Path To Winter 2016-2017 : Strongest El-Nino on Record

This year everyone witnessed something historic weather and climate wise. We experienced the strongest el-Nino on record. There was only one other time that an el-nino was similar in strength. This winter shows why you just cannot go with the status quo’ of “Oh its an el-nino year that means cold and snow”. Rather it supported the argument that you have to consider all factors involved. While it was definitely wetter than average especially in the eastern half of the Nation that did not always translate into snow. Something that we mentioned in our winter outlook this year is that there would be more rain than snow.

People probably look at that and say “Ah ha! but what about the blizzard of 2016” well yes that did happen . . . ONCE.  The rest of the winter you saw most in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast experiencing slop storms, or rain all together. So without further or do, let us review this past winter.

December: Is winter coming or did it Just get replaced by spring?

December in the eastern half of the United states seemed more like an extended fall or a mid-spring, as temperatures were well above average for the majority of the month. Actually that was an understatement temperatures were in record territory through most of the eastern half of the united states. In fact several cities in the eastern half of the nation did not even record any snow. (Cities that usually have had 6″+ by that point in time)  However it was much wetter than average. That part did not waiver at all, especially in the eastern half of the nation. Where 19 states were well above average, 32 were at least above average and 2 were in record territory in the eastern half of the nation. Once again it feed the mantra of strong el nino’s they are typically warm and wet, not cold and white.

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January: Winter comes With a Bang, But then disappears…

Let me clarify this statement by saying, by no stretch of the imagination was January bitter cold, or extremely wet. However this month winter showed up more than it would for the remainder of the winter. Temperatures as you can see bellow were slightly bellow average in the southeast and in the west to the mid-west there were above average temperatures. While no where close to what we saw in December temperature wise it was still was not cold by January standards. Precipitation wise it was not all the wet either except of the normal el-nino areas (the pacific southwest and in Florida). More-so than anything else this month will be remembered by the historic blizzard of 2016.

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See the pattern?

February: Winter comes but its more slop…

Here is where we see winter really take more of a flip flop temperature wise the warm air that was dominant in the east in December has really shifted to the pacific northwest. There are average temperatures for the most part in the east and southeast. However the precipitation really shifted into high gear, slop storms were a usual  early and often. However as the month wore on the storm track shifted west with weaker storms along the way. As a result there was more rain than snow. Something that we mentioned in our winter outlook. Our temperature outlook was wrong. However our snowfall outlook was right, that there will be more rain than snow for the most part. however that it will be wetter than average in the east. statewidepcpnrank-201602

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Dante' Brown-Royal

Dante' Brown-Royal

Hello, I am Dante' the CEO/President of Weather Advance. I most of the time specialize in Winter Weather and winter forecasting. I also am pretty decent in predicting severe weather and tracking hurricanes. Howevere usually that's not my forte. I will strive to always give you the most accurate updates possible, and information possible when it comes to the weather!

8 thoughts on “Path To Winter 2016-2017 : Strongest El-Nino on Record

  • April 7, 2016 at 6:53 pm
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    Great to see you back!
  • May 2, 2016 at 8:34 am
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    Yeah this was a sneak preview of a la nina. I stocked up on winter clothes I didn’t wear as much. Next year, I will need them!
  • May 9, 2016 at 10:29 pm
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    Dante, almost every el nino, there is always more rain storms than snowstorms. In el nino west-central based, you get 1-2 big snowstorms which easily makes it snowier than average. Everyone pretty much said no snow because it’s mild. This winter was quite similar to 82-83 but not in the exact same way. I don’t think it was a blowtorch like 11-12 winter or 97-98. This winter had wild temperature swings with extreme cold and warm.
  • Dante' Brown-Royal
    May 22, 2016 at 6:05 am
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    When you look at the overall winter You May have had brief stretches where temperatures were bellow normal for maybe 2-3 days and there were no extreme stretches of cold. NOT even the blizzard was it all that cold before or after the storm. Thanks for your opinion though.
  • June 13, 2016 at 2:54 pm
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    Dante, looks like you have a short term memory. You’re saying this blizzard wasn’t a cold and dry snow. You’re incorrect. Compare it to 2010 blizzard where it started marginal temps above freezing with heavy wet snow. This blizzard had temps in the low 20s and it was bitterly cold and every snowflake stuck to the pavement from the start of the storm. Models like GFS was a little too warm on dynamic cooling. And if you call this storm a luck, then you must also say that to 09-10 winter also. And you don’t need to have below average temps for the entire winter to get above average snowfall. For example 2011 winter was also cold winter and the snowfall was below average during la nina. La Nina winters don’t really bring snowier than normal winters even when it’s cold.
  • Dante' Brown-Royal
    June 14, 2016 at 4:02 am
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    No I dont believe in luck my friend, point I am making is one storm does not a winter make. If you take out that one storm this year this winter snowfall is well bellow normal. In and around I-95 the temperatures ranged form 28-32 during the peak of the storm. North and west temperatures were cold enough for cold and dry precip. Point of the matter is my friend overall, winter was as I mentioned earlier, warm, and wet not necessarily snowy
  • September 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm
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    Why are you saying that it’s not snowy because of mild winter? It was just mild and snowy. You know that when you have 1-2 big storms, it’s snowier than average. Subtract the big storms from other winters also, it’s cold but not snowy. Cold winter doesn’t mean snowy either. You can’t say take out that “one” storm and it’s not snowy. Then you’re basically saying the pattern wasn’t favorable. It was favorable for mid-atlantic like 1983. Sub-tropical jet was pretty active and there were storms coming one after another even in February but went out to sea because it did not time properly. What if those storms came, it would be 2 storms but still mild winter anyway. Weather is not an exact science. You never know what strong el ninos can do and figure out how many of them could be snowstorms or wet storms. There are more wet storms than they are snowstorms anyway whether it’s colder or warmer than average for the entire winter in el nino years.
  • September 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm
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    You also need to remember that December was historically blowtorch with 10+ degrees above average. So if you wanted at least 2 big storms, then that does not automatically change the average to colder than average winter either.

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