I am a bit miffed at why everyone is freaking out and saying that winter is over? I guess everyone is a bit gun shy after last winter, but it is still very early in the game. I mean, Philly averages 4 inches of snow for the month of December, so we need to get a grip! I would say that the Philly area gets 80% of its snowfall from mid January until the end of February. Anyway, I don't think the pattern looks as bad as everyone thinks............why do I say this?
1. Everyone went into panic mode when the Euro weeklies came out on Monday and showed a torch for the entire month of January. The fact is that the euro weeklies have had a terrible track record as of late and they have been flip flopping all over the place! Brett Anderson over at AW said the same thing and he even mentioned that he wouldn't be surprised if they end up with a much colder solution for the second half of January!
2. If you look at the longer range GFS it is already showing hints of a much improved pattern. I don't go by just one model run! The GFS is getting pretty consistent in showing a much better pattern in the longer range. It has the ridge pumping up in Alaska(western Canada), and AO and NAO heading back to the negative side of things. I know we have seen cold blasts on the GFS disappear as we get closer to the time frame, but there is growing evidence of a much colder pattern developing in the sweetspot of out winter season(mid January until the end of February)!
3. The third thing I like is the fact that the sub tropical jet remains active. That is where we get our big storms from, when we get the cold air entrenched in here! We either get the snow from overrunning or from the coastals(sometimes both). I mean, that storm last Saturday would have really dumped some serious snow on the area if we had the -NAO in place. You can still see the active sub tropical jet this morning.
So what do I think? I think we get back to winter after a mild week next week. Of course, I don't know how things will play out, but I like our chance of a 4 to 6 week period of general cold with plenty of storms to track! Again, mid January through February is our best shot at real winter anyway!! Is it going to be a real cold winter overrall? Probably not, but that doesn't mean we can't have plenty of fun during the sweetpot of winter! Maybe I'm not freaking because we had some snow here in the western burbs, but I think people will be pleasantly surprised in the next few weeks. One more thing, please try not to model hug. You will drive yourself insane when you overreact to every model run, and no more winter cancels in early January!! If we are in the same boat a month from now feel free to throw up the white flag! Bring back the hockey guys too!!
By the way, I just heard that the latest Euro weeklies came in cold again(total flip flop from monday's run) for weeks 3 and 4. As my blog stated, they have been all over the place, so I didn't understand why everyone flipped out when they torched for the entire month of January. We shall see what happens.
Well, the El nino never materialized and those forecast are probably going to turn out to be incorrect. I guess my blog was directed more at the people saying winter cancel! I can understand why people are a bit miffed with the winter outlooks. I guess I don't get too bent out of shape about winter outlooks because I take them with a grain of salt anyway.
Dominick, I realize that the halfway point of winter is January 15th, but my point is that most of our snow falls from mid January through February(probably for most of the east coast cities). The average snow for Philly up to today's date is 4.2 inches. With an average of 22 inches for the year, that tells me that we are early in the game. A month from now it won't be early in the game, but from a snow perspective it is still early. There is a reason that groundhog's day is in early February and not early January.
Oh and by the way, we are in "panic mode" because since September we were told that this winter would be filled with lots of snow and cold cold cold. The El Niño was low, everything looked great, but now it's January and its warm. It was a let down, that's why.
The avereage temp for December begins at 50* then trends colder. Usually we get cold frontal systems continuously which would gradually drop the temps respectively. This really has not happened on a grand scale this season so far.
With that said I have been wallowing in the 30's during the day since 2013 began. And usually the storms ramp up and creciendo with a very strong system around the full moon cycle.
Snow Slaughter I think that when the mets said cold and stormy for Dec. and with them calling for above average snowfall for the winter season I think the assumption that stormy meant there would at least be some snow and for those in SJ that didn't happen and in fact it wasn't very cold either.
There wasn't one day in Dec. where the temperature stayed below freezing and most of the time exceeded 40 or 50. Lows weren't that impressive either and ice on lakes was no where to be found.
Your last sentence raises a good question,if it is hard to predict months in advance what is going to happen then why do the mets even bother to put out these long range winter forecasts in the first place?
In defense of the Mets, I know alot of them were saying cold and stormy, not cold and snowy. We got cold air and we got plenty of storms. Just not the correct timing. Hard to predict how the polar and sub tropical jets will interact months in advance.
Even as I was kid in the 90's i would play ice hockey on the pond every winter. Even the years with below average snowfall id still get weeks of hockey in before the melt then we'd play hockey on the ice in shorts with 60-65 degrees on the ice as it was melting.. We always ended up falling in it was blast.
Victor. I did not want a foot of snow already. I wanted just 3-5" that missed us multiple times that shows on the models 2 days out and then 12 hours out its rain. Not asking for above average snowfall I am asking for a snowfall period. That's where the frustration is, not in wanting tons of snow, it's in wanting a few inches, period.
I think the reason people are in a " state of panic" because the forecasts for the winter have not come to fruition and as Joe mentioned a lot of good winter time has passed and looking ahead doesn't give one comfort.This is especially true when it was supposed to be a cold and stormy Dec. which for I 95 turned out not to be true.if part of the forecast isn't materializing then you suspect the rest wont either IE a colder and stormier winter.
I know some of the mets are sticking to their guns but I also note a lack of commenting by some on this blog .It makes me feel that they have concerns also but are reluctant to say so.
I do believe the hype for this winter by some good mets including local tv forecasters all talked about above average snowfall and I believe this added to the frustration and attitudes you are seeing.
I dont believe anyone who sees that thru the mid or late part of January that there hasn'tbeen any snow would think this is a good winter.
Jim O'Brien was the best! He had a great sense of humor and he knew what he was talking about too! He didn't have the computer models that they have today either. I agree about winters being colder NKuss. I remember playing ice hockey on the lakes for 6 weeks every winter(at least it seemed that way). One good thing, with more warmth comes more moisture for bigger storms(I.E....3 years ago)!
I believe the "panic" comes from becoming conditioned. Others have mentioned the same frustration in their blogs regarding everything happening in two weeks. Repeatedly, the two weeks come and go and then we're into shorts and cutting the grass. How many times last year did the mets predict that the cold was coming? Well, we all know how that turned out.
Since weather has become big business, there's a lot of hype in advertising the weather and exploiting those of us who love snow. Active weather, and not tranquil weather, generates advertising. It's pretty sad when a predicted coating to three inch snow event is treated the same as an 18-24 inch snowstorm was in the past.
I'm older than a number of the bloggers, and was born and raised in far southern NJ, but I remember the winters being colder and the cold being sustained, not just cold snaps. Even in far southern NJ, there was a pond that froze and stayed frozen from late December through early March, and we ice skated all the time.
JB always speaks that the planet is in a cooling trend. That might be the case, but as far as SE PA, NJ and Delaware, the winters have been warmer since the mid-1980's, with few exceptions. It seems as if it is now more diffcult for storms to load up with moisture in the GOM, head north, phase and bomb out in our area. For those of you old enough, remember when Jim O'Brien would talk about that "accu-track" all winter, and lo and behold, we would get blasted with a major snowstorm.
I understand the concern Marcus. We don't have a good track record after having bad Decembers, but I think every year is different. There is plenty of cold air around and the snowpack is pretty extensive across North America. It was below zero as far south as Albany, N. Y. this morning! I know people get tired of hearing this, but this isn't last year. Much more snowcover and the cold air is much farther south(not trapped in the far north). We shall see how it plays out, but I like the looks of things(strataspheric warming...possible breakdown of the polar vortex) and I am usually as cynical as the next guy. Glens Falls, N.Y....-18 this morning!!