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Re: Agree...but big cold shot aimed at Western USA might be coming...
Message from Sam TN
Not sure what this has to do with my post about El Niņo, but yeah, the west is getting some cold and so are the lower central plains.This falls in line with my forecast I made for December for them which starts in one week.
2015-16 WINTER FORECAST: Final Version
Forecast applies to the SE states mainly. East TN forecast is below.
A strong El Niņo continues to grow. It has slowed down, but let's look. I feel like this Niņo will end up being the strongest ever. It's really close already rivaling 1997-98. The Blob, an anomalous warming in the Gulf of Alaska continues to cool. Still, there's plenty of warmth in the region, but I anticipate this to abate a bit more. This region will not play as deep as of a factor as it was the last two winters. Looking at the Atlantic, we have a lot of warmth there too. (See top map)
The AO is trending positive. This is after several months of negative values. Not just positive, but very positive. This translates to warmer weather for the SE with less cold outbreaks overall. When the AO goes this positive in November, history shows it tends to stay there most of winter. This doesn't absolve us from cold if the PNA (Pacific North American) is positive, but lately it's not. A longer term regime of troughing in the West? It's been a while!! (See maps 2 and 3)
Now El Niņo has produced some very cold winters here. Last year being one of them. But that one was closer to neutral. This one is flooding the Canada provinces with warmth thus year(our cold source). As winter progresses, we will see the El Niņo fade. Since its November 1, I don't think we will see this El Niņo stop going up until December. It's getting close now, but still going up. As the Niņo fades, the pattern will change. November, will be very wet in the SE and set up what will be a consistent gloomy, rainy pattern for that month. The MJO is in a wet phase and will be from in the SE. With a fading Niņo, spring will be reluctant to come on as I expect a negative AO to take hold and weather to be very interesting late in winter through early spring!
Let's move on to specifics!
December: Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, you guys are going to see a very cool, wet, damp month. Might even see some storms followed by snow? Temperatures as you go southward into the Gulf coast will be average at best due to very wet, cool days and chilly wet nights. Nothing TOO abnormally cold. Further inward into East TN, there will be similar weather at times since there's a sharp divide in previous analogs, but somewhat drier than the rest of the South and a bit warmer than average. The subtropical jet will be highly active all winter. Don't be surprised if we get a round of thunderstorms even!
January: Again, pretty much the same, but somewhere in mid to late January, I expect a pattern change to gradually come in. It might delay until early February though. If it does, then expect January to be about the same. With such an active jet, it's always possible snow could happen. I definitely do not see abnormally below average temperatures taking over in the SE and dropping temperatures extremely cold. But don't expect much sunshine! Just gloom and lots of chilly, at times rainy, or slushy weather.
February: This is the month I get concerned with about snowfall and cold. If the Niņo hangs on above where models say, then expect at least an average to above average February, but if it starts to really fade, we could be in for lots of snow and cold. Similar to last year. But as it stands now, I don't think we are in for any abnormally cold outbreaks with an outrageous polar vortex! But look for the AO to get negative this month possibly. Interior South may get more precip during this period and snow.
March: I think spring will be very reluctant to come on this year. I expect threats of snow and very up and down weather. Perhaps right into April. Don't expect any warmth to be consistent. At least the sun angle will be higher and any cold will be weakened.
Putting it all together: December should be very wet in the SE, with a bit drier times in the interior South as you go East. Warmer than normal in most areas, perhaps some decent nice days even. Storms even possible! Texas, Ark, LA along the coast will be very wet. January is similar, but should start a transition to February where snow and cold will rear its ugly head possibly and delay the onset of spring longer than normal into March due to a negative AO and fading El Niņo. Overall, MUCH better than the past two winters with limited potential for polar outbreaks into the SE, but the potential for a Gulf low or two in late winter is there and could change the perception on this winter.
EAST TN bottom line: Slightly Above normal temperatures overall this winter, but particularly in the first half of winter with about average precipitation since the Atlantic/Gulf is warmer than previous Ninos. Archives actually show drier in previous Ninos in the interior South, but warmer water bodies should help drive up precip a bit. Snowfall should have no problem reaching average to above. Just nothing ridiculously cold in Dec or Jan for very long. Watch out in February with cold and with snow. Moisture should increase then. Kicking winter may be a tussle until possibly April!!!
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