Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Signs that Potentially Record Breaking Warmth May Continue

If there's one thing to be learned this winter, it is this: Many models look like they're just taking stabs in the dark. And this was true, especially for respected models like the ECMWF and GFS, to those lesser-used JMA, CMC, NOGAPS models.
But there were a select couple of correct models. The model shown above is the NAEFS Ensembles, or the North American Ensemble Forecast System. This model was the lighthouse in this sea of model uncertainty. It nailed all predictions for a warm winter. That said, I am investing confidence in it yet again to formulate this forecast.

Using the NAEFS, the period between the next 8 days and next 14 days (Days 8-14) tells of widespread areas with temperatures that are at a 90%+ probability for being above the normal temperature. This is most common in the Plains and Canada, with a little cooler forecast to the east.
Now, I am a little hesitant to believe this, because the atmospheric feature that has been causing this record-breaking heat is now moving away. It is a mega-ridge of high pressure, and it is slowly moving to the east, offshore the US. This means more storm systems will be able to pass through that area and therefore create a more progressive temperature pattern of cold fronts and warm fronts. Or so it would be thought.
While the NAEFS is not a forecaster for hourly SLP (sea level pressure (low areas are low pressure systems, high areas of SLP are high pressure areas)), using long range precipitation accumulations, I can determine that the storm track looks to be suppressed south according to the NAEFS. This would indeed allow a buildup of air to occur in the North Tier of the US, and this air would likely be warm, using the temperature forecast.