Fall Weather & Winter Climate

October 21st, 2011 at 7:56 am by under Weather

We have a pretty quiet forecast for us locally.  Lots of sun is expected this weekend.  Dry conditions are expected through early next week.  Highs will be in the 60s both Saturday and Sunday.  Lows will be chilly tonight.  We’ll see mid-upper 40s in the metro, but some inland locations will be in the low 40s.  There will probably be a few upper 30s in a couple of cities, but I don’t think we’ll see any frost just yet. 

NOAA has put out it’s Winter forecast for this year.  NOAA forecast.  NOAA’s Climate Prediction center makes seasonal forecasts every year.  They are a good tool, but should always be taken with a grain of salt.  For example I can’t recall a forecast of theirs that deviates too far from persistence.  Check out their recent precipitation forecast and compare it to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor.  That does not make it a bad forecast, but again one should use it as more of a guideline than a hard rule.  I believe ENSO(El Nino) is a big factor in their forecast, but the North Atlantic Oscillation is also a factor as well as the Arctic Index.  If you look at the Arctic Index you’ll note that it went very negative in 09/10′.  That’s when we had the first big snow year in a while.  Last year it was also negative, but not as much.  We had another snowy Winter.  I think the last couple of years have followed a late 70s pattern.  I think either this year or next year we’ll see a very warm Winter.  That is more art-based than science at this point.  I wish I had more time to do research. 

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

2 Responses to “Fall Weather & Winter Climate”

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Jeremy,
    You do mean La Nina when talking about a factor in their forecast correct? This gonna be a La Nina winter and you stated “I believe ENSO(El Nino) is a big factor in their forecast”. This winter definitely does not look like it is going to be a warm winter. The snow cover in northern canada has increased significantly and could have an effect on us this winter. Hopefully we can get some good Greenland Blocks this winter to give us some good snow. It would be nice to get 3 or 4 storms which produce 5-7 inches rather than one storm pounding us with 12 or more at once.

    1. Jeremy Wheeler says:

      Hello Mark. ENSO encompasses both La Nina and El Nino. You are right that it is a La Nina year. At least so far… I do think it will be a cold Winter, but not before the warm ocean waters produce some times of warming early on. Once the snowpack builds more and the Canadian cold pool builds in more (it’s already not too shabby), then I’m thinking we’ll see a lot of cold northwesterly flow this year. The last couple of years we had a lot of progressive storm systems. I think this year we’ll have more slow moving or even blocking patterns, but that remains to be seen. I want to take a closer look, but I just haven’t had time. Thanks for commenting. A couple of smaller storms would be nice. Still think a very warm Winter is around the corner within the next 2 years. Jeremy

Leave a Reply