My preliminary winter forecast

Posted By: okie333  Posted On: Jul 22nd, 2011  Filed Under: Weather

Copied from a post of mine on Accuweather Forums:


I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if [a -AO similar in strength to 2009-2010] happened, but my thoughts for the DJF AO average are more like 76-77, which was #2. In a neutral winter this has much more effect than in a strong Niño, though… also, neutrals tend to promote a -AO more than other types. Generally, the farther from about +0.5 you go, the harder it is to get a -AO (try telling that to 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 though); but the farther from +infinity you go, the more power the cold shots will have when the AO does go negative. Having said that, I believe the pattern will be negative neutral (about -0.4 peak) in region 3.4, but 1+2 may look weak or even moderate Niña-ish. Region 4 will be the most neutral of the bunch… region 3 borderline Niña-ish. Keep an eye on the QBO… the speed its trek to negative will be vital to whether the AO is slightly negative, highly negative, or 2009-2010 repeat. The potential for a negative EPO (Alaska ridge) is nothing short of amazing; the NAO, while averaging negative, should not go as low as last winter. Everyone east of the Rockies, except maybe southern Florida, should watch out for a cold one. This ESPECIALLY applies in the Great Lakes regions. The Deep South and Southeast (Texas, Louisiana, southern Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) should watch for frequent ice storms. North of these locations should watch for heavy snow and frequent cold blasts with very little chance of above-average temps in any given day, except for days prior to major storms. West of the Rockies there should be near-average temperatures. Precipitation is very difficult to predict right now due to conflicting variables, but I believe it will be near average for much of the nation, except possibly drier in the north (east of the Rockies) due to a latitudinally suppressed polar jet stream, and possibly a bit wetter in the south (east of the Rockies) for the same reason. The subtropical jet should be more active than last winter but less so than 2009-2010. Anyway, those are my preliminary thoughts.

  1. fatima20 says:

    The same stuff that I generally was saying too! Man you’re really smart to know about all those -AO and all that confusing stuff. lol. So, would you include virginia as a northeast state? If so, does that mean we should watch out for heavy snow too?thanks for your time!

  2. okie333 says:

    Areas near I-70 should especially watch out for a possible merging of the highest precip anomalies and lowest temp anomalies. North of there the jet stream may be too far south to cause many storms; south of there (and especially in Florida) the cold may let up enough to cause rain on occasion. I-40 to I-20 is a major watch zone for ice storms.

  3. HoustonSnow says:

    Wow, looks like Houston could be in a for a really really nice winter. We barely get any snow and I would love some snow this winter. Your forecast gives me soooo much hope, thank you for this and continue the awesome forecasting. :D

  4. fatima20 says:

    Okie333 said yall would have ice storms, or unless you like those. I think texas may see some snow this year,

  5. fatima20 says:

    @okie333:Do you think that southeast virginia in particular, will have a snowy winter? I know the northeast will. Some say that southeast virgina’s part of the southeast and mid atlantic,so if you think that, would that mean heavy snow for us as well? Thank You!

    Areas near I-70 should especially watch out for a possible merging of the highest precip anomalies and lowest temp anomalies. North of there the jet stream may be too far south to cause many storms; south of there (and especially in Florida) the cold may let up enough to cause rain on occasion. I-40 to I-20 is a major watch zone for ice storms.

  6. okie333 says:

    I never said there would be no snow south of I-40, what I mean is that the “battle zone” will be somewhere between I-40 and I-20. South of I-20 can still have occasional snow, just as north of I-40 will still have occasional rain (well, south of I-70 they will).

  7. fatima20 says:

    what corridor is southeast virginia

  8. fatima20 says:

    will we have a snowy winter?

  9. Flake Fan says:

    I live just a few miles south of I-70, so this is pretty good for me! 2009-2010 was an amazing winter, even half of that would still put us above average! We’ve been spoiled these last two years for snow.

  10. fatima20 says:

    Hopefully southeast virginia will get a snowy winter this year. What’s you’re honest opinion on our winter flake fan?

  11. stuffradio says:

    How much snow do you think the SW BC/PNW will get? 2009-20010 was a horrible year for us.

  12. Flake Fan says:

    I don’t start forming any opinions outside of my own yard until October, it all depends on where the main storm track sets up.

  13. arkansasdolfan says:

    My brother from another state, one of my allies from the old days on this board, good to see you again man.
    I certainly think you are on the right track here, I haven’t been able to get a good handle on anything for this winter, but I certainly would like your forecast here. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that this happens either, I think like last year, those going with a “traditional” Nina look  will bust badly.
    I would also like to remind everyone, that 333 predicted early last year in one of Phil’s threads that we would see a succession of extreme winters. Good call, my friend.

  14. okie333 says:

    arkansasdolfan: It is less likely than last year that anyone will go with a traditional Niña look. Unlike last year, there is practically nothing (other than the typically overzealous CFS) pointing towards a moderate or strong La Niña… on the flip side, nothing but the BOM model points toward El Niño.

  15. HoustonSnow says:

    Hey oki, what’s your predictions for the rest of the Summer into the Fall, especially for the Southern states?

  16. okie333 says:

    August: Hot. Dry. Duh.
    September: Ridge starts to shift west, bringing a near-average northwest flow.
    October: Will seem normal at first, then the first real arctic intrusion occurs (nothing super-cold; just similar to last year [record lows for that time of year], except this time I don’t think it will be as short-lived).
    November: By now the cold air has started to come. It may still be intermittent, but it will be felt.
    December: I don’t think we’re in the South anymore…
    January: Oh look a high of 65… but why is the next day’s high “10″… and what the heck does “100%” mean?
    February: So tired of seeing these weird dash thingys in the morning… srsly ppl this isn’t North Dakota.
    March: Looks like spring has finally spru… maybe I spoke too soon!
    April: Never knew Mother Nature was into the whole April Fools’ prank thing.

  17. okie333 says:

    BTW the parts from December onward are intended as humor.

  18. HoustonSnow says:

    Lmaooooooooooooo I was reading this going WTF!? But umm okay I get what you mean. I’m excited, I moved to the US from the Caribbean, so winters are really exciting for me. Living in Houston for 3 years, not really much winter to enjoy, though the first year…I think it was 2009, it was a nice winter…saw some snow. LOVED IT!

  19. HoustonSnow says:

    P.S Thanks oki! Last question lol thanks again!

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