Friday, 24 October 2014

Winter Outlook Update: Brief Summary of Thoughts

Based on the research i've been doing on the upcoming winter here is my revised forecast. I will keep it to a brief summary of my thoughts. I want to note that I am expecting a weak nino, with a -QBO, SSN ~80-100, +PDO, +AMO and weak walker cell.

- Following chill in the first few days of the month, warmer then normal conditions are expected overall in the first ten days of the month with a -PNA and trough axis along or east of the East Coast. 
- RNA pattern continues in weeks 2-4 with a SE ridge and trough axis over northern rockies and plains. Storm track active through the great lakes. Potential for early season snow's across Ontario and Quebec when anticyclonic waves break into Alaska sending arctic air into the plains/prairies/Lakes. Tropical forcing shifts into phases 7-1. Overall month near to slightly above normal temperature wise with above normal precip across On, Que. Below normal across B.C with above normal precip.

-Classic El nino look with a Very -PNA and neutral EPO(SE GOA low with Poleward Aleutian High). Ridge axis over rockies/plains with NW flow dominating ON/Que. Secondary trough off the east coast/maritimes area.
- Below normal Temperatures expected for Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. Below normal snowfall across Eastern Canada(YYZ,YUL,YOW) and the Great Lakes(outside of the LES belts). Above normal snow across B.C.
- Neutral NAO with +AO.
Attached Image
- Very -AO/NAO with a SSW expected. Well Below normal temperatures across the N Plains, Lakes, and New England including S/E On, S Que and B.C. Secondary trough east of the East Coast.
- Negative PNA with Eastern Lakes/Interior storm track in the means. N-S temp gradient across the U.S with above normal temps in the Southern Plains, Miss Valley and Southeast.
- Above normal snowfall across Southern Ontario, B.C and Alberta. Near normal E On/S Que. Below normal snowfall NE of YOW-YUL including Atlanta Canada with blocking HP dominating.
Attached Image
- Negative PNA continues with +WPO and Strong Bering Sea low. Trough axis off East Coast remains stagnant. 
- Slightly -AO/NAO.
- Above normal snowfall across the Pac NW, SW U.S and SE U.S. Near to slightly below normal snowfall across the great lakes, S and E Ontario and Quebec.
- Dry/warm conditions over the priaries.
- Above normal snowfall across the Maritimes if -NAO backs off. Otherwise, snowfall remains below normal.
- Below normal temps across the GL's although suppression is an issue.
Attached Image

- Strong NE Pac high forms off the W coast of B.C. PNA spikes positive although core of the ridge axis is west of the PNA and SE of the EPO region. +PNA/-EPO means that cold tongue forms from the NWT through the plains and all the way to the SE U.S. 
- Core of cold over N Plains/Western Great Lakes. Well below normal temps for YYZ,YOW and YUL. Warmer then normal temps across S B.C.
-Negative NAO/AO returns with above normal snowfall across the eastern lakes, northeast and mid atlantic as well as the maritimes. Above normal snowfall across YYZ/YOW/YUL.
Attached Image

In summary for On/Que... winter will start off relatively slow in the snow department following a November full of potential if the storm track is not positioned too far West. December should end up below normal temperature wise especially across S Ontario and S Que. January and March have the most potential to carry above normal snowfall across ON/Que in addition to well below normal temperatures. February is slightly colder then normal but relatively benign in the snowfall department with suppression and a NW flow.

Analog Years...
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image

Any questions? Feel free to shoot away. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Winter Possibilities: Canadian Warming v.s No Canadian Warming

Couple December scenario's I want to outline this evening.

Case 1: -QBO/El Nino Years following a November Canadian Warming. If the increased polar ozone, stronger BDC and nino help keep the wave activity high enough we could see one. 4 of my analog years have this setup but we would need to see major wave breaking pretty quickly.

Attached Image

Case 2: No November CW. My analogs are hinting at a classic Nino look with a warmer then normal N and NW with cooler anoms limited to the EC/South. The S Plains look too warm however.
Attached Image

As we head into Jan note how both the CW years and regular analogs have a similar pattern. Jan is probably the highest confidence month for me given the likelyhood of a Major SSW by then. Note the major AO reversal in Jan(makes sense given the OPI,SAI,Nino,-QBO and moderate solar).
CW Years
Attached Image

Regular Analogs
Attached Image

Feb CW Years(Note the reversal across the plains and NW to significantly warmer). Interesting how they tend to be colder early on but the opposite as you get latter into winter.
Attached Image

Regular Analogs
Attached Image

Have a good night!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Warm November coming up for the East, Plains and Lakes?

A few very important things i'm noticing this morning that should be pretty important for the November forecast. A Poleward/weak NH Hadley Cell has developed(especially near Indonesia) and is making it very hard for trough's to amplify across the SE Asia/Japan sector all the way through D10. This is having major impacts downstream across the CONUS because it makes it tough for waves to breakdown the C NA ridge. Instead they get displaced well to the NE towards atlantic Canada and New England.

E Asian Jet Forecast:

 Reduced 38%
Attached Image
1024 x 768 (214.7K)

500mb Omega:

 Reduced 65%
Attached Image
1826 x 562 (204.03K)

This entire pattern coincides with an H5 setup that is very supportive of poleward propagating anticylones into the mid latitudes with +AAM anomalies into the subarctic(50N-70N region). This is supportive of a major spike in the AO which should occur shortly.

 Reduced 47%
Attached Image
1200 x 600 (63.57K)

Until the hadley cell returns to normal, E asian cyclogenesis will remain sparse and the NPAC jet will favour waves breaking into Bering Sea with a -PNA. This in conjuncture with classic Basin Wide nino forcing is helping amplify the GOA trough. At the same time we will see little help from the NAO region until very late Nov or December in my opinion. I do think there is a window for some chill in the 10-15 as the GWO is pretty strong right now and headed for nina like phases(we'll see if its enough to shift the C NA ridge South and East). Beyond that point it should get pretty "torchy" from the Plains to the EC(especially the further N you go) until forcing can shift into the W-C Pac to W IO sector. In other words, it looks like Nov could be less nina like and warmer then normal across the lakes/plains/NE(with the exception of extreme Northern New England and the Maritimes). It's all part of the seasonal progression that should bring us towards a cold DJFM period over the central/Eastern CONUS. Have a great day!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Winter Analog's Revised-- looking good for Ontario!

Just went through and revised some of my analog years yesterday, coming up with 51-52,69-70,02-03,03-04,93-94 and 12-13 in the set. Mostly focused on monthly SSN/QBO/MEI numbers with some focus on PDO,AMO,ONI lead up, ENSO configuration, Walker Cell etc. These years appear to hint at a cool and very nino like start to winter with a more nina like finish as the el nino weakens and -EPO forcing takes over. This would more then likely cause the storm track to shift into a more favourable position for our region with the presence of a weak SE ridge. Based on my analogs/research Jan-Mar should be the month's to watch for average to above average snowfall which actually contradicts the modelling(NMME/Euro) which have a wetter/stormier dec and more suppressed storm track from Jan-March.

Dec has that RNA,+WPO,+EPO and neutral NAO/AO look:


March(+PNA,-WPO,Neutral EPO,-NAO/AO)

Oh and maybe we can pull off a snowy november finally... very exciting times ahead.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Spetember 9-11th Severe Weather Potential

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Severe Weather Centre. I've been keeping a close eye on the models lately and have been quite impressed with some of the severe weather parameters for this upcoming Wednesday across MI,IN, IL, OH and S On. Subtropical moisture will get drawn from Norbert's circulation off the West coast of Mexico in addition to an upper level low which is expected to spin off the B.C coast for several days. Note the two features on the latest run of the GFS(18z initialization).

By Monday evening this upper level low will come inland, crossing the Northern California coast and taking a track through the rockies and up towards Lake Superior. This will try to partially phase with an area of vorticity currently located across Nunavut, which will cause anomalous deepening of the low pressure area for this early in the fall. The euro goes as deep as a 982mb low centre near Sault St Marie Wednesday night while the GFS/CMC are a little faster and weaker with the SLP centre, albeit still very impressive.

18z GFS

12z Euro

 This deep low pressure area creates a very impressive kinematic environment with a 45-55kts LLJ across parts of MI, IN and NW OH. This jet strengthens even further after sundown with a 60-65kts jet max across S On late wednesday evening.

GfS model 850mb wind field valid 6z Thursday 

Really impressive low level speed/directional wind shear in a sounding near guelph, On. Notice the strong clockwise turning, small T/td spreads and extreme water loading/saturation.
 The sounding lacks instability and steep mid level lapse rates, however.

 These winds will be accompanied by a 90kts upper level jet streak nosing SE with strongly backed sfc flow out ahead of the front. PWAT values are in access of 2" across a widespread area.
GRR had this to say in this afternoon's discussion. Very interesting.


CAPE's do appear to be lacking on most of the models, with a general 500-1000j/kg on most modelling across IN/IL with little to no CAPE further NE. This, along with timing are going to be huge players for S On as a faster vort ejection will increase the chances of a more significant outbreak although super cells will likely continue well after sundown as the low level wind fields continue to intensify. Keep in mind, the models due tend to underestimate WAA at this range so a trend upwards in the instability department is likely as we edge closer to the event. Right now, I'm in agreement with the SPC outlook in terms of the areas likely to be effected. If modelling continues showing the dynamic's it has been showing, a dangerous situation is possible for S On from Windsor through the GTA, including much of SW Ontario. On the other side of the border Michigan, NW Ohio and Indiana are at risk of severe weather. Primary threats appear to be high precip super cells with strong winds, flooding potential and possible tornadoes. I'll keep you posted on twitter in the days ahead!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Preliminary Winter 2014-15 Ramblings

I did some analog searching yesterday and found out some interesting trends and observations for this winter. As a base state I searched for years since 1950 that contained weak-moderate el nino's, easterly QBO shear at 30mb and 50mb heading towards a negative peak late in the winter (FMA period). A strong NE pac warm pool in the fall was the third piece of criteria I looked for giving an H5 pattern like so (note this is not my analog set for this winter, I am just playing around).

 Reduced: 90% of original size [ 565 x 436 ] - Click to view full image
Attached Image

What I realized is that there are two main group's with 86-87 and 91-92 extremely warm over the CONUS and the three remaining yrs having your typical evolution with a -EPO and strong NE pac high with a '13-'14 like downstream response. I still need to do further research regarding 86-87/91-92 but from what i've gathered so far the warmth of 91-92 was a result of the extremely high sun spot activity and weak siberian high in October. 86-87 may have been a result of the QBO increase mid winter and negative AMO preventing heights rises near greenland.

Group 1:
 Reduced: 90% of original size [ 565 x 436 ] - Click to view full image
Attached Image
Group 2:
 Reduced: 90% of original size [ 565 x 436 ] - Click to view full image
Attached Image

Dividing the original set into only the Smax years with increasing solar(left) or decreasing solar(right) have some implications:
 Reduced 41%
Attached Image
1071 x 385 (79.9K)

The typical reaction from some mets would be to automatically go with a -NAM/SAM state when a nino/-QBO combo presents itself in wintertime. The composite above debunks those expectations and proves that other factors are at work here. Coming into this winter solar activity will be a key factor in addition to the el nino positioning and atlantic SST pattern. Looking at nino yrs with -QBO shear, Smax and decreasing solar heading into winter you still see the NAO predominantly positive in the DJF period. In my case study -NAO months occurred only 22% of the time in the decreasing years, with increasing solar years averaging a -NAO more often (66% of the time) when their is no isolation for ENSO positioning (i.e modiki v.s classic). 

What this tells me is that solar trends this fall are important but must be coupled w/ enso positioning in order to make a good forecast. In addition to this, north atlantic SST's and siberian pressure patterns will be key in determining the winter AO/NAO. These indices will not be so clear cut and NAO volatility is likely this winter because of all these factors(I don't think the NAO will be predominantly negative but closer to neutral/weak positive in the means). The benefit of having the NE pac warm pool is that even if the NAO waits until late to go negative which can happen in nino's, you can still have a very interesting pattern, especially for the interior. 

Another thing that i've found is that all of my analog years except 51-52 actually had a WB nino and I don't think that it's just a coincidence that all these yrs had a strong GOA warm pool in the fall. Since this is strongly the case again this year we may be headed down that modiki/more blocky road as well, especially if we see a more poleward then normal u wind line as we get into the fall. But again, even if it becomes a modiki, its no clear cut relationship w/ solar still a mystery.

In summary my prelim thoughts are as follows:1) I am favouring a slightly positive NAO this winter
2) More research needs to be done regarding why the 91-92 and 86-87 years differed so much from the other years in the analog set, especially in terms of NE Pac high strength. If we share too many similarities with these yrs in the fall, a very warm winter could be possible(less likely scenario at this point).
3) Weak ridging along the SE coast is likely this winter, with coldest departures displaced NW of the east coast into the plains and GL's.
4) Weak-Moderate nino is favoured given the downwelling phase of the OKW expected in the near future
5) AMO is likely to remain negative but keep an eye on the sneaky +SST anoms in the davis straits
6) PDO is expected to stay positive as we head towards winter
7) Leaning closer to an el nino modiki as opposed to a classic nino setup
8) An interior storm track is more likely overall
9) Warmer then normal conditions expected along the west coast in addition to dryness. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Why will El Nino turn out potentially weaker then expected?

After expectation's were very high coming off a record breaking oceanic kelvin wave this past spring, tides have turned in the ENSO department with the prospect's of a strong el nino dwindling. Below are some of the factors I am looking at regarding ENSO:

1) Solar flux has dropped at or below 75 for the first time since november after a double peak this winter/spring period signifying a long and weak cycle. This should have some implications on ENSO this upcoming fall/winter.

 Reduced 15%
Attached Image
753 x 530 (182.2K)

2) Despite negative 200mb CHI propagation into the central/eastern pacific this week, any WWB's over the WPAC are expected to remain weak/stationary over the next week. This displays that even period's which favour el nino strengthening are failing to produce major changes to the subsurface anomalies.
 Reduced 21%
Attached Image
802 x 899 (114.44K)

3) Cooler than normal subsurface SST's have replaced the strong downwelling OKW that formed in the early spring period.

 Reduced: 94% of original size [ 540 x 405 ] - Click to view full image
Attached Image

4)AAO/Atlantic circumpolar wave forcing has helped keep the western IO cool while SST's in and around the maritime continent are well above normal. This makes it very difficult to keep the SOI predominantly negative. SOI values are expected to remain negative through early July with a reversal to positive values expected after ~7/3 as the MJO wave propagates east.

 Reduced 46%
Attached Image
1174 x 640 (222.76K)

5) A weak K/O current this spring means the JJA "summertime" AO anomaly should remain predominantly positive correlating to this SST anomaly setup.

 Reduced: 90% of original size [ 565 x 436 ] - Click to view full image
Attached Image

6) Underwater currents have shifted to an easterly anomaly after it was initially suspected that the base state of the pacific changed to a mean westerly anomaly as a result of the mega downwelling OKW in the spring. Obviously that claim was proven false.
Attached Image

For these reasons i'm expecting a weakening and retrograding el nino anomaly as we head into winter. In the end, moderate ENSO strength is likely IMO in the trimonthly ONI dataset (+1.0 to+1.5c peak). Any questions/comments, feel free to shoot away in the comment section below.