Friday, August 10, 2012

ECMWF Winter Forecast Looking Good for East Coast

ECMWF Winter Temperature Map
Interpretation by Brett Anderson of Accuweather

ECMWF Winter Precipitation Map
Interpretation by Brett Anderson of Accuweather
The latest ECMWF appears to be showing a scenario typical of El Nino conditions over the upcoming winter, with above normal precipitation over parts of the Gulf Coast and dry conditions over the Northwest.

Brett Anderson of Accuweather writes posts for Canadian weather, but also releases maps of the ECMWF model from time to time. Due to the ECMWF's strict policy of releasing maps, the only legal way to display the seasonal ECMWF forecasts is by 'interpretations' such as his shown above.

The ECMWF is projecting a high latitude blocking pattern setting up, shown by a notable warmer than normal airmass settling in over areas close to Greenland as well as above normal temperatures in Alaska. The Alaskan warmth indicates a ridge in the Gulf of Alaska may be present. This ridge can incite cooler weather to flow into the US, and was not present last year when heat dominated the winter.
Additionally, warmth near Greenland enhances the possibility of a continuation of the negative NAO that has been seen recently. While it is not a sure sign of a negative NAO, the chances based on this warmth appear to be enhanced.

Precipitation-wise, an El Nino signal of a dry Northwest and wet Gulf Coast are present, but not a wet East Coast. In fact, this forecast indicates that a portion of the Northeast may actually end up slightly drier than normal. While the rest of the model does seem fairly trustworthy, this part does not seem right to me. A moderate El Nino appears likely this winter, and this, combined with a favorable NAO and stratospheric conditions, would make for a snowy Northeast.

It will all become much clearer with time, but for now there remains a few pieces of the puzzle that don't fit quite right.

You can read Brett Anderson's blog and ECMWF posts by clicking here.



Anthony said...

I got a feeling most of the east coast, including Maryland should be able to have better luck with more snow.
But we shall see what happens :)

Anonymous said...

should Charlotte NC get snow this year?

Andrew said...

Anthony: I agree- Much of the Northeast should get their share of snow this winter.

Anonymous: An El Nino is looking good for that area.