First Official Preliminary 2013-2014 Winter Outlook

Winter1Winter2Winter3

Matthew Hatley

About Matthew Hatley

Hello, My name is Matthew Hatley, and I'm 18 years old. I am a Weather Forecaster for the Southeast United States. I have worked with the Weather Advance Storm Prediction Center since 2009. I live in the great city of Charlotte, North Carolina. I have always loved the weather ever since I was a kid. My favorite season is Winter, and Winter Forecasting is my main specialty, but I also do Spring, Summer, Fall Forecasts, and Hurricane Season Forecasts. Whenever it comes to the weather, I always do my best at predicting the weather with what little bit of technology I have.

26 comments on “First Official Preliminary 2013-2014 Winter Outlook

  1. Well… The early foliage dilemma persists… For some reason this early changing of leave colors bothered me enough to do some research, so I came up with a hypothesis to try and explain it.
    This year has been very wet so there has been greatly increased cloud cover. On a cloudy day the surface receives only about 1/3 of the amount of solar radiation that it would receive normally. I think that the trees thought that the decreased solar energy meant that winter was coming (at first I thought that the decreased sunspots were causing the energy lapse). So… does this seem legitimate.
  2. Sorry but I have seen so many signs of a Bad Winter for the PNW I doubt it will miss us plus CPC NOAA has us for a Neutral/Weak La Nina I don’t know how good Euro Models are so if they are calling for an El Nino I’m not sure what to believe since CPC only has a 5-12 percent of an El Nino sorry I just don’t buy it.
  3. when will you be leaving out the snowtottals for this winter season could you give me a guess of how much snow is going to fall where i live and i live in jeffersoncounty wv and will we be getting a snow magedden where i live and any blizzards and a birthday snowstorm which is december 16 i am a big snow lover please type back?
  4. Yeah Eric why are some of the trees where I live chambersburg,pa losing there leaves already? Yeah is that a sign of a very bad winter and much earlier snowstorms? I know you said could snow in October but snowstorms starting in October?
  5. @jrweatherman
    That is a good post & analysis you made on why the leaves may be turning yellow, now, it’s obviously due to likely a combination of factors, one of course being the low solar cycles (although they have been low for several years, not just this year, but still is probably a contributing factor), but I think the biggest issue for our region of the Carolinas would be the unusual amount of rainfall we’ve observed thus far this summer & over the past several months, that large amount of rainfall can leave large amounts of standing water around near the tree roots (trees, even tropical ones don’t like that) & the increased rain can also lead to a depletion in soil nutrients as they are more prone to get consistently washed away, resulting in leave chlorosis that is an issue which “stems” (lol, I made a joke :) ) from their lack of iron in the soils, thus they turn yellow. Also, as you mentioned lack of solar radiation can cause major problems for the leaves leading to less incoming solar radiation that is combining with the increased rainfall & already low solar cycles to create leave discoloration.

    @Derickeugeneree
    No, this isn’t a sign of an impending cold winter, likely just due (at least for your area of the northeast north of the Mason-Dixon line) to a combination of factors like increased heat & too much rainfall (at least in a relative sense) which leads to leave discoloration. I have plenty of other factors like US hurricane landfalls, my hurricane season analogs, July typhoon hits in Taiwan, AMO/PDO & the positive Indian Ocean Dipole to look to that suggest a cold start to winter, with support now showing up for this from the CFSv2 for at least a cold & fast start to winter (still unsure about how the rest of it will play out)

  6. @eric

    I live on the east coast in the boston area and i have noticed that the water temperature is extremely above normal. The water is usually really cold here but now it is not at all. Does that mean we will get even more intense long track hurricanes come up and hit New England? I think that we might get a really bad hurricane this year, because we never get water this warm up here in Massachusetts.

    Thanks,

    Scott

  7. Hey Eric how goes it? :-)/hope everything is going well. Me well I’m tired of 95+ degrees up here in NYC Ughh its been so hot n humid feels like a tropical rain forest outside…I would be talking about this is one of the hottest summers so far but I know back in the 30′s there was a heatwave round here where it hit 106! Can’t even imagine that type of heat around here now! Is the weather pattern going to change to cooler soon?? Hopefully!
  8. Eric I know this might be a off the wall question but do you know if people are really going to seed the atmosphere to get enhanced rainfall and if they are will it also mean enhanced snowfall?
  9. I can see that the gfs is showing something tropical coming up the coast its missing the east coast as of now but lets wait and see if it stays on there and if it comes west with time.
  10. @ Scott, autofill Rob, Derickeugeneree
    How are you guys doing, I know you’ve been sweating it out as Autofill Rob said, but this cold front moving through should put an end to the heat wave. Interestingly, looking at the MJO, it was for an extended period of time near phase 3 & when you look at the US temperature composite with the MJO for the JJA period, you can see that in phase 3 the northeastern US is normally warmer than normal. Now, the MJO at the current time is doing something unusual in that it’s retrograding (moving in the opposite of normal direction, which for the MJO is easterly across the global tropics, which is actually against the normal gradient at which weather moves in the tropics) & I suspect that with much of the upward motion currently focused over towards the “Maritime Continent” region in between the Indian & western Pacific ocean basins, that some upward motion would still be in favor of African easterly waves, because with the MJo to the east of the African continent near the Indian Ocean this focuses upward motion over that part of the globe & enhances the Indian Monsoon & thus with a stronger than normal Monsoon (which is also why i focus now on the Indian Ocean Dipole, with cooler than normal waters currently observed near the east African coast, these cooler than normal waters in relation to the much warmer surrounding land mass focus even more upward motion over that area which is a generally favorable set-up for easterly waves) more moisture is available in the African continent for which the waves can thrive off of & the increased thunderstorm activity warms the atmospheric column through latent heat release that can help to drive even more thunderstorms & this helps to “prime” & ready the atmosphere for even stronger waves towards the peak of the season & this warmer than normal atmospheric column is generally favorable for tropical cyclones. Not to mention with the upward motion to the east of the African continent & the Atlantic in general, shear will be lower than normal especially in the eastern Atlantic which is closer to the upward motion over the Maritime Continent region, & if you really think about it, winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere over the mid-latitiudes & tropics in general move westerly while at the surface they generally move easterly (the move easterly in the tropics that is, not in the mid-latitudes under the Ferrell Cell) When you have upward motion to the east of the Atlantic & Africa what this essentially does is by having upward motion over that area, the upper level divergence that spreads out in the upper troposphere directly above the upward motion forces the upper level westerly winds that come across the Atlantic & Africa to slow down, thus reducing wind shear which aids in tropical cyclone development. Thus it is generally a more favorable juxtaposition for development to occur in the eastern Atlantic when the MJo is towards the Maritime Contient as the GFS is currently showing with the new tropical wave about to exit Africa
    (MJO JJA temp composite) http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/Composites/Temperature/JJA/combined_image.png

    Notice in the JJA temperature composite I posted above the northeast is cooler than normal when the MJO is towards phases 5 & 6 in this time of the year (these same cool MJO phases in the summer are actually blowtorch warm phases in winter because of the varying jet stream wavelengths, which generally increase in strength as we progress through fall & head into winter. Interesting isn’t it how a pattern that leads to cooling in the summer, can at the same time lead to warmth in the winter?) Now here’s the MJO currently, in the COD (Circle of Death) where it has very little to no effect on the global pattern.

    Current MJO with 2 week forecast from the ECMWF model

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/ECMF_phase_51m_small.gif

    When you actually look at the upward motion from the MJO, it’s very interesting how all of it is displaced currently south of the equator, in the southern hemisphere & honestly don’t know how or why this is the case, but this is something you don’t usually see often because the MJO is a tropical oscillation & generally stays close to the equator, I don’t remember ever seeing it do this where it completely goes into one hemisphere (probably has happened in the past though). https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPpjJJvCUAArQy8.png
    I suspect this unusual MJO upward motion pattern has allowed for unusually large undulations in the jet stream which is probably a good reason why we’re seeing an extreme cold outbreak in South America with a cold front reaching all the way down to 5 degrees south latitude!! (Joe Bastardi shows this on his saturday summary which is open to the public on weatherbell’s regular site) Wow, that’s very impressive & in fact there hints that it may even snow in parts of Brazil, Uruguay, & Paraguay with temperatures well below normal in the coffee growing areas, which means higher prices at the grocery store & starbucks, that will be fun, lol.

    Getting back to this tropical wave about to leave Africa, it looks very impressive on satellite & although it looks very good, the convection you can see on it (link to University of Wisconsin site, very nice site that shows upper, lower levels winds, hurricane steering, vorticity & wind shear)
    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/windmain.php?&basin=atlantic&sat=wg8&prod=wvir&zoom=&time
    is actually void of any vorticity whatsoever in the lower levels, which suggests to me that if anything there must be some sort of circulation to be able to sustain such convection like that, which means it’s likely in the mid levels of the atmosphere. This is great & all, but that part of the tropical wave is way too far north, especially for this time of year when the Bermuda high is strong, thus enhancing trade winds which create surface divergence which is unfavorable for tropical cyclone’s low level circulations (one good reason as to why Chantal dissipated) & it will probably run into a lot of dry air when it meets up with the lingering SAL sitting to the west of Africa. If anything, it would appear that the northern part of the tropical wave with the mid level vorticity may merge with the appreciable low level vorticity that is currently associated with the southern part of the tropical wave & the remnants of the tropical wave currently to the southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. This kind of set-up can allow for the tropical wave to become vertically stacked, giving rise to a healthy circulation from the lower levels all the way up into the mid-levels. Also another thing to consider is that compared to the conditions Chantal went through, the environment ahead for this wave is much more supportive with a lot less SAL hanging around & the bermuda high is slightly weaker & farther north (which is typical behavior for the Bermuda-Azores High this time of the year as it usually retreats to the north anyways) which means lower trade winds & lower level easterlies that also mean slower movement, this storm may have a much better opportunity to develop, as the GFS suggests in blowing the storm up into nearly a hurricane on its latest run near the northeastern Caribbean Islands. & such a position for a tropical cyclone is notorious for storms on the east coast, in the infamous “Hebert Box” or a defined region of latitude & longitude at which tropical cyclones in such a position have a tendency to hit certain land areas. (latest GFS) http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfsfull/2013072018/gfsfull_pres_wind_atl_63.png

    Now, I know you may be wondering where perhaps this storm system may go, well consider that I mentioned earlier a few weeks ago how the 1893 hurricane season was an “east coast nightmare” well it is interesting to see that not only do the cycles of PDO/AMO match up, but the overall storm hit pattern being one that blends the US hurricane landfall patterns of the 1950s & 60s & of course the first two storms that formed this year closely resemble the first two storms in 1893
    (hurricane # 1 1893) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1893_Atlantic_hurricane_1_track.png
    Tropical Storm Andrea this year
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Andrea_2013_track.png

    Hurricane #2 1893
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1893_Atlantic_hurricane_2_track.png
    Tropical Storm Barry
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Barry_2013_track.png

    Interesting as well in how hurricane Sandy last year seems to closely resemble tropical storm 11 in 1893 which also formed in the caribbean in October like Sandy did & had the infamous (although not as pronounced) left hook into New Jersey

    Hurricane Sandy
    http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/2012H/SANDY/track.gif

    Tropical Storm 11 1893
    http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1893/11/track.gif

    If you look deeper into 1893, the first real Cape verde hurricane that formed in early August took a track that went through the northeastern Antilles like the GFS is projecting, but as the storm approached the US east coast it took a very sharp turn northeastward, just missing the US eastern seaboard.
    http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1893/3/track.gif

    Now, why I am wondering about how this system will track, obviously at this point is somewhat speculative, but given the trough near the eastern US will be positively titled (southwest to northeast) & that it will be well entrenched digging into the western edge of the Bermuda high this suggests that there may be two possible scenarios for this upcoming potential storm,
    #1 it goes straight through the Caribbean to the west, & because of the pressure gradient this time of the year between the Panama-Columbian Monsoon low & the Bermuda high is strong, this also means the trade winds are strong, thus this storm would more than likely remain weak or perhaps even completely fall apart if it took that route.
    Or #2 it goes just north of or directly over the northeastern Caribbean Islands where it’s land interaction & relation to the eastern US trough will likely determine its exact track & because its north of the Caribbean where trade winds are weaker it will meet a much more favorable environment & would likely be stronger. However, given the 1893 analogs & the 500mb analogs being suggested by the GFS this could be a very sharp & unusual curve out to sea just missing the US east coast or perhaps something different happens where it directly affects the area, but there’s still so many unknowns being we are still about 2 weeks out from any potential scenario with this system. However, I’ll say this, the analogs that come up in the GFS 500 mb, one of them has a hurricane Charley pattern, another TS Alex from 1998 that formed near the Cape Verde islands in late July & dissipated and a few other patterns show up but they all seem to have one thing in common, in that given the rather sharp look at the edge of the high near the east coast. In fact, look at the GFS 500 mb height mean anomalies for the 6-10 day period, you can see the sharp trough in place near the eastern seaboard & region of high pressure over the north Atlantic that’s retreated substantially & another anomalous region of low pressure to the south of Iceland
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2013072018/gfs_z500a_atl_67.png
    If you compare this to the 500mb height pattern for hurricane three in 1893 that just missed the east coast, it’s almost scary how similar those patterns appear with the sharp east coast trough, retreated high & low south of Iceland, very interesting to say the least.

    August 16th, 1893 reanalysis sea level pressure & 500 mb heights
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/20thC_Rean/gary.pl?year=1893&month=08&day=16&hour=00&var=z500slpsprd_nh&Submit=Create+Plot

    Of course, remember what happened after that first system recurved a barrage of storms hit the east coast including the 1893 NY hurricane, Sea Islands & Charleston hurricane, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen later down the road this year, but given some of the similarities to 1893 in a general sense with the PDO/AMO cycles, landfall pattern & even the similarities in storm tracks & patterns I will be closely monitoring the situation to see if indeed the pattern continues to follow 1893.

    In general, this system could potentially make a very sharp northeasterly curve near the eastern seaboard (still early to tell exactly where this would potentially occur) but with the analogs showing a sharp trough this also means cooler & stormier than normal conditions, although it may still be warm & muggy, nothing like what you’ve recently went through. In saying this, even if this storm system were to miss the US east coast we still have to get through the “meat” of the hurricane season which doesn’t arrive until mid August & lasts into mid October, so we have a very long ways to go & this system is likely only the beginning of many to come. To answer Scott’s question, yes the warm water would support hurricanes & in fact warm water in that region with cool water in the subtropics & warm water again in the tropics is a warm Atlantic tripole set-up where convergence is favored in the deep tropics thus favoring hurricane activity in the Atlantic. Also, with the Bermuda high in it’s position & being stronger than normal, this has forced very persistent south to southwesterly winds into New England & Atlantic Canada, & such a set-up forces water to ple up near the coast & downwell, thus bringing surface waters farther down underneath, leading to a net warming of SST, which I think is part of the reason for the observed warm water. (That warm water is also making these heat waves this year a bit stronger with winds off the ocean usually being very cool ones, especially for coastal areas, the effect is not as pronounced this year) Now, I have done some research into water temperatures off the US east coast & hurricane hit patterns & I’ll say they do look interestingly similar to this year.

    Here is the mean 500 mb pattern in the years with the worst hurricane landfalls in New England, notice all of the blocking that shows up over New England into Atlantic Canada & out into the north Atlantic
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPoAvT7CYAEnPIU.jpg

    Interestingly, this looks a lot like the pattern I’ve recently observed with typhoon Soulik hitting Taiwan. Why is this significant? Well I compared this to other years which featured one hurricane landfall in Taiwan in July & looked at those year’s 500 mb patterns in the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season & interestingly they look fairly similar to the worst hurricane hit years in New England & even on the US coast in general with plentiful blocking over SE Canada into Atlantic Canada & into the north Atlantic, right where the warm pool of water is currently sitting.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPObTUXCEAMYAgG.jpg

    This year’s 500 mb pattern since June, look at all of that blocking from Canada all the way to Europe, extremely impressive & suggests that if you’re hoping for a year of recurving cyclones, you have another thing coming. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPocKtjCQAIeml0.jpg
    Current sea surface temperature anomalies in the Atlantic
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/cdas-sflux_ssta_atl_1.png

    Compare that to the worst hurricane hit years in New England SST, extremely close to say the least

    Atlantic water temperature pattern for July in those worst hurricane years in New England
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/composites/comp.pl?var=NOAA+Extended+SST&level=Surface&mon1=6&mon2=6&iy=1991&iy=1976&iy=1960&iy=1961&iy=1954&iy=2012&iy=2011&iy=1999&iy=1985&iy=1969&iy=1996&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&ipos%5B1%5D=&ipos%5B2%5D=&ineg%5B1%5D=&ineg%5B2%5D=&timefile0=&tstype=0&timefile1=&value=&typeval=1&compval=1&lag=0&labelc=Color&labels=Shaded&type=2&scale=100&labelcon=1&switch=0&cint=&lowr=&highr=&proj=Custom&xlat1=0&xlat2=60&xlon1=250&xlon2=360&custproj=Cylindrical+Equidistant&level1=1000mb&level2=10mb&Submit=Create+Plot

    Their Atlantic water temperature pattern in Aug-Sep, notice pool of warmth sitting of New England cool near Africa is interesting to note as well
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/composites/comp.pl?var=NOAA+Extended+SST&level=Surface&mon1=7&mon2=8&iy=1991&iy=1976&iy=1960&iy=1961&iy=1954&iy=2012&iy=2011&iy=1999&iy=1985&iy=1969&iy=1996&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&iy=&ipos%5B1%5D=&ipos%5B2%5D=&ineg%5B1%5D=&ineg%5B2%5D=&timefile0=&tstype=0&timefile1=&value=&typeval=1&compval=1&lag=0&labelc=Color&labels=Shaded&type=2&scale=100&labelcon=1&switch=0&cint=&lowr=&highr=&proj=Custom&xlat1=0&xlat2=60&xlon1=250&xlon2=360&custproj=Cylindrical+Equidistant&level1=1000mb&level2=10mb&Submit=Create+Plot

    As far as cloud seeding, if it’s below freezing in the atmospheric column yes that could actually lead to more snow, no one said seeding is mainly just confined to liquid water, in fact the dumping of water that high of an altitude in the atmosphere usually means, especially in the mid-latitudes, it’s frozen anyway so it won’t make a huge difference as to what type of precipitation can result from cloud seeding (although it may alter the temperature gradient in the atmospheric column & lead to variations potentially in sleet & freezing rain) I do recall at least on instance where a tropical cyclone was seeded with ice & it did later the storm to some effect but I think that research was halted because they didn’t want to potentially cause unwanted after effects in that the seeding experiment alters the weather pattern to where it could lead to devastating potential consequences if the seeding experiment inadvertently leads to a series of events which down the line lead to a tropical cyclone threat, but that’s theoretical from my standpoint, i also think the halting of those experiments also had to do with limited funding.

  11. Nice forecast. Only thing that I disagree. The Northwest will be wet not the Southwest.
  12. Can you please unban my other account, midatlanticweather? I am no longer spamming people. I just want to state my thoughts. No, I am not Yamahas nor do I know who he is. I am sorry for showing videos bashing others. I will keep those videos to myself.
  13. Here is my 4th 2013-2014 winter forecast.

    Part 1-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DROdD7j_oO8

    Part 2-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkkFmSPykyY

  14. @ Central NJ Weather
    Honestly, I understand you have a strong passion for making winter forecasts, but my thing about making a forecast is if you are ever going to make one, make only one & stick with it, jumping around making let’s say like 100 forecasts and then being happy when one of them turns out right is not the way to do this. However, I do appreciate the time and effort you put into your videos. I have something else coming in my post, I’m unbelievably still working on that will talk about winter predictions, but I’m not concerned with that right now. My attention is currently being directed towards the hurricane season & Tropical Storm Dorian which is worth watching over the next several days, thus for now, winter is kind of in the back of my mind, but given what I continue to discover through more research, I’m growing more concerned about this hurricane season, & I don’t know why you’re not looking into this, especially given Sandy last year & irene two years ago (not to mention countless other factors), because the hurricane season is what’s going to get you first (if it does at all) before any winter weather does.
  15. @ US Weather Plus (midatlanticweather)
    You still just don’t understand it at all, if you are going to make a forecast make ONLY one, you make a bunch of forecasts & one of them turns out right, what did you learn? Nothing, & that’s the point I’m trying to get across to you & I hope others who make frequent winter temperature forecasts understand that you will not get any better as an upcoming meteorologist & people will not take you seriously if you continuously make different forecasts all about winter. Plus, your forecasts lose serious value the more times you change it, but I don’t think you’ll understand this anyway & you’ll probably just continue to make a bunch of different forecasts every other week for winter, it’s a little ridiculous don’t you think?

    The only way you’re going to get better, the only way people are going to listen to what you have to say & are going to take you seriously is if you make one forecast & even if it somehow goes wrong, understand & interpret what exactly went wrong, so you don’t make the same mistake again. I guarantee this to you that you will not get any better at forecasting unless you learn from your mistakes, if you make a bunch of forecasts and it turns out one of them is right, how are you going to make mistakes when it’s not possible to have them? Thus you aren’t learning anything & aren’t getting better as an individual & an upcoming meteorologist. This is exactly why when you see me make forecasts I almost always make ONLY ONE FORECAST. Why? Number one, when I make a forecast, I don’t just sit there & look at models or just a few analog years. You really want to make a good forecast? You had better put everything out on the line & pull everything you know out there & put it together, and be willing to learn more along the way, using things like MJO, solar cycles, QBO, AAM, PNA, NAO, AO, AAO, Atlantic Tripole, ENSO, the Southern Oscillation Index, PDO & AMO, us hurricane landfall patterns, (and the list goes on & on) Because, even if my forecast is wrong at least I can learn where I went wrong, & it shows that I actually put in the time, effort, & hard work that actually goes into making a forecast instead of just randomly making forecasts at will. I hope some of this advice is helpful to you & others who want to pursue meteorology, because making a bunch of forecasts at random without learning or at least trying to understand the concepts that go into them & not realizing the actual value of a forecast, is not meteorology & you are only hurting yourself.

  16. @ US weatherplus (midatlanticweather)
    I’ve been nice to you lately & I’ve warned many times, & this will be the very last time, do NOT to post politics on here, impersonate others, or post any material that’s completely unrelated to the weather topics, if fail to pcomply with these standard your posts will be marked as spam, just like I did to your two previous comments. You have been warned
  17. I think with the ENSO Neutral I believe the PNW will have a bad Winter especially since we miss out last year Neutral years bring more on a way of Dangerous Weather here in Seattle at least most except this past one.
  18. I am hopeful this forecast comes to pass. We have been very dry here in Northern CA. Had a very wet December last year then nothing but a few showers in June. We normally only get rain from Nov to May so a dry winter equals a drought and fires in the summer.

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