The Storm Team 8 crew will put their winter forecast out today. I think it is great they get together as a team to look at the models and analogs to reach their conclusions at what may happen this winter. I have known Bill for a number of years and Craig James before him. The study of earth and atmospheric sciences is not easy course work to gain a meteorologist certification. There is also a lot of physics, chemistry, algebra, calculus and statistical math involved which for many like myself leaves our brains leaking out off our ears. A bachelors degree or Ph. D are required in interdisciplinary subjects. When you watch your local met on TV you are seeing many years of education.
On the other side there are many amateur mets like myself who gain our knowledge from many years of learning and studying past climatology and are curious about how the whole thing works. My education was mainly in computer science, a technology which continues to evolve where one has to continue their education for yearly certifications which can be expensive and time consuming. I have kept up on the basics since my certifications lapsed years ago and I have not needed them to progress to retirement. Still, one is never to old to learn and keep our brains functioning with new knowledge especially as we get older. I am self taught in electronics technology because like many before me I was curious and wanted to build things rather than buy them. The same goes for carpentry – I would rather make something myself – now I have a woodshop and electronics lab I have build over the years for my retirement. I guess the main theme here is to never quit learning – if you find something which interests you, pursue it. It can take a few years to collect all the tools and components needed but it will pay off in the end….
Winter forecasting is a guess at best. We watch what is going on in the far western Pacific, the Atlantic, Russia and the Arctic and try to figure how they will all come together to produce the weather in our area. Forecasting can be easier and more predictable up to about a week out, beyond that it is mainly a guess. I will try to get out a winter forecast later this month, I believe it is still to early to figure out what December will bring let alone the rest of the winter. For now we can look at what is going on now. Below are the current graphics for snow cover in the northern hemisphere.
Temperature anomalies across North America are predicted to persist with normal to above normal temperatures from the Rockies westward to the west coast and normal to below normal temperatures in Central North America and normal to above normal temperatures right along the Eastern Seaboard through November 8. New snowfall is possible across large parts of Siberia, and into Central Asia. New snowfall is also possible in Alaska, much of Canada and into the Northwestern US through next week.
Arctic sea ice growth rate has accelerated but remains well below normal. The greatest negative sea ice anomalies remain in the Chukchi, Beaufort, Laptev and Barents-Kara Seas. Based on recent research low sea ice anomalies in the Chukchi and Bering seas favors cold temperatures in central and eastern North America while low sea ice in the Barents-Kara seas favor cold temperatures in Central and East Asia, however this topic remains controversial.
Recent research has shown that regional anomalies that are most highly correlated with the polar vortex is the Barents-Kara seas region where low Arctic sea ice favors a weaker winter polar vortex. However it is looking like the greatest negative anomalies are emerging in the Barents-Kara Seas and this may be the region most favored for ridging/blocking during the winter months.
The rate of North American snow cover advance has slowed but remains near decadal highs. With continued cold air across Canada and the Northern US, North America snow cover will likely continue further. If snow and cold establish a foothold across Canada this fall, it could support an early start to winter across the Northern U.S.
I think we we see snow this month, however I am not seeing any real outbreaks of Arctic air until the end of the month as seen in the CFS model below. We may see our temps reach daytime highs in the upper 30s by the end of next week with a wintry mix.
Short term we will see clouds and rain will fall from Elkhart to Flint on to the south. Our best day to see some sun will be Saturday. Typically our weather pattern for November features rain every couple days which may be the norm over the next few days.