SPRINGFIELD, Mo- KOLR10 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Warriner took to Facebook the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to give his Winter Outlook.
His post says, he thinks we’re looking at the coldest and snowiest winter since 2014/2015.
What is the cause of this?
Jamie says, “The oceans are one of the big drivers for global weather patterns and I used this as one of the big factors for my forecast. Looking at the oceans there are a couple of features that stand out. The first is a big blob of unusually warm water over the North Pacific. This has been a driver for cold winters across the eastern half of the nation in past winters and I think it will again this winter.”
“I also looked at water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. We’re currently looking at a neutral state of ENSO, meaning waters in that area are generally not considered to be in an El Nino state or a La Nina state. The warmer water is focused more to the west though and this does play a role in trough position in the U.S., tending to focus the trough over the middle of the country. This will open the door to cold outbreaks over the Upper Midwest that will gradually settle south and east.”
Another factor is the Arctic Oscillation, a pressure pattern over the pole that either focuses cold near the pole or sends it south into the lower latitudes when the value goes negative. This happens when the polar vortex near the pole is replaced with high pressure allowing the vortex to break down into eddies that deliver cold further south. It looks like this will be a winter where the negative phase (cold) of the Arctic Oscillation is favored. This could lead to more frequent outbreaks of bitter cold across the East.
The Facebook post also says, “One other note is that the overall setup is very similar to last winter. Now, I know last winter wasn’t all that cold or wintry. But, we were just south of where it was. Cold and snowy conditions hammered areas along and north of I-70. I think the focus for this will be further south this winter.”
“I looked at previous years taking the above into account and looked for analog years. Several popped out, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2018 and 2013. I threw out 2013 from the average because it was more of an extreme on the cold and snowy end of the possibilities for this winter. The average left us with a colder winter on average. But, the front end of the winter (December) tended to produce near to above normal temperatures locally. The cold was weighted more toward January into February. So, I’m expecting a lull after the cold of this November (the cold November pattern also showed up in my analogs). We’ll then descend into a colder than normal pattern heading into January, likely continuing into February,” says Jamie.
In regard to winter weather, Jamie says snow totals will be average to a bit above average (13 to 18″), which is far more than we’ve seen the past several winters. He says he found an interesting correlation with early season snows like we’ve seen this fall. When we’ve had snow in late October, the following winter went on to produce near average to above-average snowfall.
Some of those winters were banner winters too.
“I also think there will be at least one ice event that will tend to be focused over Southern Missouri into Northern Arkansas,” says Jamie.
Also, if the cold does come hard this season, we’ll likely see a cold start to the spring season which could delay to some extent the onset of the spring severe weather season.
The post ends with a peaceful message, “Ok, there you have it, the dice have been rolled. Let’s see how this winter pans out.”