Long Range Thread 11.0

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Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:10 pm

I'll start this thread off by answering Michaels question from the 10.0 thread. My confidence on Central Park getting another 8.8" of snow is not as high as when I first responded to you. It's extremely frustrating to see latest guidance cut not one, but 2 storm systems between the 29th-2nd. This was supposed to fall in my below average time frame with possible winter storms as I wrote in the last Mo Mo. 

Let's start with the 28th-29th storm. 



This is a weak wave coming out of the Pacific into a zonal flow across the U.S. One would think it won't cut because of the fast flow. However, since there is no western ridge to dig this energy deeper into the U.S. it stays close enough to the PV in Canada which allows it to get "sucked" into its forcefield. This wave is basically pivoting around the large PV in Canada so that's why it ends up cutting through the Great Lakes and raising our temps on Sunday into the 50s. 

Then there's the March 2nd-3rd storm



Current models are also cutting this storm to our west. Why is that? Once again, the energy coming out of the Pacific is WAY too amplified. H5 closes off WEST of the Mississippi again. We've seen this so many times this winter. What may save us is the PV is now east of the Hudson. Maybe models will see that as a "block" and we run into more of a Miller B scenario with this storm. However, current guidance is not showing that. The 27th-5th time frame is looking REAL bad right now. 

I'm not confident in anything after the 5th. Yes the SOI is crashing but I feel like I've read enough about the SOI this winter to see nothing really come out of it. The tropical forcing east of the Dateline concerns me more.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by algae888 on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:32 pm

well frank we still have the para gfs.

eps also

although I would like to believe it I will not be sucked in.lol
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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:01 pm

algae888 wrote:well frank we still have the para gfs.

eps also

although I would like to believe it I will not be sucked in.lol

Awesome, I'll ride these models since they have my line of thinking.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Isotherm on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:28 pm

Good post, Frank. Will repost my thoughts in this thread as well.

The 12z EPS and 18z GEFS are more interesting for Mar 3. So I don't think we can completely write off that time period though I like what follows even better.




While optimally, it would be nice for atmospheric patterns to align in accordance with the progression of the astronomical calendar, weather does not work that way. Although people are becoming concerned that the clock is ticking - and rightfully so (climatology will make snowfall increasingly more difficult at the coast as one heads deeper into March) - the pattern itself will offer opportunities.



The medium range geopotential height rises over the W NAO domain are an extension from the EPO based/NW Canada block and a northwestward protrusion of the mid Atlantic ridge. In other words, the NAO domain height rises that one sees next week represent a "pseudo" -NAO, as the heights aren't effectuating any blocking. This makes sense through next week considering the current-->medium term orientation of the vortex and Pacific forcing. The Feb 29th-Mar 1 short wave likely won't be a snow maker for I-95, and the Mar 3rd short wave should not be a significant snow maker either for the BOS-DCA corridor. There's no mechanism (yet) in place to preclude an inland tracking low.



There are a couple factors which will be different than they've been the past couple months once we move beyond March 4th-5th, however. The first of which is the propagation of MJO induced upward motion eastward into octant 8, which correlates to the development of a negative bias to the NAO approximately one week following, as per the literature. That would implicate an improved NAO domain beginning March 6th or so and beyond.



Additionally, the positioning of the stratospheric vortices is such that tropospheric height rises sufficient to form a block will be very difficult to achieve prior to March 5th-6th. The models are in general consensus that the wave-1 attack in early March will finally push the vortex well to the south of the pole, potentially ending in a final warming or vortex destruction in the second week of March. As the vortex is shunted off the pole beyond March 6th, you see the ECMWF and GEFS ensembles becoming more interested in a real/legitimate -NAO initiation during this time frame.



Given the aforementioned reasoning, I would lean toward the first 5-6 days of March producing no significant snow for I-95. Beyond that time frame, there is sufficient reason to believe that a window of opportunity will open up for a coastal event (sometime in the March 6th-15th period probably). The reason why (IMO) we saw next week's event diminish is because the NAM/NAO blocking isn't as robust, and that is a direct reflection of the still present/potent strat circulation nearby.



Of course, there is an obvious disclaimer with all long range thoughts, but if the factors noted do come to fruition, the detection of the onset of a real -NAO signal beyond March 6th is grounded in science. Northern New England could pick up some snowfall over the next 7-10 days, but I'd generally say it's a no-go for I-95 / coast prior to March 6th or so.







MarchPhase8all500mb.gif







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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by amugs on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:25 pm

Tom,

Thanks for posting here and boosting some confidence in the LR for us here. Excellent analysis NJ Strong Weather Paisan!

Mugs

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:49 pm

Tom graces us with his presence again! Thanks buddy. It looks like February will end up near +1. We did see an Arctic blast earlier in the month but it was a transient period. I was thinking we would see much more in the way of cold this month but with a mean storm track west of us that would be hard to accomplish. 

Tom, why do you think storms over the last few weeks cut west of us? I felt the NPAC trough was favorably positioned to promote a western ridge. Is it a combination of PV location / strength, lack of blocking, and presence of the Atlantic ridge? SSTs in the Atlantic are pretty warm last I checked.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by amugs on Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:56 pm

Frank,
Those are questions we are going to learn from this winter season I believe. I was of the belief from research that if you got the Aluetian Vortex to retrograde SW as it did u would as I explained so many times here would allow the heights to builds in the epo and pna regions giving us the couplet that we would need to help block the PAC and give us a cross polar flow. My belief was also that the massive siberian snow extent would propogate a N AO and that this warming on that side of the globe would allow this to occur. I though this would occur and have a back loaded winter. Frim the OLR and othwr model guidance as well as analog 57,58 the trop forcing at the dateline region would take over the pattern but only did at times and when it did we saw the blizzard and arctic outbreak with another monster storm that grazed us. We just never or weren't able to get untracked, I thought we would after the blizzard but the Aluetian Vortex reasserted itself. Then we have a post I've pattern and the WAR pumps up and slides west. To me an uncharacteristic winter may be an understatement.
May move this to banter myself but just putting it out there. Love to hear others meteorological thoughts here.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:20 pm

No Al that's not banter. Fantastic discussion. 

Getting to the point of snow cover, I think many  (myself included) felt it would be enough for a Siberian High to develop and force not only a -AO, but a displaced Stratospheric Vortex. We have seen instances of a -AO but most of it was tropical induced. So, I think one REALLY has to question Cohens theory that above normal snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere / Siberia leads to a -AO. This year in particular I think we were bitten from the VERY strong Strat PV. It just didn't want to budge.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:26 pm

HMMMM 

For whatever it's worth, latest GFS shows the storm on March 3rd tracking more south and east before it cuts up eastern PA. Cutting up eastern PA or Ohio Valley brings the same result to our area, but that's a huge difference in shift. Another shift east obviously puts us in Godzilla territory. We'll see....

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by NjWeatherGuy on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:38 pm

Eh, not sure im excited about these threats, storms seem to have had an affinity for cutting as of late, not to say this wont shift the momentum like March last year but the fact remains were leaving prime wintertime and quickly headed for spring (mid to late April, snow becomes difficult to come by as you all know).
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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Isotherm on Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:42 pm

500mb comparison of Jan 1st-Feb 21st 2016 versus the other super Nino years.



Note that we clearly are not similar to the 72/83/98 triplet in terms of the expansive / eastward displaced GOAK vortex with low heights spreading into the Western US. Those years also featured more positive heights / +AO in the Arctic than this year.



The Pacific pattern PNA/EPO wise has been very similar to 1958 of those. What prevented the deeper negative height anomalies in the East was the lack of -NAO, and a lesser magnitude -AO. However, given the 500mb progression, I certainly wouldn't say that 72/83/98 were great analogs for this year (58/65 weren't either). We have a middle ground type look. Good Pacific, OK Arctic, and poor Atlantic yielded the very "OK" Jan-Feb temp profile of near average temperatures in the East. February 2016's 500mb anomalies will be negative over the East, but there was very little cold air at the surface.











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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by sroc4 on Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:55 pm

Tom/Al/Frank. Thanks for some great discussion.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:11 pm

I am glad I chose not to include analogs in my winter outlook this year. It's clear this year is its own animal. This will go down as a great learning year. Lots to take away from it.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Isotherm on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:40 pm

Frank_Wx wrote:Tom graces us with his presence again! Thanks buddy. It looks like February will end up near +1. We did see an Arctic blast earlier in the month but it was a transient period. I was thinking we would see much more in the way of cold this month but with a mean storm track west of us that would be hard to accomplish. 

Tom, why do you think storms over the last few weeks cut west of us? I felt the NPAC trough was favorably positioned to promote a western ridge. Is it a combination of PV location / strength, lack of blocking, and presence of the Atlantic ridge? SSTs in the Atlantic are pretty warm last I checked.


Thanks, Frank. I think the +NAO truly hurt us this month, and if we had more Atlantic blocking, most of these inland runners would be snow events. The past couple winters we managed w/o the NAO/AO help due to the anomalous nature of the EPO/PNA poleward ridging up into the Arctic. This month, we have had good PNA action, but the NPAC pattern obviously hasn't been as anomalous and excellent as the past two winters. When you have a poor Atlantic, you need an excellent NPAC to compensate. The ridging upstream simply wasn't sufficiently anomalous to force the mid level jet southeast. We had ridging, but it wasn't enough to combat the +NAO induced SE ridge.

The vortex strength hurt us for sure this year. Definite learning lessons. After doing more research, I would have forecasted differently in terms of vortex strength. Some of the autumn indicators like the SAI have been suffering recently, IMO.

Hopefully, we can get something out of the march pattern.
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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Isotherm on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:44 pm

Frank_Wx wrote:I am glad I chose not to include analogs in my winter outlook this year. It's clear this year is its own animal. This will go down as a great learning year. Lots to take away from it.

Most of the time, we take certain features from one year or another, but never fully "replicate" that year's pattern. The NPAC match to 1958 couldn't have been better, but the stronger vortex killed us on the NAO front. The other super Nino's were too torchy / strong vortex overall.

Very tough year to analog for and forecast.
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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:12 am

Winter storm prospects will be difficult to achieve if there is no cold air. I don't see a viable source of cold air on LR guidance right now. At least not enough to combat March climatology. 



The CFS believes the pattern will resemble what we saw in December / January, with the mean ridge in Canada and lower heights sneaking into the west. 


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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by CPcantmeasuresnow on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:29 am

I can add nothing to this other than to say a fascinating discussion, Frank, Tom, and Mugs.
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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by sroc4 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:35 am

Isotherm wrote:
Frank_Wx wrote:I am glad I chose not to include analogs in my winter outlook this year. It's clear this year is its own animal. This will go down as a great learning year. Lots to take away from it.

Most of the time, we take certain features from one year or another, but never fully "replicate" that year's pattern. The NPAC match to 1958 couldn't have been better, but the stronger vortex killed us on the NAO front. The other super Nino's were too torchy / strong vortex overall.

Very tough year to analog for and forecast.

At the end of the 2015 calendar year I did a write up highlighting the fact that the true drivers behind the exceptional Dec warmth was not driven by the strong El Nino, but rather Strong MJO influence in large part to the anomalously warm SST of the Indian Ocean, combined with the exceptionally cold and tight strat vortex limiting the ability for the AO to get neg etc. and that El nino took what would have been warmer than normal already, and made Dec historically warmer than normal.   http://www.njstrongweatherforum.com/t610-mjo-has-played-a-major-role-to-this-point

Jan was our transition, and Feb was supposed to be when we achieved the neg NAO with colder temp anomalies for the month as a whole and a mean storm track much further east in part by many the factors you pointed out in your above discussion.  

It has been my contention, certainly regarding Dec, but even February, that the main driver is in fact NOT El Nino(or is it), but once again the MJO and Stratospheric conditions.  Now do not get me wrong, I know El Nino played a huge role in why the mean storm track was so far west in Feb and why the temp anomalies were as warm as they were.  Because of Nino STJ systems were exceptionally amped/juiced and if/when interacted with N energy or even on their own would raise heights out ahead of it quickly and because their was no real Atlantic blocking to slow things down the STJ systems tended to cut.  And if not for the exceptionally strong El Nino MAYBE, we could have overcome the lack of a -NAO despite the fact that the +PDO influences and the N Pac is in its waning stages.  Last year was a pefect example. El Nino was just beginning to percolate, and the +PDO was still dominating the N Pac, and it played a critical role in the second half by sustaining the -EPO/+PNA and was surely was the driving force behind the cold and snowy NE in the second half despite a +NAO, and AO.  

So again when I look back on Feb and look into March, the question I pose is do I still think that the MJO and the fact that the anomalously strong stratosphere, (although had been under attack since Jan, has def weakened) never fully achieved a true SSWE and the vortex never fully split and/or displaced for any extended periods, as being the main driving force behind the winter, and not El Nino?? Was El Nino able to flex its muscle and have its influences on our winter as a result of the prev noted factors, OR did El Nino Lead to the prev noted factors and drive everything?  

With regards to the MJO influences the warm Indian Ocean I believe played a strong role in this equation but do not think El Nino influenced it.  Going back to last summer even we had a few really strong tropical systems affect areas that don't normally see them in the IO affecting areas of the middle east.  Maybe a hint that the IO was going to also influence winter??  

The exceptionally strong tight vortex we saw, esp in the first half of the winter, may have been influenced by the strength of El Nino, or could the combination of such exceptionally warm trop Pac in all nino regions, and basically the entire IO have led to an exceptionally cold and strong Strat vortex as a result of the N Hemisphere attempting to achieve equilibrium and balance?  I haven't looked, but I would like to know what the strat vortex looked like and how it behaved during analogue years when we had SST anomalies as high as they were in both the IO and Trop Pac.  I cant imagine that there are too many with the extremes we saw this year.  And therefore because of the exceptionally warm equatorial SSTA a colder and stronger than Normal Strat vortex developed.  Even when under constant warming attack, in part thanks to the elevated Siberian snow cover,  the shear strength was too much to over come, or there just wasn't enough time.        

Tom Frank or who ever I would love to hear your thoughts on Nino as a driver or enhancer or comination etc???.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by amugs on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:30 am

Scott and all,

The pattern evolution was uncharacteristic by all means and what yuo have pointed out has struck a chord in something that I never really much attention too the Indian ocean affects on the overall pattern besides the MJO. I guess again I revert back to the point that we have seen numerous times in strong ninos that focused teh warmest and most trop forcing out by the dateline region that THIS woudl drive the pattern ala other nino years - 57-58, 78-7. Doc i concur that Nino was not the main driver - there a multiple of weather phenomena at play besides Nino but evryone will just point to this - teh PV absolutely killed us as did teh IO from what yuo have pionted out and further research.

Also, The PV was off teh charts strong and the SSWE that we did have had no profound effect on this beast. I think I believed the models to deeply and from research thought that the SAI and latent heat release from the massive Siberian SNOW extent (remember Rocky my chi pet??) would help break this up and in turn force the NAO to go N with all of this warm air up around this region and filtering over. To that fact marino and Cohen along with John (earthlight) also had discussion on the fact this not only teh July prognosticator but also this Siberian snow extent woudl help dislodge or split the PV. It did split at the 30 and 50mb levels but it did not circulate down to teh 10mb level from what I have read which would have been very advantageous to teh pattern in not allowing these systems to cut. and giving us a source of cold air - one can only imagine at this stage.

The recipe was there for the Nor'easters and Feb to be blockbuster as I along with others called but we learn something new each day I say.

The NAO never got neg and when it did again we had a historic blizzard for DC through NYC and themodels struglled mightily this year with this storm and every system. The lack of NAO peeps really hurt us in FEB hands down and teh scary part is that things were there - teh warm waters in the North Atlantic region and EPO bridge into teh Arctic - up and over - look at this chart - POS except for one brief period and we rocked! Take a look.



When using the maps to see how the pattern will progress I guess there are factors that we can't see and this is what makes this hobby so frustrating but yet intriguing at times. heck I know I was of teh wall with what I thought this winter woudl shape up to be and it is coming up short but one can not just say it was all due to Nino.

The EPO and PNA weren't enough or not anomalous enough as we had teh past two winters to overcome teh PV and Nino and Atlantic as it did (well subtract Nino) the last wto years. I said teh EPO woudl be N overall and PNA woudl be greatly POS as they were but they alone could not get the job done>



So where do we go from here one may ask? To the bar? Gentlemen s club? I say to the forum of what occurred this winter so we can get better at this hobby and then hit those joints!!! Cool Very Happy cheers

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by sroc4 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:01 pm

amugs wrote:Scott and all,

The pattern evolution was uncharacteristic by all means and what yuo have pointed out has struck a chord in something that I never really much attention too the Indian ocean affects on the overall pattern besides the MJO. I guess again I revert back to the point that we have seen numerous times in strong ninos that focused teh warmest and most trop forcing out by the dateline region that THIS woudl drive the pattern ala other nino years - 57-58, 78-7. Doc i concur that Nino was not the main driver - there a multiple of weather phenomena at play besides Nino but evryone will just point to this - teh PV absolutely killed us as did teh IO from what yuo have pionted out and further research.

Also, The PV was off teh charts strong and the SSWE that we did have had no profound effect on this beast. I think I believed  the models to deeply and from research thought that the SAI and latent heat release from the massive Siberian SNOW extent (remember Rocky my chi pet??) would help break this up and in turn force the NAO to go N with all of this warm air up around this region and filtering over. To that fact marino and Cohen along with John (earthlight) also had discussion on the fact this not only teh July prognosticator but also this Siberian snow extent woudl help dislodge or split the PV. It did split at the 30 and 50mb levels but it did not circulate down to teh 10mb level from what I have read which would have been very advantageous to teh pattern in not allowing these systems to cut. and giving us a source of cold air - one can only imagine at this stage.

The recipe was there for the Nor'easters and Feb to be blockbuster as I along with others called but we learn something new each day I say.

The NAO never got neg and when it did again we had a historic blizzard for DC through NYC and themodels struglled mightily this year with this storm and every system. The lack of NAO peeps really hurt us in FEB hands down and teh scary part is that things were there - teh warm waters in the North Atlantic region and EPO bridge into teh Arctic - up and over  - look at this chart - POS except for one brief period and we rocked! Take a look.



When using the maps to see how the pattern will progress I guess there are factors that we can't see and this is what makes this hobby so frustrating but yet intriguing at times. heck I know I was of teh wall with what I thought this winter woudl shape up to be and it is coming up short but one can not just say it was all due to Nino.

The EPO and PNA weren't enough or not anomalous enough as we had teh past two winters to overcome teh PV and Nino and Atlantic as it did (well subtract Nino) the last wto years. I said teh EPO woudl be N overall and PNA woudl be greatly POS as they were but they alone could not get the job done>



So where do we go from here one may ask? To the bar? Gentlemen s club? I say to the forum of what occurred this winter  so we can get better at this hobby and then hit those joints!!! Cool Very Happy cheers

Maybe Tom or Frank can correct me if Im wrong here, but as far as a true SSWE I do not believe we achieved one, by the strictest of definitions.  We had warming events, enough to disrupt the strat vortex, but it was transient and not a true sudden strat warming event as it is defined....I believe.

And mugs you are correct in that we did have transient splits of the 50mb and 30mb levels as a result of the warming events that we had and it def had effects on our troposhere below as a result, but you prob meant propagate up as 10mb is higher in the atmoshphere compared to 30mb or 50mb (smaller the number in MB the higher the altitude).  

The way I understand it is not all strat warming events are created equal.  You can have warming events that start way up in the 1-10mb levels that propagate downward as well as warming events that start (and end) in the lower levels similar to what we saw this year.  Both of which can influence the troposhphere below, but to different degrees.  In general its my understanding that a warming event that starts higher and propagates to the lower levels tends to have a more profound effect on the troposphere. Because warm air expands, if you have warming in the very top of the strat the air cannot exand out into space, so warming, and expanding of the air parcels can really only effectively press downward on the lower levels; whereas; if you have warming initiated in the lower or intermediate levels of the strat you can get expantion of the warmer air both downward, but also room to expand up into the upper strat effectively dampening the overall effects on the troposhere below, because instead a "full alttitude press" downward, a mid or lower level warming event without the upper levels involved, press up and down to a degree.   If we achieved a full altitude strat warming event then we prob would have achieved a much more profound effect overall on the blocking over the N latitudes, specifially in the NAO regions IMHO.  Again please correct me if Im wrong.

Again why such an anomalously strong/cold vortex heading into late fall/early winter in the first place?

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by amugs on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:43 pm

Scott,

Thank you for correcting my error on the Strat - I meant it as yuo explained but wrote in in between classes!
To the question of the PV - I would love to hear or see something that explains this beast.
Excellent discussion here and where is Ray to chime in?
I am also perplexed on the MJO from his study in the fall on the MJO in nino years for it being in the mean of phases 8,1,2 - dam IO!!!

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Isotherm on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:11 pm

Nice discussion guys.

I agree with most of what Scott et al have written; in fact, Scott, I have posted very similarly over at Usawx regarding some of the issues we had in the first half of the winter.

There were a variety of problematic developments which ultimately led to a perfect storm of indicators for the record warm December, and record cold/strong stratospheric vortex. I wholeheartedly agree that the super Nino itself was/is not necessarily detrimental insofar as the initiation/maintenance of high latitude blocking. However, the increasing pole-equator thermal gradient induced in part by the super El Nino certainly did intensify the polar night jet, which was further enhanced by the very strongly westerly QBO in the lower stratosphere (hampering the development of the Aleutian high). Another factor that isn't often discussed is solar variability. The combination of enhanced energetic electron particle precipitation from the mesosphere aided in destructively interfering with proper winter time ozone production, which plays a pivotal role in stratospheric circulation. The QBO and Sun both intensified the stratospheric vortex, while contemporaneously, the super Nino constructively interfered, resulting in a record powerful vortex.

I'm also convinced that it is important to monitor the forcing pattern across the entire Pacific as well as Indonesia/Indian Ocean. The robust upward motion cell due in part to increased MJO/KW activity in the eastern hemisphere interfered with the ENSO/interseasonal standing wave forcing closer to the international dateline. The IO forcing retracted the jet and induced downstream troughiness in the Western US.

Since December/early January, the IO convective flaring has generally weakened - although not completely - but the same problems remain overall with the stratospheric vortex.

The reason why I was/am somewhat optimistic for high latitude changes in the month of March is we're finally seeing more typical MJO propagation into phase 7/8, which is a -NAO precursor one week in advance, the probability is now very high that we finally displace the vortex in a MAJOR warming event during the first week of March.

It is a shame the major warming event didn't occur in mid winter, as it has a much stronger impact on the troposphere. By spring, warming / final warmings typically have less effect due to the poleward retraction of the jet. However, we're still early enough that I think we should achieve a period of blocking during the month of March.

We had an impressive SSW early in February but not a major classification as per the 60N/10hpa zonal wind reversal definition. We will have one in early March.

Lots of factors to consider in long range forecasting for sure.

Edit - Scott, you are correct in that the desired pathway / typical pathway for a stratospheric warming event is upward planetary wave propagation --> 10hpa warming --> downwelling into the troposphere. We do have bottom-up warming events too, when potent blocks extend over the tropopause and force warmth upward.

Each event is unique, and needs to be monitored for strat height / circulation changes.

Nov-Dec forcing. Note upward motion over IO and dateline.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by algae888 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:40 pm

eps has a nice signal next week. let's see if one of thes can hold...

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by algae888 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:41 pm

nice cold hp to our north..

unless eps is is way off I would expect big models changes going forward. ao tanking and mjo phase 8 near neutral nao eps looks right. I mean one of these nice long range forecasts has to hold.

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Re: Long Range Thread 11.0

Post by Frank_Wx on Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:22 pm

sroc4 wrote:
At the end of the 2015 calendar year I did a write up highlighting the fact that the true drivers behind the exceptional Dec warmth was not driven by the strong El Nino, but rather Strong MJO influence in large part to the anomalously warm SST of the Indian Ocean, combined with the exceptionally cold and tight strat vortex limiting the ability for the AO to get neg etc. and that El nino took what would have been warmer than normal already, and made Dec historically warmer than normal.   http://www.njstrongweatherforum.com/t610-mjo-has-played-a-major-role-to-this-point

Jan was our transition, and Feb was supposed to be when we achieved the neg NAO with colder temp anomalies for the month as a whole and a mean storm track much further east in part by many the factors you pointed out in your above discussion.  

It has been my contention, certainly regarding Dec, but even February, that the main driver is in fact NOT El Nino(or is it), but once again the MJO and Stratospheric conditions.  Now do not get me wrong, I know El Nino played a huge role in why the mean storm track was so far west in Feb and why the temp anomalies were as warm as they were.  Because of Nino STJ systems were exceptionally amped/juiced and if/when interacted with N energy or even on their own would raise heights out ahead of it quickly and because their was no real Atlantic blocking to slow things down the STJ systems tended to cut.  And if not for the exceptionally strong El Nino MAYBE, we could have overcome the lack of a -NAO despite the fact that the +PDO influences and the N Pac is in its waning stages.  Last year was a pefect example.  El Nino was just beginning to percolate, and the +PDO was still dominating the N Pac, and it played a critical role in the second half by sustaining the -EPO/+PNA and was surely was the driving force behind the cold and snowy NE in the second half despite a +NAO, and AO.  

So again when I look back on Feb and look into March, the question I pose is do I still think that the MJO and the fact that the anomalously strong stratosphere, (although had been under attack since Jan, has def weakened) never fully achieved a true SSWE and the vortex never fully split and/or displaced for any extended periods, as being the main driving force behind the winter, and not El Nino?? Was El Nino able to flex its muscle and have its influences on our winter as a result of the prev noted factors, OR did El Nino Lead to the prev noted factors and drive everything?  

With regards to the MJO influences the warm Indian Ocean I believe played a strong role in this equation but do not think El Nino influenced it.  Going back to last summer even we had a few really strong tropical systems affect areas that don't normally see them in the IO affecting areas of the middle east.  Maybe a hint that the IO was going to also influence winter??  

The exceptionally strong tight vortex we saw, esp in the first half of the winter, may have been influenced by the strength of El Nino, or could the combination of such exceptionally warm trop Pac in all nino regions, and basically the entire IO have led to an exceptionally cold and strong Strat vortex as a result of the N Hemisphere attempting to achieve equilibrium and balance?  I haven't looked, but I would like to know what the strat vortex looked like and how it behaved during analogue years when we had SST anomalies as high as they were in both the IO and Trop Pac.  I cant imagine that there are too many with the extremes we saw this year.  And therefore because of the exceptionally warm equatorial SSTA a colder and stronger than Normal Strat vortex developed.  Even when under constant warming attack, in part thanks to the elevated Siberian snow cover,  the shear strength was too much to over come, or there just wasn't enough time.        

Tom Frank or who ever I would love to hear your thoughts on Nino as a driver or enhancer or comination etc???.

I'll start by saying I'll probably have a Winter in Review out sometime in March or early April. I usually grade my winter forecast and look back at what went right and wrong. Since sea surface temperatures are the premier driver of our weather I do think the MJO / Indian Ocean played some role. Ultimately, I think it's a combination of many things that kept virtually the entire U.S. above average DJF. 



I don't have the December MJO plot but I recall it being active. By January it was primarily weak / uninfluential and now in February we're seeing it revive through phases 4 to 8. The anomalously warm December I think can be attributed to a few things:

1. Tropical forcing near or east of 120W. This supports a NPAC trough positioned just off the west coast. Not only was the PNA very negative, but it was enhanced by energy literally breaking off the PV in Siberia and digging all the way into the SW CONUS. That on top of an amplified STJ spells DOOM from the get go. 

2. Stratosphere PV was recorded as being the one of the strongest on record. This means our AO was probably anomalously positive. The cold air was bottled up in the Pole. Not even Canada was cold and snow cover in central and eastern Canada was non existent. WHY was the Strat PV so strong? I do not know yet without having done any research. We saw above normal WAF (wave activity flux) this year but even that wasn't enough to combat the PV. 

3. The MJO. I honestly think the MJO was overridden by the STJ / forcing. Remember that in December we saw one of the most impressive WWB events on record. Westerlies were just howling across 180 and 120W. That is a signal El Nino was very strong at the time and dominating our pattern. While the IO is seeing above normal SSTAs, likely the reason for an active MJO, I don't think it played a critical role for us in December. January we know it was inactive but here we are in February and it's reemerged. What's interesting is, if you look at 500mb composites of all MJO phases during El Nino regimes, almost ALL of them have a pretty warm look for the CONUS. There certainly isn't one that points to extreme cold. Why is that? Likely because MJO waves are easily eroded by the STJ and that's why literature ultimately suggests the MJO is a non factor in Nino years. 

4. The NAO. This may correlate back to the Stratosphere PV not getting displaced which disallowed heights over Greenland to rise. However, the more I look at past winter outlooks and see how many times I've failed with predicting the -NAO, the more convinced I become that the NAO is NOT PREDICTABLE. Yes, that's right. I don't think the NAO can accurately be predicted in advance. We had the best setup possible in regards to Atlantic SSTAs and still saw a +NAO. I think the stars need to align all the way from a neutral QBO to a successful SSWE to favorable ATL SSTA'S in order for the NAO to go negative over a long period of time.

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