Saturday, October 25, 2014

Winter of the Black Swan?

(Forecaster Foot & the Long Range Team) While relative calm has been the general rule this Fall for a good portion of the eastern U.S., those of us who follow long term trends in seasonal climate data are increasingly concerned that a period of major upheaval in weather is fast approaching. 

In this second of our annual three part "What about winter" we will discuss the Black Swan theory and its implications for the winter ahead.

We will also revisit our overview of climate indicators as first posted on 9/22/2014 to determine what changes or anomalies have developed since.

From that assessment, the objective of this report is to present evidence in the data we believe points to the following for this winter:

  • In extrapolating this pattern forward, we suggest storms this winter, enhanced by El Nino, will produce at times, highly disruptive conditions such as heavy wet snow and  strong winds along the coast, paralyzing snow/ice storms in interior areas as well as bouts of higher precipitation hinted by the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO).
  • Long range indicators such higher than normal Siberian snow cover, and a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that may introduce cooler temperatures sooner, and also intense periods of below normal temperatures.
  • We are targeting the period from November 15 to 25 for arrival of the Mid-Atlantic's first significant winter storm.  To have a "White Thanksgiving" but miss a White Christmas would most certainly qualify as a rare and unexpected "Black Swan."

Monday, October 6, 2014

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