Jump to content
  • Member Statistics

    17,540
    Total Members
    7,904
    Most Online
    lakebreeze
    Newest Member
    lakebreeze
    Joined

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


WxUSAF
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, CAPE said:

That early Jan 22 event was THE(one and only) CAPE storm. Saw that potential when we were in the no way out, shit the effin' blinds pattern lol. That was the beginning of a pretty cold period that featured 3 snowstorms in Jan, 2 of which were focused east. Interior/northern crew got a moderate storm in Feb around the SB I believe. Pretty there was at least one other event that month that wasn't an 'eastern special'.

But yeah, I don't fear a Nina, even though my yard often ends up on the western edge of a big coastal storm.

Btw that was a way more impressive call than anything I’ve ever attempted. It’s one thing to predict a stj wave in a split flow at range. It’s another to pick out a progressive NS wave with a pressing cold boundary in a chaotic flow during a pattern change no less. I don’t know if people realize how crazy amazingly awesome that was. It was like hitting for the cycle with a grand slam while pitching a perfect game. Kudos! 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Btw that was a way more impressive call than anything I’ve ever attempted. It’s one thing to predict a stj wave in a split flow at range. It’s another to pick out a progressive NS wave with a pressing cold boundary in a chaotic flow during a pattern change no less. I don’t know if people realize how crazy amazingly awesome that was. It was like hitting for the cycle with a grand slam while pitching a perfect game. Kudos! 

You could call it the Shohei Ohtani of amazing weather forecast calls!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, CAPE said:

Imo, regardless of where we specifically live(piedmont, coastal plain) at our latitude, other than maybe the western highlands, long term snowfall climo-mean/median- simply cannot be the expectation or 'bar' for a good winter anymore. 

I will enjoy a snowless winter because it provides a wonderful break from the relentless heat and humidity(and bugs) of our long, long summers. 

Agree. I’ve lowered my bar. First decade I lived here if say 35” was my bar for an acceptable winter.  Because most years I hit that. I’ve had to adjust that as we’ve started having way more what used to be dreg years. Now I’d say get be into the 25” range (which is we’ll belong median here) with a couple legit sledding and snow fort building storms and I’m good. 
 

Yes I’m disappointed we wasted a -QBO Nino. Those are rare opportunities to go super big on snow. So that stings some. But in a vacuum I’m fine with this winter. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, WEATHER53 said:

See I don’t have to have an answer for my ibservations  to be correct. Not saying you are doing this but that question is basically a model hugger deflection

if you feel status quo is sufficient then that’s just very different from my thinking.  Every occurrent snowstorm this season has been 50% higher or lower than just 24 hours in advance was depicting 

I would venture that AI is going to formulate an analogue occurrent outcome data base from last 1-25 years and get into a more current and correct manner of evaluation, assessment and forecasts. Also ditch the 7+ day stuff, enhance the short term, destroy the floppy discs. 

Respectfully sometimes you assume if someone disagrees with you they are doing so in bad faith. I can ensure you I am not. I would like to have a cordial discourse about this.  I promise I’m operating in good faith with my honest opinions and I will respect your opposing view. 
 

I am not blind to the limitations and deficiencies of our current technology regarding NWP. But I don’t think it’s some kind of conspiracy. It’s just very difficult to model a stochastic medium like the entire planetary atmosphere accurately with our current technology and understanding. 
 

I would propose though that objectively we have made much progress. Day 5 verification scores now beat day 3 scores from 20 years ago. I think that’s amazing. But that’s my opinion. Yes we still have a long way to go!  However the incorporation of nwp has improved not degraded forecasting accuracy. Yes there are lots of bad hype machine Internet personalities and rip day 10 plots and post them as a forecast. That’s garbage. And in these threads we sometimes like to have fun and post a long range snow plot that we know is unlikely to actually verify. It’s for fun. This thread isn’t an actual forecast. It’s supposed to be fun. And it can be a learning exorcise too!  But I would  operate way way differently if I was working for NWS putting out a forecast to the public. I Don’t even think we should isssue official forecasts past day 7 at most and 5 is more realistic. 
 

But there is some limited value in long range tools. Take this latest storm. We knew of the general threat from like 10 days out. Of course we knew the details would change. Maybe it would miss us. We got snow!  The max zone shifted just north of us. But we knew a wave would be close with likely cold enough temps for a possible snow from over a week out. No that’s not perfect. Yes the details are unknowable still with our current tech. But we couldn’t do better with non NWP means either. I’m not taking a shot at them. But just like NWP they have limitations also. They aren’t very useful at anything past about day 3. What the harm of having fun on here analyzing the permutations of a possible storm at long ranges?  No official outlets are making detailed day 10 storm forecasts. Or they shouldn’t be!  But the tools have become decent at vague long range pattern analysis. Being able to put out a general pattern expectation for week 2. That has some value and is better than having no idea at all imo. 
 

Those were my honest thoughts on this. I respect that you don’t agree. I’m ok with that. I’m open to hearing more of your take. This can be amicable. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@snowfan without the snark I think it’s fair to question whether under our current thermal regime certain things are still likely. Im also honestly annoyed with the penchant for some here to get hostile anytime the FACT that it’s warmer now gets referenced. Thermometers aren’t subjective. It is warming. That is not a disputable fact. I will accept that what could be disputed is the cause of the warming and the permanence. I have my opinions and many can likely guess them but I’ve NEVER brought those 2 arguments into this forum. They’re irrelevant to my point anyways so why bother. 
 

The fact is it’s warmer now than 20 or 50 years ago. Whether that is temporary and starts to reverse at some ambiguous time in the future 10, 20, or 500 years from now is totally irrelevant to my point. I’m discussing the effects of the warming that’s happened already on our prospects for snow right now. This is important because a lot of our forecasting is analog based. And we have to know what works and if something no longer does. 
 

Back to what started this. The DC area used to get “cold smoke” snowstorms a lot more frequently. To illustrate my point I used days where IAD got 4” and a high 5 degrees below freezing. We could use other metrics but it’s unlikely to change the picture.  For 40 years it happened with decent regularity.  19 times.  In the last 20 years it’s happened in only one year, the unicorn 2009-10. And not a single time in the last 14 years.  IMO that is long enough and enough data to make the question whether that is still something realistically viable or likely a legitimate one. If you disagree how long does it take to make even asking that question valid. 20 years?  50?  Do we wait 100 years without a cold smoke snow to even ask if they are indeed still viable?  I didn’t answer the question.  I didn’t say I know. I simply asked and you reacted as if I was being ridiculous. 
 

That’s why I reacted with a snide flippant response. Maybe that was unfair. But I thought your reaction to that question was equally unfair. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Weenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, WEATHER53 said:

I would venture that AI is going to formulate an analogue occurrent outcome data base from last 1-25 years and get into a more current and correct manner of evaluation, assessment and forecasts. Also ditch the 7+ day stuff, enhance the short term, destroy the floppy discs. 

The field I work in has seen so many advances in machine learning / deep learning in just the last few years. I would think a lot of the recent AI advances will eventually be applied to weather forecasting (if they aren't working on this already). Once that happens I would expect to see results dramatically improve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Thermometers aren’t subjective. It is warming.

This is the truth. And the fact our species is accelerating it during the upswing in an interglacial cant be disputed either imo. The planet warms and cools. And has since its formation. But what is the impact of accelerating 150000 years of warming into a single generation? Nobody knows. But we are about to find out. 

  • Like 1
  • Weenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, PrinceFrederickWx said:

The field I work in has seen so many advances in machine learning / deep learning in just the last few years. I would think a lot of the recent AI advances will eventually be applied to weather forecasting (if they aren't working on this already). Once that happens I would expect to see results dramatically improve.

They are definitely already working on this.  Several AI or AI/physics hybrid models have been posted on the site this winter.  They have the potential to be powerful but one thing to remember is that many AI methodologies (e.g. artificial neural networks) have to by definition "learn" by using past data.  As has been mentioned many time here past data may have limited relevance in a changing climate.  That may limit their effectiveness going forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, clskinsfan said:

This is the truth. And the fact our species is accelerating it during the upswing in an interglacial cant be disputed either imo. The planet warms and cools. And has since its formation. But what is the impact of accelerating 150000 years of warming into a single generation? Nobody knows. But we are about to find out. 

You know I agree. But as ridiculous as it is that’s become political and I respect that they’ve banned politics from this forum for the sake of discourse. But now some have become emboldened to attack any mention of warming. That’s not politic MFer that’s just objective reality. It’s Fng wamer. That’s not a debatable thing. And I’m done with attempts to act like the FACT it’s warming is either political or not reality. There has to be a line in the sand against the crazy somewhere. This is mine. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

 I think it’s fair to question whether under our current thermal regime certain things are still likely. 

I think it’s safe to say the clippers that gave us a couple inches 20 years ago are gone now. Alongside storms that gave us 6 inches back then give us 3 inches now.

 

The big question is if we’ve permanently lost the 1996/2003/2010/2016 types of storms that give us 12+”. If the pattern didn’t collapse on long range a week ago we’d probably be gearing up for one.

 

Like you said earlier this season busting gets rid of the “it’s just a Nina being a Nina” excuse. Now the only debatable point is if the pdo flipping can get us big snows again or if warming has already ruined those mechanisms.

  • Weenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, midatlanticweather said:

Another harbinger for bad winters and likely not a cause but a factor is the great lakes being ice free. If they are, I feel we can say it is a bad winter. There is some obvious correlation there. Warm lakes means warm east. I bet it also helps to screw things up more than we think. Probably just a coincidence 

Lake effect stuff dies in the mountains. Most we get is flurries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, JenkinsJinkies said:

The big question is if we’ve permanently lost the 1996/2003/2010/2016 types of storms

I dont think so. They may be rarer. But warmer water is going to cause some wound up beasts in the future. Hell it might even happen in March. I basically think winter is over. And the pattern isnt looking good for it.  But you never know when you can get a phased up bomb with just enough cold air to make it work. 

The major change I am seeing lately is that the 4-6 inch storms we do get are gone within 48 hours. We just cannot sustain temps below freezing anymore. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, clskinsfan said:

The major change I am seeing lately is that the 4-6 inch storms we do get are gone within 48 hours. We just cannot sustain temps below freezing anymore. 

Thats why the mid-January cold spell with those two snow events felt so special and even extraordinary. It brought back memories of the past, as if the atmosphere decided to give us a rare taste of the bygone 20th century winter cold we used to enjoy years ago.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are running +5F for Dec 1-Feb 16 in Baltimore. But your snow isn't near as bad as some of the winters with comparable warmth. I'd say you've actually been a bit lucky given the warmth. Those are your ten warmest Dec 1-Feb 16 periods, with snow following the dash.

1931-32 -1.6
1949-50 -0.5
1948-49 -14.7
2022-23 -0.2
1936-37 -11.1
2023-24 -9.1
2019-20 -1.8
1932-33 -25.4
2011-12 -1.8
2001-02 -2.3

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, raindancewx said:

You guys are running +5F for Dec 1-Feb 16 in Baltimore. But your snow isn't near as bad as some of the winters with comparable warmth. I'd say you've actually been a bit lucky given the warmth. Those are your ten warmest Dec 1-Feb 16 periods, with snow following the dash.

1931-32 -1.6
1949-50 -0.5
1948-49 -14.7
2022-23 -0.2
1936-37 -11.1
2023-24 -9.1
2019-20 -1.8
1932-33 -25.4
2011-12 -1.8
2001-02 -2.3

Yes we’ve done ok considering how ridiculously warm it’s been. A large part of the reason was that cold spell in January.

But the problem is that this kind of warmth has become so normalized.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, cbmclean said:

I agree that we probably place too much confidence in modeling in d10+.  

Only if you're a complete imbecile. 

Read up on the butterfly effect, chaos theory, etc.. Weather will always be largely unpredictable until we figure out a way to control it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

You know I agree. But as ridiculous as it is that’s become political and I respect that they’ve banned politics from this forum for the sake of discourse. But now some have become emboldened to attack any mention of warming. That’s not politic MFer that’s just objective reality. It’s Fng wamer. That’s not a debatable thing. And I’m done with attempts to act like the FACT it’s warming is either political or not reality. There has to be a line in the sand against the crazy somewhere. This is mine. 

PSU...I totally agree with what you say here.  It's sad...pathetic...aggravating...that warming has become a political football (hot potato, as it were??).  For F's sake, you cannot argue the data, humanity's influence in the past century or whatever, etc.  I don't care what one's views are, this is just simply the reality.  One's political views honestly shouldn't matter for something like this.  But sadly, this is the bullshit reality we live in, and one feels helpless to do much about it when those in power and who have influence on policy, sit there and piss into the wind.  Whatever.  Sorry if I got too political there, but it's more than that.  Fact is, all too many people can be so damned selfish and have no concern or care for how their decisions or policies may affect the world around them.  Apologies...done with that rant.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, clskinsfan said:

This is the truth. And the fact our species is accelerating it during the upswing in an interglacial cant be disputed either imo. The planet warms and cools. And has since its formation. But what is the impact of accelerating 150000 years of warming into a single generation? Nobody knows. But we are about to find out. 

lol yeah not great timing for rapid industrialization - i think the frustrating thing is that we now have more understanding and technological capacity to curb our influence, but society just doesn't really want to (globally).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Scarlet Pimpernel said:

 But sadly, this is the bullshit reality we live in, and one feels helpless to do much about it when those in power and who have influence on policy, sit there and piss into the wind.  Whatever.  Sorry if I got too political there, but it's more than that.  Fact is, all too many people can be so damned selfish and have no concern or care for how their decisions or policies may affect the world around them.  Apologies...done with that rant.

Vote them out? Or just complain?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Dendrimer77 said:

While winter in northern parts of the forum has been decent, it has sucked pretty royally in central VA (I'm in CHO). What is most depressing is the lack of confidence the models and weekly products produced this winter, and how gun-shy it has made all of us. Tough to believe the tools we have until things line up right with correlation. Oh well, there's always beer to 

Long range is always volatile and unreliable. Models nailed most of Dec/Jan in general from way out in time. What really stung this year was a combination of holy grail expectations and applying that to all long range guidance. When we thought the upper level mean pattern out in time looked "classic nino" there were still plenty of problems lurking. Models were never cold and snowy under the hood. The only period that lit up 10+ days out with both snowfall and analogs was Jan. Other than that it's looked pretty bad to me. 

I keep saying this but if we want snowfall, there is only one reliable feature that's a well placed/stable -AO. It can and will snow in any enso state when the AO is below -1. Conversely, an AO in excess of +1 can eliminate snow in any enso. 

This speaks for itself imho. Not hard to see the correlation this year lol

image.thumb.png.58846e4d67123c452701b2e0680ff9f7.png

 

Something that really stands out is how bad models missed the abruptness and magnitude of the + moves from 10 days out. That's a big reason we spent so much time in a near shutout pattern. When the AO skyrockets, it's at least a 2 week reset before things can get cold and line up again and that includes going negative first. 

I'm thinking this winter's underperformance isn't as complicated as first thought. The entire big winter thesis beyond enso was blocking. Dec was a big warning shot that wasn't happening as expected. Then things just kept repeating. If the AO stayed negative in Dec like big winters, those wet southern waves may have felt a lot different imo. 

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

Long range is always volatile and unreliable. Models nailed most of Dec/Jan in general from way out in time. What really stung this year was a combination of holy grail expectations and applying that to all long range guidance. When we thought the upper level mean pattern out in time looked "classic nino" there were still plenty of problems lurking. Models were never cold and snowy under the hood. The only period that lit up 10+ days out with both snowfall and analogs was Jan. Other than that it's looked pretty bad to me. 

I keep saying this but if we want snowfall, there is only one reliable feature that's a well placed/stable -AO. It can and will snow in any enso state when the AO is below -1. Conversely, an AO in excess of +1 can eliminate snow in any enso. 

This speaks for itself imho. Not hard to see the correlation this year lol

image.thumb.png.58846e4d67123c452701b2e0680ff9f7.png

 

Something that really stands out is how bad models missed the abruptness and magnitude of the + moves from 10 days out. That's a big reason we spent so much time in a near shutout pattern. When the AO skyrockets, it's at least a 2 week reset before things can get cold and line up again and that includes going negative first. 

I'm thinking this winter's underperformance isn't as complicated as first thought. The entire big winter thesis beyond enso was blocking. Dec was a big warning shot that wasn't happening as expected. Then things just kept repeating. If the AO stayed negative in Dec like big winters, those wet southern waves may have felt a lot different imo. 

The “fly in the ointment” was extra strat water vapor from the HTHH eruption. This kind of eruption never happened before, and it was thought that strat cooling and a stronger SPV would occur as a result. But no one really knew. Maybe this was a competing influence vs the -QBO and propensity for blocking, resulting in these +/- back and forths. Just speculating 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are nearing retirement and want a big yard after living in a packed development for decades.  My wife is pushing for lower southern MD where my parents and sibs are and where property is cheaper.  10 or 15 years ago that would have scared the heck outta me having grown up in Calvert.  Now though?  Nah, what's the difference living SE of the "new Richmond" compared to NW.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, BlizzardNole said:

We are nearing retirement and want a big yard after living in a packed development for decades.  My wife is pushing for lower southern MD where my parents and sibs are and where property is cheaper.  10 or 15 years ago that would have scared the heck outta me having grown up in Calvert.  Now though?  Nah, what's the difference living SE of the "new Richmond" compared to NW.  

Might as well move back to Calvert.  We.dont get any snow anymore so just go in expecting that and it's all good.  Just take up winter kayaking and there are all sorts of outdoor activities all winter long.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

Long range is always volatile and unreliable. Models nailed most of Dec/Jan in general from way out in time. What really stung this year was a combination of holy grail expectations and applying that to all long range guidance. When we thought the upper level mean pattern out in time looked "classic nino" there were still plenty of problems lurking. Models were never cold and snowy under the hood. The only period that lit up 10+ days out with both snowfall and analogs was Jan. Other than that it's looked pretty bad to me. 

I keep saying this but if we want snowfall, there is only one reliable feature that's a well placed/stable -AO. It can and will snow in any enso state when the AO is below -1. Conversely, an AO in excess of +1 can eliminate snow in any enso. 

This speaks for itself imho. Not hard to see the correlation this year lol

image.thumb.png.58846e4d67123c452701b2e0680ff9f7.png

 

Something that really stands out is how bad models missed the abruptness and magnitude of the + moves from 10 days out. That's a big reason we spent so much time in a near shutout pattern. When the AO skyrockets, it's at least a 2 week reset before things can get cold and line up again and that includes going negative first. 

I'm thinking this winter's underperformance isn't as complicated as first thought. The entire big winter thesis beyond enso was blocking. Dec was a big warning shot that wasn't happening as expected. Then things just kept repeating. If the AO stayed negative in Dec like big winters, those wet southern waves may have felt a lot different imo. 

Good points here, Bob.  I'll say that despite wanting to be optimistic about the highly favorable "holy grail" looks that showed up for mid-February to mid-March is that once things got a bit more into range, there really were no storms popping up.  I know one cannot take those silly snow maps at face value, but typically when we see an approaching good pattern, crazy stuff starts to appear on the horizon in the ops and ensembles.  That happened maybe a couple of times, I think, but it was basically "blah" looking and even kind of warm.  That's the other thing, I didn't see a consistent "trend" or whatever toward colder, at least near the surface.  Despite some good 850-mb cold looks.  I was thinking to myself several times how nice 850 looked but shook my head at the BL temps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...