Winter Forecast 2012-2013 – Second Update
Winter Forecast 2012-2013 – Second Update – Written by Craig McPeck
Hello and good Tuesday afternoon everyone! As I write this we are going through a very turbulent weather pattern with already going through two major weather patterns. In the first week we went through a substantial trough of low pressure with a significant winter storm for the northern Plains in North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Right now we are in a lull of a pattern before the next major trough slides into the central parts of the country as well as the Ohio Valley.
But we are talking about the winter forecast correct?! Yes! I have made a few changes to the winter forecast so let’s get right off the bat and start talking about how winter will turn out for the country!
One thing that has had an effect on the weather before is the solar cycle, typically with increased solar activity there would be a tendency for the NAO/AO to go more positive, and right now we are supposively in a peak stage in the solar cycle, but what is very unique about this cycle is that it is probably the quietest solar max in quite some time, so I really don’t think it will have any affect on temperatures;
El Nino is slowly losing it’s grasp on the world, and some people continue to say it will grow back? I really don’t think it will. Global climate models have it slipping to neutral state for this winter and I think that is where it is going to stay.
Let’s compare a typical El Nino with a warm stretch of waters across the equator;
To what we are seeing now;
I would say there is HUGE differences in what you would call a typical El Nino as I am seeing currently very little warm waters across the equator, In fact since the last time I have looked, small specs of colder waters have formed over that area and that further explains that the El Nino we once had is no more, and that will have an effect on this winter with the southern jetstream not being as active as once though with the jet stream staying more so from Montana heading south of the Central Plains and curving back up into the Great Lakes states, but remnant El Nino characteristics should remain.
Winter 2012-2013 Temperatures
I have changed the overall strength and magnitude of the cold air for this winter as well as the size. My first outlook had the below average temperatures covering the entire eastern two thirds of the country. While I believe the cold air will resemble 2009 winter, I don’t think It will be as harsh over the country. I am thinking a high pressure will dominate a large part of the western United States this winter thus sending much of the troughs and cold air from Montana to the northern Plains and Great Lakes states. I took out the below average temperatures in the south because I didn’t think the cold air would stick around as long as the areas up north. But I do think their could be about 1-2 major cold air outbreaks for the far south. I think the upper New England states will stay around average this winter.
Winter 2012-2013 Snowfall & Precipitation
With the strength of the now non existent El Nino I don’t think there will be a huge impact on the southern jet stream but still enough to put above average precipitation as I think there could be two major storm tracks through the southern United States and the eastern United States. I believe a couple low pressure systems could really hit hard the deep south through the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes this winter with quite a bit of snow as well as potentially a couple crippling ice storms for the deep southeast, particularly over Georgia and the Carolinas. I think during these storm systems, cold air will have a problem with getting drawn into the storm systems, so they may become more wintry messes then actual heavy snow systems so will have to watch that closely as I think the direct connection from the polar air may be missing a couple times for the southeastern United States. I also think the Nor’Easter will play a direct role in this winter across the northeast with perhaps a couple good nor’easters affecting those areas. I dont think it will be as crippling as the winter of 2009 but i definitely think the northeast will see more snow than last winter. As for the northern Plains, I believe the Alberta Clipper will play a big roll in this winter with several sharp temperatures swings, high winds and accumulating quick snowfalls. So I think several quick hitting Alberta Clipper snows will hit this area producing a path of snow to the northern Ohio Valley. The jetstream out of California will be higher then average with a cut off flow and the storm systems connecting with the main trough and cold air over the northern Plains producing 2-3 high impact winter storm systems for the Rocky Mountain all the way to the northern Plains. I-70 could get hammered with ice this due to the position of the low pressure systems.
Winter 2012-2013 Storm Tracks
As earlier mentioned I believe the Alberta Clipper will play a big role in the winter with several of these quick hitting snow systems to lay a path of snow from Montana to Wyoming to Missouri and Kentucky this winter. The low pressure system that will be cut off from the main flow in California will merge with the jet stream and colder air a few times this winter equating to a couple good winter storm systems from Kansas to Missouri on north. The NAO/AO shouldn’t be too negative this winter too keep it from going any further south then my track. A couple block buster Ohio Valley lows should form in the Gulf and head northeast through the eastern Great Lakes as well as the typical Nor’Easter this winter pounding the bigger cities, something we really didn’t see last winter.