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


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6 hours ago, cbmclean said:

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?

In a colder base state the nao was king. But a +pdo -nao could be cold/dry. So a lot of our snowiest years were -pdo -nao. A -pdo +nao was always a bad bad bad pattern though. 
 

Problem now imo, we’ve warmed too much for a -pdo -nao to work the same as it used too. The pac storms are coming in too amplified and dig the western trough more. The warmer gulf and atl pump the SER more. The SER links with the nao. Everything gets shifted north.  It seems now the epo/pna have become more important. We’ve lost a -pdo -nao as a big snow producer combination. 

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9 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

In a colder base state the nao was king. But a +pdo -nao could be cold/dry. So a lot of our snowiest years were -pdo -nao. A -pdo +nao was always a bad bad bad pattern though. 
 

Problem now imo, we’ve warmed too much for a -pdo -nao to work the same as it used too. The pac storms are coming in too amplified and dig the western trough more. The warmer gulf and atl pump the SER more. The SER links with the nao. Everything gets shifted north.  It seems now the epo/pna have become more important. We’ve lost a -pdo -nao as a big snow producer combination. 

I see.  So by the same token, in today's warmer, wetter base state a +PDO/-NAO may be less dry and therefore better.  

OK, how much would it cost me to have you flip the PDO?  Do you take Venmo?

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8 minutes ago, cbmclean said:

I see.  So by the same token, in today's warmer, wetter base state a +PDO/-NAO may be less dry and therefore better.  

OK, how much would it cost me to have you flip the PDO?  Do you take Venmo?

Maybe. 2010, 2014, 2015 would maybe indicate we can get hit pretty good with a favorable pdo still.  And perhaps the wetter base state makes them more snowy. But small sample size. 
 

Howevwr there was another major temp spike post the 2016 super Nino.  No telling how that’s changed the equation. Also the pdo has become increasingly hard to predict. The cycles have become more irregular so it’s impossible to say how much longer this lasts. 

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30 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Can we still get a storm like 1996 where it’s snowing hard at like 14 degrees at Dulles? 

Those were the days. Luckily I have a photographic memory so it remains as real as the crispness of it in my head

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53 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Can we still get a storm like 1996 where it’s snowing hard at like 14 degrees at Dulles? 

I’m assuming this is sarcasm because there is nothing to suggest this cannot happen. Kind of a silly comment to make. 

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1 minute ago, psuhoffman said:

Ya we’ve been getting cold Smoke blizzards left and right. 

You live in Maryland and nowhere close to the Allegheny front at that. You’ve never received cold smoke blizzards left and right. You’ve observed isolated cold smoke blizzards throughout a 100+ year reporting period. And right now, none of us knows what the next 100 years will look like. Geesh….

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2 minutes ago, snowfan said:

You live in Maryland and nowhere close to the Allegheny front at that. You’ve never received cold smoke blizzards left and right. You’ve observed isolated cold smoke blizzards throughout a 100+ year reporting period. And right now, none of us knows what the next 100 years will look like. Geesh….

I know my kids have a really nice sand box but would you please get your head out of it. 

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4 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Irony is the tactic I used to identify that storm doesn’t work as often anymore. Back then I was simply hunting for a major h5 amplification to our south. I used a “rule” that in a split flow blocking regime you typically see a system exit with about the same amplitude and latitude as it entered the CONUS. So I identified that we likely would get a fairly amplified h5 low to track just under us and went hard for snow regardless of marginal temps. That method doesn’t work now. The last few I identified that way ended up just being perfect track (h5 anyways) rainstorms. 

 kneel before King Babar.

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7 minutes ago, Terpeast said:

Those were the days. Luckily I have a photographic memory so it remains as real as the crispness of it in my head

I always collect repeating patterns in my head. The pendulum still always swings imo. 

 

 This is what I've observed in repetition over the last 7 years or so:

The most common place for legit polar/arctic air south of the polar regions has been Russia and China. The wrong side. This has been costly in the snowfall dept because of the pac jet influence and the fact that avg continental air that takes its time is not what gets it done down here. Troughs have consistently not progressed east as fast as they have in the past. I personally do not think this is permanent. It's a cycle that will break. Probably soon. With a warm Atlantic it may be more common for troughs to move slow and pull north easier but imho, we will have periods of legit continental cold carving and parking again. When I don't know. We will also have cold bottled up on our side and Siberia will have some warm winters. It's coming either next year or eventually lol. 

Classic blocking has been absent since 2011. We've had some good blocks but nothing like some of the cycles during the 2000-2011 period. We really haven't had a good cycle in a long time. That's actually normal. There is no doubt some sort of decadal or multi decadal bias with the AO and NAO. Go back thru monthly DJFM data and it's easy to see. 60s great, early/mid 70s bad, late 70s thru mid 80s good, 90s? Lol 1 legit blocky winter with mountains of snow surrounded by epic failure and messy stuff. If 2012 was the end of the blocking cycle, we're prob getting close to another. We'll know in the rear view. 

Monkey wrenches... lol. I don't bother analyzing winter in any detail anymore until November.  Our snowfall setups are fragile AF. Weird things make or break us. And they can do it repetitively. I've read a lot of winter forecasts here and many are incredibly well thought out but they rarely if ever verify the way they are presented except for easy mod/strong enso years. I don't like thoughts getting put in my head anymore because it messes up my observations and expectations. I much prefer to keep an open mind and adjust throughout met winter. I dont die on hills and I cannot make an accurate met winter prediction other than luck and good climo memory lol. 

Volatility... yep, wx is more volatile now. Pretty certain there. Swings are wild and storms in general have a propensity to boom with qpf instead of bust. Other thread can talk whys. I just accept that it's an influence that must be accounted for. This is probably going to save us with a future Nina or northern stream dominant winter. Nina's get some good cold snow but almost always on the lighter side as organized storms like to go west in Nina's. There sure seems to be more juice/enhancment nowadays with northern stream waves. For these reasons I don't fear a Nina at all. If anything I'm super curious about having a classic Nina right now. Especially if we are moving into a blocking cycle....

Booms... when things line up right we can  still go on epic heaters and we certainly will again. We'll probably break the all time single storm snow record here before long. Baroclinicty is often more potent now with Atl SSTs. Things have been out of sync with I95 coastals for a while. Not many nesis storms recently. I have a strong gut hunch some of the storms that make the nesis list in the next 10 years will jaw dropping. Us included. 

These are just some my thoughts based on everything I've seen. I could be embarrassingly wrong. Maybe what has been repetitive recently is the new normal and it gets worse. Idk. I'll keep watching and waiting. Recency bias kills objective thinking. I don't like some of the things I've seen recently with winter wx but I can say the same thing about every decade I've been alive. I don't know what the future holds but the end of big winters and big storms isn't something I'm remotely considering. If anything, the odds of a record breaking blizzard are probably higher now than they were. Just spitballin.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Bob Chill said:

I always collect repeating patterns in my head. The pendulum still always swings imo. 

 

 This is what I've observed in repetition over the last 7 years or so:

The most common place for legit polar/arctic air south of the polar regions has been Russia and China. The wrong side. This has been costly in the snowfall dept because of the pac jet influence and the fact that avg continental air that takes its time is not what gets it done down here. Troughs have consistently not progressed east as fast as they have in the past. I personally do not think this is permanent. It's a cycle that will break. Probably soon. With a warm Atlantic it may be more common for troughs to move slow and pull north easier but imho, we will have periods of legit continental cold carving and parking again. When I don't know. We will also have cold bottled up on our side and Siberia will have some warm winters. It's coming either next year or eventually lol. 

Classic blocking has been absent since 2011. We've had some good blocks but nothing like some of the cycles during the 2000-2011 period. We really haven't had a good cycle in a long time. That's actually normal. There is no doubt some sort of decadal or multi decadal bias with the AO and NAO. Go back thru monthly DJFM data and it's easy to see. 60s great, early/mid 70s bad, late 70s thru mid 80s good, 90s? Lol 1 legit blocky winter with mountains of snow surrounded by epic failure and messy stuff. If 2012 was the end of the blocking cycle, we're prob getting close to another. We'll know in the rear view. 

Monkey wrenches... lol. I don't bother analyzing winter in any detail anymore until November.  Our snowfall setups are fragile AF. Weird things make or break us. And they can do it repetitively. I've read a lot of winter forecasts here and many are incredibly well thought out but they rarely if ever verify the way they are presented except for easy mod/strong enso years. I don't like thoughts getting put in my head anymore because it messes up my observations and expectations. I much prefer to keep an open mind and adjust throughout met winter. I dont die on hills and I cannot make an accurate met winter prediction other than luck and good climo memory lol. 

Volatility... yep, wx is more volatile now. Pretty certain there. Swings are wild and storms in general have a propensity to boom with qpf instead of bust. Other thread can talk whys. I just accept that it's an influence that must be accounted for. This is probably going to save us with a future Nina or northern stream dominant winter. Nina's get some good cold snow but almost always on the lighter side as organized storms like to go west in Nina's. There sure seems to be more juice/enhancment nowadays with northern stream waves. For these reasons I don't fear a Nina at all. If anything I'm super curious about having a classic Nina right now. Especially if we are moving into a blocking cycle....

Booms... when things line up right we can  still go on epic heaters and we certainly will again. We'll probably break the all time single storm snow record here before long. Baroclinicty is often more potent now with Atl SSTs. Things have been out of sync with I95 coastals for a while. Not many nesis storms recently. I have a strong gut hunch some of the storms that make the nesis list in the next 10 years will jaw dropping. Us included. 

These are just some my thoughts based on everything I've seen. I could be embarrassingly wrong. Maybe what has been repetitive recently is the new normal and it gets worse. Idk. I'll keep watching and waiting. Recency bias kills objective thinking. I don't like some of the things I've seen recently with winter wx but I can say the same thing about every decade I've been alive. I don't know what the future holds but the end of big winters and big storms isn't something I'm remotely considering. If anything, the odds of a record breaking blizzard are probably higher now than they were. Just spitballin.

 

 

I think the Pacific cycle will flip soon, within a few years. Blocking, I’m not so sure because we’re about to enter a descending phase of the solar cycle. But the association between blocking and solar is tenously weak at best, so I could be wrong. 

And I’ve also observed that NS waves have been more juicy, which gave us a good January and the PA/NJ/NY crowd a great week this week. 

STJ waves have been too warm because they haven’t been able to sync up with cold air at all. If that changes, though, and we get cold air on our side, and we manage a STJ or phased wave, totals will be truly jawdropping. 

My wag, though, is that next year won’t be it. Maybe the year after.

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5 minutes ago, Terpeast said:

Hard to predict enso beyond the spring predictability barrier, let alone 2 years from now

But aren't Ninas most likely to repeat, though? I mean all the ones we've seen the last 30 years or so...most of those except maybe one double-dipped, right? (Especially if it ends up strong)

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24 minutes ago, Bob Chill said:

I always collect repeating patterns in my head. The pendulum still always swings imo. 

 

 This is what I've observed in repetition over the last 7 years or so:

The most common place for legit polar/arctic air south of the polar regions has been Russia and China. The wrong side. This has been costly in the snowfall dept because of the pac jet influence and the fact that avg continental air that takes its time is not what gets it done down here. Troughs have consistently not progressed east as fast as they have in the past. I personally do not think this is permanent. It's a cycle that will break. Probably soon. With a warm Atlantic it may be more common for troughs to move slow and pull north easier but imho, we will have periods of legit continental cold carving and parking again. When I don't know. We will also have cold bottled up on our side and Siberia will have some warm winters. It's coming either next year or eventually lol. 

Classic blocking has been absent since 2011. We've had some good blocks but nothing like some of the cycles during the 2000-2011 period. We really haven't had a good cycle in a long time. That's actually normal. There is no doubt some sort of decadal or multi decadal bias with the AO and NAO. Go back thru monthly DJFM data and it's easy to see. 60s great, early/mid 70s bad, late 70s thru mid 80s good, 90s? Lol 1 legit blocky winter with mountains of snow surrounded by epic failure and messy stuff. If 2012 was the end of the blocking cycle, we're prob getting close to another. We'll know in the rear view. 

Monkey wrenches... lol. I don't bother analyzing winter in any detail anymore until November.  Our snowfall setups are fragile AF. Weird things make or break us. And they can do it repetitively. I've read a lot of winter forecasts here and many are incredibly well thought out but they rarely if ever verify the way they are presented except for easy mod/strong enso years. I don't like thoughts getting put in my head anymore because it messes up my observations and expectations. I much prefer to keep an open mind and adjust throughout met winter. I dont die on hills and I cannot make an accurate met winter prediction other than luck and good climo memory lol. 

Volatility... yep, wx is more volatile now. Pretty certain there. Swings are wild and storms in general have a propensity to boom with qpf instead of bust. Other thread can talk whys. I just accept that it's an influence that must be accounted for. This is probably going to save us with a future Nina or northern stream dominant winter. Nina's get some good cold snow but almost always on the lighter side as organized storms like to go west in Nina's. There sure seems to be more juice/enhancment nowadays with northern stream waves. For these reasons I don't fear a Nina at all. If anything I'm super curious about having a classic Nina right now. Especially if we are moving into a blocking cycle....

Booms... when things line up right we can  still go on epic heaters and we certainly will again. We'll probably break the all time single storm snow record here before long. Baroclinicty is often more potent now with Atl SSTs. Things have been out of sync with I95 coastals for a while. Not many nesis storms recently. I have a strong gut hunch some of the storms that make the nesis list in the next 10 years will jaw dropping. Us included. 

These are just some my thoughts based on everything I've seen. I could be embarrassingly wrong. Maybe what has been repetitive recently is the new normal and it gets worse. Idk. I'll keep watching and waiting. Recency bias kills objective thinking. I don't like some of the things I've seen recently with winter wx but I can say the same thing about every decade I've been alive. I don't know what the future holds but the end of big winters and big storms isn't something I'm remotely considering. If anything, the odds of a record breaking blizzard are probably higher now than they were. Just spitballin.

 

 

Bob, Thank You!!  I always enjoy reading your down to earth wisdom.

I only received .25 inch of snow but that is fine because I have about 7 weeks to go.  My greatest prayer in November was to have a wet winter to rebuild the water table. That has happened.

According to NOAA , many in the DC area are now around 100% of normal snowfall to date. DC has been very lucky this winter!!  As you said recently, Mother Nature really has not wanted to snow this winter along the east coast. Just look at these snowfall percentages of normal for this winter:  Roanoke 40%,  Richmond 11%, Blacksburg 21%, Pittsburgh 38%,  Cleveland 38%,  Scranton 61%,  Concord N.H. 70%,  Buffalo NY 76%,  Caribou Maine 75%.

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1 hour ago, snowfan said:

lol. Even on a nice wintry morning you are still exhausting to deal with. 
 

PS. Thanks for not rebutting anything in my post ;)

From 1964 to 2010 IAD recorded 21 days with 4”+ of snow and a high temperature below 28 degrees.  
 

It hasn’t happened in 14 years since 2010.   
 

 

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43 minutes ago, Terpeast said:

I think the Pacific cycle will flip soon, within a few years. Blocking, I’m not so sure because we’re about to enter a descending phase of the solar cycle. But the association between blocking and solar is tenously weak at best, so I could be wrong. 

And I’ve also observed that NS waves have been more juicy, which gave us a good January and the PA/NJ/NY crowd a great week this week. 

STJ waves have been too warm because they haven’t been able to sync up with cold air at all. If that changes, though, and we get cold air on our side, and we manage a STJ or phased wave, totals will be truly jawdropping. 

My wag, though, is that next year won’t be it. Maybe the year after.

This pretty much echoes my thoughts 

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17 minutes ago, Ji said:

Looks like pdo went negative in 1998. It’s almost time

So I’ve seen conflicting thoughts. It depends what you consider the period from 2003-2016.  The PDO cycles have become increasingly volatile and less predictable in length.  There were 3 periods of +PDO embedded within those 13 years. Some think that may have been the +PDO cycle and it was just somewhat muted. Others think it was just fluctuations within the -PDO. I have no strong take. I just hope it changes soon. 

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So I’ve seen conflicting thoughts. It depends what you consider the period from 2003-2016.  The PDO cycles have become increasingly volition and less predictable in length.  There were 3 periods of +PDO embedded within those 13 years. Some think that may have been the +PDO cycle and it was just somewhat muted. Others think it was just fluctuations within the -PDO. I have no strong take. I just hope it changes soon. 

I was using this

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/ersst/v5/index/ersst.v5.pdo.dat
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1 hour ago, Bob Chill said:

The most common place for legit polar/arctic air south of the polar regions has been Russia and China. The wrong side.

This is really important to understand if you are a snow lover here in the ma.  Sure their is warning.. this is an undisputed fact.. but the earth is still plenty cold for snow and I really feel as thought the pendulum will swing back in our direction soon.

A lot of climate scientists say that the overall impact of AGW will be more frequent and stronger storms.  As long as we don’t go completely off the cliff with the warming I feel like this should be a net positive for our snow chances.  

We just need to wait for a pattern shift that gets proper arctic air down in to our region. Looking at year to year snow fall amounts for Baltimore, there were many 3-6 year spans with below average snowfall amounts.  We are probably just in one of those.

Anyway we are gonna score here once or twice more before the end of winter and probably go over for the seasonal average 

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Not sure how much flipping the PDO will actually help.  The oceans are on fire and keep getting warmer.  These oceanic cycles are super-imposed on a general linearly warming trend in water temperatures.  Analog based forecasting is based on a different regime and not sure how well it applies today.  We'll still get occasionally snowy winters but I think we should give up the hope of returning to the winters of the 1960s.  Who knows, 20 years from now we may be reminiscing about days like today as "the good old days".

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8 minutes ago, fujiwara79 said:

Not sure how much flipping the PDO will actually help.  The oceans are on fire and keep getting warmer.  These oceanic cycles are super-imposed on a general linearly warming trend in water temperatures.  Analog based forecasting is based on a different regime and not sure how well it applies today.  We'll still get occasionally snowy winters but I think we should give up the hope of returning to the winters of the 1960s.  Who knows, 20 years from now we may be reminiscing about days like today as "the good old days".

The 1960s might be out of reach but there was still a good amount of snows between 2013 and 2016.

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