The NAO or North Atlantic Oscillation is simply a "blocking" pattern that allow for cold air to slow down and allows LOW pressure to form off the coast and have time to explode into snowstorms. It bascially is the traffic cop of weather. Slow the pattern down and the odds of a juiced up system getting into Baltimore increase.
The AO or Arctic Oscillation is like the traffic cop of Arctic Air and last winter the Arctic never got past the stop sign. This is a fickle index because to much Arctic air and all the storm get pushed south into the Carolinas..not enough and well you have what happen last winter. Put the NAO and AO in sync and a nice dose of moisture and you lean toward of the historic winter of 2009-2010.
I am reposting this from CWG. Might give a smile to us unlucky ones in the DC Area.
This poem was submitted in our comment section as yesterday’s Snowquester storm was winding down. It is brilliant, so I’ve chosen to republish it for all to see. My thanks to commenter “DC Rocks” for composing and submitting. - Jason Samenow, editor
Twas the night before Snowquester and all through the land, the snow lovers were giddy and rubbing their hands. Snowblowers and shovels were nestled in the garage, snow was finally coming, this was not a mirage.
The children were ready for a day off of school so they ignored their homework, their bedtimes and rules. And I in my Mukluks and mamma in her Uggs fretted a day cooped up with kids, best treated with drugs.
Four Aleve, One Xanax and two Ambiens ago, I woke up at midnight and what do you know? Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and broke the damn sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the lustre of mid-day to, wait... THERE’S SNOW???
It’s been two lonely years without my pale friend, it’s been a long road but it’s back here again. Overjoyed I high-fived a squirrel in a tree, Did I take two Ambien, or was it actually three?
Asleep once again my worries melted away, Snow had found us again and it was here to stay. Filled with joy in the morning, our snow angst had parted, there’s an inch on the ground, but it’s yet to get started!
The storm’s ramping up, there’s much more coming you see, said my best friends in blogland. Could it be, yes indeed, our snow desert would end, exceeding two inches is a safe bet my friends.
I pored over maps, the dynamics were there, it’s 38 down here but up there there’s cold air. The rapidly falling precipitation would bring a speedbump in our dismal, forced march into spring.
Alas as we waited, and waited some more, rain’s all that was falling, promising snow nevermore. With gloating flowing in from our friends in the west, where the inches of powder were piling up best.
Sleds, boots and shovels sat waiting, the snow was no more, you burned us again, damn I-95 corridor! With heads down and tails tucked we gave up our fight, Jim Cantore is gone, caught the 3:30 flight.
And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he flew away from me, Snow’s not your thing DC, but you got RGIII.
Looks like we're (Baltimore-Washington) still on track for some shoveling and plowing. Maybe a White Christmas? Nice to get a December snowfall that stays through the holiday. When do you start your White Christmas betting blog :) ?
Rob, can you give this weather neophyte a little help reading your Snowfall for Baltimore chart above? Feb 2013 shows 2.8 days and 8 inches. Is that an average or a prediction? And does that mean 8" over about 3 days? Thanks -- Mike
Rob, I am planning a winter ski. I live in DC area, I can either go western MD, or WV, or VA. We like WinterGreen in Charlotte, VA but it had no snow at all last year in December. So, I am kind of skeptical this year. SnowShoes in WV is a better choice but a bit too far. So, what is your suggestions regarding to the snowfall?
Will the Atlanta forecast be up soon? I know we only ave about 2 inches of snow a year but some years we get much more. Last year it was never even in any forecasts. At least if your calling for a weak el nino we should be wetter with a few cold shots?