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Posts from the ‘Long Range Forecasts’ Category


FINAL Winter Forecast 2014-2015

Hi everyone, it is that time of year for our FINAL winter forecast for the 2014-2015 Winter Season! How exciting! I have already gone over last winter’s forecast and how Snow Day did last winter on the first winter forecast for this season so please scroll down and read that if you would like too. We have already had a very fast start to winter across much of the United States all thanks to an Omega Block and the super typhoon energy hitting the Jetstream and knocking all that cold air down into the United States producing 15-40 degrees below average for temperatures. We are also looking at about 50% of the country seeing snowfall on the ground right now compared to the measly 15% at this time last winter. That is incredible in itself. I think what just happened is laying the ground work for a very harsh winter to come and we have seen some incredible patterns in the jetstream that will tend to give us a very good idea of what we can expect this winter.

Let’s take a look at a few things so far of what is going on.


Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 2.45.51 PM

We have a lot going on here with the drought. First off, we have some minor drought conditions sneaking into portions of the Eastern United States. Nothing that can’t be fixed by a couple good storm systems to lay down some moisture. The southern Plains continues to be in a drought but have improved dramatically over the last 6 months and I expect this to continue to wither away. The western United States still is having issues having three years of being in a MAJOR drought. I expect improvement this winter with more wetter storm systems laying down some good soakers along with some heavier mountain snowfalls.



If you are looking for a winter that will feature very cold conditions you will be very happy. The NAO is forecasted to remain positive to negative through the early part of the winter even positive at times. But by the end of the winter it will go sharply negative with perhaps the core of the cold weather coming near late December and early January much like last Januarys “Polar Vortex”.



Looking at the climate conditions it appears that most climate models has us along the lines of seeing a neutral winter…HOWEVER…It has been VERY evident that we have seen El Nino conditions and patterns so far and I do not see a reason on why not that can’t continue. We have very warm waters along where they should be in the Pacific so the stories on the El Nino not occurring is completely wrong.



Typically … with a negative NAO the forecast would be with the bottom forecast graphic, and that is what I expect, HOWEVER, with an El Nino more storm systems will affect the middle of the country as well.

Snow Cover

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 2.57.00 PM

It doesn’t take a dummy to realize we are WELL ahead of schd here. The snow cover is much above average. By this time last winter virtually no state had snow cover in the ground, no look what we have now, extensive snow cover. This speaks VOLUMES and I think the trend will continue for snow.

Key Patterns


This is one of the key patterns I expect to cycle through the winter. As we begin to warm up from major arctic cold a storm system should emerge into the southwestern United States and a trough will begin to form in the center of the country. I expect this winter to give more snow to areas that didn’t receive it last winter over the Great Plains.



The other pattern I expect to see is one that will produce major storm systems along the east coast delivering with it significant accumulating snow and maybe even a few Blizzards this winter.

Without further adiue….THE WINTER FORECAST!


I am expecting much more wetter conditions over the west coast, particularly over the Pacific Northwest. However, those areas will still see average to above average temperatures. The Great Plains I expect to have a much more snowier winter compared to last winter. The cold outbreaks will be more severe however I expect several breaks to allow for everyone to catch there breath before the next blast of cold air comes through. The Ohio Valley will see a repeat of last winter with above average snow. However, when the pattern changes, and the troughs form in the west,  I could see the Ohio Valley seeing some severe weather outbreaks and flooding concerns as the storm systems lay down snow in the Plains. The southeast I expect several winter storm systems as the cold air bleeds south from up north with several ice storms. The northeast I expect to have an amazing winter with copious amounts of snowfall and the cold weather will be more persistent than last winter.


Winter Forecast 2013-2014 : Second Update

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;


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.



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.


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;


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;


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.


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;


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


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


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


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!


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!


NAO to crash?

Hi everyone,

Just checked out the latest NAO charts today and it appears that ensemble members are continuing with the crash of the NAO into the extreme negative category as we head into October;



Usually this means the start of a pattern change but what kind of pattern change? The long range models are in a frenzy as I type this but one thing is for sure a pattern change will take hold as we head into the first week of October!


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

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


temperatureswinterforecast thebigpicturewinter

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.


Start to winter off to an overall MILD start!

Good Tuesday afternoon everyone, just going to go over how this winter has started so far.

The latest December temperature and precipitation maps are out and ready to discuss over;


As you can see, an extensive ridge has been over the eastern United States for the entire half of December, with a few breaks as we headed into the last week with a storm system that hit parts of the northeast. But overall warmer than average weather has dominated from the Missouri River on east with the epicenter of colder weather over the Great Lakes. This is an average however, the last week and a half of December were quite cold over the upper half of the nation, with that area having the coldest readings but on average the United States was warmer than average with average temperatures over the western United States.



Despite the warmer than average temperatures, high amounts of precipitation have fallen over the southeast through the northeastern United States with a small area over the Great Plains through parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Overall the hardest hit drought areas have gotten some good moisture in December so far so that is good news. The western United States has gotten above average precipitation as well.

I have NOT done well so far with my temperature map but my precipitation prediction for this winter is starting to come out nicely.


We have the rest of this month and through March to go through, but so far many areas are below average in snowfall, but I have hope that we will get a turn around!


Mid-Month return to winter weather for the central Plains?

After about 5-7 days of warmer weather to move into the central plains and Ohio Valley as well as the eastern United States, a new series of troughs are expected to form over the western United States. The first trough that moves out into the Plains will have the least amount of cold air available but still could pack a punch somewhere in the plains. Let’s take a look at the NAO;


As you can see, the NAO has been positive for a while but as we head towards the 10th-16th the NAO will start to slide down towards negative range and perhaps even negative by the 16th. This would indicate more potential cold air to wrap into any storm systems around that time.

Most models are developing a series of troughs in the extended but I’ll post the most reliable model and that is the EURO;


The first trough or cut off low appears near the 9th of this month and as you can see, very little cold air is available at this time for this storm system. As it moves northeast more cold air will interact but I dont see a huge amount of arctic air involved in this.

After that things change;


Another storm system closer to the dates I mentioned when the NAO starts to go negative, colder air is available for storm systems around this time. Now this is way in advance but I’ve seen enough consistency to say that more storminess will occur as we approach mid month!

Stay tuned!



Long Ranger Forecast : EXTREME cold on the way

First off I’d like to apologize for the lack of updates recently, but enough of excuses lets get talking about what looks interesting over the next 7-10 days.

Weather feature #1


Looking at this weather feature, a blocking effect is still holding strong in the Hudson Bay Canada forcing this weak storm system to develop some snow from Kansas and Oklahoma to portions of the Ohio Valley and straight to the Middle Atlantic. It remains to be seen if it will strengthen or remain a weak wave or if it will produce any ice accumulations in the Middle Atlantic States and Carolina States.

Weather feature #2


Looking at weather feature number 2, looks like some extremely cold canadian air will pour south and southwest into the central Plains and Ohio Valley on Thursday with temperatures not getting out of the single digits and teens for highs north of I-80. Looks like this overrunning cold air will force some precipitation into deep south Texas with yes maybe some snow for parts of southern Texas if things hold true


Looking at weather feature number 3, it is looking like after a couple brutally cold weeks for the northern Plains, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, a warm up will move into those areas next Sunday and possibly extend into the middle of the next week.

Overall, not really an active week coming up with more cold air on the way and possibly some snow for the deep south next Thursday.

Stay tuned for more updates on these!


Winter Storm update and White Christmas Forecast!

Hello and good Monday afternoon everyone! Pretty busy tracking a winter storm that will be possible over the Great Plains including Nebraska, Kansas, parts of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The computer models are starting to come into better agreement regarding the actual evolution, track and strength of the storm system. Still minor kinks will need to be worked out and those minor kinks will have a large effect depending on if you are on a fine line between lots of snow to not much at all. Below is my winter storm forecast map;


The best area I see for accumulating snow in from western Kansas to central and eastern Nebraska to much of Iowa, southern Minnesota, southern and central Wisconsin. The actual area of significant snow will not actually be this large but the best areas are in blue above.

Let’s take a look at a few computer models regarding this storm system;



The GFS computer model tracks the low pressure system over Kansas City and lays a swath of significant snow over central and eastern Nebraska, northern Kansas and much of Iowa to much of Wisconsin. The low begins to tighten up early Thursday with strong winds possibly inducing Blizzard Conditions.



With the same path as the GFS computer model I think we can come to a conclusion that the storm system will track near Kansas City northeast to Chicago laying a swath of accumulating snow and strong winds to the NW track of the storm system.

The european computer model is a tad more south but the track record with that model is benign considering it has not been the best the last few weeks. The UKMET/CMC model are more so agreeing as well. I will be issuing more 0z model updates later tonight so stay tuned!

White Christmas Forecast


A large area of the Great Plains I believe has a high chance at receiving a White Christmas based on the upcoming storm system coming as well as recent snow still on the ground in the Dakotas and Minnesota. The storm system mid this week will usher in Lake Effect Snow on the Great Lakes thus most of those areas will see a White Christmas. The areas to the south in the possible zone are more iffy regarding a storm system on Christmas day next week, that storm is all over the place so please stay tuned!


Winter Storm Update : 0z Models

Good morning everyone, just going ahead with a quick update on the 0z models that came out overnight and most of them are starting to drift north except a few of them. Let’s take a look at them shall we?



Let’s just say the european model has totally lost the storm, it doesn’t develop it at all, just a strong cold front with a few cold air advection snow showers. Not really going to go with this computer model run as it is the outlier out of every other model but will pay close attention to it.

0z CMC


As you can see the canadian model has a swath of snow from northern Kansas to eastern Nebraska through northern and western Missouri as well as parts of northern Illinois and southern and central Wisconsin. The storm system isn’t too terribly strong but still would lay out a swath of several inches over the mentioned areas.



The navy model has a strong storm system, not really negative tilted however, but still has several inches of snow from northwestern Kansas to central and eastern Nebraska and on through Iowa and eventually southern Wisconsin.

0z GFS


The GFS model is a lot like the canadian as well as the NAVY model but the european model continually disagrees and either has a progressive storm or nothing at all. Bottom line is there is still way too much uncertainty regarding the track. Some major models are starting to move north with the snow but still a lot of fine tuning to go. The system has not moved on shore yet, which is part of the problem obviously. Gotta get the storm sampled once it moves on land and out of fantasy land. Not saying the EURO couldn’t be right but right now that is the outlier with all the models. 

Stay tuned for more updates mid day today and later this afternoon after 12z models!

Have a great morning and THINK SNOW!



Winter Storm Update : 12z Models

Good Tuesday afternoon everyone I am still reviewing over the potential for a winter storm system to hit the central Plains and Great Lakes early next week. Today’s models have varied from no storm at all to several inches of snow and wind to just a few flurries over the northern Plains. Let’s go over each of the models here;

12z EURO;


The latest 12z euro really digs the storm deep across the dessert southwestern United States and really doesn’t phase the storm system just kind of moves along the front northeast through central Ohio with a swath of snow through central Michigan. Nothing really strong looking here just a quick mover.

12z CMC


The latest canadian computer model deepens the storm over eastern Kansas and moves it over Chicago early next week. This would break out a swath of moderate-heavy snow from eastern Nebraska to Central Iowa and through southern Wisconsin. The colder air comes in quicker thus moves the storm system further northwest.

12z NAVY


The 12z navy is rather progressive in nature with the storm system, it really doesn’t phase at all with the cold air and is really just a band of snow and rain along the front as it moves through over parts of Nebraska and Iowa on south.

I am not really allowed to post the JMA model or the DGEX model on the model site I use but the JMA model really digs and phases the storm over central Kansas and leaves a significant swath of snow from western Kansas to Nebraska parts of Iowa eastern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin early next week while the DGEX does nearly the same thing.

Now, thinking over everything, I really wouldn’t say we have any real agreement among any models going on here. The GFS/EURO model seem to be really weakening the storm system and going way further south while the CMC/JMA/DJEX model all go further north. Really plenty of days to go with pulling our hair out over this storm system but one thing I can say is that i dont think the storm will fall apart, there will be a storm with this very negative NAO and I think the colder air will be stronger then anticipated thus making it go further northwest. But that’s just my two cents.

Stay tuned later tonight for updates on the 12z GFS then euro/cmc/navy later on!