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Thursday, November 26

2015-2016 Winter Outlook

Written by: Stacey Pensgen

Hello! Yes, we are still here. And yes, this blog is still up and running. Matt and I have had a bit more on our plate with Scott being out. BUT - his plan is to be back in the new year! Yay! In the meantime, if you missed Winter Ready 2015, here is a link to it: Winter Ready 2015 (scroll down to the bottom to watch each segment).

In a nutshell, here is what we are thinking for the long range winter: with the strong El Nino in play, we are thinking we will have a somewhat mild winter. Milder than last winter (but that shouldn't be hard to do!), with lots of ups and downs in the temperature department. You can already see this setting up the past few weeks with these surges of very mild air and wind, followed by plunging temperatures. Overall, we are thinking a dryer winter is in store for us in WNY. BUT what we will have to watch out for is the potential for some coastal storms bringing us some good synoptic snow.

NAO: We do think the North Atlantic Oscillation will come into play for us, but it's much harder to predict this far in advance, as opposed to El Nino, where forecasters are able to use this much further out in the future. We are thinking it will help to bring down a few bouts of the typically bitter cold air. Overall snow forecast: 70-90." Matt, Scott and myself put our  heads together and this is what we came up with. We'll see how it actually plays out!

123 comments:

  1. Pretty much what everyone else is going with. Mild and dry winter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If anyone wants to commit to some specific predictions (or see others), here's a Google Form I made.

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

    ReplyDelete
  3. This winter is going to stink if you like snow and cold.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My revised entry on Spreadsheet Guy's averages page, is not a weeny meltdown. It is just the interpretation of what the long range weather could look like, by a small group of well informed wooly bears.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 27, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    Yup, this is the consensus, outside of a few outliers (Judah Cohen, as mentioned in the older thread). We basically have had three solid winters in a row, with good snow and frequent (and sometimes long-term) stretches of cold. I made a prediction waaaay back, proclaiming that one of the next three winters is bound to be a dud. 2015-16 has been showing the potential for this for months now, since El Nino can forecasted fairly accurately so far out in advance. We just couldn't keep the streak of cold and snowy winters going in these parts; climatologically, it just doesn't happen all that often.

    That being said, as many have mentioned, including on this blog, this winter will (IMO) still show some fangs come February and March. In the meantime, continue to enjoy the extended season of lower utility bills.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Some things to keep in mind going forward:

    -Dry and mild OVERALL does not imply dry and mild ALL OF THE TIME.
    -Numerous El Nino winters have featured atrocious starts. Several of those winters eventually rebounded very nicely. Examples: 1957-58, 1965-66, 2006-07.
    -Parts of the Midwest are only a week removed from a record-setting snowstorm in the midst of one of the warmest Novembers on record.
    -Last December was extremely mild, but we still got a major storm.

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  7. Keep hoping CCCC but this winter is going to be meek and mild. All the experts are in agreement with below snowfall numbers and higher temperatures. Of course we will get at least one storm but big deal. If you are a skier or snow mobile rider forget this winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope constitutes precisely zero percent of my current thinking, which BTW lies comfortably within the overall consensus. I have us down for above average temps and below average snowfall as well. Next to nobody is predicting a meek winter (e.g. 1982-83, 1994-95, 2001-02, 2011-12).

      Delete
  8. Here's a collection of winter forecasts from a variety of experts and knowledgeable amateurs:

    http://www.weatherbell.com/public-winter-15-16-forecast
    http://www.weatherworksinc.com/winter-outlook-2015-2016
    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/videos/2015-16-winter-outlook
    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/news/articles/us-weather/winter-preview-el-nino-contributes-to-a-tale-of-two-seasons/56531/
    http://www.weather.com/forecast/national/news/winter-temperature-outlook-update-november-2015-2016
    http://weatherranger.com/seasonal-outlook/
    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/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/11/10/capital-weather-gang-2015-2016-winter-outlook-for-washington-d-c-stormy-and-mild-with-below-normal-snow/
    http://easternmassweather.blogspot.com/2015/11/winter-outlook-2016-tale-of-two-seasons.html
    http://www.lightinthestorm.com/archives/922

    True meekness does not abound.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also be aware that the first link contains both an initial outlook and a heavily revised version.

      Delete
  9. The more I read/ponder, the more convinced I become that our resident snow weenies will need to exercise a tremendous amount of patience through December outside of the occasional rogue snow chance. I'll reiterate that this was completely expected...the only change is that there is now medium range confirmation of what most seasonal outlooks predicted. So don't bother complaining because our sustained winter prospects won't look too good for quite awhile. This of course implies that complaining helps at all in the first place...

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  10. I think at least through Mid December there will be opportunities to play golf. Not good for the ski resorts but they did have good years last year and the year before. This year, through December they might not even be able to make snow.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Buffalo will at the very least manage to tie its record for the latest measurable snowfall. That record was set way back in 1899...a season which ultimately produced nearly 100 inches of snowfall at Buffalo and over 130 at Rochester. Those numbers includes an early March storm that dropped 2-4 feet of snow on the region, with 43.5 inches falling at Rochester. Guess which ENSO state we were in that winter...

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  12. This is depressing for snow lovers but expedted:

    LOOKING FARTHER AHEAD...OPERATIONAL GUIDANCE AND ENSEMBLE MEANS SHOW
    A HIGH CONFIDENCE FORECAST FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES TO CONTINUE
    THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER WITH THE UPSTREAM PATTERN ACROSS THE
    PACIFIC AND HIGH LATITUDES FORCING MILD PACIFIC AIR TO FLOOD EAST
    ACROSS THE NATION WHILE ANY COLD AIR IS LOCKED UP AT VERY HIGH
    LATITUDES IN NORTHERN CANADA. IT APPEARS THERE WILL BE LITTLE CHANCE
    FOR MEASURABLE SNOW THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sigh... Well I guess we'd been warned about the slow start of winter. The consolation at least is we've had a nice long extended fall and I've been able to golf in November several times. But lack of snow or some consistent cold air past mid December make me very cranky.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 29, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    Recent years that have had minimal December snowfall, but ended average or above:

    2003-04 (it was 61 F on New Years Eve, IIRC)
    2006-07 (4" as of 12/31 at KROC)
    2012-13 (winter slammed us with two storms 12/23, another one a few days later…but prior, essentially no snow)
    2014-15 (except for the storm on 12/10, it was full weenie meltdown…and we all know how last winter ended)

    This means nothing for this year except that mild Decembers occur at least 1/3 of the time in the past decade.

    Is it me, or do we have to revisit this every year around this time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think everyone is aware by now that a turnaround can happen. Anyone who isn't needs to be checked for brain damage.

      Delete
  15. Chris now in PenfieldNovember 29, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    http://www.ilsnow.com/2015/11/29/winter-update-2/#more-10846

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  16. There may be a transition to a more wintry pattern towards mid month. My opinion is that it's strictly temporary.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The more I look into Wednesday's setup, the more I start to believe that Buffalo will tie, rather than break, its latest measurable snowfall record. But it's going to be a close call.

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  18. Cross your fingers that the Aleutian Low transfer to a cut off low over Hudson Bay mid month like models are suggesting...

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  19. I would be shocked if we didn't have a warm December.. of all the winter predictions a mild December has been the most repeated one. It's what happens starting mid January or so is where things start to get muddy. I'd bet my mortgage we get 4-6 weeks of winter at some point.

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  20. Expect a large number of false alarms regarding fundamental pattern flips for the next several weeks. As I understand, some weenies out there are already declaring the long term arrival of winter with the mid month pattern shift. The huge problem with that assertion is that the shift won't be due to any fundamental changes, and probably won't be all that impressive anyway.

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  21. JFC the end of the Euro ensemble mean has Canada literally on fire.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm gonna have kittens if winter doesn't start showing before christmas!

    What do you mean Canada on fire and when?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf-ens/2015120112/ecmwf-ens_T850a_us_10.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf-ens/2015120112/ecmwf-ens_T850a_us_11.png

      That's just the ensemble mean too. Here's the operational for the same time frames:

      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf/2015120112/ecmwf_T850a_us_10.png
      http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf/2015120112/ecmwf_T850a_us_11.png

      Good luck with your pregnancy.

      Delete
    2. Those are models through the 11th, right? That gives 2 weeks for a cool down before Christmas. Keeping fingers crossed.

      Delete
  23. This winter is going to suck!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Less that 2 days into meteorological winter and we have our first cliff jumper. I think that's a new record.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Call me crazy but I'd say that 2006-07 might be the top analog for this winter by a long shot, even though the Nino that winter was just a hair inside moderate status. Also there was a claim recently from meteorologist Ryan J Ashoka that a strong early winter polar vortex actually favors a weaker one as the season progresses. I read that it has something to do with how the stratosphere cycles over time. So the PV being a black hole of torchy doom right now may not be as bad of a sign as some thought.

    Modeled downturns in the NAO, AO and EPO continue to favor a more seasonable pattern starting mid month, but a potential fly in the ointment is the PNA trending downward around the same time. Any long term fundamental flip to consistent cold and snow remains a long way off.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The coastal storm depicted on several runs of the GFS for the 9th-11th time period has been taking a nearly perfect track for heavy cold sector precip in Rochester...but there's no cold air. #justninothings

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  27. Lets hope it cuts to our west, or goes out to the fish. The sting of a perfect tracking storm only resulting in a chilly rain during the winter months would be difficult to take. It would feel like it lowers our odds of it occurring later in the season when cold air is present.

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    Replies
    1. Forget that, I'll take a storm of any kind at this point. We've been mired in a bland pattern for way too long at this point. Besides, a storm taking a particular track doesn't affect the odds of future storms taking the same track; they're statistically independent events.

      Delete
    2. Yes the pattern has been very boring. I will take boring over wet this time of year, I work outside often, and cold rain is never pleasant to work in. I also realize that any future events will not be affected by this meaningless GFS (forecasted) event. That is why I stated "It would feel like" and not "It will". Besides, it is the GFS' forecast a week out.

      As for the winter of 2006-2007, If we receive a 6 week stretch like we did in 2007 I would be happy. The valentines day storm really dumped on us that winter. I will wait patiently for winter to arrive regardless of whether it is soon or much later, intense or weak, the choice is not mine so time will tell.

      Delete
  28. RECENT DETERMINISTIC RUNS OF THE GFS DEPICT SOME SORT OF PATTERN CHANGE NEAR
    MID-MONTH. THIS SEEMS SOMEWHAT CONSISTENT WITH SUBSEASONAL TROPICAL
    VARIABILITY, WHICH HAS DISTURBED THE CANONICAL DIVERGENT CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED
    WITH ENSO. THE LATEST WEEKS 3+4 GUIDANCE DOES NOT SHOW THIS, HOWEVER, AND ODDS
    OF A PATTERN CHANGE THAT COULD REVERSE THE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES THAT DEVELOP
    DURING THE HIGH-CONFIDENCE PATTERN EARLY IN THE MONTH ARE EXCEEDINGLY SMALL.

    This from NOAA. Note last sentence. Even KW isn't doing his "WAIT TWO WEEKS AND THE PATTERN WILL CHANGE" dance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note the first sentence:

      "RECENT DETERMINISTIC RUNS OF THE GFS DEPICT SOME SORT OF PATTERN CHANGE NEAR MID-MONTH."

      And the second one:

      "THIS SEEMS SOMEWHAT CONSISTENT WITH SUBSEASONAL TROPICAL
      VARIABILITY, WHICH HAS DISTURBED THE CANONICAL DIVERGENT CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED
      WITH ENSO."

      Then the third one simply confirms what's already been brought up, namely that the mid month shift will be temporary and the month as a whole should average mild. Oh, by the way...

      https://twitter.com/whec_kwilliams/status/672467688032231424

      "#ROC area snow lovers: Not much hope for now, but have told clients pattern looks better Dec 15-25. In the meantime, see ya at the beach."

      There's your song and dance right on cue. "Better" appears to be a relative term in this case, it's really more like "less terrible"

      Delete
    2. Thanks CCCC for the excellent explanation. I get it now. I thought the third sentence was saying that the weather won't be cold and snowy, period.

      And KW does not disappoint, does he? :) Now all we need is JN to put his cliched 2 cents in, and we will be all set.

      Signed, Anon. 10:43

      Delete
    3. Well it won't be cold and snowy on the whole. The pattern is still going to mostly suck even as it improves. You won't get that impression from either Kevin or Josh though...

      Delete
  29. This winter is going to suck.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lowest 850mb wind anomalies on record in the NPAC may favor a negative EPO beyond December. Increasing ozone transport + cooling in the tropical stratosphere indicates a strengthening Brewer-Dobson circulation, which should lead to stronger poleward heat flux in late December and thus a weakening of the PV heading into January. So what on earth does all that gibberish mean? It means everything is still going according to plan.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Don't recall winter of 2006-07.. late bloomer? Variable? I'm a snow pack duration guy..if 06-07 had 6 weeks of snow on the ground I'll take it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definite late bloomer. One of the most dramatic turnarounds ever observed...first half was historically mild and snowless, second half zapped us with nearly our entire seasonal average in a span of about 8 weeks. That included 6 weeks of solid snow cover.

      Delete
  32. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 3, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    2006-07…I remember it well…I think there was only a few inches of snow at the airport as of 12/31…and, after a dismal 05-06 winter, I figured it would be two in a row. I remember the switch getting thrown sometime in mid-January and the rest of the season was a classic western NY winter with plenty of snow and consistent cold. I remember riding the sled down the 104 trail in mid-March, far beyond the normal last day of snowmobiling in these parts (even last year, after the first March weekend, it was DONE). I believe I put 2,000 miles on the sled in about 7 weeks that winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then that is what I am hoping for! This snow weenie shall remain calm.

      Delete
  33. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 4, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=1CA2F9A16D1A6375!280&ithint=file%2cpptx&app=PowerPoint&authkey=!AOSv7HIr2qlPss8

    No big surprises from DT…seems to be looking for hints at a surprise winter development, but seems to concede that the consensus is probably most likely. However, there is a lot of weather nerd info in this slideshow, for those who like to engage in the details of models, atmospheric correlations, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  34. https://londonwx.wordpress.com/winter-1516/

    The main takeaway, quoted from the text:

    "I believe there is fairly high confidence that the AO will switch negative mid winter. Less confidence in a subsequent negative shift in the NAO (Euro cold).

    A SSW any time before 5th January 2016 seems unlikely based on current stratospheric forecasts. The above write up suggests bulk of vortex disruption is predominantly likely to come from wave 1 displacement. This means that an immediate response in terms of surface weather conditions quickly turning cold are unlikely and the usual lag as warming downwells is to be expected (10-20 day lag). It also means that where exactly the weakened polar vortex is displaced to, will have a huge bearing on where northern blocking sets up, as also where cold air is ejected from pole to mid latitude."

    The author of this blog is writing from a UK/Europe perspective, so there are two things to keep in mind:

    -The AO/NAO have a stronger influence on Europe's winter weather than they do on ours.
    -Their generally favorable PDO phase for cold is the opposite of what it is for us.

    So for our purposes, his "final score" of 4-3 in favor of winter should be adjusted to 5-2 for us.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Now this is interesting...

    https://twitter.com/blizzardof96/status/672886621126000640

    "Pattern change may be looming 12/20-1/10 as CHI shifts to E Hem. Seeing support from #BSR"

    https://twitter.com/blizzardof96/status/672887215752478721

    "This type of shift would be EPO driven with little blocking due to PV dynamics. This favours the midwest/lakes/interior for snow."

    This guy is no slouch either, and certainly not just some wishful weenie. It would also line up with what some circles have been discussing in regards to the link between NPAC zonal wind and the mean EPO phase. Plus it appears to have some vague endorsement from the BSR's main purveyor (Joe Renken), who is also neither a slouch nor a weenie. So the primary theme remains: sucky now, less sucky later.

    ReplyDelete
  36. In the meantime, have some GFS fantasy porn:

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2015120418/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_46.png

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow. All next week looks mild and sunny. Very unusual for December.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure how old everyone is in here.. but I recall a Christmas week one year back in the 80's where my brothers and I were picking up night crawlers at night. It was a very strange thing to do with all the decorations up. Crickets chirping and worms in a bucket in late December. Just strange.

      Delete
    2. This was in 1982. I was in Niagara Falls. December 1st was about 70 degrees. Christmas Eve was in the 60s.

      Delete
  38. From KW:

    Latest models give no reason to change tune of modestly enhanced snow chances in #ROC Dec15-25.But in the meantime, anyone see my sunscreen? Just in time for Christmas????

    ReplyDelete
  39. This winter is horrific. It sucks we may not get 50 inches the whole season.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear God Anon. It is not even winter yet. Get a grip.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We've literally never recovered from a warm start to winter, especially not last year or 2012 or 2006 or 1965 or 1958 or or or...

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  42. Wow!! 60 by next weekend. This is ridiculous. LOL. Get out the shorts and t shirts. We might be celebrating Christmas outside this year.

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  43. Can you say winter of 2012 this one is going to suck too. No storms very little snow.

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  44. 2012 had a few good storms. I'm actually pretty sure that a winter with no storms would be thoroughly unprecedented...we always manage to stumble into one eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't remember any storms 2011 2012 season...maybe one late in the season? That was my first season as a homeowner maintaining a driveway and it sticks out in my memory as virtually no snow through January.

      SW

      Delete
    2. We had a gusty snowstorm in mid January and an unexpectedly heavy lake effect storm in mid February.

      Delete
  45. A little nugget of hope at the end of the NWS discussion:

    "LOOKING FURTHER OUT INTO THE SECOND FULL WEEK OF DECEMBER...BOTH THE ECMWF AND GFS BASED ENSEMBLES ARE IN STRONG AGREEMENT THAT THE PACIFIC BASED FLOW COULD TEMPORARILY BREAK DOWN OVER THE LOWER 48. A NICE SIZED CHUNK OF -12 TO -16C H85 AIR IS ADVERTISED TO MOVE FROM THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES INTO THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. SHOULD THIS AIRMASS MAKE IT TO THE OHIO VALLEY...IT WOULD BE IN A FAVORABLE POSITION TO EVENTUALLY GENERATE SOME SIGNIFICANT LAKE SNOWS EAST OF BOTH LAKES ERIE AND ONTARIO. THERE ARE PLENTY OF `IFS` WITH THIS SCENARIO THOUGH...BUT IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO KEEP AN EYE ON AS WE MOVE DEEPER INTO PREPARATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAY SEASON."

    I'm not sure I would've narrowed the lake effect potential down to "east" of the lakes, and I also wouldn't have limited the mode of snowfall to just lake effect. But it's pretty apparent where we're headed after the upcoming week.

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  46. Looks like golf weather this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Gotta look at the glass half full...what a BEAUTIFUL Fall we've been having! So far no complaints here about the dry 40 and 50 degree bonus days before winter hits. That's time to get outside projects done before hunkering down for the cold and snow. My impatience for winter usually correlates with how much mud we suffer through in November.

    With the caveat, of course, that things turn white outside by December 24th or let the complaining begin!

    SW

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  48. This winter will suck. Even KW is discouraged he hates doing the weather with no winter snow in the future. He knows it is over you can tell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://36.media.tumblr.com/982613e129b977e29563d987c35eabe3/tumblr_ns4j7yO1Ls1uc9zo8o1_1280.png

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

    "LOOKING FARTHER AHEAD...THE GEFS ENSEMBLES HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT IN THE PAST FEW DAYS IN SHOWING A MUCH MORE ACTIVE PATTERN DURING THE SECOND HALF OF DECEMBER WITH A SERIES OF PROGRESSIVE AND STRONG TROUGHS MOVING ACROSS THE NATION. THIS WILL PROVIDE MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR BRIEF APPEARANCES OF COLDER AND MORE WINTRY AIR INTO THE GREAT LAKES...BUT THESE COLD AIR INTRUSIONS ARE LIKELY TO BE BRIEF AND SEPARATED BY ACTIVE AND WARM SYSTEMS."

    I wouldn't rule out one of those systems being a colder one if the timing works out. For now though it looks like quick bouts of lake effect would be the primary "concern," for lack of a better word.

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  50. Keep wishing CCCC nothing will happen until id January at the earliest this winter sucks.

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  51. Literally the exact same bait as all of the previous years, with only slight wording changes. This really is disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  52. A small part of me hopes for the first half of winter to become so futile that people start cancelling next winter too.

    ReplyDelete
  53. KW was saying last night on 10 that it looks like we will have to wait more until January for consistent winter weather.

    Boy, he looks downtrodden, though. Kinda sad. Wait all year for wicked weather and then you get mild blah weather.

    I think his "hell on earth" job would be being a meteorologist in San Diego. "Well, folks, tomorrow is sunny and 75. Thursday, sunny and 74. And we may have a few clouds on Friday and 75."

    ReplyDelete
  54. It will get pushed back to February then March. This winter is going to be horrible for winter weather lovers get ready. Sorry just speaking the truth the El Nino and poor teleconnections have got us.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Bait. Bait never changes.

    The Trolls waged war to gather salt and tears. 4chan built an empire from its lust for lulz and epic win. Timecop shaped a battered GNAA into a l33t h4xx0ring superpower.

    But bait never changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel so old when you talk sometimes.

      Delete
  56. Both the Euro weekly and CFS weekly show "improvements" with time, although they can both shift in future runs. The new Euro seasonal is in and it remains largely unchanged from the previous run, which is to say that it has a decent look for winter lovers. Medium term it looks like we're still going to enter a seasonable temp regime between about the 18th to the 22nd, then a strong warmup builds in leading into Christmas before a return to seasonable shortly after the holiday. All of the usual caveats apply.

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  57. Dr. Steven Gregory believes that the El Nino will begin to weaken rapidly later this month as the newly formed subsurface cold pool pushes east.

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    Replies
    1. How long is the lag on sensible weather? I was thinking it might be too late by then?

      Delete
    2. It would take us into February, but I'm 95% sure that we won't have to wait that long for a "better" pattern to unfold.

      Delete
  58. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/christmas-temperature-forecast-snow-warmth-occasional-chill-midwest-northeast-us/54092562

    Key takeaways:

    -Still mild ***overall*** through Christmas.
    -Any warm periods can/will be briefly interrupted by shots of seasonable air.
    -This + possible secondary coastal track means an outside chance of a white Christmas.
    -Second half comeback still anticipated.

    I placed high emphasis on "overall" because there's a distinction to be made between mild "all of the time" and mild "in the mean." This is a case of the latter rather than the former. The warm surges will push us to much above average levels while the chilly shots bring us down to near average rather than truly cold. Same story for the medium range as it's been for awhile...less sucky, but still not great.

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  59. Bizarre look to this afternoon's Euro run with something resembling a Rex block out west. Not sure what it would mean for the big picture, but closer to home there's some rather cold air overhead. The operational seems to be on its own regarding the Rex block as there's no evidence of it in the ensemble mean, so I'm treating it as nothing more than a curiosity at the moment.

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  60. IDK whether this is a new feature or I simply never noticed it, but the NOWData pages for all of the NWS offices now have functionality for displaying tabular daily data for every individual month, with records going as far back as each climate site's period of record. Link to NWS Buffalo's page for anyone interested in looking through it:

    http://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=buf

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  61. https://twitter.com/scotthetsko/status/674770293630631936

    "Pattern change could mean colder WX & snow in #roc by Christmas. Which would you prefer?"

    Make of that what you will. Personally I can't tell if it's a legitimate outlook or just a hypothetical lead-in for the poll question.

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  62. @whec_kwilliams: If American computer model (GFS) is to be believed, and that is BIG IF, there will be 2, maybe 3 chances at snow in #ROC by Christmas. First opportunity comes around the 18th.

    Let's hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like "wait two weeks and the pattern will change" in new clothing...

      Delete
  63. If the 0z GFS verifies, our snow drought would essentially be extinguished by Christmas. If the 6z verifies, most people will be asking what the color of grass is... Plenty of time left, but at least we are trending in the right direction and may actually be a little ahead of schedule as far as our pattern becoming more conducive for cold and snow. It would be nice for a greater percentage of model/ensemble support; something that should have a much clearer picture by the end of the weekend.

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    Replies
    1. We're still a long way away from the larger background state flipping to colder with the PV still going strong. That 6z GFS looked sweet though...

      Delete
  64. Well Weatherguy the 12z looks totally different and if that verifies the grass will look nice and wet and green. This winter sucks so please no false hope.

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  65. No shit the 12z changed, it's a 200+ hour model prog. But there is definitely a window for something wintry as the trough departs around the 18th-21st time period. All of the major ensemble means have low pressure anomalies along the east coast and a negative height anomaly swinging through, which is a stormy signal whether you like it or not. All we can do from this range is see how the chips fall over the next week or so, and in particular how next week's big cutter storm behaves. By the way, that one looks like a nice high wind threat with the possibility of a low-topped squall line moving through.

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  66. There will be a full fledged BLIZZARD in the Flower City within the next 12 weeks. MARK IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 10, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      I really want your autograph. Anonymous A. Anonymous.

      Delete
  67. MARK IT DOWN guy is the wind beneath my wings.

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  68. From channel 10:

    Growing signs of a pattern change for the colder (snowier?) as we get closer to Christmas. Stay tuned. #ROC pic.twitter.com/1a0cNtcpxQ

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    Replies
    1. KW does this EVERY stinking year, without fail.

      Delete
  69. https://twitter.com/spensgen/status/675027000885555200

    "Next week could get fun. 60s on Monday, some flakes by Thursday? Pattern change tries to charge in for NE."

    There's no way around it at this point.

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  70. For the record, I still think we spike warm again leading into Christmas. The Euro ensemble mean supports the East Asia Rule in that regard.

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  71. The NMME model suite updated recently. Not surprisingly, the CFS has the warmest JFM depiction by a significant margin. Last season it didn't pick up on the cold January until the waning moments of December. So with that said, the new run yielded zero reasons to panic, although it still doesn't drive us into the deep freezer in the mean (it never did in the first place).

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    Replies
    1. Last sentence refers to the new NMME run, not the new CFS run.

      Delete
  72. Looks like next weeks cool down before Christmas is definitely temporary like CCC said. It may get cool for a few days, but does not look good for a White Christmas. I entered the channel 8 December snow forecast and said we would get 8" of snow this month. I think I am too high. Yike.

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  73. Looks like rain will be the liquid form we receive next weekend and before Christmas. Can you sing I am dreaming of a Green Christmas.

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  74. Just keep saying... "What a beautiful Fall day it is out there!" and repeat.
    (Until December 21st, that is.)

    SW

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  75. All the latest model runs and new teleconnections data indicate no big storms before Christmas. The winter is going to be quiet and meek.

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  76. The timing for any snow system next week looks like it would be either Friday or Saturday at the moment. There's still a lot of shifting going on right now with the models struggling to resolve the degree of phasing, and that's being complicated further by the fact that we still have two leading systems to get through first. The time for declarative conclusions is still several days away.

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  77. At the very least we're going to have some lake flakes flying around the region. Too cold for an all rain scenario unless the trough decides it's going to hold up out west for some impossible reason.

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  78. I've been reading some insight into the winter of 2006-07 as an analog to this one, and I'm a bit startled at just how similar they are regarding the base state of the December pattern and the configuration of the El Nino. Obviously this event is far stronger than that one was, so to expect the exact same sensible impacts would be misguided. But so far these two winters have been a very close match.

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  79. The models have captured the "cutter followed by a more northerly cutter" scenario every run cycle for 5 or 6 days in a row. Amazing how they can do that but can't resolve eastern snow systems until their noses are pressed against the glass. Deep low tracking to Chicago? Strong model agreement plus consistency right off the bat every single time. Possible snow threat for the Northeast? Good luck having any agreement more than 96 hours in advance. So with that said, next weekend's "storm" window is starting to look like more of a lake effect scenario than anything. Can't say I'm terribly surprised with such a progressive pattern in place, although there is plenty of time for change.

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    1. And prolly not for us. Prolly the typical lake effect areas east of the lakes.

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  80. I Know it is early but the GFS is showing a pretty big storm that will cut to our west for early Christmas week. We will be on the warm side again. We can only hope for lake effect behind it to give us a white Christmas.

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  81. 1. We can't yet say for sure if we're going to miss out on all of the lake effect.
    2. It's way too early to be making declarative statements about Christmas storm systems, especially when the GFS is your only basis.

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  82. Not looking good for us:

    THE ARRIVAL OF THE COLD AIR ON CYCLONIC WESTERLY FLOW SUGGESTS THE
    POTENTIAL FOR A LAKE EFFECT SNOW EVENT FROM THURSDAY NIGHT INTO
    SATURDAY. WHILE DETAILS THIS FAR OUT ARE NOT CLEAR...THE GENERAL
    FLOW AT THIS TIME APPEARS TO BE MORE WESTERLY...SUGGESTING ANY
    SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS WOULD BE FOUND ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TIER AND
    TUG HILL REGIONS...THOUGH IT CANNOT BE RULED OUT THAT BUFFALO MAY
    FINALLY SEE MEASURABLE SNOW BY THE WEEKEND.

    LOOKING FARTHER OUT...THE LATE WEEK/WEEKEND COLD SNAP LOOKS TO BE
    SHORT-LIVED AS A LACK OF BLOCKING DOWNSTREAM WILL KEEP THE UPPER
    LEVEL PATTERN PROGRESSIVE WITH THE WEEKEND UPPER LEVEL TROUGH BEING
    REPLACED BY LOW-AMPLITUDE RIDGING BY THE END OF THE
    WEEKEND...SUGGESTING A RETURN TO MORE MILD TEMPERATURES NEXT WEEK

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  83. There could be a period of WNW/NW flow as the trough swings through.

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  84. This winter has sucked and will continue to suck. Sorry CCCC the El Nino is wining out and will continue to do so. Maybe 60 inches all winter.

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  85. Green Christmas for sure with the big warm up after next weekend. KW is really going to lose it.

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  86. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 13, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    Who doesn't love a good ol' weenie meltdown? Thing is, you could be right (the 60" guy)….but, as of now, NOTHING has changed (in regards to the prediction of a late winter). It's actually amazing how well forecasted the start of this winter has been, in reality. Still greater odds than not that the switch flips sometime in January.

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  87. Not for the faint of heart:

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2015121318/gfs_T2ma_us_44.png
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2015121318/gfs_T2m_us_44.png

    Merry Christmas -_-

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    Replies
    1. Yike. We could be celebrating Christmas outside on the deck this year. Wow.

      Delete
  88. What is that CCCC? You are grasping for straws nothing until mid January at the earliest.

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    Replies
    1. So I take it you assumed that those links show something wintry? You know it's really bad form to cast off without knowing your prey or having the right lure on hand.

      Delete
  89. Not sure why everyone is panicking? We never really seem to get a lot of snowfall in December. Although it is more mild, last year we did not get much snow early on and look how the winter ended up. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE THIS. But it will pass and old man winter will rear its ugly head.

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