Wednesday, October 21, 2009
NOAA: El Niño to Help Steer U.S. Winter Weather
High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
El Niño in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean is expected to be a dominant climate factor that will influence the December through February winter weather in the United States, according to the 2009 Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Such seasonal outlooks are part of NOAA’s suite of climate services.
“We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. “Warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific shifts the patterns of tropical rainfall that in turn change the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and the U.S.”
“Other climate factors are also likely to play a role in the winter weather at times across the country,” added Halpert. “Some of these factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance. The NAO adds uncertainty to the forecast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic portions of the country.”
Highlights of the U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February) include:
High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
- Below-average temperatures are expected across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic from southern and eastern Texas to southern Pennsylvania and south through Florida.
- Above-average precipitation is expected in the southern border states, especially Texas and Florida. Recent rainfall and the prospects of more should improve current drought conditions in central and southern Texas. However, tornado records suggest that there will also be an increased chance of organized tornado activity for the Gulf Coast region this winter.
- Drier-than-average conditions are expected in the Pacific Northwest and the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.
- Northeast: Equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Winter weather in this region is often driven not by El Niño but by weather patterns over the northern Atlantic Ocean and Arctic, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation. These patterns are often more short-term, and are generally predictable only a week or so in advance.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It's snowing in the Northeast, now the HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) has painted probabilities ranging from high confidence of 4" to possibly (10%) of 12" in the PA/NY mtns. I am still holding on at least 8+' somewhere, but 12" wouldn't suprise me. Of course this won't all be today or tomorrow, but a multi-day event as this first system moves out (see low pressure prog above) and the next system moves down/develops with a deepening tough and more cold air over the weekend. Thought I'd throw in a picture to verify; I grabbed this one from Haneyville, PA, which is actually near where the heaviest snow axis should be, but I'm not sure
of their elevation...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This partially prompted my decision to blog...
Click below to see it full size (and to make me feel better about uploading their picture)
As you can see, something to get a mid-atlantic, OK, southerner's attention, especially since I live in the practical bulls-eye of the "cold and snowy" area. I also re-subscribed to accuweather pro today ($25 a month), which is a must if you are serious about following weather models as their models and variations are second to none, and the thoughts of Joe Bastardi as well. I'll post some of my other favorite site w/links later. And you will notice that I am a shameless accuweather promoter, they're really the best in the business. I also like the fact that they employ absolute weather nuts like Bastardi and Henry Margusity.
Anyhow, I know it's only October and the leaves are still on the trees here, but I hope their forcast lives up to its billing. Their main gist, if I can dumb it down enough, is that the trough axis this winter is going to be much further south than usual, and in combination with an el nino pattern and oscillation indeces that point to cold air blocking...we're in for some good times. In other words, cold+wet= snow.
It will also be interesting to see if the two systems coming through this weekend really prove to be close to the current model trends. People from NC to Maine, and possible peaks in VA could see the first flakes fly. That would be mid-October snow, not quite often you see that. Some in the mountains of PA and NY could see accumulations of 4-6". I'd place a bet that someone gets lucky and sees 8+" in the highest elevations, which will wreak havoc with leaves still on the trees. Back in 2001??, that was the cause for an interesting and damaging scenario in central NC during an early November ice storm. Never a good thing to have winter before the leaves fall. But I'm not complaining...
I'd be happy to hear from those interested in weather here in West Central VA. Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing like an impending snowstorm. Some people (family especially) say I'm obsessive and weird about my weather fascination. They're right...
Not sure if I would call this an amateur forecast page, just a way to express my thoughts and ideas on current events in both atmospheres.