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October 16, 2013

Winter Forecast 2013-2014 : Second Update

by craig1

Hello everyone and welcome to the second update to Snow Day’s winter forecast 2013-2014! The last outlook featured an even more return to winter from last winter and I don’t see much change regarding my first outlook! So let’s get started shall we?

Drought Monitor;

drought

The United States has been getting some MAJOR drought relief over the past several weeks with this latest updating showing a huge recovery and even Texas now getting some huge relief from the past rains over the last day or so! Places like Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa as well as Missouri has seen the biggest turn around with the increased moisture. Why does this matter? We are seeing certain wet areas take shape across the country with the first being from the Great Plains eastward to the Ohio Valley and then from the southeast and through New England States. And usually if you have wetter soils on the brink of winter that usually is a good sign pertaining to winter.

Solar;

sunspot

As you can see we are at the point in our solar cycle where we are leveling off and about to head into a solar minimum especially come January 2019. But as you can see, we never made it too where the forecasted level were at the top, the downtown turned early. Usually when you have a low amount of sunspots the NAO favors to be in the negative range and the winters during low sunspots are usually colder than the ones without. I will go into the NAO next.

NAO

The NAO and whether it is negative or positive is a huge deal when it comes to how the winter behaves. Recently we have seen a few ups and downs with the NAO into the negative phase and we are starting to see more of that now as we head into winter which is what I like to see for cold air outbreaks.

Here is a climate model forecast for the NAO through the winter;

naoindex

As you can see we have our small ups and downs but the downs are more severe than the ups and as you can see the forecast is for a negative NAO will reign over this winter or at least until January because thats when the cutoff is.

This is the type of jetstream pattern that typically forms when you have an negative NAO;

NAO2

Usually you get ridging in Alaska and a blocking pattern takes shape allowing for cold air to dump into the eastern 2/3rds of the nation and that is what I am expecting many times this winter.

EL NINO, LA NINA OR NEITHER?

Like I said in the last post, I expect this winter to favor a neutral winter in terms of climate. For a while the climate models were going gangbusters on the idea of an el nino but it started slowing down and some even question the fact if it will even make it to neutral and stay a weak La Nina, but I expect a neutral type winter in the climate area.

Most of the climate models are leaning towards this as well;

post-18864-1381234840

The sea surface temperatures are not behaving like an El Nino as well with some colder waters still;

waters

Compare that too a regular El Nino—we are not even close to what a normal el nino would look like;

normalelnino

And here is the latest CFS climate model showcasing a neutral winter;

nino12Mon

And finally I would usually put into effect Gary Lezacs LRC cycle but last winter it did not work out as well. I can say though that the October pattern works when identifying where the main wet areas set up for the up coming winter but so many other variables can change that when it comes to the NAO and AO.

Lastly—-the winter forecast!

secondwinterforecasupdate

I am expecting quite a winter if you live along I-80 in the Plains east into the Ohio Valley! The wet pattern from last spring looks to continue through this winter making for quite a snow winter if you live in the Great Plains eastward through the Ohio Valley. This will come when the pattern is favorable for re loading of Colorado lows and Texas Panhandle storm systems. After that the pattern is expected to transition for a time to northwest flow and Alberta Clippers will overtake this part of the area. At the same time the southern jet could get active and phase with a clipper to produce some big snow producers for the northeast especially the New England states! The big story this winter will definitely be the cold weather. With the NAO forecasted to be negative most of the time the flood gates will open for arctic air especially late in the winter. The coldest areas look to be the upper Plains, Great Lakes and the northeast with below average temps bleeding south of that area. The southwest looks to be above average in temperatures and below average in precip while the PNW will see below average highs and average precip with a couple good storm systems for the area. The Black Hills and Mountains will continue the luck that started early this month so that area will be seeing some enhanced snow this winter as well. Overall not much change to the last outlook so expect more snow than last winter and much colder temperatures!

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