Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Long Range Climate Models Show Snowy Eurasia in October

Long range models are giving indications that the coming October may feature above normal precipitation in the Eurasia area, something that could then favor a colder than normal winter for the United States.

The image above shows a global probability of above, below, and neutral precipitation anomalies. We can focus in on many areas of the world and try to decipher what they mean for the coming winter, but today, we’re going to keep our attention on the forecast over Russia and the general north Asia area.

This forecast, a probability forecast using a combination of roughly six or seven different climate models from various global meteorological agencies, shows a swath of above normal precipitation probabilities across a good portion of central Russia. In the forecast, we see the precipitation anomalies extending north of the 60N longitude line, an important line in our situation.

A few years ago, Dr. Judah Cohen created the Snow Advance Index, abbreviated as the SAI. Dr. Cohen claimed that by measuring snow cover anomalies in Eurasia, namely north of the 60N parallel, one could decipher temperature anomalies for the upcoming winter. For example, an October with sustained below-normal snow cover anomalies would favor a warmer than normal winter. Similarly, above-normal snow cover in Eurasia for the month of October would then tell us to anticipate a colder than normal winter. In past winters, I have seen the SAI perform quite well, the only exception being this past winter. Thus, I hold this index in fairly high regard in terms of accuracy.

As of now, guidance does favor a wetter than normal October over Eurasia, with some of that likely putting down snow cover in the process. While this is expected to change in the future, this could be an indication that we may expect a snowy October in Russia, which may lead to a colder winter here in the United States.