Monday, January 9, 2012

Sizable Snowstorm May Introduce Winter

Pre-note: There is a disclaimer at the bottom.

This winter hasn't been anywhere near what winter is typically known for- snow and cold. But all that is about to change. We have been proclaiming a pattern change to occur. And after all this warmth, it may be a shock to the atmosphere. So, with all this change, we began to think 'would a snowstorm happen in-sync with the big changes?'.
What we are thinking is that the atmosphere has been very constant with its weather recently, equivalent to a water glass full of water. Since the weather has been constant, the water is still. But when the cold air and snow comes down, the water will become disturbed as if a rock was dropped in the glass. We think that, in the moments of turbulence in the water following the rock's dropping into the glass, that could equate to a very stormy period at the beginning of the cold and snow. Eventually, the water settles down as it adapts to the rock now in the water. This settling is the settling into winter.

Here's the things that we have found to build evidence behind our theory.

1. Arctic Oscillation
At this point, the AO is near the breaking point. The AO itself is the polar vortex that so far has held the cold air. With ridges now bombarding the vortex, it is only a matter of time before the vortex collapses and we see the cold stream south. Today's 12z GFS actually showed the AO going off the charts negative, which would definitely shock people and the atmosphere equally.

2. The North Atlantic Oscillation
The NAO is a very close relative of the AO. We have been seeing very consistent signs of the models trending negative with the NAO. That would bring in a blocking pattern, which would include cold and snow for the Northeast and Great Lakes. It can be inferred on some, not all, occasions that the AO and NAO will go negative at very similar times due to their relations. This would help strengthen the idea of an oncoming negative NAO as we see the AO try to go negative.

3. The Stratosphere
We recently saw a Significant Stratospheric Warming in the stratosphere. This was not the main SSW that we usually see kick winter into high gear. This means we are waiting for another warming event, that we may be seeing soon. Models are projecting intense warming right over the North Pole which would indeed to a number on the polar vortex as well as the stratosphere.

4. Instinct
This might seem like a lousy piece of evidence, and I wouldn't be surprised if you think that. But to me, it seems logical that so many pieces coming together to put winter together would also incite a big storm of sorts during a time of turbulence in the atmosphere as it changes into a winter pattern.

5. Northern Stream Opening Up
Something we have seen recently is the big snowstorms coming from the Southwest (there were snowstorms in Texas, New Mexico if you recall). However, the HPC has recently brought to light that they are anticipating the northern stream to start to open up. If this were to happen, we would be seeing Panhandle Hooker storms start to rev up under ideal conditions.

Here's what we are expecting.

Here's my forecast.
If a big storm were to hit, I could see two solutions.

1. The Great Lakes receives widespread 6 inches snow, with isolated 1 foot totals. Bitter cold follows, with lake effect snow totals adding on at least 6 inches.

2. A coastal storm develops and hammers the Northeast with widespread 1 foot+ totals. 

This is as uncertain as it gets. There is a very real possibility that this does not happen, so do not hold me to it. I am just throwing this out there based on my thinking. Again, I would not be surprised if it does not happen. Everything I mentioned above is nowhere near certain, so don't get too excited. I cannot stress enough how uncertain this is.


Mike Paulocsak said...

Hi Andrew.What timeframe would this happen.Also,what would your thoughts on the Ohio area getting in terms of snowfall?Holmes county Ohio.I understand this may not happen.But what the heck,it's a GOOD prediction to me.

Anonymous said...

if it dose happen when will it happend in the northeast

AJ said...

When do you think you will be certain it happens or not?

Andrew said...

Mike, Anonymous and AJ: We do not know when this will happen. Because current indications are that the pattern change will occur in mid-late January, I would say late January or early February.

Mike: If this were to hit your area, I could see over 6 inches.

AJ: I will be more confident about this around mid January.

AJ said...

I would not be surprised if it happened that it would be January 30-February first because sometimes a weaker thing happens that happened the year before.The Chicago Blizzard happened this time

Mike Paulocsak said...

Hi Andrew.My local meteorologist just mentioned something similiar to this.Your probably on to something.

Anonymous said...

when will charlotte nc see its turn of some good snow?

Peterbilt5000 said...

Wasn't this "Big" change supposed to happen right now? All I can see is a shrt lived cold spell with temps rebounding to above average next week.

It might snow or it might not during this time frame you suggest, but thats what it usually/supposed to do in late Jan and early Feb.

I would like to think that you are forecasting something big, but for now I am going to have to not buy into it.

Imo, forecasting a storm during this time frame is like saying it will rain sometime between May 5 through June 1. Its just a safe bet on your part.

Anonymous said...

Hey PETERBILT5000.Why are you always slamming Andrew's forecast's.Go back to SNOWDAY.COM.

Andrew said...

Anonymous: I can easily see your area getting some colder weather soon. That may incite snow.

Peterbilt5000: We have already discussed that this cold is progressive and is not the pattern change.

Peterbilt5000 said...

How did I "Sam Andrews forecast"?

I voiced an opinion, didn't name call, and presented it in a "Nice" way. Very different than what people do on that other site.

I dont have to agree with everything he or anyone else says, and I posted how I felt.

If anyone else see's how safe he's playing it look again.

Anonymous said...

Something else. I respect Andrew for putting himself out there on a daily basis. I do the same with my business, and its not an easy thing to do.

Given the fact that people can come on here and post as an anonymous person and say what ever they want about what he is saying, I think what he's doing is way harder.

If his skin isn't thick enough to handle a little non-agreement form one person, then he should give it up.

peterbilt5000 said...

Last post was me.

Andrew said...

It is an option for someone to accept or reject someone's theories. I promote that in any way possible. I do not find it that peterbilt5000 commented with bad nature.

Anonymous said...

sorry 6" to 12" is not a big storm, unless you are referring to the swath it will cover. We need 3' of snow - when that happens let me know.

Anonymous said...

So when will the midwest see any amount of snow. We plow snow in the winter as we landscape in the summer. We need some snow or ice to even salt. When will we get anything?

Anonymous said...

Three feet of snow does not happen very often with one storm.All the ingriedients have to come together for this to happen.But i have to admit,three feet of snow would be great right now.

eddie said...

this is detroits winter update from a news station and this video indicates what he think will happen
(watch the video from link)

Mike Paulocsak said...

Hi Eddie.Mike Paulocsak here.I checked the link out you typed out.This is very interesting.Your local news station looks exactly like one of mine in Cleveland Ohio.Go to NEWSNET5.COM.It't also an ABC station.Same graphics etc.

bweather said...

I was just looking at the GFS 00Z for January 22-23 and looks impressive snowstorm. The pattern change is the talk and that is what breaks old man winter back.

Andrew said...

Anonymous #1: In the NWS watch/warnings, 12 inches of snow is a 'significant' winter storm. 3 feet of snow is something that happens every 10-50 years.

Anonymous #2: Snow will come later in the month.

Aran said...


Anonymous said...

2 Alaska towns seek outside help surviving brutal winter that has 1 buried in snow, 1 iced in...By one count, more than 10 feet of snow has fallen in the town of 2,000 in the last few weeks.....

Andrew said...

Aran: Yes, I do.