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What Went Wrong in Winter 23-24/Base State/Will It Ever Snow Again??


WxUSAF
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22 minutes ago, Scarlet Pimpernel said:

Serious question for you, or for anyone else who has been more following the longer range outlooks (extended ensembles, weeklies, that sort if thing).  Obviously those longer range 500 mb plots are smoothed, etc., and are intended to give you an overall view of the flow and pattern.  That said, they consistently ALL showed a far different view of how the last half of February into the first half of March than what we now see on both ops and ensembles.  Like day after day after day.  And it's not like previous years where it got kicked later and later...the "epic" pattern actually moved up in time.  And then...WTF just happened in the last week or so?  I'm not trying to be flippant in any regard.  I'm just curious why those apparently were so far off.  I know we see more "detail" as the time range shortens, but the blocking, cold air source, etc., seems to have all but gone poof.  Also, while I of course believe in "the elephant in the room" (can't say CC...oops, I just did!), it's not like those longer range ensembles wouldn't be influenced by that or "see" it, so to speak.  So the fact that they seem to have flipped cannot really be attributed to that factor.  It would be one thing if for a week or so the longer range ensembles looked great and then looked like shit the blinds, but that's not what happened.

Anyhow, just wondering...

I agree with Chuck here.  This exact same thing happened in 2019.  All through the fall and early winter the guidance advertised some epic pattern starting mid January.  It held until it was on the doorstep.  It got to about day 10 then suddenly and epically collapsed.  And similar to this year, we did get some snow that winter and so it wasn't a complete disaster.  But the epic winter idea on guidance never came about.  And it was mostly for the same reason, the epic looking blocking collapsed.  And there was a SSW that winter also!  A lot of similarities.

 

The consensus after that year was that the weak nino wasn't able to overcome the strong -PDO pacific base state.  As for why the modeling failed...it was discussed then that the long range guidance is heavily weighted towards the large scale pattern drivers.  The long range guidance saw the same things we saw when many of us made snowy winter forecasts.  They guidance saw a basin wide nino, a -QBO, weak SPV, and expected the canonical atmospheric response to those factors and predicted it.  They did the same thing we did when we made our winter forecasts in October and November.  This year many, including myself, discounted a repeat of 2019 because we rationalized that 2019 was a weak nino and this was a strong nino.  But in the end maybe the easiest explanation is that even this strong nino was unable to countermand the base state.  The depressing part of that is if a strong nino cannot overcome this nina ish pacific base state then probably nothing can and we simply need to wait for this whole pacific cycle to end, however long that may take, be it a few more years or maybe another decade, to expect a truly BIG snowfall year like the one some of us predicted this winter.  

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7 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

I agree with Chuck here.  This exact same thing happened in 2019.  All through the fall and early winter the guidance advertised some epic pattern starting mid January.  It held until it was on the doorstep.  It got to about day 10 then suddenly and epically collapsed.  And similar to this year, we did get some snow that winter and so it wasn't a complete disaster.  But the epic winter idea on guidance never came about.  And it was mostly for the same reason, the epic looking blocking collapsed.  And there was a SSW that winter also!  A lot of similarities.

 

The consensus after that year was that the weak nino wasn't able to overcome the strong -PDO pacific base state.  As for why the modeling failed...it was discussed then that the long range guidance is heavily weighted towards the large scale pattern drivers.  The long range guidance saw the same things we saw when many of us made snowy winter forecasts.  They guidance saw a basin wide nino, a -QBO, weak SPV, and expected the canonical atmospheric response to those factors and predicted it.  They did the same thing we did when we made our winter forecasts in October and November.  This year many, including myself, discounted a repeat of 2019 because we rationalized that 2019 was a weak nino and this was a strong nino.  But in the end maybe the easiest explanation is that even this strong nino was unable to countermand the base state.  The depressing part of that is if a strong nino cannot overcome this nina ish pacific base state then probably nothing can and we simply need to wait for this whole pacific cycle to end, however long that may take, be it a few more years or maybe another decade, to expect a truly BIG snowfall year like the one some of us predicted this winter.  

Ahhh, finally found your reply!  I sent a quick note in the medium range thread, but thanks much for this explanation, makes sense.  And again, apologies @WxUSAF if a couple of my comments got off-track from the normal medium-range discussion.

ETA:  At this point, this winter, I'm just hoping for a decent storm that's fun, whether it happens toward the end of this month or in March.  Don't much care.  I am in no way "HECS hunting" by now, but hell, a solid MECS kind of event that we can all follow for a week would be great.  I don't think that's out of the question still before we're done.

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17 minutes ago, brooklynwx99 said:

wave breaking never happened. that stuff is really shaky. sometimes people need an explanation for things all the time, and in such a chaotic field, it will drive you crazy. i'm sure there were some other reasons, but the deamplification of today's storm was the main player

we had two wave breaking -NAO events this year, one in mid-Dec and one in mid-Jan. this one just didn't do it because things trended more progressive... it wasn't an issue with the general tenor of the year. the tenor of the year would have given you more confidence that it would occur

 

13 minutes ago, CAPE said:

That is a tenuous way to get a legit block. Transient -NAO, sure. Guidance did indicate a retrograding Scandi ridge for a time, which is a path to a legit, sustained NA block. Clearly that idea was wrong though.

I agree with the macro reason you're both citing.  But I think something larger is at play and I don't mean CC directly.  The exact same thing happened in 2019 and I think its the same reason.  Yea wave breaking blocking is tenuous but for months all long range guidance got to the same end result, just sometimes in slightly different ways.  Some had a scandy ridge retro.  Some wave breaking.  Some sooner some a week later...but all by mid February had the same epic look.  I don't think we can blame the failure of one cutter for the whole thing falling apart because for months guidance got to the end result in different ways.  Had the pattern idea been correct the next wave should have done it.  There was something larger scale than an individual wave break they were seeing in the global divers leading them to expect what we all expected.  The reason I fell for is so hard was it fit all the analogs to this winter.  I wasn't basing my expectations on the models, the models were matching my expectations.  In the end I think we both fell victim to the same thing, which is the pacific base state is not conducive the the canonical nino response, no matter how strong the nino is.  Even in Dec and Jan when we got legit blocking the NS was way more active than in a typical nino.  It's one reason the January snowy period features 2 rather mundane snow events but not more.  The NS was in the way all the time.  ANd in the end the faster than expected NS, which is tied to the pacific base state lately, ran interference in the blocking and we got a muted pattern response.  We still might get snow but we didn't get the epic pattern.  

We could debate how much this is linked to CC, and that comes down to how much the current pacific base state with a persistent western pac warm pool, expanded hadley cell and nina ish MJO dominance is CC v cyclical.  The PDO is part of this and that part most certainly is cyclical so some of this is most certainly NOT CC.  I think those other 2 factors are CC related...but I can't prove it.  We don't have to fight about that though, because regardless of the underlying cause and how permanent v cyclical it is...the effects on recent winters including this one is the same.  

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What gives me hope is that even in this new “normal” we still have 10-14 days each winter we can “luck” ourselves into a MECS if things break right (19-20 might be the exception as I don’t remember any threats; last year we had a threat before Christmas that ended up cutting west bringing the polar vortex). The difference now is we need to hit a 4 team parlay instead of the easier 3 team Parlay for big events BUT when we do hit it results in bigger payouts. 

Our long term averages are decreasing in the new “normal” due to the lack of classic 4-8” events across the DC area w eastern areas getting 4” due to mixing and Loudoun/upper Montgomery receiving 8”. Those have shifted west ~40 miles resulting in rain east of 95, mix 95 to Frederick, and snow northern MD/Hagerstown. The areas w all snow are getting 10” instead of 8” but the lack of clippers and minor front end snow events is starting to eat away at their averages. 
 

It’ll still be fun to chase the big ones around the DMV but when we fail it’s gonna be pretty ugly. 

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The main issue continues to be that the metro areas (and everywhere south and east) can no longer score significant events outside of January. Winter is now boxed into four weeks instead of four months, so the averages are going to be much, much lower as a result.

(Note: I will STFU about this forever if the region somehow has a WSW this month or next.)

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24 minutes ago, PrinceFrederickWx said:

The main issue continues to be that the metro areas (and everywhere south and east) can no longer score significant events outside of January. Winter is now boxed into four weeks instead of four months, so the averages are going to be much, much lower as a result.

(Note: I will STFU about this forever if the region somehow has a WSW this month or next.)

didnt we just get a blizzard type of storm in march a few years ago like around March 20th lol

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To my eyes, it's pretty simple. This covers it in one image. Snowed when neg and failed all else. Look at the size of the + peaks and how bad 14 day guidance missed the moves. All our good long range looks had nice blocking that looked stable. Ground truth was anything but. It fought us start to finish and tossed some bones. Matches our emotions perfectly. Lol. 

image.thumb.png.ff6b2dbadd5ff85bc12f2882e2d52c96.png

How could we have seen this in advance? Well, you can't. AO/NAO domain space is inherently volatile in the winter. 2 week forecasts are often terrible. 2 months? Idk, is that a model fail or consensus analysis being to confident in what "should happen"?. 

Blocking set up in early Dec and the northern tier got snow then it literally collapsed in epic proportions. Going from -3std to +3std in 10 days is not a sign of a blocky winter. It's the opposite. Hitting +3 is December alone is often ominous. I held out hope because it was way early and stable blocking is a 30-45 day thing and not 90+. 

Dec AO finished with a mean -.2. January did the same. That data goes against all snowy/blocky winters in any enso. The repeat -ao collapse in Jan was my personal dagger and that's why i went quiet. By that point i figured no matter how good things look down the line, ground truth will end up "un-sync'd" and disappointing from a big storm perspective. I felt strongly that we would get more snow and that a big storm is always possible, I just could no longer engage in big storm talk unless the signal was strong inside of 10 days. I also didn't want people jumping on me for canceling winter. Adjusting thoughts lower is far from canceling but is often synonymous lol.

A typical blocky/snowy Nino will have at least month with an AO below -1.0 and another not far behind. Had that transpired (IMHO only), this winter would have had a different personality and vibe. 

I'm not denying climate evolving in any way and I don't want to have that talk. I just don't agree with how this winter in a vacuum signals a change to future ninos. The problem in my eyes is one that plagues us often. If we can't get the AO to cooperate, something else has to overwhelm. Like the epo in 2013-15. But at the end of the day, we need the AO to work for us or it's always a big struggle. This year highlights that well.

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The 1981-2010 normal had 8" of snow for BWI in February. The 1991-2020 normal has 7.5" in February. If you average the last nine Februaries you get only 1.9" now. Even if you accuse me of cherry-picking, and I do ten years to include 2014-15, I'm still only getting 3.1." If you assume next year is a La Nina (where Februaries usually suck) then this is going down even further. 

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Turned out the long range guidance was wrong because the mid-range guidance was way off.  If the guidance was correct in the day 7-10 range, then the longer range guidance would have probably occurred.  I think way too many put too much stock in the long range guidance when in the mid-range guidance is barely reliable.  

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6 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

I don't think it's a fluke honestly. I think ninos can do this randomly in any year just as a Nina can behave very strangely some times too. If it was just our region having big issues this year I would think differently. This winter has not wanted to set up for snowfall in the east half of the country nearly start to finish. That's out of synch to me. It started weird too. The ski resorts in SW CO had an awful start to this year. I mean terrible.... in a Nino? That's quite rare (ive never seen it) but it's not temps there. The early season pattern was way out of synch for them too. 

I don't have a reasons thought through. Just observations. It's been an off Nino everywhere except for a mild winter. That's normal. 

But if you look at -QBO Moderate or stronger Nino's there are way less of those "fluke" non snowy outliers.  Almost all of them were +QBO.  We just wasted a very rare combination that historically is responsible for most of our BIG snowfall seasons.  Baltimore averages over 40" in -QBO Nino's.  I guess I am not as quick to just chalk off the loss of a rare opportunity for us to have an epic winter.  I think the common thread here, and it happened in 2019 also, is that the pacific base state is hostile to the canonical Nino longwave pattern establishing with any consistency.  I am not saying all of that is CC related.  I think the PDO is a large part of that equation and that is a cyclical thing that we are just stuck in the wrong cycle right now.  But we have had way more snow in past -PDO cycles and I think the reason is there are other factors, the warmer waters in general all over, the expanded hadley cells which compresses the jet over the pacific and leads to a more progressive NS and displaced north jet.  This can also destructively interfere with blocking and I think it did in both 2019 and this year and is partly to blame for why those years failed to establish canonical nino patterns.  

Chuck thinks the hadley cell issue is also cyclical.  I really hope he is correct.  I am more skeptical.  I apply basic deductive reasoning here and see how the warmer waters in the pacific would both be related to CC and also cause the shift north in the jet we've observed.  But I can't prove it.  I've not done the research.  I am just using anecdotal observation and deductive reasoning.  But I also admit that the PDO could be exacerbating this issue and when that does eventually shift maybe enough of this comes off that we can live with the results.  

 

But the problem is we are currently stuck in the cycle that we are, and the PDO is negative, and those other factors are making an already bad cycle even more hostile, and the failure of 2 nino's within this cycle to do anything to adjust the base state in our favor to me indicates we might be up shits creek and cannot expect a truly epic snowy season no matter what the specific pattern drivers are until this current pacific decadal cycle ends.  And that may or may not be for a while.  It's hard to predict, some of these -PDO cycles have lasted 10 years or so and so maybe this is almost over, but one cycle lasted 25 years and in that case we might have another 15+ years to go.  I was hopeful that a strong -qbo nino could countermand this hostile cycle, but it appears it cannot.  I'm not sure if I will ever predict above normal snowfall again until this pacific cycle ends.  However long that is.  

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5 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

To my eyes, it's pretty simple. This covers it in one image. Snowed when neg and failed all else. Look at the size of the + peaks and how bad 14 day guidance missed the moves. All our good long range looks had nice blocking that looked stable. Ground truth was anything but. It fought us start to finish and tossed some bones. Matches our emotions perfectly. Lol. 

image.thumb.png.ff6b2dbadd5ff85bc12f2882e2d52c96.png

How could we have seen this in advance? Well, you can't. AO/NAO domain space is inherently volatile in the winter. 2 week forecasts are often terrible. 2 months? Idk, is that a model fail or consensus analysis being to confident in what "should happen"?. 

Blocking set up in early Dec and the northern tier got snow then it literally collapsed in epic proportions. Going from -3std to +3std in 10 days is not a sign of a blocky winter. It's the opposite. Hitting +3 is December alone is often ominous. I held out hope because it was way early and stable blocking is a 30-45 day thing and not 90+. 

Dec AO finished with a mean -.2. January did the same. That data goes against all snowy/blocky winters in any enso. The repeat -ao collapse in Jan was my personal dagger and that's why i went quiet. By that point i figured no matter how good things look down the line, ground truth will end up "un-sync'd" and disappointing from a big storm perspective. I felt strongly that we would get more snow and that a big storm is always possible, I just could no longer engage in big storm talk unless the signal was strong inside of 10 days. I also didn't want people jumping on me for canceling winter. Adjusting thoughts lower is far from canceling but is often synonymous lol.

A typical blocky/snowy Nino will have at least month with an AO below -1.0 and another not far behind. Had that transpired (IMHO only), this winter would have had a different personality and vibe. 

I'm not denying climate evolving in any way and I don't want to have that talk. I just don't agree with how this winter in a vacuum signals a change to future ninos. The problem in my eyes is one that plagues us often. If we can't get the AO to cooperate, something else has to overwhelm. Like the epo in 2013-15. But at the end of the day, we need the AO to work for us or it's always a big struggle. This year highlights that well.

Thanks everyone for this discussion - much appreciated.

I wish there was a way to look up this "forecast vs. observed" historically - if there is, I haven't found it. I'm curious to know how the forecasts from 2010 tracked with eventual observations. I recall clearly that even at the beginning of the fairly extended January thaw that winter the strongest voices here (Eastern back then?), such as Wes, DonS and a couple of others, were rock solid in their opinion that the pattern would return to a snow favorable situation. The positive AO was slight and very short-lived. Were long-range models more on target with pattern recognition that winter, or did Wes & Co have faith in the "El Nino seasonal" progression?

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14 minutes ago, WEATHER53 said:

All we saw from models over and over and over and over and over was monster high pressure up north staying put for weeks on end while storm after storm rolled under us.

Scrap the package and redevelop it from ground zero and give us something emphasizing an actual forecast and not a myriad of 60 panels of 0-10” that we are  supposed to use as “tools” . It’s  a tool all right, like Eddie  Haskell 

The excitement from me though was based on analog based forecasting not day 20 NWP which we all know is incredibly unreliable.   Winter forecasts, which were largely optimistic this year, came out long before guidance started honking for February.  The reason for my excitement was that I had identified analogs based on similar years with respect to things like enso, solar cycle, QBO, PDO, and they largely indicated that at some point from late January through March we would have a period that looked like that.  1958, 1966, 1987, 2010 and 2016 all scored highest in my weighted analogs, and while there was variability with exactly when it would happen all featured a period that was HECS friendly for us at some point after mid January.  So when guidance started showing that...it was exciting not because of the NWP but because it matched the past results from this type of Nino.  If we were simply basing our forecasts on day 20 weather models that would be insane and horrible forecasting.  But some of your posts make it seem like that is what people are doing.  

Look, right now it looks like I was very wrong.  I might end up giving myself an F for this winter if things do not turn around.  I am not throwing in the towel yet but its getting hard to remain optimistic.  I am very critical of myself.  You don't have to tell me when I am wrong.  But it's not fair to imply that the people who put a lot of research and time and effort into long range forecasting which is very difficult, are just looking at long range models and expecting whatever they say.  

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1 hour ago, psuhoffman said:

 

Look, right now it looks like I was very wrong.  I might end up giving myself an F for this winter if things do not turn around.  

Very, very very few forecasters earned anything close to a passing grade this season and I would bet many of the ones who did were contrarian just to bet the long odds, not to have any scientific reasoning behind it.  The reasoning was sound but the outcome ultimately, was wrong.

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50 minutes ago, RIC_WX said:

Very, very very few forecasters earned anything close to a passing grade this season and I would bet many of the ones who did were contrarian just to bet the long odds, not to have any scientific reasoning behind it.  The reasoning was sound but the outcome ultimately, was wrong.

There were a few who got it right and for the right reasons...said the nino would fail to overcome what has plagued us recently.  

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Not sure what it says about anything, but counting this upcoming event, 2 of the 3 most widespread accumulating snow events in our area in a strong Nino are nearly all northern stream lows and the 3rd had significant northern stream influence. 

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3 hours ago, WxUSAF said:

Not sure what it says about anything, but counting this upcoming event, 2 of the 3 most widespread accumulating snow events in our area in a strong Nino are nearly all northern stream lows and the 3rd had significant northern stream influence. 

I was thinking this earlier today also. So far we actually had 6 “waves” track under us that affected us with precip. The problem is the 4 that were juiced up stj waves with significant qpf all were too warm. Only the waves that were NS dominant and more progressive were cold enough to be snow. 

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3 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

I was thinking this earlier today also. So far we actually had 6 “waves” track under us that affected us with precip. The problem is the 4 that were juiced up stj waves with significant qpf all were too warm. Only the waves that were NS dominant and more progressive were cold enough to be snow. 

I hate to say this but that’s very nina-like. In a strong borderline super nino no less. 

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26 minutes ago, Terpeast said:

I hate to say this but that’s very nina-like. In a strong borderline super nino no less. 

Yea. Let’s table the “will it ever snow again” question. I think the more accurate way to phrase what was answered this year was “is it likely we get a region wide cold/snowy winter in this current pacific cycle” and the answer is no. We probably have to wait for this PDO cycle to end for us to have a chance at a region wide 30”+ type winter.  

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5 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Yea. Let’s table the “will it ever snow again” question. I think the more accurate way to phrase what was answered this year was “is it likely we get a region wide cold/snowy winter in this current pacific cycle” and the answer is no. We probably have to wait for this PDO cycle to end for us to have a chance at a region wide 30”+ type winter.  

Agree. Glimmer of hope is that we may not have to wait that long for the -pdo to end. CC may be causing more variability and quicker flips between + and -

Plus according to this graph, we’ve been in a neg pdo since following the 1998 super nino.

IMG_6067.png.bf28f5b7c774306f6d9addf040c61a32.png

Hard to tell and data before 1930 or so is likely suspect, but the cycles were prolonged in the past, and they seem to be shortening over time. 

1840-1880: neg for 40 years
1880-1910: pos for 30 years
1910-1925: brief neg for 15y
1924-1945: pos 20y
1945-1975: neg 30y
1975-1998: pos 23y
1998-now: neg 26y but with brief 2-4 year interruptions

I suspect that it won’t be long until it flips back, but the positive cycles will become shorter each cycle, same with negative. wild card is in the marine heat waves, those may change things in unforeseen ways

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4 hours ago, Roger Smith said:

It will snow again, milankovitch cycles will edge slowly in our favor by 15,000 AD. And we should be well past fossil fuels by then too. Lookin' good. 

What am I gonna do for thirteen millennia in the meantime?

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12 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

The excitement from me though was based on analog based forecasting not day 20 NWP which we all know is incredibly unreliable.   Winter forecasts, which were largely optimistic this year, came out long before guidance started honking for February.  The reason for my excitement was that I had identified analogs based on similar years with respect to things like enso, solar cycle, QBO, PDO, and they largely indicated that at some point from late January through March we would have a period that looked like that.  1958, 1966, 1987, 2010 and 2016 all scored highest in my weighted analogs, and while there was variability with exactly when it would happen all featured a period that was HECS friendly for us at some point after mid January.  So when guidance started showing that...it was exciting not because of the NWP but because it matched the past results from this type of Nino.  If we were simply basing our forecasts on day 20 weather models that would be insane and horrible forecasting.  But some of your posts make it seem like that is what people are doing.  

Look, right now it looks like I was very wrong.  I might end up giving myself an F for this winter if things do not turn around.  I am not throwing in the towel yet but its getting hard to remain optimistic.  I am very critical of myself.  You don't have to tell me when I am wrong.  But it's not fair to imply that the people who put a lot of research and time and effort into long range forecasting which is very difficult, are just looking at long range models and expecting whatever they say.  

I am only an overexcited snow weenie. I was balls wrong. I don't give myself an F. I give myself a Z. I was so friggin' wrong I might have to resort to Greek letters.

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17 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

But if you look at -QBO Moderate or stronger Nino's there are way less of those "fluke" non snowy outliers.  Almost all of them were +QBO.  We just wasted a very rare combination that historically is responsible for most of our BIG snowfall 

 

 

I 100% agree we wasted a historically good/great winter setup. It just never got going anywhere in the conus. Except for plenty of rain in the south (and us). Winter has been mostly absent in the entire country outside of big mountains in the west.

The whole country wasted this Nino if you think about it. It will most certainly happen again just like some form of 96 will happen again. Or 2013-14. This winter didn't pick on us like some others. This one never showed up imho. It never once looked like a normal Nino even back in Dec. Wolf Creek violently agrees lol. 

One thing I generally bank on every single year is some part of our winter that's well thought out in advance will basically throw eggs and laugh at us. We generally do a post mortem and figure it out in the rear view. Thing is, it's usually not something repeatable. Just a prominent out of place feature throwing things off. It works both ways like what the epo did for us recently. But (imo only) these features have no predictability in advance. Cycles in cycles in cycles. The layers of complexity get pretty thick pretty quick. I'll leave that for others to wrangle with. Lol

Eta: for all the great long range looks we had all year, analogs never picked up any of those good Nino years. They flashed at best but week in week out they were full of duds. Especially the top 5. I got so sick of seeing 1980 I wanted to punch people. Dec had lots of early 70s awful analogs. Even our 10 day winter in Jan was weak in the analog dept. 2004 was most common iirc and it was similar with a quick hitting cold window with a couple chances.

 

If we're being honest, the only thing that ever looked good this year was h5 mean plots. No analogs or even ensembles under the hood showed a snowy winter in the 15 day range or less start to finish. I personally hated that part. I knew something was pretty wrong but had no thoughts as to what 

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22 hours ago, Roger Smith said:

It will snow again, milankovitch cycles will edge slowly in our favor by 15,000 AD. And we should be well past fossil fuels by then too. Lookin' good. 

We'll be well past fossil fuels, but the extra atmospheric CO2 will linger for several hundred thousand years and some are even theorizing that we have killed the glacial cycles altogether.  I'm too depressed to look up the references but they are there.

Of course I could easily see atmospheric carbon extraction becoming a viable technology in the next few hundred years.  Wouldn't it be funny if people started harvesting CO2 from the atmosphere to make carbon nanotubes or some such and accidentally took too much!!

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22 hours ago, Terpeast said:

Agree. Glimmer of hope is that we may not have to wait that long for the -pdo to end. CC may be causing more variability and quicker flips between + and -

Plus according to this graph, we’ve been in a neg pdo since following the 1998 super nino.

IMG_6067.png.bf28f5b7c774306f6d9addf040c61a32.png

Hard to tell and data before 1930 or so is likely suspect, but the cycles were prolonged in the past, and they seem to be shortening over time. 

1840-1880: neg for 40 years
1880-1910: pos for 30 years
1910-1925: brief neg for 15y
1924-1945: pos 20y
1945-1975: neg 30y
1975-1998: pos 23y
1998-now: neg 26y but with brief 2-4 year interruptions

I suspect that it won’t be long until it flips back, but the positive cycles will become shorter each cycle, same with negative. wild card is in the marine heat waves, those may change things in unforeseen ways

What bothers me about that though, note that the mythical 60s were -PDO dominant, while the 80s and 90s were +PDO.  Just from that graph what would make one think a +PDO was preferable?

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