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September 16, 2013

Winter Forecast 2013-2014 : Let’s finish what we got started

by craig1

Hello everyone and welcome to the first installment of the winter forecast I will be issuing for this winter 2013-2014. Last winter featured a return of winter across much of the country as promised by our winter outlook. Let’s first take a quick look at our winter forecast last winter.






Comparison of what really happened;



Ok so I did horrible on the temperatures for last winter, but it did seem a lot colder than the previous winter, so thats a plus.



I did much better with the precipitation forecast over the country with the heaviest moisture falling over the Great Plains to the eastern United States.

Winter Forecast 2013-2014 : Let’s keep this short

Due to it only being September, and things still evolving I will go over the winter forecast very briefly and the next two outlooks will be progressively detailed.

Climate : El Nino or La Nina? NEITHER?

That’s right folks, the climate is trying to make a comeback towards El Nino this winter, but I dont think it will succeed. I think it will fall right in the neutral category  and possibly even as high as +1 on the charts.;


The southern jetstream that typically forms during El Nino winters will try and form, but wont be quite as active due to the fact that I think the climate will stay in neutral state during this up coming winter, so the jetstream will be a bit further north.

Another factor going into next winter is the solar. We are still on our downglide from solar maximum and even that wasn’t much of a maximum as it fell short of expectations and forecasts.



The peak never reached the forecasted peak and now we are starting to level off and soon we will be on our way down through the winter. Lower number of sunspots during the winter has effects such as during the 2009-2010 winter during the peak of the solar minimum. That was an historic winter for many that winter and we are heading our way to that area in the next few years. But for now, as we start heading down, this will start to have an effect on the NAO as we will start to see more -NAO readings which will in turn cause the cold air outbreaks to be more severe.

Climate Models;


This is a sea surface anomaly forecast for the temperatures next winter with the cold favoring from the Great Plains east to the Eastern United States.

Here is another climate models forecast that looks very similar to the one above;



As you can see it favors the cold bleeding into the Great Plains states and into the Great Lakes with it having the most effect in that general area but with the extent of the cold air being less then the model above.

A look at sea surface temperatures;

Here is the current sea surface temperatures;


As you can see we still have some colder waters along the equator in the Pacific Ocean but we are starting to see warmer waters develop hence why the climate models are starting to latch on a progression into neutral/weak el nino territory this winter.

Compare that to a normal El Nino;


As you can see, HUGE difference and this winter wont be even close to a normal El Nino winter in terms of ocean temperatures.

Drought Conditions;


As you can see, we are way better off than last summer and way better off than last fall. Yes we still have a drought in a large part of the Great Plains states but its more of a short term drought now and this summer areas have been receiving more moisture and I think that pattern will continue through the winter.

The Forecast – Winter 2013-2014


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As a whole, I think this winter will be big in terms of snowfall across the Great Plains and Ohio Valley, but especially from Oklahoma to Missouri and Kansas to the Great Lakes states as a semi weak sub tropical jet will interact with cold arctic air from the north to produce several hard hitting snowstorms. The northern plains will experience record breaking cold temperatures with normal snowfall over mainly the Dakotas and Minnesota where the heart of the cold will exist, A bit further south into Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado I think it could go either way with above average snow or average snowfall but the big story will be the extremely cold weather this winter being worse than last winter as a whole. The eastern United States will experience several costal storms but most of the storms will tend to ride of the App’s Mountains and miss just to the west. Below average temperatures will rule in the eastern United States with a cold southeast with a few good sizeable ice storms to paralyze the cities in the south. The southern plains will be wet this winter and cold especially in Texas as that will be the start of the jetstream to produce big snows for parts of the Plains and Ohio Valley. The west had a cold winter last winter, I think it will be the opposite but with bursts of cold bouts in between the warmth, but mainly it will be dominated by warm air this winter. Again will go more into depth with the next two winter forecasts as there is so many variables that can change. As a whole this winter will be a one to remember.

Read more from Long Range Forecasts

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