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)
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.
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
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)
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
Hurricane #2 1893
Tropical Storm Barry
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
Tropical Storm 11 1893
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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