Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A December Bust ! Is Winter Coming or What ? Some Thoughts For The Rest Of Winter.

Issued: Wednesday PM
Date: 12-28-2011
For: The Delaware Valley and M/A Region.

A December Bust and Failed Early Start to The Winter Season !

So here we are ready to start January 2012 and the heart of the winter season. So far December was a huge bust for me and several others who issued Winter forecasts. A very unexpected warm and wet December has been the result. Unlike the past 2 winters seasons, the early start to winter that I forecasted back in October, did not work out this year. The cycle has been broken !

Both the AO and NAO teleconnections remained positive for much of the fall months, and did not switch to negative in December as I thought they would. With a 3 month trend and cycle occuring over the past 12 months, I was counting on this method to help me determine when the AO and NAO would go back to negative, which should have been during early December. This 3 month cycle method I used, was extended and continued into all of December and for a 4th month. Ouch, I rolled the dice back in October and lost, the weather beat me bad here. In my 2011-2012 Winter Forecast, I forecasted Below Normal Temps at -2.0 F to -4.0 F and above normal snowfall for December. The result: A total Bust for the month.

The result of both the NAO and AO being positive during much of December, helped the pattern to be rather progressive and mild for much of the time. Though we did have a few seasonable cold shots and troughs swing through, many systems cut to our west, resulting in warm ups and rain followed by cooler temps for a few days. Even a couple coastal storms with favorable storm tracks, had no cold air to work with ! So, all rain and no snow for the coastal Plain of the M/A this December.

PHL, PA will likely finish at +5.5 to +6.0 which is well above normal temps and no snowfall for the month . . Ok, enough with December and the Bust, Let's move on folks !

The Rest of 2011-2012 Winter Season !

So, the big question many are asking me now: Is there any hope for this winter season ? The answer is Yes, and I do see some hope on the horizon for those who like the cold and snow.
Though this winter season will not be as extreme and robust as the past 2 years, I still see our winter being at least near average in snowfall and temperatures for the M/A and Delaware Valley Region.

If December wasn't such a blowtorch at near +6.0 F, I'd say we had a more legit shot at my forecasted -1.0 to -3.0 temps for the overall winter season, but that's hard to make up ! So now I'm thinking even with a Near Average January and a potentially cold February and March, the overall results will likely be more like -1.0 to +1.0 (Near Average) for the winter season in PHL.

I still see the potential for 1 or 2 big storms bringing 6"+ of snow and a couple moderate snowfalls as well. The best chance for these bigger snowstorms will come in late January and during February. I also think March will be colder than I previously thought, and yes some snow as well.

My thinking for overall snowfall is now around 16" to 24" for the PHL Area. My original call was 28"-36" and I think this is more of a long shot now, but anything is possible. All it takes is 2 big storms of 10"+ and a couple moderate events and this will verify. For this to occur the NAO and AO would really have to work together and go negative for an extended period during the second half of winter. I do see a reversal coming with the NAO and AO, especially in February and March, which will send down the colder air and increase coastal storm development. This should give us a fairly good second half of winter, with an overall colder profile and much better snow chances.

Though I've revised my temperatures and snowfall amounts in this update for PHL, my original Winter Forecast will still be graded accordingly to what I forecasted back in October for this winter season.

Take Care,


Well Red said...

John- headed to WV for some skiing in January 14th. Any thoughts on the temps at that time?

Thanks for the updates, Marry Christmas and Happy New Year.



Hi Michael,
At this point I would say looking good. Check back a week before the trip. Pattern looks pretty good for at least average cold towards mid month.


Randy said...

Hi Ruggie,

What are your thoughts for Central, New Jersey concerning snow?




Randy, Looks like the same for Central NJ for the season, as the PHL area. Probably in the 16"-24" range. But like I said, it depends on how big these 1 or 2 storms are for the 2nd half of winter. Snowfall amounts are really tough to forecast in this type of patterns. Many variables on the table this year.


Well Red said...

Good day, John - Acuweather has a forecast of a col snap making it's way to the east due some changes in the La Nina pattern. Was curious if we could get your thoughts on that. They see to conclude that winter weather will get here to stay from mid-month through the end of winter.


I'll be updating this weekend ! Things I discussed here are looking better each day for a big pattern change from near mid-month and lasting into much of the winter season. More sustained cold will develop and snow chances will increase for the M/A and NE as well. February could be a rockin month with potentially 1 or 2 big coastal storms/Nor'Easters.

Anonymous said...

Where is this cold and snow that I love? personally, I think all this warm weather in January is disgusting.

Andrew said... in middle TN it's been spring-like for most of the winter. Any luck for snow in February or March?


Andrew, Yes but more over the NE and Northern M/A. I still think part of TN can get some snow before the winter closes out but not much.

Andrew said...

Ruggie...I'll continue to be the king of wishful thinking. Thanks for the response.