Monday, October 4, 2010


By John Ruggiano

October 8, 2010

From December 1, 2010 Through March 31, 2011 (Dec, Jan, Feb, and Mar)

I’m forecasting a strong La Nina Signal, with a very progressive pattern for the Northern half of the CONUS.

The PAC JET and POLAR JET will dominate the overall pattern, bringing numerous cold shots and periodic stormy conditions for the norther tier. The STJ will be very weak, if not non-existent, keeping any southern storms/Miller A type, too a minimum for much of the winter season.

My General Winter forecast for the Continental US.

Let me start by saying, this winter will be quite different than last year, where much of the storminess and chill, was concentrated from the Southern Rockies, the Southern tier, and into the Mid-Atlantic States. As we all know, a blockbuster, record breaking snow season occurred over much of the M/A States, with VA, MD, DE, and NJ really taking it on the chin. The combination of a moderate to strong El Nino, and perfect teleconnections, were the contributing factors for the M/A in receiving the record breaking snowfall, with 4 major winter Storms.

As we head into the fall and winter months, the ENSO signal is expected to continue on it's trek towards a strong La Nina signal. This is an extreme flip, and opposite of last year's Strong El Nino signal. Overall the 3 primary teleconnections (The NAO, AO, and PNA) during the past 3-4 months, have been constant with no major extremes. The NAO and AO have been running slightly Negative to near Neutral, with the PNA being near Neutral to slightly Positive.

With an expected strong La Nina, and rather flat teleconnections, I’m Forecasting the most active and stormy weather to occur over the Northern Rockies, much of the Plains, The Midwest, and The Great Lakes regions. Both the PAC and Polar Jets, will have there way this winter, producing a more stormy and snowy winter in these regions. Opposite from last winter, the Sub-tropical or Southern branch, will be quite weak and non-existent for much of the winter.

During the later part of winter, from early February through mid March, the STJ or Southern branch could have just enough influence to produce a more widespread over-running event, or possibly a Miller A type storm for M/A States and Southern New England, bringing a more significant snow and ice event.

Most of the snowfalls in the NE and M/A States will come from Clipper type systems, strong cold fronts, and a couple of Miller B coastal storms.

Much of the Northeast and Northern M/A will have a "Near Normal" Winter, with both temperatures and snowfall. Northern and interior portions of New England will have the best chance for Below Normal temperatures and Above Normal snowfall.

The lower M/A and the SE States should have "Slightly Above Normal" temps and "Below Normal" snowfall. Overall precipitation for the entire Eastern 1/3 of the country will be Near to Below normal.

The Southwest, The Deep South, and much of the SE States will see Above Normal temps and Below Normal Precip. The Deep South, Tenn. Valley, and into the SE States, will have a greater than normal threat for Severe weather this winter, especially in the months of December and February.

The Northern Rockies, Much of the Plains, and into portions of the Midwest and G/L's Regions will have the best shot at "Below Normal Temps" and "Near to Above Normal Snowfall"

A More Detailed Look at The M/A States and The Northeast !

The overall pattern for the Eastern U.S., will be quite progressive and fast moving for much of the winter season. The coldest weather and best chance for snow events, will most likely occur during the early and later stages of the winter season. During the mid winter time frame, from mid January into mid February, we can expect more wild swings in temperatures, and a drier pattern, but yes We’ll still have some snow and ice events during the heart of the winter season.There will be several Arctic outbreaks throughout the winter season in which temps will really plummet for a 2-3 day period. But as I’ve mentioned the mild periods will also occur, and we could even break out the T-Shirts for a few days. Though all will average out close to normal, I think the milder periods win out, especially during mid-winter and in the M/A States.

We’ll start off the winter season quite cold and blustery for much of December into early January, with numerous Clipper type systems and strong cold fronts . An overall progressive pattern during this time, driven by the polar jet, and a more Negative NAO and AO couplet. Relative to average, I’m forecasting below normal temperatures and near normal to slightly above normal snowfall during this time frame. The LES (Lake Effect Snow) belts of the NE and Midwest will see near to above normal activity in both November and December of this year.

From early January through mid February, I’m forecasting a roller coaster ride of both cold and mild periods, with the mild periods winning out. Most snow and ice events will be on the light or minor side in the M/A, and light to moderate snow events and a couple ice events for the NE States. Some CAD signatures and WAA events, will be more common with several ice events possible for the interior and Northern M/A, into Southern New England. Most storm systems during this time, will track overhead, or just to the north and west. Apart from this activity, it will be drier and milder overall, especially in the M/A region.

During the later part of winter, from early February through mid March, La Nina will begin to weaken somewhat, giving way for the STJ or Southern branch too have just enough influence to produce a more widespread over-running event, or possibly a Miller A type storm for M/A States and Southern New England. This is where I see the best chance of a more significant snow and ice event. This will likely be our best shot for a 6”+ snow event in the M/A or I-95 Corridor cites from DCA to NYC.

Overall, this will not be a great winter for the snow lovers looking for the 8”+ snowstorms along and east of the I-95 Corridor. Most snow events will be on the lighter side, ranging from the 1” to 3” and 3” to 6” variety, from DCA, BWI, PHL, and NYC to the coast. Only The interior sections of the Central and Northern M/A and into much of the NE, will likely have a several 6”-12” snow events this winter.

So, Will the Delaware Valley see a Major snowstorm (MECS) this winter ? I'll have to say: NO, but a significant snowstorm (SECS) of 6”-10” is possible in February.

The NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) And other key Teleconnections.

Those of you who follow my winter forecasts and storm calls during the winter seasons, know how much I rely on, and factor in key teleconnections, to making my calls and mid range forecasts. Last year I forecasted a Negative NAO/AO couplet for much of the winter season, which would help drive the overall pattern. This forecast worked out very well, and the results transpired nicely with the overall winter forecast.

This year’s teleconnections will be more variable than last year, and not as negative, with both the NAO and AO signals. A more near neutral, to slightly negative signal will be most common for the 2010-2011 winter season. The PNA will also be near neutral, but will also be variable, going slightly positive and negative at times.

So overall our 3 main teleconnection will average out rather flat. The result of this, along with a strong La Nina Signal, will produce a much faster and more progressive flow with the PAC and POLAR Jet streams. A less amplified flow and more zonal for the southern half of the CONUS, and more amplified, for the northern half of the country. Below is my best estimate for the NAO signal with a monthly breakdown.

Here's my forecast for the NAO signal, with Monthly breakdowns.
(Dec, Jan, Feb, and Mar)

December: Slightly NEG.

January: Neutral to Slightly POS.

February: Neutral to Slightly NEG.

March: Neutral to Slightly NEG.


In this segment I've attached all my maps, to summarize my overall Winter Outlook. Please see the (4) maps below: Temperature, Precipitation, Snowfall, and Overall Storm Track's. These maps best illustrate my outlook for the month's of: December, January, February, and March.

These maps indicate the overall Anomalies for both "Temperatures" and "Precipitation" for the 4 month period.
In addition I have included a “Total Snowfall Map”, relative to normal and a “Mean Storm Tracks Map”, to show the type of pattern I‘m forecasting for the winter months.

TEMPERATURE MAP: (Click on map to enlarge)

PRECIPITATION MAP: (Click on map to enlarge)

SNOWFALL MAP: (Click on map to enlarge)

MAIN STORM TRACK MAP: (Click on map to enlarge)

My Forecast for Philadelphia, PA. (PHL)
(Including extreme SE PA, Interior Southern NJ, and Northern DE.)
Dec 1, 2010 - Mar 31, 2011 (Dec, Jan, Feb, and Mar)

Mean Temperature: +0.3 F
(Near Avg.)

Mean Temp Range: +1.0 to -1.0 F
(Near Avg)

Total Snowfall Range: 18" to 24"
(Near Normal)

Target Snowfall Prediction: 21"

Total Precipitation: (Near Normal)

The Monthly Breakdown for PHL (Philadelphia, PA:

December: - 1.5 F
Mean Temp Range : -1.0 to -3.0 (Slightly Below Avg.)
Snowfall: 3" to 4" or (Near Normal.)

January: + 1.5 F
Mean Temp Range: +1.0 to +3.0 (Slightly Above Avg.)
Snowfall: 5 to 7" or (Near Normal.)

February: +1.0 F
Mean Temp Range: 0.0 to +2.0 (Near to Slightly Above)
Snowfall: 7" to 9" or (Slightly Above Normal.)

March: - 1.5 F
Mean Temp Range: -1.0 to -3.0 (Slightly Below Avg.)
Snowfall: 3" to 4" or (Near Normal.)

Selected I-95 Corridor Cities:
(Dec, Jan, Feb, and Mar)

NYC (New York City, NY)

Temps: +1.0 to -1.0 F (Near Avg.)
Total Snowfall: 22" to 28" (Near Normal)
Overall Forecast: Temps: -0.3 F / Snowfall: 25"

BOS (Boston, MA)

Temps: +1.0 to -1.0 F(Near Avg.)
Total Snowfall: 38" to 44" (Near Normal)
Overall Forecast: Temps: -0.5 F / Snowfall: 42"

BWI (Baltimore, MD)

Temps: +1.0 to -1.0 F (Near Avg.)
Total Snowfall: 16" to 22" (Near Normal)
Overall Forecast: Temps: +0.5 F / Snowfall: 18"

DCA (Washington DC)

Temps: +1.0 to -1.0 F (Near Avg.)
Total Snowfall: 12" to 18" (Near Normal)
Overall Forecast: Temps: +0.8 F / Snowfall: 15"

RIC (Richmond, VA)

Temps: +1.0 to +3.0 F (Slightly Above Avg.)
Total Snowfall: 6" to 12" (Below Normal)
Overall Forecast: Temps: +2.2 F / Snowfall: 8"

Here's the archived podcast from the Barometer Bob show on Thursday evening, Oct 7th. We covered my winter forecast on the show.

For additional weather discussion and comments on this Winter Forecast and upcoming winter weather events, please register and sign up today !

Ruggie Weather Forum:

Ruggie Weather Blog:

My Preliminary Winter Forecast: Issued Aug 4 th, 2010:

Take Care,


gurtej101 said...

what do you think about toronto ontario canada snow totals

Anonymous said...

Nice job Cuz... I reposted it on fb...ciao

juju said...

Nice job Cuz... I reposted it on fb ...ciao


Snow in Toronto/Ontario will be near to slightly above normal this winter. Slightly colder than normal temps at -1.0 F to -3.0 F


Thanks JuJu

sonnysnow92 said...

were do you get your info from


Not sure what you mean by, where do I get my information from ? LOL

Maybe you should check out the over 100 links I have plasted on this blog and my new models/Radar Pages.

Many free sites to track specifics of ENSO/Teleconnections/SST's etc,etc.

Anonymous said...

What do you think about southern new hampshire? our normal snowfall is about 67". Whats your prediction for this year?


Southern NH, I'd say about near normal, or between 65" to 75" There.

Anonymous said...

sorry to disturb but i was just wondering what toronto weather will look like for the rest of october and november about when will we start getting snow fall?

Anonymous said...

hi ruggie how much snow do you think fredericksburg va will get and do you think winter will start early


I think Toronto will get off to an early start, with some snow in November.


Fredricksburg: Probably near 25" give or take several inches of snow, and some ice events this winter.

Yes an early start with some snow and or ice in December.

Anonymous said...

What do you think spotsylvania va will get this winter and will we see a big snow storm of a foot or more.


Spotsylvania VA, I would say around 12"-18" for the winter season, with a very low chance of 12"+ storm this winter. You'll likey see alot of mixed precip events, and no more than 6" with any snow event this year.


Anonymous said...

what do you think stafford va will get

Anonymous said...

I have 3 weeks of skiing booked in the white mountains area of New Hampshire--mid December, early January and Mid March. Do you think I'll be skiing 7 days a week or in the shopping malls?
Bon ski!


Very good chance You'll have great sking conditions during those time periods in the white mountains of NH


Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I'm a Lynchburg VA native. What is your snow/ice accumulation prediction for the "burg"? Take care.


Hi, I'm thinking about 12"-16" for Lynchburg VA this winter and a couple of icestorms. On another note my wife and I might be moving back the the burb area very soon.


Anonymous said...

Ruggie, Lynchburg would love for you to return! Thanks for the great info. I do love snow :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. What do you think about the counties that are West of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia? Snow, ice, or a bit of both? We had 18" in December last year from just one storm. Had another nice one in January. The tire chains were used a lot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruggie,
So now that we're further along and closer to winter what do you think about snowfall in Cranford, NJ? I don't know if I'm liking the cast this year lol. I am hoping for at least one or two events close to or over a foot. Please give me hope! :) Thanks!


Cassie, I think near 30" for you in cranford is doable, and yes one storm of near a foot is possible this year.


Areas just west of the Blueridge in VA should do a little better than the foothills and piedmont areas. Watch out for the Ice this winter, could be seeing more than normal this winter.


Anonymous said...

hey i live in south central ct near the coast and we already had snow what about our winter snow totals please any big daddys out there

Anonymous said...

I predicted our first measurable snow in January, but of course there was Dec 26. I am also predicting about 10 feet total accumilation in CT, where I live, for the 2010-2011 season. We are up to over 4 feet right now. Our average snowfall for this time of year is about 18".

I sure as hell did not predict such a cold winter. We are hitting near 20°F below normal on our average highs. And with record lows looming over the horizon while still in deep winter, I don't see t-shirts in the forecast.

How do you suppose the rest of the winter will go?


I already have 25" of snow here and running -3.5 Below for the season, as of Jan 21.

Much colder than I expected as well. I think the rest of this winter will remain colder than normal for much of the east and Above normal snowfall. I could finish 40"+ this year, after last years record breaking 78".

2 great winters in a row, this winter being much colder ! I love it, even though my winter call will be somewhat off this year


Randylc said...

Maybe if we're lucky, we'll have two great summers in a row as well!!!

At least that's all I'm thinking about right now. I've already had more than enough of winter. I'm ready for 6-Flags.

This next storm looks pretty chaotic, though. I'm thinking rain/ice more than snow, because it looks like its going to be another wollop if were to be snow.

Well good luck down there.

Randy (forgot to put my name in the last one, sorry)

Don Franks said...


I live in south central Oklahoma. I am attempting to plan multi day outdoor activities, either the 3rd or 4th week of March for friends, at Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma/ Texas border. I would deeply appreciate your thoughts on which week looks to have the best weather outlook for my activities.

Don Franks