Hello everyone. This thread contains my predictions for winter 2012-2013 as of 9-24-2012. I hope that you enjoy, but first a couple of disclaimers:
Disclaimer: I am NOT a meteorologist or climatologist… nor do I pretend to be. I am simply an observer of weather who is making predictions based on some pattern trends, ENSO thoughts, teleconnections, and natural signs that I have seen (and read by others who have posted here, thank you!) I do not claim that I will be right… in fact I will probably get some regions wrong.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a wishcaster. I love a cold and snowy winter, but I am not going to blindly predict a cold and snowy winter for everyone just because I am a fan of it. I am posting what I honestly think. Some may like it, some may not. Oh well. Don’t hate me just because I think your area might be an entire degree above average.
Now, on to the good stuff: below is a map of the US, divided into regions. Forgive me, as I used Paint to generate the below image. Actually, I used the trial version of Paint, which is even more pathetic. Below the map, I post some thoughts about each region. I speak of temperatures and precipitation (including snowfall) as “compared to average.” I do not know exactly what everyone’s averages are, but you can find out your average temperatures and snowfall at a site like NOAA or even weather.com.
Overall: I expect winter to be “early” on both ends… that is… an early start and an early finish. Many will see autumn transition into winter in November, but will then see spring arrive in February. I expect ENSO to be close to neutral, not getting any more extreme than .5 in either direction during the winter months. I expect a mildly negative NAO to dominate, with some short periods of + NAO thrown in. AO to be more negative than positive as well, both of which allow colder arctic air to make their way down… however, I don’t expect these arctic blasts to be very sustained. More “short but frequent.” Dominant storm tracks (shown on map as red dotted lines) cutting across the middle of the country and then the Great Lakes or Northeast.
Region 1: Somewhat warmer than average, with average precipitation and snowfall. Cold shots will make their way into this region early, but come February (possibly even late January) the cold shots will begin to wrap their way around the Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic, leading to milder weather in the Northeast. Expect major storms… unfortunately some of these storms may bring more rain than snow… however overall snowfall totals should get close to average for most.
Region 2: Average temperatures with above-average precipitation. Snowfall totals will be somewhat above average, but concentrated to early winter (December, early January). Later winter will bring lots of rain. Lots of big storms. I wouldn’t rule out a freak late snowstorm in the latter part of winter.
Region 3: Average temperatures with below-average precipitation, but not extremely dry. Best chance to see some big snow is right around the Christmas season (the best time, right?) but after Christmas season, significant snows will be few and far between. Still, just like Region 2, I wouldn’t rule out a freak late snow event.
Region 4: My “pick of the winter”… colder than average with above-average precipitation including snowfall. Cold shots will find their way later into the season, and many big storms will ride through this area, creating good chance of a significant snow season compared to normal. Later in winter, I expect the storm track to slowly migrate northward along with the bulk of the cold, leading the “best winter spot” to travel from the southern area of this region to the more northward areas. People like Grandin lucs out since he is under the storm track as well as under the potential for lake effect snows.
Region 5: Slightly warmer than normal, with somewhat drier than normal conditions. Best chance at some wintry conditions is right in the dead middle of winter (January). Otherwise, probably not a blockbuster year.
Region 6: Overall average temperatures with above-average precipitation. The Rockies could get hammered with big snows as the storms roll over the mountains. The SW desert will get some decent precipitation to start, but may see drier conditions as winter rolls on. If ENSO migrates back towards the negative side, then this region may see temperatures become a bit colder than average as winter progresses, also leading to a cool spring.
Region 7: Warmer and drier than average to start, but colder and wetter than average in the latter part of winter. Storms will ride to the south of this region and cold shots to the East in November, December and maybe even the first part of January, but then storms should start to work their way into this region as well as some decent cold shots, leading to a decent late January, February and March. Expect some snows in April where this is common, and a cool spring overall.
Region 8: Warmer and drier than average overall. Best chance at wetter and colder conditions is later in winter, particularly February and March. People in this region who usually see some snow in March and April may see above-average snow during these two months, which would prevent winter from being a total disappointment.
I welcome comments and questions.