Friday, January 08, 2016

Winter Pattern Taking Shape

Back in September, I strongly speculated on the possible winter pattern. This was my initial outlook given the initial conditions and projections FOR DECEMBER back in September.  In reality, the southern jet stream hadn't established itself as a winter storm driver.

The position of the warmth was too far west for December.  The arctic air over the North Pole was very stable. The ridge was powerful across the east. Heavy rain and severe storms/deadly tornadoes during the month were common around Christmas.
On December 6th, I opined using videos (bottom half of the post at this link) showing the stronger position and intensity of the southern jet stream in January.

Our final winter outlook in late October echoed this southern panhandle storm track for the second half of winter

The extended models are this southern storm track (panhandle lows) as the dominant track through much of February.  Here are the snapshots on six periods of seven days each ending during the third week of February.

Most of the teleconnections (NAO, AO and PNA--EPO bouncing back a bit) showing troughiness in the east overall.

All of these factors seem to be the real deal which will lead to colder temperatures and higher chances of panhandle low type systems to interact with colder air leading to an eastward push of snow!

Lake Erie ice cover is nearly non-existent. Last year (before the record setting cold developed) ice cover was only 5% through the first 8 days of January. The current water temperature is still at 40 degrees.  The average water temperature is 35 on the 8th. Any cold outbreak like what we will see next week will aid in dropping the water temperature versus adding lake ice outside of the western basin where the water depth is shallow. Bottom line, lake effect snow is more possible January through March than in past years.


Mike Hobbs said...

Thanks Scott good article. I love the cold and snow so it looks like I will gety wish the second half of winter like last year just not as cold.and some lake snow. I live in Thompson oho. Lol

BearCub said...

Scott, I keep waiting for the Winter to begin in the Mid-Atlantic, including Binghamton, NY. I do not think a few days in the 20's for a day or two qualifies. I see forecasts for 30's with sleet this weekend. It appears to me that storms are cutting across the country and seeking the closest body of warm water they can find-the Great Lakes. It seems that until they get colder or freeze over that is where the majority of storms will go. Further, the warm great lakes will keep the storms potent, which will weaken any storm forming near the Coast. I am not convinced of a continuing eastward shift of the cold or storms occurring any further than what has already occurred.

Bret Walts said...

Scott, obviously it has been stated, by yourself and others, that the southern jet stream doesn't always set up favorably for southern California in El Nino years. However, I'm having trouble finding why that is exactly. Why this year is the southern jet stream, and subsequent storm track further south into Mexico and then through the Gulf rather than starting in southern California and running across the southern US? Thanks!

Scott Sabol said...

I believe it has to do with the positive phase of the PDO (Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation). This type of jet stream configuration was noticable in the 1957-58 El Nino according to some meteorologists. I'll perform a re-analyis at the end of the winter