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It is the AO

Message from Tom in Philadelphia

Sam, the main area of disagreement between your forecast and Cohen is that he sees a mostly negative AO for Jan and Feb and you have said that based on what happens to the AO in November (high positive), that it stays positive most of winter. So I will be curious to see if your November pattern, or his Siberian Snow Index win the day.

If the AO turns out to be negative most of Jan and Feb, I would expect that you would admit you were wrong about the November index for the AO. I ask this because I notice you have doubts about February.That leaves Jan the only month in dispute lol.

I'm not trying to pick a fight here, but I see you keep talking about February here. I don't really care if Dec is mild as it is usually the mildest month anyway even if anomalies are negative. I care about Jan and Feb.

If Feb turns very cold, and Jan is average along with a mild December, I would not call that a mild winter. That was the case last winter. Jan was a little negative with no zone busting, but Feb killed us. Either the winter overall is mild or it isn't. A really cold Feb with zone busting lows imo wrecks the whole winter and skews it to below avg no matter what Jan and Dec bring us. It seems as if you both are forecasting the possibility of a cold February.

One other thing I notice about most seasonal forecasters (not you or Dennis btw), and it is this tendency to highlight what they got right, and ignore what the got wrong.

I think you have gone out on a limb with the November AO index leading to a positive winter AO. So I'm really interested to see how the AO turns out this winter. We will know in mid to late December I think. If we see SSW happen in mid or late December, then watch out. The vortex will weaken and then watch out for the Arctic air.

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