• This website or discussions about the COVID-19 virus outbreak should be taken as entertainment. For official information on how to plan and prepare, please go to The Offical CDC Homepage By Clicking Here
  • Hello, please take a minute to check out our awesome content, contributed by the wonderful members of our community. We hope you'll add your own thoughts and opinions by making a free account!

2020-2021 Winter: Early Thoughts

Fountainguy97

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
833
Reaction score
1,891
Location
Erwin, TN: 1900ft
Well it didn't take too many days of summer to get me in the mood for fall/winter. I just worked up some preliminary analogs and figured this would be a good start to the VERY early look at winter.

Obviously we start with the ENSO pattern. After matching up a list of past ENSO patterns that evolved in similar time/fashion/magnitude I narrowed that down just by a simple comparison of the global SST's during those years. I came up with 6 years that fit a fairly similar to very similar resemblance to the June Global SST pattern of 2020. I left a couple outliers in just to keep it diverse should ENSO shift toward fall.

One major assumption I made was to look for weak la nina or cool neutral years that followed an el nino period. I excluded a few that went into strong la nina as thats likely not going to happen this year. I also left in a couple that actually went back into warm territory by winter.

So I loosely based this off the assumption that we are looking toward a weak nina or cool neutral. But left the option open to a trend back toward warm neutral.

Here is the current forecast for ENSO which we all know can change every second and are often completely wrong. Nino 3.4.gif


GLOBAL SST COMPARISON OF ANALOGS

Analogs: 92-93, 95-96, 03-04, 05-06, 10-11, 12-13

Purple zones are similar to 2020. Brown designates ENSO which mostly correspond to the way 2020 is evolving (some lag by a few months) Red is a zone that stands apart of the 2020 map. The older maps are more coarse so who knows how similar they truly are.

Anyway, in general these years all share some very similar global SST patterns.


June SST comparison.png june 3 comp.png


One wildcard is the PDO region. A pretty good mix of + and - in here.
Numbers here for those interested. I've included the year before and after my analog year. So for examples since its confusing: the first group my analog is 92-93. I included 91 as the precursor year to help identify similar long term patterns. And each number is a month left to right from January-December. SO each analog is the middle row right number (before the solid line) and the first two numbers on the third row. This is the December-February period. This is similar for PNA and QBO.


PDO.png


QBO and PNA

I'm just going to throw the charts in here. They came out pretty similar. Obviously they don't need to be exact but this is a general idea of where these years went.

QBO its easy to see red numbers on the first line, blue in middle, red on bottom. Pretty similar progression. Not perfect.

Remember: typically a -qbo rising positive is the best for a cold winter in the east.

QBO Comparison.png


PNA: This is a wash. BUT several of these winters had a month predominately + PNA.

Remember: +PNA is our friend in winter (Ridge west US trough east US)
PNA comparison.png


Hurricane Ace Comparison

A VERY interesting point in these analogs is how active all of them were. I promise the years had no meaning to me. I started just picking years off an ENSO graph that had similar curves and magnitudes and came out with this.

I'm skeptical of the hurricane activity to winter activity analog but some people live and die by it. SO if an active cane season = active winter we could have a great test of that this year IF we end up very active.

Hurricane Ace Comparison.png

US temp and precip maps from analogs in next post :)
 
Last edited:

Fountainguy97

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
833
Reaction score
1,891
Location
Erwin, TN: 1900ft
Analog Temperatures

Overall we end up around normal. Cool start, warm middle, cool finish. REMEMBER: La nina DOES NOT just mean automatic torch. I like to think of it as anything other than a strong nino/nina is weak enough for us to find periods of weather that are not typical for the ENSO state. The closer to neutral we are the more I like to picture us swinging between the typical ENSO driven weather patterns. Of course there are multiple ENSO patterns that we can get specific on.

If we do see a weak Nina or cool neutral this outcome is very likely. I highly highly favor a "mellow" winter that is neither a major torch or major cold. The cool/warm periods will likely cancel out to near normal. Maybe 0+2 given recent warm trends past 2010.

All this is dependent on ENSO and the direction it takes over the next few months. As we complete more months of 2020 I will continue to compare these analogs on a monthly basis to see how we are playing out.

December composite.png Jan composite.png Feb Composite.png Dec-Feb composite.png



Analog Precip

As expected in La Nina we are a bit dry.

Dec precip composite.png
Jan precip composite.png Feb precip composite.png Dec-feb precip composite.png


So there it is! We would take this look 100%. Others can dig in further on these years into the 500mb patterns etc if you guys want!

I just wanted to throw out a ton of raw data to get us started! A long way to go as always.
 
Last edited:

Myfrotho704_

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
8,650
Reaction score
13,336
Location
Concord NC
Torch, southeast ridge, more high shear low cape severe events than winter storms, I wanna bet we end up getting locked up in a pattern with a suppressed GOA ridge, -PNA, +EPO, +TNH, SER, the SER has just been so dominant for the past 5-6 years and I don’t that changing (this post is a half joke) depends if JB screws us over with his BN map
 

Fountainguy97

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
833
Reaction score
1,891
Location
Erwin, TN: 1900ft
Torch, southeast ridge, more high shear low cape severe events than winter storms, I wanna bet we end up getting locked up in a pattern with a suppressed GOA ridge, -PNA, +EPO, +TNH, SER, the SER has just been so dominant for the past 5-6 years and I don’t that changing (this post is a half joke) depends if JB screws us over with his BN map
it wouldn’t surprise me. We really have fought the SER so much recently. I also feel like we can never seem to get the +PNA when we need it. Which those probably go hand in hand. We are getting it. Just not when we have a favorable storm system lol.
 

Ollie Williams

It's Rainin' Sideways!
Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1,839
Reaction score
4,764
Location
Burlington NC North I-85
I’m a bit encouraged by how this Niña thing is doing. I don’t think Nino’s are going to do anything, with the surrounding waters being warm. However, below average ENSO SST’s, should be interesting. I don’t know about you guys, but 2017-2018, which was a Niña year, may be my favorite winter of the decade with the exception of February. One storm in Dec, two in Jan, three in March, 1 in April. With a Nina, we won’t have to worry as badly about the pacific jet, and would be dealing with a more active polar jet. With these Enso events, it’s pick and choose between an active polar jet, or subtropical jet, and frankly, a lot of us are sick and tired of the subtropical jet.

It is also worth mentioning the stance on the PDO. I know several
people over the years who have mistaken the +anomalies to be another case of the warm blob. From the looks of it currently say that the configuration has no real impact. One may argue a -PDO because of the cool waters off the coast, however those are merely just cooler waters than the blob.

I think that the EPO, will be the most crucial part of the winter, I definitely think someone/myself, should look into what leads to more positive/negative events. Coupled of course with the PNA.
 

FallsLake

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
270
Reaction score
650
Location
20 miles north of Raleigh
I've also read (somewhere) that the winters after solar minimum (heading into a new cycle) tends to have more blocking. **Some have said we flipped to the new cycle (25) in late December 2019, but it currently can't be certified.

(but)Another way to look at this is to throw science out and just say "We're due for a big winter".
 

FallsLake

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
270
Reaction score
650
Location
20 miles north of Raleigh
it wouldn’t surprise me. We really have fought the SER so much recently. I also feel like we can never seem to get the +PNA when we need it. Which those probably go hand in hand. We are getting it. Just not when we have a favorable storm system lol.
Years back we debated which of the indices were more critical for the SE. (my opinion)The last couple of winters have proven the PNA to be absolutely critical. -PNA kills our chances for winter storms.

 

Snowflowxxl

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
3,864
Reaction score
6,613
Location
Smyrna, Georgia
Great Analysis!

Im going to predict above average temps and below average snowfall. Seems to be the new norm lol
 

GeorgiaGirl

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
5,355
Reaction score
3,756
Location
Augusta, GA
I'll take a 10/11 and run like **** until I'm ready to go back to North Georgia to live (honestly, 17/18 as well), but I do think there was another factor that played in that cancelled 10/11 from being your typical warm La Nina (as IIRC, it wasn't weak).
 

Myfrotho704_

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
8,650
Reaction score
13,336
Location
Concord NC
I’m a bit encouraged by how this Niña thing is doing. I don’t think Nino’s are going to do anything, with the surrounding waters being warm. However, below average ENSO SST’s, should be interesting. I don’t know about you guys, but 2017-2018, which was a Niña year, may be my favorite winter of the decade with the exception of February. One storm in Dec, two in Jan, three in March, 1 in April. With a Nina, we won’t have to worry as badly about the pacific jet, and would be dealing with a more active polar jet. With these Enso events, it’s pick and choose between an active polar jet, or subtropical jet, and frankly, a lot of us are sick and tired of the subtropical jet.

It is also worth mentioning the stance on the PDO. I know several
people over the years who have mistaken the +anomalies to be another case of the warm blob. From the looks of it currently say that the configuration has no real impact. One may argue a -PDO because of the cool waters off the coast, however those are merely just cooler waters than the blob.

I think that the EPO, will be the most crucial part of the winter, I definitely think someone/myself, should look into what leads to more positive/negative events. Coupled of course with the PNA.
The past few years when it seems like we’re gonna get a -EPO, tropical forcing moves into a bad phase, and instead of the -EPO, we just straight up get a +TNH, and get locked with a suppressed ridge around the gulf of Alaska, Which forces the PNA negative, idk why this bad timing thing happens often but it’s annoying
 

GaWx

Supporter
Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
7,910
Reaction score
16,911
Location
SAV, GA
My initial prediction for KATL DJF is +3 (trend is your friend), which is still ~33 colder than this summer. Have to go solidly warmer than normal as long as the Indonesian region remains so warm (no end in sight) and also taking into account continued GW. 30 year normals are deceiving as they now represent solidly colder than normal for all practical purposes. So, a +3 is like a new normal. Looking forward to cool dry days and chilly nights no matter how far above “normal”.

I also predict that the average forecast will as usual end up significantly too cold due to eternal optimism for cold.
 
Last edited:

SD

Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Messages
10,698
Reaction score
19,081
Location
Chalybeate Springs, NC
Initial thoughts are winter ends up on average above normal but we likely have 1/2 months that are near to below but one well above normal that pushes the average positive. My biggest concerns are the PV and tropical forcing driven by the same SSTs we have seen the last couple of winters.
 

Lickwx

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
571
Reaction score
807
Location
Lizard lick
My prediction is for winter so warm that the birds never migrate south, tomatoes are fresh on the vine into December, freezes are confined to the foothills and mountains, no snow south of NYC or below 5000 feet. I loved being on here, this post will definitely be getting me banned.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
9,112
Reaction score
16,689
Location
Greenville
Warm waters will absolutely dominate the maritime continent. We might see some of the warmest SST’s we’ve ever seen down there this winter. MJO 4,5,6 will reign supreme. Nothing else will matter. Above average winter temperatures up and down the eastern seaboard. However, I do think we time a banger of a long duration snow event. Will it be east or west of the mountains? Stay tuned! 🤞🏽
 

Myfrotho704_

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
8,650
Reaction score
13,336
Location
Concord NC
This is what I’m going with, I think the Southeast ridge will be a bit more relaxed this year, and there will definitely be colder temps vs last winter, but we’re gonna have problems with the MJO which is gonna be a problem since the patterns associated with them are often long lasting, I’m thinking we squeeze in 2 moderate/major winter storms with 3 light events 192FB88A-17DE-43D5-AF89-A212EBBBF718.jpeg
 

Tarheel1

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
8,515
Reaction score
9,030
Location
Dubuque, IA
Warm waters will absolutely dominate the maritime continent. We might see some of the warmest SST’s we’ve ever seen down there this winter. MJO 4,5,6 will reign supreme. Nothing else will matter. Above average winter temperatures up and down the eastern seaboard. However, I do think we time a banger of a long duration snow event. Will it be east or west of the mountains? Stay tuned! 🤞🏽
I think a great met from Shelby once said, warm oceans, cold continents! I’m going to ride or die with that. It hasn’t let me down yet
 

Tarheel1

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
Messages
8,515
Reaction score
9,030
Location
Dubuque, IA
This is what I’m going with, I think the Southeast ridge will be a bit more relaxed this year, and there will definitely be colder temps vs last winter, but we’re gonna have problems with the MJO which is gonna be a problem since the patterns associated with them are often long lasting, I’m thinking we squeeze in 2 moderate/major winter storms with 3 light eventsView attachment 44225
Highly optimistic
 

WeatherNC

Living 1-2C above 925MB
Supporter
Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
179
Reaction score
574
Location
Greenville, NC
Warm waters will absolutely dominate the maritime continent. We might see some of the warmest SST’s we’ve ever seen down there this winter. MJO 4,5,6 will reign supreme. Nothing else will matter. Above average winter temperatures up and down the eastern seaboard. However, I do think we time a banger of a long duration snow event. Will it be east or west of the mountains? Stay tuned! 🤞🏽
Delta T? Gulf Stream is a natural baroclinic zone, optimistic for increased activity with a semi-dominant northern stream vs zonal flow with junk hanging in the Baja trunk.
 
Top