I’ve seen several people on several different forums writing this winter off already. Even here on weatheradvance.com But I want to bring out just a few points to why I think otherwise.
Winter Has JUST started: Meteorological winter started December 1st but, officially winter didn’t start until just a few days ago. Yet we have already have had a major snowstorm in Coastal New Jersey, (after sandy) and have just had A major snowstorm in the interior sections of the northeast. Winter actually could be considered ahead of schedule.
Last Few Winters (09′-10′ & 10′-11′) Has Spoiled People: Most people use to be content with a good 3-6″ of snow from a snowstorm and the occasional 4-8″. But after the 3 Blizzards in the 2009-2010 winter in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and major snowstorms back to back to back in the 2010-2011 winter, most people think that its a bad winter if you get under 12″ of snow in one storm. But in all actuality could we just be seeing things finally returning back to normal? I think that is what has happened this year. I still think you will see above-average snowfall this winter in the eastern half of the nation especially the east coast but you will see it come in smaller sizes besides in February and March when I think winter will amp up.
November Was Bellow Average Temperature Wise In The Eastern Half Of The Nation: Many people who have said it has been so warm, have already forgotten that November Was MUCH colder than average in the eastern half of the nation. Actually NORTH CAROLINA had its 10th Coldest winter on record. Compared To Last Year Where the Eastern Half of the US was Its 10th WARMEST on record. Folks, this is NOT 2011-2012 winter all over
again. This actually looks closer to the winter of 2002-2003, if you are comparing Novembers. Which ended up being cold and snowier than average as well.
I have constantly compared this winter to the one of 2002-2003 because of its similarities. Be patient folks.
Already Had Several Eastern Major Snowstorms: A lot of people have not noticed that already there have been a few snow storms that have occurred in the Eastern half of the Nation. Lets take a look…
- New Jersey East Coast Snowstorm- It delivered a good 4-6″ plus of snow in eastern areas of Pennsylvania New Jersey and Northern Delaware, including also NYC and Connecticut. 3 Inches fell in Philadelphia and upwards of a foot in New England.
- Christmas Clipper- While this storm was relatively small and left a general 1-3″ Of snow in areas of Pennsylvania its still snow that most did not have last year.
- Post Christmas Snowstorm- This storm left areas from the Big cities (coating to 3″ of snow) To Interior states (6-12″+ of Snow) into Pennsylvania and New York State.
- Lets not forget the potential snow events for 12/28-12/31 and 01/01-01/04 storm. That’s 5 snow systems for some areas of the northeast that did not receive more than 2″ of snow last year,
Long Range Models Show plenty of cold air: The long range models, GFS, Euro are both showing cold air spilling into the eastern half of the nation for the next few weeks. The NAO is positive and the AO is positive, but you must remember that weather is a lot more than just the NAO and AO, If a cold front passes and pulls down cold air behind it and another storm comes right behind it. The previous storm serves as a block, in this case you don’t really need the negative NAO. You just better hope the PNA is positive. There are a lot of factors that go into the storms than just the NAO and AO and PNA. Anyway when you look at the long range models it is cold in the east and warm in the west. Which means that there will be opportunities for snow even in the southeast, including northern Georgia and Carolina.
Models Often Underestimate Cold Air in the Winter: As we have seen with the past two storms over the past 3 days (December 24th-26th) The Models had greatly underestimated the cold air that is present for these storms. This has often been the case in winters past. It continues to be the case this year as well. For example, we at weatheradvance.com preached that I-95 would get snow from this December 26th storm for about 4-5 days before, and that some would stick, contrary to what the models said, why? Because of the cold air that was present, that the models didn’t pick up. They have done that often. Forecasting is so much more than watching models. Its the conditions surrounding the area of weather as well. (Example, is the high pressure to the west or East of the area that the foretasted storm is coming in and how strong is the high, how strong will the low be?)
NAO, AO and PNA: While only the PNA is favorable now the NAO and AO were favorable for about a month. Why isn’t there reason the believe they will be again? When I track the NAO and AO during the summer, its not for no reason at all. You look for the pattern that these get into. I constantly stated that the NAO looks to be in a favorable pattern, the NAO has been for the most part Neutral or Negative. Its popped positive here and there, but nothing drastic. The NAO is projected to be slightly positive for now. But I think that will change as we head into February. The AO seems to have developed a pattern now. It goes negative for about a month, then goes positive for half a month, then goes back negative. Well have to wait and see if this continues but it looks as if it is in its positive half a month period now.
These are just a few reasons you should not be so quick to give up on this winter of 2012-2013 as there are a lot of positive things here already this year that were not here last year. And this winter is looking similar to the one that we had in 2002-2003 which really did not pick up until late January and that carried on until Early March. I think the same will happen this year. Winter is just getting started folks and it looks to be on the right track!