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Monday, October 12

October Snowstorm of 2006

While we are basking in sun and what could be out last real taste of summer-like warmth this season, we look back 9 years ago. Lake effect storm "aphid" was hitting western New York, specifically the buffalo area with heavy, wet snow. The rare storm hit so early in the fall season that many leaves still had most, if not all of their leaves. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power for days. 


Here in Rochester, most of us just saw some flurries and flakes. Here was the end result: 

And the write up from the National Weather Service: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/buf/storm101206.html

134 comments:

  1. Fun fact: this storm happened during a moderate El Nino
    Another fun fact: I was right smack in the middle of the red blotch on that map
    Still another fun fact: I lost power for 3 days
    And the final fun fact: it wasn't fun at all

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  2. Flakes in the NWS forecast mixing in with the rains showers for this weekend, even at lower elevations. More signs of the times.

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  3. One of the names TWC designated for winter storms this season is, I kid you not, Yolo. Somebody please shoot me.

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  4. What are people hearing or reading as to this Winter Season will be. Keep hearing allot about El Nino being the worst in decades for the West Coast, what about our area. Thoughts...

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    Replies
    1. There's so many conflicting signals that it's tough to get an exact handle on things, but most outlooks I've seen have the following outline for the Northeast:

      -Winter starts mild, gets progressively colder
      -Active southern jet stream
      -Fewer clippers, less lake effect, but possibly more large scale snowstorms
      -Lots of oscillating weenies

      Recently I've been seeing some things going on with the El Nino that give me a bit of pause regarding a mild start, and they pertain directly to the record warm water in the far western parts of the ENSO region. That warmth may be biasing the main convective forcing closer to the dateline, similar to some El Nino winters that started cold or cold-ish. The implication would be that the favored Pacific trough would set up farther west in December and not flood the continent with as much mild air. I still favor a mild start, but a little less bullishly than before.

      Delete
    2. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 15, 2015 at 7:17 PM

      Put me down as the weenie who predicts an up and down winter, with cold outbreaks followed by moderate stretches of warmer weather (35-40 F highs), then rinse and repeat.

      As for your growing seasons, guys, please keep the fertilizer to a minimum.

      Delete
  5. I'm almost certain that this doesn't play out verbatim, but it's still nice to look at after a long hiatus:

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2015101418/gfs_asnow_neus_41.png

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  6. Looks like the growing season will end this weekend with a freeze.

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    Replies
    1. And my growing season will begin with the first snowstorm, if you know what I mean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      Delete
    2. I know what you mean.. mine starts with the first snowflake I see. Sometimes I have to tuck it in the waist band.

      Delete
  7. Holy smokes an actual weather alert. I had forgotten what those look like.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=buf&wwa=special%20weather%20statement

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  8. Freeze Warning now in effect...RIP growing season.

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    Replies
    1. Had a few snowflakes here in Webster.

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    2. I saw some flying around briefly earlier today in Henrietta.

      Delete
  9. First official flakes at the airport yesterday, about a week ahead of schedule.

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  10. Hey, you could live in Mexico NY in which they have Lake Effect Snow Warning at several inches of snow and it was still snowing.

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    Replies
    1. In a low elevation area too...pretty unusual for mid October.

      Delete
  11. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 20, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    It gets more and more interesting...

    http://www.meteorologistjoecioffi.com/index.php/2015/10/20/siberian-snow-cover-forecast-to-continue-rapid-growth-until-end-of-october/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is an interesting evolution of things leading into the winter, I'd argue even more so than last year because we're entering some uncharted waters this time. It's unusual to have an El Nino with this much strength be so evenly distributed across the Pacific basin, plus we have record warmth in Region 4 to go along with a persistent +PDO and all sorts of warmth off the California coast. These are reasons why there are no real good analogs for this winter, and why references to past super Ninos aren't any sort of silver bullet when it comes to predicting the overall pattern. I very much doubt that the PDO will vanish entirely before the end of winter...every bit of modeling I've seen suggests that it hangs around, plus I have strong doubts that the El Nino driven N.Pac trough will park itself in a spot to do serious damage for months on end. I do expect a continued gradual weakening through spring though. Anyone who believes that a disappearing PDO will lead to a "typical" El Nino winter is putting too many eggs in one basket IMO, because we've experienced good cold/snow patterns in El Nino with complete schite on the Pacific side. It all comes down to the Atlantic side as the author suggested, and also as he mentioned things are currently leaning towards a colder signal on that front.

      I feel pretty good about finalizing my own thoughts within the next few weeks, although I doubt they'll be anything groundbreaking that I haven't already brought up.

      Delete
  12. Hurricane Patricia out in the Eastern Pacific has a max sustained wind speed of 200 mph as of this morning. Yes you read that right, no it's not a typo. It's now the highest tropical wind speed ever measured within the NHC's jurisdiction, and the central pressure of 880 mb is also a new record. It's going to make landfall in SW Mexico later today, with potentially catastrophic consequences. I sincerely hope that everyone in the path of this monster has already gotten out of the way.

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  13. The Syracuse Post Standard is already saying we might get a bunch of rain from Patricia Tuesday to Wednesday.
    Ray Georgiano

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    Replies
    1. It's going to float into the Gulf of Mexico as a remnant low, and its moisture will be captured by a developing storm system across the Plains states. It's going to be more towards Wednesday rather than Tuesday.

      Delete
  14. Amazingly it appears that Patricia has maintained its previous strength all day, but it's lost some symmetry during the past few hours and the eye has shrunk a bit, so it may have "weakened" somewhat since the last update.

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  15. 5pm: 190 mph sustained
    Central pressure: 900 mb

    So a 10 mph decrease in wind speed and a 20 mb increase in pressure...nothing more than a broken nail for this beast.

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  16. That crazy that we might be getting leftovers from a Pacific hurricane.
    Ray

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  17. November looks to be warmer than normal. I doubt we will see any substantial snow until December at the earliest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can still see cold outbreaks that bring significant snow opportunities. And try not to overlook the degree to which the Typhoon Rule can screw with things. Example: last season with Nuri.

      Delete
  18. Kind of hard to believe but this will be the fifth consecutive year that the Northeast gets a significant weather event near Halloween. Snowtober in 2011, Sandy in 2012, a massive cutter in 2013, a deep coastal storm last year and now a tropical hybrid slug of heavy wind-driven rain this year.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 24, 2015 at 5:23 PM

      Isn't there a chance it could re-direct and buckle the northern jet, sending us a bunch of cold air for the weekend?

      Delete
    2. As far as I know that isn't going to be the case, although it will get chillier behind the system.

      Delete
  19. I still see some persistent individuals trying to wish the El Nino into an east based configuration, but as far as I'm concerned the matter is already settled. We're going to have a basin wide event with ups and downs in each of the main regions before a weakening trend commences during mid winter. 1+2 will probably spike again but it won't make a huge difference IMO.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 24, 2015 at 9:26 PM

      I hope you're correct because that will mean I am correct.

      Delete
    2. I don't think ups and downs in the ENSO regions will mean frequent ups and downs in the pattern though. If anything El Nino tends to promote pattern persistence, because significant changes in ENSO occur over lengthy time scales and the robust tropical forcing from El Nino is a tremendous influence. This is probably why La Nina tends to produce variable patterns...the resulting lack of tropical forcing puts our sensible weather at the mercy of (normally) very volatile mid/high latitude patterns. Besides, despite the various changes in the Pacific basin we've observed some rather persistent dateline forcing for a substantial amount of time. I've already mentioned that this tendency is giving me some pause regarding mild December prospects, but I still expect a warmer than average start to winter especially if region 1+2 spikes as expected and offsets the main forcing further east for a time. The resultant pattern would be very consistent with how the majority of El Nino winters progress, but then again this event hasn't been very representative of a standard El Nino so far. It seems almost inevitable that something unexpected will become a serious factor, but the best we can do right now is speculate based on what we currently know.

      Delete
  20. I'm beginning to wonder if strong winds won't become the primary concern for Wednesday as opposed to the rain. The NWS AFD has us getting gusts between 40 and 45 mph, but the GFS has been putting us over 50 for several consecutive runs. The NAM even has gusts approaching 60 mph, which would be warning criteria, but I think that's significantly overdone given that this is largely a warm advection event, which doesn't favor efficient mixing of stronger winds aloft down to the surface. Meanwhile there has been a bit of a downward trend in modeled rainfall, with some runs barely putting us over a half inch, on top of the tendency for southerly flow events like this one to have reduced rainfall owing to downsloping. If I had to make a call I'd go with 0.75" to 1.00" of rain for the bulk of the area with higher amounts in the southern tier, and max gusts between 45 and 50 mph.

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  21. Chris now in PenfieldOctober 27, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    http://www.ilsnow.com/2015/10/18/siberian-snow/#more-10734

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  22. Out of all of the winter outlooks floating around the tubes, I think Weatherbell has the most reasonable one so far:

    http://www.weatherbell.com/images/imguploader/images/temps%281%29.png
    http://www.weatherbell.com/images/imguploader/images/Winter_2015_16_Snowfall_Aug.png

    I'm not a fan of the whole percent of average thing that a lot of forecasters are doing, but I do like the general theme of positive snowfall departures across the southern states and up through the Mid Atlantic region, with negative departures across the upper Great Lakes and the northwestern quadrant of the US. I also like the temp pattern having a similar configuration. I actually messed around with some handpicked analog seasons some time ago and the temp composite I came up with looked very similar to Weatherbell's forecast.

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  23. So am I right when I say it looks like the weatherbell charts are saying overall about average temperatures and snowfall for the winter season?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. They're also going with the backloaded scenario that a lot of others are putting forth: warm December progressing to cold February. I don't plan on being quite as "generous" with either temps or snowfall at the moment, but I don't expect a dead ratter either.

      Delete
  24. BIG warm-up next week. December is when I want cold and snow for the Christmas season. Warm Decembers suck!!!!!

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  25. Right, except next week is November and not December

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  26. November 2010 had a craptacular pattern too. The winter that followed became our snowiest since 2002-03. I'm not at all implying that the same will happen this year, but I hope I'm getting the point across.

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  27. The big warmup is only going to last 4 to 5 days anyway. Afterwards it looks like a regression to more seasonably mild temps.

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  28. Anyone interested in committing to some preseason predictions?

    I made a google form if anyone would care to commit to some numbers. Snowfall and monthly snowfall and monthly temperature departure from normal.

    You can click directly on my name to vote (or see the results). Or go here:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ERPBMYbYkCS-IaXLaHHa3ufhQ0WLGvzyoACwuGQwPEU/viewform

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might want to modify the column width and/or formatting for the last two columns in your spreadsheet, because it looks like they couldn't handle what I typed in for them.

      Delete
    2. CCCC will widen later today when I get to a computer.

      In fairnes, a lot of people can't handle what you type.

      Delete
    3. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      Delete
    4. Should be better formatted now. Let me know.

      I like HPs basis for prediction. It's as good a rationale as any.
      I like Chris and CCCCs feast or famine predictions. I feel like we can't possibly have 3 winters in a row of Lock Down Cold.

      CCCC I've always thought of December 5th as our average date for our 1st 'decent' snowfall of the season. Obviously varies. But I feel like we often get 6 inchish that week. I feel like we cross into winter the first week of December. It's not typically the consistent bite of mid January. But I've always felt like fall dies around December 5th. Right before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

      [Poll and results can still be found by clicking my name]

      Delete
    5. The table looks fine now, good deal.

      More about December...even though I think it'll be mild overall, that doesn't preclude the possibility of getting a rogue snowstorm at some point. Recall how last December went, it was a very mild month and yet it produced one of our three major storms that winter. Get the southern jet cranking with just enough cold air and anything is possible. That patch of above average snow cover in eastern Canada may want to have a say in that department...

      Delete
  29. When a big warmup happens this time of year, watch out for what comes behind it...

    "PREVIOUS AND CURRENT MODEL RUNS CONTINUE TO FAVOR A STRONG TO POTENTIALLY HIGH WIND EVENT ON FRIDAY AND/OR FRIDAY EVENING. REFER TO THE LATEST HWO FOR INITIAL PUBLIC AWARENESS. THE CURRENT TROUGH OFF THE SOUTHERN CA COAST IS EXPECTED TO RESIDE IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST INTO MID WEEK WHILE THE RIDGE OVERHEAD MAXES OUT. THEN...AS THE RIDGE MOVES EAST...THE TROUGH SHOULD MOVE RAPIDLY TOWARD THE GREAT LAKES REGION THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS SHOULD SPARK FAIRLY RAPID SURFACE CYCLOGENESIS...WITH A LOW DEEPENING DRAMATICALLY AS IT MOVES THROUGH THE CENTRAL GREAT LAKES...NE THROUGH SOUTHERN ONTARIO...AND INTO QUEBEC OVER THE SPAN OF 24HRS BETWEEN 06-12Z FRI AND 06-12Z SAT...ESSENTIALLY A METEOROLOGICAL BOMB DEPENDING ON THE MODEL OF PREFERENCE/TIMING. THIS WOULD WORK OUT TO A CLASSIC HIGH WIND EVENT AT LEAST FROM A PATTERN RECOGNITION STANDPOINT. THE CURRENT GFS CAPITALIZES ON THIS WITH A 60+KT DROPPING NEARLY TO THE SURFACE...AND QUICKLY EXCEEDING 80KTS AT 850MB...OVERHEAD...WHILE THE SURFACE PRESSURE CHANGES ABOUT 15MB OVER 6HRS WITH THE FRONTAL PASSAGE OVER FAR WESTERN NY. 12Z ECMWF IS SIMILAR...ALTHOUGH THE SURFACE LOW IS FURTHER NE AWAY FROM FAR WESTERN NY.

    INITIALLY...THE RESULT WILL LIKELY BE SUMMERLIKE TEMPERATURES FRIDAY MORNING...WITH READINGS IN THE UPPER 60S. SPECIFICS ON THE FRONTAL TIMING IS NOT QUITE RESOLVED...BUT CURRENT GUIDANCE SUGGESTS FRIDAY AFTERNOON...WITH A BRIEF PERIOD OF RAIN...MAYBE EVEN THUNDER IF SOME INSTABILITY CAN DEVELOP...FOLLOWED BY STRONG TO HIGH WINDS FOR THE AFTERNOON/EVENING."

    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=BUF&issuedby=BUF&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

    ReplyDelete
  30. I would look for a pattern flip around the middle of this month, all tele's point to a favorable "colder" setup for the NE.

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    Replies
    1. There are a few caveats though:

      -The GFS ensembles have the teleconnections moving more towards neutral rather than reversing phases entirely. So a wholesale pattern flip may not be in the offing yet, but perhaps a trend away from warmer than average.
      -The GGEM ensembles are less bullish on shifting the teleconnections, as they mostly maintain the lower heights at the high latitudes along with what appears to be a neutral-ish PNA.

      The MJO looks to either shift into Phase 1 or simply lose intensity within the next few weeks, so at the very least that favors a shift towards a less mild temp regime as the month goes on.

      Delete
  31. http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2015/11/03/courtroom-climate-what-are-we-likely-to-see-this-winter/

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 3, 2015 at 8:06 PM

      Geez, sounds like Kevin is on board with my winter prediction.

      Delete
    2. There are elements of mine in there too. I'm really curious about what News 8 thinks.

      Delete
  32. Bering Sea Rule says we trough at times after November 20th.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 4, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      Another typhoon coming?

      Delete
    2. No typhoon, but periodic troughing in the central/eastern Bering Sea and perhaps a southern Plains system in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. The troughs look transient so it's not a deep cold look at the moment, more like ups and downs.

      Delete
  33. Looks like we stay pretty mild for the foreseeable future. Cold air all locked up in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on what you mean by "foreseeable." If you're referring to the next 10-14 days then yeah, we're probably mild more often than not. Examine the teleconnections/Bering Sea Rule however and there's still a signal for a more volatile pattern towards the end of that period and beyond. I can't see any prolonged cold for quite awhile though.

      Delete
    2. Anon, remember it's only November 6th. Plus, with mod/strong el nino dominating the foreseeable future, the cold air should be locked up in Canada for a while. However, the stage will be set for much juicier storm systems, which will eventually translate into snow. As C-4 mentioned, tele's look to begin to paint a "colder" picture toward the end of the month, so at this point, patience is a must.

      Delete
  34. Anyone else see a meteor tonight. I saw a very bright particularly full (I want to say bluish) meter around 8 pm in the south eastern sky moving roughly east to west

    ReplyDelete
  35. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 8, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    http://www.ilsnow.com/2015/11/05/winter-outlook/

    ReplyDelete
  36. IT'S FINALLY TIME...for my super ultra winter outlook extravaganza shindig of the century of the week. Here's how I think the general progression of things will go down, with temp anomalies and snowfall numbers included:

    NOV: We've already started the month extremely mild, so we'll almost certainly finish above average tempwise. Precipitation is running well below average but that can change in a heartbeat. Models and otherwise are hinting at more volatility in the latter third of the month.

    Temps: +4 to +5
    Snowfall: ~5"

    DEC: Previously I'd been thinking that December would be a largely mild month with below average snowfall. I still think that. Bummer.

    Temps: +3 to +4
    Snowfall: 10-15"

    JAN: The tides of change roll in during this month after a mild start. The second half of the month may provide our best window for a big storm this winter.

    Temps: +1 to +2
    Snowfall: 25-30"

    FEB: More consistent cold and snow, but nothing like the past two seasons. Lake effect off both lakes may be more robust than usual for so late in the season. Best chance for big storms moves farther south and east.

    Temps: 0 to -1
    Snowfall: 25-30"

    MAR: The usual winter retreat begins during this month, but the old man won't go quietly. Big storm chances increase again somewhat.

    Temps: -1 to -2
    Snowfall: 15-20"

    Total temp departure: +1 to +2
    Total snowfall: 80-100"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things That Factored In:

      -El Nino: The super godzilla king kong mega super Nino that's been discussed at length by numerous parties will be arguably the single most important factor in determining how our winter goes. And it's not as simple as "big Nino = warm warm warm." Configuration means as much as strength, and right now we have a basin wide configuration with Region 4 (the westernmost ENSO region) now experiencing record warmth. That's very important because it will assist in displacing the mean tropical forcing towards the dateline, which will in turn cause the Nino-driven Aleutian trough to hang farther away from the west coast, and that will allow ridging to build in the western states at times. With that said, even the "better" strong Nino winters have typically had mild Decembers, so there's reason to believe that Region 4 won't have its way early on. This would cut into the heart of our lake effect season, but at the same time allow it to last later than usual. I still expect reduced lake effect relative to average. Regardless of what happens with temps or lake effect, we're almost certain to have a frothing subtropical jet for large stretches of time, so the threat of major precipitation events looms large.

      -The Blob: AKA the North Pacific warm pool, which isn't as palatable a name as The Blob. There's been some debate across various platforms regarding just how influential this thing is, but the consensus seems to be that it provides some feedback to existing Pacific/western CONUS ridging. It has weakened noticeably since last winter, but I still expect it to factor in this time around especially if the Aleutian trough shifts west as expected.

      -Siberian snow cover: This October brought well above average snow cover growth and expanse to Siberia once again. Judah Cohen's research found an inverse correlation between snow advance and the mean state of the AO, and summarized it as the Snow Advance Index (SAI). This metric usually predicts the prevalence/strength of sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events that attempt to dismantle the Polar Vortex, but last year it failed to do so...the PV remained intact and as such the AO remained positive. There is one notable difference this time around however. Cohen concluded that one of the reasons the SAI failed last year was the presence of persistent troughing in the Kara Sea, which he claimed was due to above average ice cover. It managed to dampen any SSW events that tried to flip the +AO script. This time we have below average Kara Sea ice and persistent ridging. If you're a fan of the SAI and you want a -AO then that's apparently a pretty good thing. Since the AO and the NAO share a domain space they generally follow similar phase progressions, so a -AO would by extension promote a -NAO. The impacts of the SAI likely won't be felt until late December or some point in January owing to lag, so this won't be enough to save December.

      -MJO: This index summarizes the prevalence/absence of convection across the equatorial Indian Ocean into the equatorial West Pacific. As of now the Indian Ocean is warmer than average, and is modeled to remain that way through the winter. The waters around Indonesia are cooler than average but expected to rise back to near average by late winter. The West Pacific is also warm, but not nearly as much as the Indian Ocean. This argues for the MJO to remain in Phases 2 through 4 much of the time, with occasional trips into Phases 5 and 1. Phases 2 through 4 generally correlate to warmth in the eastern US during NDJ, but slowly become more favorable for cold through FMA. This is another argument in favor of the backloaded winter scenario.

      Delete
    2. Things That Factored In (cont):

      -Models: They've pretty consistently depicted a milder December with the pattern "improving" over time. The Euro and JAMSTEC seasonals in particular, which are generally pretty reliable as far as seasonal forecasting goes, have been building a ridge out west for several consecutive runs. They also depict the El Nino beginning to collapse in December from east to west, both of which are important as they pertain to a second half turnaround.

      ******CAVEATS******

      -I can't stress enough just how much of a crapshoot seasonal forecasting is. Much of what you read from seasonal forecasts might leave you confident in knowing what will happen because it makes sense, but then our atmosphere doesn't like to adhere to sense. It's a massive, complex and extremely chaotic system that we can't predict cleanly over the span of three weeks let alone several months. The best we can do is apply what we know and hope it works out, which does at least partially happen most of the time. So there is still some value in seasonal forecasting.

      -In that same vein, the NAO and MJO are notoriously difficult to predict, even more so than other indices. If they don't behave as I expect then it throws the whole forecast off kilter.

      -The timing/direction of the El Nino collapsing is very important. If it weakens after December then it hurts our chances of a second half comeback. The same can be said if the event weakens from west to east, which would shift it into an east based configuration and promote a more easterly Aleutian trough. This would also take The Blob completely out of the picture. Climatology and most models favor an east to west weakening however.

      -Having a frothing subtropical jet with less of an arctic jet means we're going to have to rely on large scale storms for most of our snow, as opposed to a steady reliable stream of clippers and lake effect. As such, snowfall could (and probably will) vary drastically from any forecast let alone mine. It only takes one or two storms to turn a relatively snowless month into a top 10 snowy one.

      And now for some bold guarantees:

      -It will snow eventually.
      -There will be weenie meltdowns.
      -Someone will complain regardless of what happens.
      -This winter will be a fascinating case study regardless of what happens.

      Delete
    3. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 14, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      It appears as though a return to normal is imminent after the 20th. That increases the likelihood of snowfall, but I am gonna stick with my prediction of a snowless November at this point.

      As for your predictions for the winter, I agree with most…

      December --> I think we will only see around 5" of snow total, with several days at least in the 50s and possibly the 60s.

      January --> I think we will end up around average for temps and snowfall…though it won't be consistent in any direction.

      Feb --> I agree. I put my monthly snowfall total at 40". I think we will have several east coast snowstorms in February, and I think the trough at that point will be far enough west to put the center of east coast Lows a little further inland, closer to a Richmond---Harrisburg---Albany---central New England track.

      March --> Snowier and colder than average.

      Seasonal snowfall total estimate of 95", with around 50% of it coming during a six week stretch in Feb and March.

      Other predictions:

      -No Big Deal will be back to the forum, under the handle #NBD (or, at least will end crazy posts that way).
      -HP will finally reveal that he is really Carly Fiorina, disgraced CEO of Hewlett-Packard and current presidential candidate.
      -The wiener guy will return by 1/1/16.
      -SnowDog will officially proclaim the death of Winter 2015-16 on December 31, 2015, and will lead a funeral procession starting and ending at the Walworth Funeral Home.

      Delete
  37. How about a 30+ hour High Wind Watch...yikes.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=buf&wwa=high%20wind%20watch

    ReplyDelete
  38. LAKE-ENHANCED PRECIPITATION WILL SHIFT SOUTH FRIDAY EVENING AS THE
    FLOW VEERS TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST BEHIND THE SHORTWAVE. THE POTENTIAL
    FOR MIXED PRECIPITATION OR EVEN SNOW WILL BE MORE WIDESPREAD AS 850
    MB TEMPS FALL TO AROUND -6C WITH LOWS FALLING INTO THE LOW TO MID
    30S. AT THIS POINT...IT APPEARS THAT ANY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS SHOULD
    BE ELEVATION-DEPENDENT WITH AN INCH OR SO OF WET SNOW ACROSS THE
    HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN TIER AND SOUTHEAST OF LAKE ONTARIO.

    IT IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION THAT LOCALIZED AREAS COULD SEE SEVERAL
    INCHES OF SNOW. WILL HAVE TO MONITOR THIS TIME FRAME FOR A POSSIBLE
    SNEAKY MODERATE SNOW EVENT.

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    Replies
    1. You won't be getting much more than some nuisance flakes unless you live at or above 1500 feet.

      Delete
    2. My dad's house is at 1800 feet in southern tier.

      Delete
    3. What part of the southern tier? If it's western southern tier then he has a much better chance of something appreciable.

      Delete
  39. Next week looks mild and sunny. Very nice.

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  40. I'm a bigger fan of the briefly active time period we'll have starting tomorrow.

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  41. Today is the sort of day that November aspires to be.

    A little more about the upcoming winter...because we haven't already heard enough about it...there's another indicator for the NAO that I never brought up, and it pertains to mean pressure anomalies near the Bering Sea and the Aleutian islands during October. Those anomalies were very negative last month, which from what I've read is a strong indicator of a negative wintertime NAO. I'm not familiar with the physical mechanisms behind that relationship and it doesn't come from an "official" source, so take it FWIW.

    On a very related note, some of the medium range models/ensembles are depicting something near Greenland that we haven't seen during the cold season in quite a long time...

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  42. Humankind is a beautiful entity afflicted with a dangerous disease. Hopefully we aren't far from a permanent cure.

    Still looks like a period of North Atlantic blocking will occur near or shortly after the 20th, but it looks transient. At the very least it might sooth the appetites of us low elevation winter lovers.

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  43. I predict first inch of snow on November 26th.. and it being declared no big deal on November 21st

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  44. From Greg Postel:

    Looking a little blocky over the North Atlantic next weekend .. much colder times for the Northern Tier likely

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  45. Any forecast that predicts a warm and dry upper great lakes causes me agita. It screams weeks and weeks of boring weather waiting for one storm to give us 6 inches of cement and rain followed by more boring weather. First official complaint!

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    Replies
    1. Such is life in soviet El Nino.

      For real though, all that reflects is a lack of polar jet activity, biased primarily towards early winter i.e. prime lake effect season. The subtropical jet can still make things interesting at times, especially second half.

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    2. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 16, 2015 at 6:58 PM

      Fairbanks, AK is forecasted to be below zero…all week. When that cold air gets uncorked by a -AO and -NAO, you will see winter in the eastern US…gonna hafta be patient this year…I agree with CCCCCCCCCCCCC that it will be awhile before things get interesting.

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  46. What's up with Scott predicting a "nomadic" winter? And also following it up with stating that this winter will be different from the past two....wouldn't the two statements be contradicting themselves?

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    1. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 16, 2015 at 8:26 PM

      No, both are accurate statements and are aligned with each other. The last two winters featured long stretches of cold and snow, uninterrupted. This upcoming winter MAY prove to be "nomadic" because it MAY move from warm to cold and dry to wet to snow without a consistent duration of any one of those (except for maybe a stretch in Feb-March after El Nino breaks down…just my thoughts).

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    2. I'd be careful with any thought that the El Nino will break down before winter ends. As things are it's not projected to fade completely until we're well into spring, and it has to come down off of what is currently a record-setting peak or near peak. The event will weaken substantially though, probably starting in early December, and that's what *should* help open the door for more consistent cold later in the winter.

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  47. Something I'd like to see in December to fortify the back-loaded winter projection is a destabilization of the polar vortex, which would leave it more vulnerable to a finishing blow from a major SSW. Often times an elongated or otherwise distorted vortex is a precursor to major weakening or total collapse, especially in seasons where a major SSW is anticipated, but if we don't see any such distortions during December then the prospects of a second half comeback become a lot dicier even with a major SSW. So while December may look like a throw-away month from a sensible perspective, it won't be without merit in regards to long range implications.

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  48. Argh! Backloaded winters suck. We need cold and white in December, not past early March.

    Complaint #2.

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    Replies
    1. A substantial majority of our best storms have occurred in the second half of winter though, particularly in El Nino.

      Tell you what...next winter when a strong La Nina is favored, we can enjoy a winter that goes gangbusters starting on Veterans Day then turns completely feeble for MLK Day and beyond ;)

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    2. True. But even for a snow lover, the novelty of snow and a big storms diminishes very rapidly by the second week of March, whereas we love them in Dec, Jan and February. I just a backloaded winter doesn't mean a late spring.

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  49. I agree with Anon above. I would rather have cold and snow in December as well. It is Christmas time when we should have snow.

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  50. Reminder that Christmas is still five full weeks away.

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  51. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 17, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    It has begun.

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  52. What is this from the NWS?


    THE DIFFERENCES ARE BECOMING LESS PRONOUNCED AS COMPARED TO PREVIOUS RUNS
    AND CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING THAT WE WILL SEE ACCUMULATING SNOWS
    THIS WEEKEND WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR LAKE EFFECT SNOWS ON SUNDAY.
    STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS...

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    Replies
    1. It's a chance for a touch of measurable snow in most areas, with more substantial lake effect in the traditional snowbelts. Hate to be the guy to break the NBD ice but...it's no big deal. I feel pretty good about it getting us out of the starting gate for snowfall though.

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  53. A new thread from channel 8 would be nice. Coldest air of the season coming but no snow for us. The belts could see some though.

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  54. Looks like a very warm Thanksgiving this year. A far cry from last year when we woke up to snow.

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    Replies
    1. Looks like low 50s to me. Above average but not warm at all.

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  55. News 8 predicting a mild winter overall and 70-90 inches total. A meek winter ahead.

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  56. Reminder that seasonal predictions are a shade above being an educated guess. By the way, December looks like it's going to start with near to below average temps.

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  57. Juicy deliciousness from Judah Cohen:

    "As we have shown in our research the favored high latitude atmospheric pattern in November that follows above normal October Eurasian snow cover extent is the expansion of the Siberian high across northwest Asia with low pressure to the east near the Aleutians and a secondary area of low pressure in the northern North Atlantic; a pattern that we refer to as the tripole pattern (Cohen and Jones (2012)). The current atmospheric pattern strongly projects onto this pattern. This same pattern also favors the increase in wave activity flux or the vertical transfer of energy from the troposphere to the stratosphere during the month of December. At AER we have developed a polar vortex model that predicts the strength of the polar vortex one month in advance. It is predicting a major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) in mid-December. We currently feel that this forecast is unlikely because the model is overly sensitive to SSW and has many false positives and because a major SSW is relatively rare in December. Still given the polar vortex model forecast and strong projection of the current atmospheric pattern onto the tripole pattern, we are more confident in increased wave activity flux in December that will result in weakening of the polar vortex in December and likely continuing into January. Also because the current dominant high latitude circulation is a wave two pattern, this would favor a polar vortex split relative to a polar vortex displacement in the event of a significant weakening of the polar vortex. One inhibiting background factor is the westerly phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) that favors a strong vortex over a weak vortex. But if our expectations of a weakened polar vortex verify, this will likely favor an increased likelihood of severe winter weather across the continents of the Northern Hemisphere. Of course all of this is highly speculative but the purpose of this blog is to push the boundaries of what is possible in weather forecasting beyond the skillful range of the weather models."

    Just to summarize the key points: Cohen expects the polar vortex to begin weakening in December and continue to do so into January. AER's polar vortex model predicts a major SSW in mid December, but it's probably a false positive. Despite that, the model result along with the current pattern progression still indicates a likelihood of PV disruption, and thus an increased probability of wintry weather in the mid latitudes as we head into January. The westerly QBO remains a possible fly in the ointment.

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  58. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 19, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    Did you read Don Paul's blog? He was discounting the above post to an extent. He mentioned that all of the positive anomalies for the October Siberian snowpack have dissipated since then. I am more intrigued by this upcoming winter than any other because, 1. I continue to learn about weather and I understand it much more than I used to; 2. This winter has more ingredients in it than Wiener Guy's hot dog chili.

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    Replies
    1. I read Don's blog all of the time, actually since long before I knew of this blog's existence. Part of me wonders a few things about the anomalies decreasing, namely the following:

      -It could be due to diminishing returns as additional snow systems simply dump on top of the already expansive snow cover as the seasonal average increases.
      -It could also be an indicator of Cohen's theory coming to life in the form of anomalous high pressure building across the region (which would be hostile to additional snowfall). A summary of the process generated by the Siberian snow cover can be found here: http://www.vwkweb.nl/userfiles/ws_vrij_diversen/1325_image001_3.png

      Either way, if any statistically significant relationship existed between November snow cover anomalies and the base AO state then Cohen probably would've discovered it by now. Then again, he didn't realize the impacts of Kara Sea ice cover until after last winter, so there's a chance he's missing something else as well. I'm still not overly concerned about a relative lack of November snow cover expansion, especially since there are factors independent of the SAI that also favor high latitude blocking.

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  59. Keep an eye on the Sunday night time frame with lake effect snow that could be a surprise for some.

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    1. Any lake effect looks to be confined to the normal belts east of the lakes on a west wind. Will not affect Rochester or Buffalo. We will be cold, but no snow for us.

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  60. Winter Storm warning out for Chicago for up to 8" of snow.

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  61. Sorry folks, but NBD on this one! Won't affect us

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    1. Anon, with an el nino off the charts and literally every teleconnection stacked against us, we were never expecting a quick start to winter here in WNY. We've been discussing this for months now, slow start with hopes of weakening el nino and establishment of high latitude blocking...
      It's like Forrest Gump once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get, except when there's el nino"

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    2. It will affect us Anon. We will be on the warm side with winds and rain.

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    3. Wind at the very least. Doubt we receive any substantial rain, probably just a passing shower or two.

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  62. Next week looks beautiful and mild for Thanksgiving travel. Looks like through mid December mild will continue. Hopefully near Christmas we can change things around.

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    Replies
    1. Next week does look nice. If it can't snow then I'll take it as bonus fall. But after Thanksgiving it looks like we fall, at least for a few days, below normal.

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  63. From Isotherm on AmericanWx:

    "The pattern going forward for the troposphere is quite conducive for increased troposphere-stratospheric heat transfer / wave activity flux. This is exactly what we 'want' to see occur, and is only the initial stage of a fairly protracted process. However, heat flux values at 100mb could surge to around / at least 25 K m/s by D7-10 in response to the wave-2 regime, namely, the development of the Nino-induced GOAK trough and anomalous Barents-Kara Sea ridge. The initiation of heat flux pulses into the stratosphere would be indicative of tropospheric pattern which is more favorable for stratospheric perturbation / disruption. If the tropospheric pattern persists as progged, which it appears it will, for the forseeable future [Dec 1-15th proggs], the stratospheric vortex will continue to receive attacks from vertically propagating waves. Usually, after the onset of this process, if it persists, stratospheric displacement or splitting could occur about 35-40 days later w/ the NAM modality reversal occurring shortly thereafter. So, all of this still keeps us on the right track for an early January AO reversal in my mind. December will be warm, but it's a "helpful" warm pattern.

    To play devil's advocate, one might argue that last year we had strong December perturbation, but nothing ever resulted from it. Of course, there's always that possibility, and the stratosphere is difficult to forecast. However, there were other factors which 'ruined' the progression IMO, many of which originated in the troposphere. It's not so much the PV perturbation that's important, but the overall progression of the pattern that's driving it. We can have singular heat flux events within a winter of cold/strong strat PV, and it doesn't mean much. But given the backdrop of other factors/indicators, this falls into line with expectations. Also, it's fairly early in the winter for large heat flux pulses, so I do think this could be a sign that the October snow advance indicator might be more effective [probably having some impact]."

    TL;DR: SAI is doing its job.

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  64. What the heck another high wind warning those are useless.

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    1. Can't say I understand this one in particular since modeled gusts are well below warning criteria. They aren't always useless though.

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  65. Looks like the Eastern suburbs of Rochester and into Wayne county could see some snow later tonight into Monday AM.

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  66. And just like that it's over. Ripped pretty good for awhile, ended up with a quick inch or so.

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  67. Picked up 1.5" in Gananda lat night.

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  68. KROC already mis-reporting snowfall totals...

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  69. Judah Cohen's winter outlook is rather interesting:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/11/24/innovating-forecaster-highlights-potential-for-very-snowy-winter-in-mid-atlantic-d-c/

    Some parts I agree with, others maybe not so much. I wouldn't go as cold as he's going in the Northeast. In the meanwhile we have two interesting storm potentials to follow towards early December. The first one has been trending towards a cutter track while the second one is still flip-flopping. I'm hoping they both don't fall completely off the map, but with the PNA looking to go positive during that time I think there's a window for some action.

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 25, 2015 at 6:51 PM

      Interesting read. He is pushing back against the consensus of this winter, including me. Cohen puts a lot of faith in the chain reaction to the Eurasia snow cover. I find it interesting that the warming of arctic, he claims, is leading to more severe mid-latitude winters. The science makes sense as the warming de-stabilizes the polar vortex. I normally look forward to the winter for the snowmobiling; this is the first year the primary factor in my anticipation is how the weather unfolds, and what we can learn from such a setup.

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  70. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/threats/threats.php

    "For Wednesday December 02 - Tuesday December 08: The rex block over the western CONUS during Week-1 is forecast to break down before the start of the period, and above-normal heights are forecast to be centered over south-central Canada. The upper-level low and associated surface low mentioned in Week-1 could impact the Northeast early in the period.

    The mean storm track during the period is forecast to extend from the far southern CONUS to the eastern seaboard, and so a significant storm system could impact parts of the eastern CONUS during the period, potentially bringing the first substantial round of wintry weather to parts of the Appalachians and interior Northeast."

    Just to add a few sparks to the kindling.

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  71. Eurasian snow cover extent is still above average, and is actually running slightly ahead of last year:

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_daily.php?ui_year=2015&ui_day=328&ui_set=2
    http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/snow/HTML/snow_extent_plots.html

    I think Don Paul's claim from awhile back stems from a misinterpretation of what's represented on the Rutgers plot. He's looking for anomalies in snow cover *depth* but the plot depicts anomalies in snow cover *extent*. You can't extend additional snow cover into areas that are already snow covered, so Siberia is depicted on that plot as having no anomaly. It's the extent anomaly that impacts the AO down the line, but as far as I know there's no study suggesting that it still matters after October.

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  72. If anyone is interested in making some seasonal predictions I made a google form.

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ERPBMYbYkCS-IaXLaHHa3ufhQ0WLGvzyoACwuGQwPEU/viewform

    Or just click my name.

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  73. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 25, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    An interesting outlook and comment section, courtesy of the Euro…

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/anderson/long-range-update-into-middecember/53732208

    On a side note, half the time I post a comment, it fails to show up on the blog even though it showed it posted after publishing. Anyone else having this issue?
    Anyway, above is a post I made about three hours ago.

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    Replies
    1. Not good if your a snow lover for December.

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    2. Just as planned...unfortunately. The "good" news is that we're still on track to see the PV take some solid hits over the next several weeks, which could help flip the script later on. In the meantime it seems we'll be saddled with an active storm track, which keeps us in the running for rogue wintry events. However, any such chances we do get will be marginal given the lack of deep cold air nearby. So we'll have to get lucky with timing, track and forward speed of any storms, kind of like what happened last December. The PNA going positive may help somewhat in that respect, the question is just how much.

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  74. Not a fan of mild Decembers but expecting a better second half of winter takes away some of the sting. How far into winter do we get before we start seeing signs of things not going as planned for the 2nd half? Mid Decemberish?

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    Replies
    1. I think if we hit that point in time with no hints of change then it'll be time to sound the distress signal. I'm mostly referring to changes in the polar stratosphere, in particular since the effects of a major SSW take 2 to 3 weeks on average to start affecting our weather. On top of that, a PV as strong as this one will take awhile to weaken and break down. If the PV is still anywhere close to this strong by mid/late December then our best hope would be the Aleutian trough retrograding far enough west to allow for favorable Pacific ridging. I think such a retrogression is a fairly reliable bet since it's a climatologically favored occurrence when El Nino weakens from east to west (which this one still looks to do), but it may not be enough on its own to salvage the winter. With all that said, I don't see any reason to start panicking at the moment, and the GFS wanting to warm the upper levels of the polar stratosphere over the next 10 days is a slightly encouraging sign. I'm sure none of this will pull any weenies from the cliff's edge though...some on AmericanWx are already scrambling to the diving boards.

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