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Winter 2023/24 Medium/Long Range Discussion


Chicago Storm
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Just surprised at how things turned so strongly away from more sustained blocking and many other LR forecasters much more well versed than me were banking on that. So the pattern did change, but only short-lived and it was completely luck driven to get in on the swaths of snow with the few clippers after the initial southern stream system got suppressed south.

It shows again that strong Niños are a losing battle. Plus I think the past few winters the eastern US has been prone to these ridge amplifications apparently related to the anomalous ocean and air mass warmth in the western Pacific (maybe some CC linkage there). The warmth to end the month and start March does certainly look higher end and may have some threat for severe wx but guessing we don't get into a March 2012-lite situation.

While the weekly guidance has certainly been unreliable, the recent stratospheric warming would tend to support the return of more blocky regime they've been showing toward or during mid March, right when most won't want it of course.

As far as Chicago getting any measurable snow on the board for February, it seems unlikely but the only potential window would be a well timed wave while the cold air is around next weekend.





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6 hours ago, Frog Town said:

Late February is looking very late '98ish, another very strong Nino year.  

I agree. '83, '98, and '16 all had similar type of March patterns. 

As @michsnowfreakmentioned all three had a cool down sometime mid-late March. Although in 2016 it happened in early April. But no guarantees it will happen this year. This winter has been on life support since it started. 

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Where does the mid-late February 2018 warm up stand? 
Unremarkable locally with 3 days in the 60s and 4 days in the 50s, but enough to wipe out the negative anomalies from the cold and snowy first half of the month. The warmth was more extreme east of here.

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19 minutes ago, RCNYILWX said:

Unremarkable locally with 3 days in the 60s and 4 days in the 50s, but enough to wipe out the negative anomalies from the cold and snowy first half of the month. The warmth was more extreme east of here.

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Quite the opposite here. We had a total of 5 days over 50, which in itself is historic for February for our area.

It wiped all the negative anomalies from the first 14 days here too. If February 2018 finished on Feb 14, it would've finished 2 degrees below average. Quite the flip. 

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Quite the opposite here. We had a total of 5 days over 50, which in itself is historic for February for our area.
It wiped all the negative anomalies from the first 14 days here too. If February 2018 finished on Feb 14, it would've finished 2 degrees below average. Quite the flip. 
I guess a better way to put it is that it was a noteworthy turnaround, but relative to the all out torch the year before, plus the fact the month still finished at normal, made it stand out less. Certainly not unusual to have widely varying conditions throughout the month of February in a typical winter.

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5 hours ago, RCNYILWX said:

Unremarkable locally with 3 days in the 60s and 4 days in the 50s, but enough to wipe out the negative anomalies from the cold and snowy first half of the month. The warmth was more extreme east of here.

Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
 

The February 2018 warm up was impressive and lasted the better part of 10 days. And while it was able to wipe out the cold departures for the month, we spent the first 3 weeks of the month with deep snow cover and it was actually my favorite period of a pretty harsh winter. 2017-18 was the one true harsh winter since the "glory days" ended in 2015. The one thing that that February warm up did do is it made the month finish warmer than average, and that would be the only month from November to April that was not colder than average.

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12 hours ago, RCNYILWX said:

Late February 2017. It was the 3rd warmest February on record for Chicago. 1998, a super Niño, is second warmest.

 

Yup. Also had the :twister:outbreak featuring the Marseilles, Washburn & Crossville EF3s and the Perryville, MO-Christopher, IL EF4. This on the heels of one of the more notable icing events in southern Wisconsin in recent memory (for me at least). We actually had enough accretion to noticeably weigh down the trees, and leave a clear glaze on everything even after the sun came out the next day.
 

2/25/2017 Ice 10

2016 also had a relatively early season :twister:outbreak in the region; March 15th seemed about the earliest possible non-ridiculous time of year (remembering events such as 3/13/90 and 3/12/06) for this area to me so I went out and chased, got a glimpse of the Trivoli-Hanna City EF2.
 

EF2 tornado, Hanna City, IL, 3/15/2016

Of course, when the next year rolled around, late February just seemed way too **** early so I sat that one out. Apparently the lesson didn't stick because I also sat out the Winterset day in 2022 because I thought March 5th was too early, although in my defense that setup also looked rather marginal on most of the model runs in the days leading up to it. By the time it began to look genuinely good closer to go time, I had already talked myself out of chasing. Keota day last year was also quite early season for the region, but with it being a moderate/eventually high risk and the models consistently showing that (lack of) deep moisture return would not be an issue, confidence was much higher.

Now of course in 2024 we get something truly stupid, with tornadoes in Wisconsin on February 8th, with dewpoints not even reaching 50, and one of those being one of the longest-tracked and most impactful in the south-central part of the state in nearly ten years (going back to the cluster of late-night strong tornadoes on June 16-17, 2014, when an EF2 missed my apartment building by about two blocks while I was staying in a hotel, having driven to eastern Nebraska to whiff on what turned out to be the Pilger event).

Ironically, the least likely six-week period out of the year to get tornadoes in the Midwest in recent years seems to have become what should be the peak; May through mid-June.

 

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1 hour ago, A-L-E-K said:

 

 

Some folks may come along and talk about how there's still March to go through which averages a fair bit of snow or how we always see a cold snap in March/April, but you can't fight the overall trends/signals. The odds of locking in another sustained/long-lasting winter pattern for the remainder of this season are progressively diminishing by the day.

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44 minutes ago, Powerball said:

 

Some folks may come along and talk about how there's still March to go through which averages a fair bit of snow or how we always see a cold snap in March/April, but you can't fight the overall trends/signals. The odds of locking in another sustained/long-lasting winter pattern for the remainder of this season are progressively diminishing by the day.


Good. No reason to try and put lipstick on a pig or polish a turd with useless March/April snow. 

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1 hour ago, Powerball said:

 

Some folks may come along and talk about how there's still March to go through which averages a fair bit of snow or how we always see a cold snap in March/April, but you can't fight the overall trends/signals. The odds of locking in another sustained/long-lasting winter pattern for the remainder of this season are progressively diminishing by the day.

Hmm I wonder who that one folk is that's gonna come along....

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14 minutes ago, Stevo6899 said:

Hmm I wonder who that one folk is that's gonna come along....

And that one folk is right, no matter how sour you are. Going into March last year, no one expected the amount of snow most of us got, if you did you are lying. Not saying its likely but it is far from impossible.

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1 hour ago, Chambana said:


Good. No reason to try and put lipstick on a pig or polish a turd with useless March/April snow. 

While that may be true for you and your area, it definitely is not for this area.  There has been many spectacular March and April events in this area that I would love to see something similar again.   

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2 hours ago, Powerball said:

 

Some folks may come along and talk about how there's still March to go through which averages a fair bit of snow or how we always see a cold snap in March/April, but you can't fight the overall trends/signals. The odds of locking in another sustained/long-lasting winter pattern for the remainder of this season are progressively diminishing by the day.

Theres a huge difference between a March/April cold snap and a sustained long-lasting winter pattern. Its kind of like how every year since 2013 some call for "morch" with any sight of a mild pattern (sometimes not even that) but it never has been close to happening. Warm spells? Yes. Morch? No. 

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1 hour ago, Stebo said:

And that one folk is right, no matter how sour you are. Going into March last year, no one expected the amount of snow most of us got, if you did you are lying. Not saying its likely but it is far from impossible.

Some people get sour when their dramatizations are consistently proven wrong by facts. 

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23 minutes ago, Lightning said:

While that may be true for you and your area, it definitely is not for this area.  There has been many spectacular March and April events in this area that I would love to see something similar again.   

Me too. Im definitely interested in the insistence of the CFS and Euro weeklies (though the weeklies have been awful) on mid-late March cold because that matches up extremely well to many strong El Nino Marches (warm first half/cold second half, often a snowstorm). If it happens it happens, if it doesnt it doesnt. But not going to avoid discussion of it because its not what the masses want.

 

El Nino or not, the amount of times we have seen a big mid to late March snowstorm after a mild winter is crazy. 

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23 minutes ago, michsnowfreak said:

Theres a huge difference between a March/April cold snap and a sustained long-lasting winter pattern. Its kind of like how every year since 2013 some call for "morch" with any sight of a mild pattern (sometimes not even that) but it never has been close to happening. Warm spells? Yes. Morch? No. 

My comment was more so focused on the "Winter is over" part of that tweet.

They are being flippant and are technically wrong (winter weather can certainly still happen well into March / April as has been pointed out), but I see the validity in the spirit of their statement in recognition of the broader pattern.

BTW, 2012 is funny in a way too because as much as folks talk about March, May was also fairly torchy (it just doesn't get discussed as much being that it sat right in the shadows of March) and both months sandwiched an April with a pretty hard freeze for many areas.

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