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Winter Episode II: Return of the Snow Miser?

It's like we are in a pan fryin' away... especially come this weekend. WOW! Just LOOK at these numbers. It doesn't get much warmer than this for this time of year. Incredible. Not unprecedented, because it has happened in the past, but still incredible that there are some that will be 20+ above normal by tomorrow. Could we POSSIBLY reverse course from imminent disaster this Winter? And by that I mean a warm and snow-less season... The answer is actually, YES!

Call me stubborn or stupid... I haven't figured out which one it is yet, but I am NOT throwing in the towel on Winter. I've talked about this multiple times because I'm hopeful that the slight changes I see playing out in the near-future could blossom into something a bit more interesting for snow and winter weather lovers.

The first sign? The Madden Julian Oscillation. It has been in a HORRIBLE position for cold since mid December. I don't want to bore anyone so all I'll tell you about this is it has to do with convection along the equator in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. Phases 4, 5, 6 and 7 translate to WARMTH in the east. The closer the line is to the outer edge, the more influence the MJO has on the overall pattern. The encouraging thing that pops out to me right away? It has a pretty amplified forecast going forward into phase 7, which is better than 5 and 6. If this continues, it could end up in 8 which is golden for cold air in the east.

Here's a look at what kind of weather each phase of the MJO brings:

Now let's look at some other teleconnections that ALSO paint a much better picture. The main ones we look at are the NAO (Greenland Block), PNA, EPO and WPO. The pacific oscillations, I believe, have more of an influence on the overall pattern than the NAO. You don't NEED a negative phase to get snow. It helps, but we've been deeply negative before and have come up with diddly squat... and on the flip side we've had some decent storms while it's been in the positive phase.

NAO Projection: Better than where we've been.

EPO Projection: MUCH MUCH MUCH better. We want this to go negative, MOST forecast guidance tanks the index, which is a total reversal from where it has been and where it is right now. This would be a cold signal in the east.

WPO Projection: Eh. I'm not too thrilled about this , but SOME guidance has it going negative, that is where we want it. I'd like to see the EURO bring it a bit more negative. Right now it's kinda chilling at neutral.

PNA Projection: MUCH better. The pacific north american pattern is extremely influential in the overall pattern because it has to do with ridging in the west - which is 10000% needed to get any sort of lasting cold in the east. We've been DEEPLY negative... we need it POSITIVE and the forecast guidance is heading that way. Not perfect, yet, but in the right direction for sure.

Now we look at what's going on at the 500mb layer of the atmosphere, which is roughly 14k feet above our heads to see if what I just posted above makes sense.

Here's the CURRENT pattern:

Barf. Completely garbage. See all the red in the east? That's indicative of higher than normal heights (high pressure) and that darn southeast ridge. This forces our storms into the Great Lakes and leaves us with warm weather and rain. All the cold and snow is locked in to the west. The DEEP red southwest of Alaska is a ridge in the WRONG spot. This is the kind of temperature profile this current pattern yields:

Now, let's fast forward 10-15 days.

Huge changes. The ridge forms OVER Alaska which forces warmer air up there and displaces the cold in the form of a trof (dip in the jet) over the east coast. This is a cold and stormy pattern. The temperature profile IT produces looks more like this:

So it's a slow and steady transformation, but I believe it will happen. It just makes sense to me. I would have liked to see it by the second week of the new year, but as long as it happens, I'll be happy missing the mark by a little.

Talk of a storm in the next 10 days? Makes sense. As the pattern changes there usually IS some sort of wintry weather event. I'm not going to entertain any specific event this far out, but the potential DOES exist by next weekend. We shall see.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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