, and it hardly slowed you down at all. We enjoyed a few runs down Thunder until it got pretty tracked up, then we headed into the trees. With the help of friends, we were also introduced to a secret meadow that lies between two trails and offers up some steep powder shots. We’ve been slowly learning the local tree stashes, and today found a few new ones that delivered some great deep powder. In the afternoon, when the others had left, E and I found an exceptionally tasty one to the right of Thunder and had it to ourselves for the rest of the day. Monday, MLK Day      Hmmm, this snow is too deep to ski through, I’ll just use this track left by someone else and hustle my way over to the edge of Thunder. Ahh, now we’re moving, this should be fun, can’t wait to see what this powder is like… oh, hey that shot hit me in the face, gasp, gotta get that out of my mouth, cough, ack another, oh god, oh god, this snow is amazing, gasp, but I can’t breathe, this is too good to stop, choke, but I think I’m going to die, oh man do I need air this isn’t funny, this isn’t funny at all, I REALLY need to stop…      Derek and I had just scared ourselves half to death. We’d dropped into Thunder and nearly suffocated on snow. After 10 turns, I stopped, gasping for breath, and looked to my left to see that Derek had done exactly the same thing. We were both scared as hell. “Oh my God I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t know what to do, I had to stop!” Derek looked over at me and acknowledged that he was in exactly the same state of affairs. Once the adrenaline surge began to fade, we came to our senses and began to realize what was going on. This was not simply another average powder day. This was a, “Dammit, I know people are always joking about snorkels but I wish I had one right now just so I could breathe” day. As if the two feet we already had weren’t enough, another 18-20 inches had come down overnight and the maelstrom dragged on at an inch and hour right before our eyes.      We gathered our thoughts and decided to time our breathing as we skied.   It didn’t work. Even on the upstroke of a turn, the snow lingered in the air and left us gagging and coughing, the snow building up in our mouths until we just had to stop and breathe. I never thought I’d see the day when too much snow made the skiing LESS fun. I’d had big powder days back home in Vermont, days when face shots were everywhere, days when I’d get a few mouthfuls of snow and have to spit it out to get breathing again at the next sign of light. But never had I had difficulty like this. I remember the day that Dave called me from Bolton and said that they had been nailed with over 2 feet of champagne powder overnight, he explained how all the instructors were going nuts and you had to time your breathing. I couldn’t go up though because I was in the middle of an experiment at work, but I thought I had imagined correctly what he was going through. I hadn’t. It didn’t matter how we turned or how we tried to time our breathing, it was an all-out choke fest. We worked our way down the rest of the run trying to enjoy the amazing conditions the best we could, but hampered by the snow all the same.      In the end, we found a simple solution. Since we didn’t have neck gaiters, we used the lower front portions of our hoods to cover up our mouths while we skied. This worked like a charm, and from then on all we had to do was focus on powder bliss. That morning, we spent a lot of time in the white room.      After a couple of runs down Thunder, it started to get a bit tracked up, so we headed over to Moose Creek, a region just at the edge of the ski area which is not patrolled, but highly used. Derek knew a nice entrance through some trees that would maximize our vertical and steepness in Moose Creek, just what we needed with this snow. Through a combination of untracked snow from the previous couple of feet that fell, and protection from the wind, we found ourselves atop the 35 degree pitch into Moose Creek standing in thigh to waist deep snow. This was going to be absolutely absurd. Covering our gaping mouths with our hoods, we prepared ourselves for the experience. I pushed off slowly, the flat slope gradually gaining pitch, and I, gradually gaining speed. Within 2-3 turns I was in the thick of it and snow was everywhere. There are a few lone trees scattered about this area, and thankfully they were the only things we needed to worry about. Each turn was a blinding explosion of white which flew up to our chests, up to our mouths, into our eyes, over our heads. With the breathing problem solved, now the issue was vision. I can recall one run where I plotted my course from the top, just to the left of one of the lone trees, pushed off, and held on tight. The ride consisted of 90% white punctuated by short episodes of “There’s that tree… there it is again… now it’s close… there it goes… oh my god! Although Moose Creek only offers up a few hundred vertical feet before it ends in a cat track which brings you back to the lift, it was far too good, dare I say “Epic” to ignore. I will use Epic since this was undoubtedly one of my top 10 days, and my best day ever in the Western U.S. I’ve skied deeper snow, and steeper snow, and lighter snow, and longer runs, but as the ski industry would say, this was the longest-deepest-steepest-lightest snow I’d ever skied, or something to that effect. And this was unquestionably the “face-shotinnest day” I’d ever seen. We cycled Moose Creek a half dozen times, eventually meeting up with my supervisor Byron, and his supervisor Bruce. Technically, we were celebrating Martin Luther King Day (and boy were we celebrating) but I think the lab would have been devoid of skiers whatever day it had been. Everyone in town knew this was not a day to be missed.

 

 

This, has absolutely been a Classic, VINTAGE Jebman Post.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

I'm willing to bet that you have posted about the QBO much more this fall than you did last fall.

We know his bias but he isn’t necessarily wrong. You can come up with some less hostile qbo correlations but it requires drilling down to a level of specificity where you create a sample too small to glean meaningful conclusions Imo. 
 

That said we don’t know for certainty what reaction every combination of every factor will illicit.  There is still plenty of uncertainty and ambiguity in seasonal forecasting. There is always hope.  But the current nina qbo combo isn’t a reason to celebrate. 

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44 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

We know his bias but he isn’t necessarily wrong. You can come up with some less hostile qbo correlations but it requires drilling down to a level of specificity where you create a sample too small to glean meaningful conclusions Imo. 
 

That said we don’t know for certainty what reaction every combination of every factor will illicit.  There is still plenty of uncertainty and ambiguity in seasonal forecasting. There is always hope.  But the current nina qbo combo isn’t a reason to celebrate. 

I mean, we all get it....we have known that the QBO was going to be westerly for many, many, many months. I just won't understand why you choose a tweet reminding us all of the westerly QBO that adds so little value to the discussion as 1 of your 5 daily posts. While its not at all wrong, it just doesn't make very much sense to me. Anyway, I don't think the QBO holds a ton of weight....at least as we understand it. You look back throughout history, any there are numerous examples, such as just last season, when the behavior of the polar domain was inconsistent with what one would expect using the QBO state as a forecasting tool. I tend to use it as more of "tie-breaker" factor...like, if I am torn on the AO/NAO and QBO is westerly, sure....lean +.

We all know its westerly/+.....have known for months, and its not that big of a deal, anyway.

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40 minutes ago, snowman19 said:

We’ll see where the main tropical convective forcing/MJO waves want to setup this fall, going into early met winter….if it wants to set up over the eastern part of the Indian Ocean and the Maritime Continent then we have issues

Yea, at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Eastern Indian ocean is game over for all, but even maritime can be serviceable up here.

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1 hour ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

Yea, at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Eastern Indian ocean is game over for all, but even maritime can be serviceable up here.

Yea. Eastern Indian Ocean forcing = dead in the water. Maritime Continent = maybe “serviceable” until February and March with the wavelength changes then no good

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