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Berks Winter Cast

Blog Archive 12/4-12/20

UPDATED 12/20 11:13pm
Winter storm a day late ???  Its hard to tell but this is the storm I was harping about last week, it still looks to me that it will be too warm but anything is possible... and being 60 miles west of the I-95 corridor could help out depending on how strong this thing gets when it bombs out and when it phases... 6Z DGEX was all over this...
SNOW AMOUNTS ARE INCORECT... Its showing liquid equiv...
GFS run was more inland...
The 18z GFS was out to sea...
And the New 00z GFS just way too mild
So while this needs to be watched cause stranger things have happened in teh past especially when we're this far out... It does still look to be mild... Othe models appear to show this as well... But we'll watch this over the next few days...
UPDATED: 12/19  8:45p
Christmas definetly not white this year my friends... pattern is horrible but there are some glimars of hope... We need to look at where we are going in the long run here and to see if this winter really will break to cold in the near future... Now I know alot of mets (ameture and pro alike) are now starting to flip to a very mild forecast but as bad as things have been the past few weeks one has to remmeber how cold it was to start this month and to keep this in perspectice its really not that warm... We have had worse extremes in the past... What I'm going to do now is something I like to call Now-casting of the seasonal outlook (similar to nowcasting after a forecast for a snowstorm) has occured.  The first place we need to go is to the El Nino as its the main source for everyone this year to say that the El Nino has made it this way... Nevermind some of the other things that are going on.. So with the SST's we start specifially El Nino 1.2 as I feel it has the most impact on the eastern weather... in 02-03' the Nino was raging but not 1.2 in fact it was below normal here... Now this year it was thought we'd have a similar situation but alas the Nino did get raging here as well... But when you look at the forecast for this region you will see that changes are coming and fast...
Now we'll move further out into the Pacific where this Nino really has taken off like a rocket... But recent signs have show our first decrease in the Nino and if we can keep this going into x-mas week or at least have it stay steady it will be very obvious that our Nino has peaked...
Again the new runs are for a further below resolution when compared to the older runs... Now we have to take a look at similar situations in the past... where we had rapid rising El Nino's burnt out in this time frame the years that pop up are 57-58, 65-66, 94-95, and 02-03...
Now of these its interesting that that 57-58 and 02-03 were years that have been looked at heavily for the winter forecast... Now 02-03 has been covered at great lengths but I'll go through it again in a second... 57-58 saw a great turn around and two hugh snowstorms including the biggest of all time for this area... and was truly a great late winter.
 02-03 started snowy but went mild til the end of Dec (the snowcover helped areas in the NE not go above normal) and eventually featured one of the greatest storms of all time in Feb...
Now 94-95 is a horrible winter overall but it did feature a nice storm which can be found in the underated storms archive... Now the new analog to be discussed is 65-66... which featured a great turn around...
Now even 94-95 turned around to a cooler situation than was seen in Dec...
But remmeber one of the big beliefs in my outlook was the fact that we came out of weak La Nina and that, that would be a factor...  94-95 did not come out of a weak la nina the winter before... The others did... Now lets take a look at snowfall for our region in PA in all of these winters...
57-58'- 54.5"
65-66'- 34.6"
94-95'- 9.8"
02-03- 54"
So what does all this mean... If one thinks that exiting a weak La Nina means something then there is a definete feeling of optimism for what could be a great end to winter once Into January (lets remmeber 02-03' did peak earlier and Nino 1.2 did not get as strong... Now if you don't care about the weak La nina bit then you see a 3 out 4 winters still turned out great... those are pretty good odds... Just some food for thought... and hopefully a bit of comort.  
UPDATED: 11:13pm
I know its a deprssening turn of events since friday... Seeing the chances of just enough cold air with a stormy pattern instead.... Mild is just the dominate theme right now, So even tho the pattern could get stormy at the end of Dec it would be wet rather than white... As for where we may or could be going... If one looks at the pattern we've been in for several months there seems to be a common theme to pattern with a length for each cycle from cold or warm lasting 2 months or so... mid june-mid aug warm, sept-ict cold, nov dec warm, so that would lead us to the though that Jan could see the flip back to cold... and there are some slight indications of that... the thought from this site has always been once mid Jan its "game on"... now I will be honest I thought we'd get snow in Dec but that is looking like that will not happen... But it does not change the winter forecast, the numbers I laid out for Berks was 38-44"... I still have no changes to that as the thought was always that the snow would be in feb and Mar, I do now think that late Jan gets in on the act too... But yes right now its very dperssing I'm outside in a tee shirt today building a deck.. and I had to swat at bees 4 different times... and there were at least 2 different bees... 7 days before x-mad it really is strange... So I will say it winter is on hold til at least Jan 6-10th... Goodnight and goodluck my friends and I'm sorry for how things have turned out this month
Well its becmoing very obvious that wonter might charge back with a vengance starting next week... and with each model run looking colder this is starting to look like a serious threat... White x-mas chances were probably less than 5% a lil more than 25 hours ago... now they've probably jumpped to near 40%...  So here is my thinking from the prospective 3 storms we're looking at... 2 are before x-mas and 1 (2?) after... The 1st one is obviously the warmest... and its definetly a situation where rain will change over... I'm very bullish yet on this one... I want o see how much cold air we can really get invovled... The 2nd one right up to x-mas eve looks the most promising and you have to love the timing... There will be enough cold air... and this is just looking like a great set up for wintry precip in our area... 3rd (4th?).... I;m not sure if there will be enough time to sneak in a 4th storm before the pattern goes back to warm... but the trend will continue here a more southward solution, maybe we're in... maybe we're out... exciting times ahead... I'm ignring the details in the models for now.. .just looking at overall trends... good stuff.
I know I'm getting sick of looking at the orange and the overall mild pattern that we've been going through but alas there are some changes on the way and it starts with what can be seen above the cold coming into the west this weekend... with time it will come east, it should be arriving mid week next week... now certain models were hinting at storms right around the x-mas time period, at first it was after as I laid out in the maps from yesterday's post... now some have went to x-mas day or even just prior... This is possible, where I thought a storm would come into the plains the 18th it may get cut off in the SW and just send peices out... I still think the The plains/midwest storm is the more likely but anything can happen and weather so I am keeping an open mind... What you have to take stock of tho is not the details in each model run, but rather what its trying to say about that time period... what I see is a return to cold (not extreme tho), with a fairly stormy pattern starting on the 23rd and going til the end of the month... This opens doors and windows and all sorts of things, so pay attention... My guess is we get our 1st snow event in this time frame...
Now is the cold here to stay ???  Thats a tough question... and one I do not have the answer to, thus far...
Posting Coming Tomorrow My Thoughts On The Pattern In Images Below
UPDATED 12/12 12:00am
Things are just dreadful this week for snow lovers mild and mostly dry, is the absolute worst...Now while I went through in the past few days how we get back to cold and I still feel that is the case, It is a very sobering fact that its going to take some time for this mild air to get out, but one thing I've learned is that when the cold just slames in hard and fast it usually leaves just as quickly... So a slow exit of the mild is exactly what we should be hoping for... I still like x-mas time (12/23-12/26) for the real changes to finally be felt... some have talked about a storm in that time frame... - NAO/+PNA... it would fit the bill but I'm looking for a storm on the trail end of that period... This will all take some time my friends... may not post tomorrow but I should be back on Wed...
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UPDATED 12/10 1:30p
Not much to talk about today, the cold has faded and warmth will rule the roost ar least for some period of time... Now there are two schools of thought on this 1) that the NAO going towards neutral-negative the week before x-mas will lead to the cold returning that week... Others believe like myself that the upper air telleconections are not aligned properly just yet and that the real changes won't occur until x-mas time or just there after... I think we'll see the warmth take over and that there may be a trough that sneks through somewhere anext week but then we warm up again until x-mas and if you look at the GFS its showing that the change occurs on x-mas day and has a blockier look starting to show around this time frame... If I had to guess in regaurds to snow its a no go until at least x-mas time but more likey closer to New Years...
Tomorrow I'll go into that a bit more... have a good day everyone
UPDATED: 12/8 11:07p
Well the latest ENSO report is out and I know there has been alot of talk about this already on various other sites... But I have to admit the ENSO is higher than I thought as we're at 1.2, I expected a max of 1... but my belief is that our Nino has peaked or is right now and we're about to start the process of staying steady and turning around sooner rather than later... I know that NOAA is expecting this thing to keep going but as I said over at Eastern NOAA is a day late and a dollar short on almost everything, remmeber they were the last to acknowledge the Nino in the 1st place... With that said when looking at the MEI we are getting fairly close to dangerous territory, now I know that the 2 strongest El Nino's ever (82-83 and 97-98) is on this chart but look at it , both were above 2 at this point we're still in the moderate range in fact we just crossed that threshold, now one of the analogs I  incoperated into my winter forecast last minute was 86-87, and that was just in case this thing got stronger than I expected I'm glad I did... December was warm that winter, and then things started to change after x-mas which is the time frame that I see here as well that we see our chnage, Jan was avg and teh pattern went stormy and cold enough for snow... we got 3 very good storms on the east coast in a 1 month period in fact that all 3 were on the NESIS top list, numbers 15, 61, and 65 respectivley...
Now we'll look at another one...  57-58 which 06-07 is also following fairly closely... The March storms were put on here as well and can be seen further down this blog or in the storm threat matrix.
Now thats one side the other (since I'm throwing ot the two major el ninos)... Now this side paints a bleaker picture... 94-95 which is not on the MEI here is an analog that I just can't shake, I have confidence in the fact tho that there is a correlation from the ENSO exited into teh current one (That nino tho at similar levels arrised from a long El Nino that wekened and then returned), now that winter did feature a pretty big storm...
But it was the only big storm that winter, and really for Southeast PA was the only signifcant storm at all.  But as said before the confidence is there that a 94-95 is not a likey repeat...  Now with the new MEI we do have a new set of storms so although It doesn't really count here is another mini storm threat matrix combing the weakest of the Strong MEI's and the Strongest of the weak...
Now lets look at why 72-73 does not show up...
Once again it shows how important the negative NAO will be later this winter... Another thing to take note of in regaurds to the timing of these El Nino years storms... minus the x-mas 02-03 storm things really don't start going until we get past the 2nd week of January....  Well I think thats enough for tonight...
Saw first flakes tonight, didn't get much here in Stowe, PA (as the band really formed over top of me) but that band laid .3" 6 miles to the south in South Coventry, band left trace amounts down to Philly...
All this was courtesy of the massive arctic front that came through temp analysis from 3 til 10 is below.
Yes we have the return to mild next week thats been well advertised, but so too are my thoughts on the Cold returning around x-mas time...  Snow not really making it through tonight, damn mountains... Tomorrow will be very cold a strugle to hit 30... might post later tonight, not much to really talk about weather wise... at the moment tho...
UPDATED: 12/6 8:45p
I know alot of people who like winter are concerned about the fact that we haven't seen any snow yet (at least those who like snow), now the prospect of  a milder pattern taking hold isn't good news to those people, but really its not that bad... Trust me no one should be more nervous that my self as I have a long way to go to hit 38" (the bottom of my forecast scale) with that said I'm not even remotely nervous about how things are going, actually things are going almost exactgly as planned (so much so that its the only thing scaring me)... If you check the winter forecast here is was said that the month of Dec would have "SHOTS" at pre x-mas snow, and thats exactly what we have had an wil continue to have, temp wise I didn't go into to much for Dec just to say after a warm NOV that DEC would see a mean switch to cold... I think that has verified as of last Friday's massive front.  Monday we had a 1st shot but unfortunetly out to sea it went, now tomorrow night's threat didn't come together as expected... and we're about to go mild so forget about for a while.  But in the forecast it was said the bulk of snow would fall in Feb and Mar... I also now think from mid Jan on can get in the act as well... Now this was the 1st year I did the winter storm threat matrix and I'm glad I did... cause if you take a look at it (below) minus the x-mas 02 storm (i'm not counting the moderate storm in early dec that year as it is weak in compaison) all the other big ones were from mid Jan on... now the main anlogs here were 63-64, 86-87, and 02-03... One thing that is becoming very interesting is that 57-58 which was recognized in my forecast and especially in the storm threat matrix... is really starting to shine... The comparisons are striking with the ENSO MEI and QBO...  That year featured two blockbuster storms a month a part in late Feb and late Mar... Now it is true that things weren;t so good for the I-95 coridor with these storms but for Berks you can't ask for a better set of storms... the 2nd one dropped 52" in Morgantown, PA and some of the elevated terrain got more than 5ft from this bad boy... Now obviously we're probably not going to get the exact same storm (that would be impossible) but I think it paints a great picture of where we could go in terms of overal storminess after the new year... Yesteday I laid out how we get back to cold after the mild spell... what else is inetresting is that the NAO which is going way possitive is heading back to neutral at the end of the month and we have the beginnings of what looks to be a blocky pattern developing... the ducks really are lining up for January
now before we get there at all its gonna get pretty damn cold, with a shot a snow showers and yes some areas might see their 1st inch tomorrow night... I'm also worried about a situation where rain showers start it before the cold comes that could lead to a freeze situation with a dusting or coating of snow on top... that could lead to problems... Friday it gets damn cold and I could see us struggling to get to 30 for a high... But starting Sat night into Sun teh cold fades again and the mils air returns... Exciting times ahead and I'm watching everything every step of the way.  Hopefully we see some good light snow tomorrow...  Stay warm everyone see you tomorrow night, hopefully with flakes a flying.
Arctic blast from Monday fades on Wednesday, Only for a second stronger shot to come craching back for the beginning of our weekend... As this happenes on Thursday night we definelty have a shot at seeing some very light snow or at the very least flurries... A snow squall can't be rulled out but I do feel they will mostly be in Northern PA and into NE. 
Now Mild will be the rule after this weekend but are the seeds already being planted for the return to cold at the end of the month... 
And here is out it happens Ridge fires up east of the Caspian Sea puts the trough into Japan... Ridge then off the west coast will go up and the massive pool of Cold that will have been forming the whole time will come south and east into the US... All this is called Kahirs Conection.. and is an awesome teleconection... and it could set the stage for a cold end to the month... its 10-14 day teleconection and it starts the 13-15th so... Dec 23-29 the cold will return, the way things have been progressive I'll bet that its nearer to x-mas...
Thats the EURO... but the GFS and Canadian also show the begingings of Eastern Caspian Sea ridge at the same time
And finaly the UKMET... all showing the beginnings of Kharis connection...
So even tho it wil get milder it will not be as bad as the end of the last month... and we have the threat of returning cold around x-mas time...
So lets enjoy the cold and hopefully we get to see some snow showers before the flip to mild...
UPDATED 12/4 8:27pm
Ah so the Miller "A" idea I orginally thought is out... And even though its cold you count the days on your fingers til it gets quite mild again... But that isn't such a bad  thing not as one might think... Now before we even get there we have a massive shot of cold coming out of Canada staring thrusday but what could make it even more interesting is the prospect that we might have to deak with snow... now model support for this was weak and now non exsistant (or is it) but my duty as I see it is to lay out threats even if they are small... so what did the models show last night at 00 z...
Now whats interesting about this is that foreign models were showing no such split... But the GFS has the right idea its just a little early as that is the theme next week... Now today for the 18z (yes i know its the 18z) it went in the direction of not splitting the trough... coming around to the ideas that the foreign models had...
Now it should be noted that no model shows a storm... But yet it is still possible... The UKMET was showing one but it has since gone away...  The threat as that a storm forms along the arctic front and track closer to the coast
I know I'm getting desperate but its still possible just not likely... I don't know about you but I don't exactly trust the models... If you're a pro memeber for accuweather check out what JB was saying in his videos about this today as he lays out the possibility...  
More tomorrow about the warm coming and when it may turn around back to cold... depending on where we are with the very unlikely storm threat I laid out above...
And be on the lookout for the all news BERKSWINTERCAST SNOW-METER coming soon !!!!