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October 16, 2014

Winter Forecast 2014-2015

by craig1

Hello everyone and welcome to yet another one of Snow Day’s winter forecast! Last winter turned out rather interesting with brutal cold weather and heavy snowfall for many. In fact, we set many cold temperatures records last winter, especially in early January when we had the so called Polar Vortex shot down from Canada into the United States. Let’s take a look at my winter forecast from last winter and compare it to what actually happened shall we?

Snow Day’s Forecast;


I forecasted much above average snowfall over the midwest into the upper midwest and Great Lakes right into the northeastern United States. I also forecasted MUCH below average temperatures over the northern Plains and Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley.

What actually happened (Temperatures) :


As you can see, my winter forecasted temperatures worked out ALMOST perfectly! Perfectly positioned over the northern Plains and Great Lakes States with above average temperatures over the southwestern United States.

What actually happened (Precipitation) :



As you can see, more areas got average precipitation than anything else, but I can tell you that the Great Lakes and Midwestern United States so PLENTY of snowfall last winter.

All in all, you could say I did a pretty good job. But now we are in a new year, a different climate pattern and a new weather pattern shaping up across the country.

Now what you have all been waiting for….

WInter Forecast 2014-2015

This is a preliminary forecast based off past El Nino’s, NAO forecast as well as the current NEW pattern setting up this month. First off, let’s check out the current drought aspects over the country;

Screen shot 2014-10-16 at 12.03.40 PM

And compare it to last Fall’s;



current drought

MAJOR improvement over the corn belt of the United States over to parts of the midwestern United States! Texas and Oklahoma still are contending with a drought however. Usually the wetter the soil is the more it’ll help in the winter time as storm systems will be able to pull moisture up out of the ground.

Let’s take a look at the NAO forecast and where it is forecasted to end up throughout the winter;


Yes, as we head into late Fall the NAO is forecasted to go positive as we head into November, we should have a warmer month in November before things get really interesting near Thanksgiving and beyond into December when the NAO will really begin to tank.


Negative NAO winters tend to favor a colder eastern United States with the southeast and northeastern United States seeing the brunt of the colder weather and the chance of Alberta Clippers joining team with a coastal low to create powerful Nor’Easters.

Now let’s take a look at the Climate Forecast. Last winter we featured a neutral winter to near weak La Nina, this really emphasized the extreme cold over the northern tier of the country, infact, the most brutal winter they have ever seen in YEARS. Let me explain why that wont be happening this winter. This winter will feature a weak ElNino to near neutral conditions at times with the peak of El Nino in January – Feb by looking at this map;


As you can see on the map we do peak about mid winter across the country.

Let’s now focus on what we have seen so far as major pattern indicators across the country.

Pattern #1;


A MAJOR trough moved in from the Pacific Northwestern United States and a deep low followed to develop over the Texas Panhandle. This low then moved northeast into northern Missouri. Without a substantial cold air source it just sat there and spun around. I do expect this pattern to return. This pattern you are looking at here is probably one of the only two chances the central Plains has a shot at seeing a major winter storm. Depending on the position of it next time and the cold air influence, areas around I-80 and south will experience the brunt of this pattern.

The next pattern that is well advertised on the computer models will be in the form of northwest flow and Alberta Clipper systems. These will have the opportunity to build up steam and create quite a few Nor’Easters over the eastern United States.

And here it is………..the forecast!



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