CONTEST STATUS - Updated: SAT ... 18-JAN-20 @ 1:15 PM EST

Winter '19 / '20 - Snowfall Forecast Contests
21st Annual 'Snow Storm' Snowfall Forecast Contest

Snow Storm #2
Synoptiscope in VCP32

Snow Storm #1 (01-DEC-19)
FINAL Results here

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19th Annual 'Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest
Deadline for entries has passed
Verification period: 01-DEC-19 through 31-MAR-20
The Forecasts here

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Winter '18 / '19 - Snowfall Forecast Contests
20th Annual 'Snow Storm' Snowfall Forecast Contest
FINAL Results here

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18th Annual 'Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest
FINAL Results here
Forecaster verification table here

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Winter '19 / '20 - Snow Storm #2: Outlook


UPDATE: 16-JAN-20 @ 7 PM EST
Progs trending away from a contest-worthy event.

Outside chance the evening runs will proffer a better solution.  Otherwise ... we/re back to waiting.

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Original post (15-JAN-20 @ 2:55 PM EST)
Third time's a charm ... three on a match ... ménage à trois ... three to get ready ... or whatever; another chance for this winter/s second and long-awaited contest-worthy snow storm appears in the offing over the upcoming weekend.

Latest progs from national and international numerical weather prediction models covering the medium range distribute more than nuisance snowfalls over two-thirds of the forecast area.

Mixed precipitation associated with over-running  / isentropic ascent and the possibility for development of a secondary surface LOW in the nearshore waters along the Gulf of Maine will present forecasters with multiple precipitation-type challenges.

Should short range model guidance continue the currently favorable medium-range scenario ...

Call for Forecasts would be issued on THU ... 16-JAN-20.
Deadline for entries would be 10:00 PM EST ... FRI ... 17-JAN-20
Verification would begin: 12:01 AM EST ... SAT ... 18-JAN-20

Image courtesy pivotaleweather
NEWxSFC web site here

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Winter '19 / '20 - Season-total Snowfall Forecast Contest: DEC Totals

DEC-19 snowfall summary by forecast station.
Rank ordered descending by percent of monthly period-of-record-normal (P-O-R-N).

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Green ==> 75th - 100th percentile
White ==> less than 75th and greater than 25th percentile (inter-quartile range)
Red ==> 0 - 25th percentile

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DEC Forecast Station Highlights
BDL
- DEC/s 22" was 224% above its monthly P-O-R-N of 9.8"
- almost half its season-total normal

ORH
- DEC/s 27.6" was 223% above its monthly P-O-R-N of 14.4"
- 46% of its season-total normal

ALB
- DEC/s 27.9" was 205% above its monthly P-O-R-N of 13.6"
- half its season-total normal

Biggest losers
ORF & RDU:  0"

Observed v P-O-R-N (less than 15%)
PHL:  0.1" v 3.6"
SBY:  0.05" v 1.6"
MDT:  0.2" v 5.6"
RIC:  0.1" v 1.9"
BWI:  0.3" v 3.1"
DCA:  0.4" v 2.7"

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Season-to-Date

DEC P-O-R-N contributes 203.3" (22%) toward the season-total snowfall (D-J-F-M) of 929".
DEC-19 observed snowfall:  224.6" (10% above P-O-R-N; 24% of season-total snowfall)

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Teleconnections

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Winter '19 / '20 - North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO): Leading Analogs' 5H and 2mT Composite Anomalies ... as of NOV-19

NOV-19 NAO:  +0.28

Same analog years as those associated with NAO/s OCT-19 analysis but with a shuffled ranking.
Winter / AVG NAO
80-81 / 0.487
08-09 / 0.077
12-13 / 0.227
14-15 / 1.197
16-17 / 1.113


Weighted NAO Analogs for Winter '19 / '20:  5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)

- Positive 5H GPHa over west CONUS & negative 5H GPHa over eastern third of CONUS ==> Ridge-W / Trof-E flow regime
- Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Azores ==> NAO > 0
- Negative 5H GPHa over North Pole ==> AO > 0
- Negative 5H GPHa INVOF Great Lakes and along East Coast ==> Miller B-type storms
- Negative 2mTa along East Coast and most of New England

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At the 95% confidence level ... the Chi-square 'Test of Independence' shows the state of NOV/s NAO and the average NAO state for the ensuing D-J-F period are not independent.  They are related and have predictive value.

Over the NAO/s 69 year period-of-record ... the data show when NOV/s NAO is positive  ... there's a 73% chance the winter/s average NAO will be also positive.

The present analog years add weight to the Chi-square analysis suggesting NAO/s average state this winter will be positive.  An important caveat:  four of the five NAO analogs years occurred during 'cold' ENSO winters.  Winter 14 / '15 was the exception with a weak El Nino (SSTa 0.6°C).  All forecast stations ... in total ... measured 50% above normal snowfall that winter.

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Key
5H - 500 mb
2mTa - 2 meter temperature anomaly
GPHa - geopotential height anomaly
CONUS - continental United States
INVOF - in the vicinity of
ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation
SSTa -  sea surface temperature anomalies

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Winter '19 / '20 - Arctic Oscillation (AO): Leading Analogs' 5H and 2mT Composite Anomalies ... as of NOV-19

NOV-19 AO:  -1.193
Same analog years as those associated with AO/s OCT-19 analysis but with a shuffled ranking.

Winter / AVG AO
97-98 / -0.778
58-59 / -1.579
14-15 / 0.849
54-55 / -0.717
53-54 / 0.082
Weighted AO Analogs for Winter '19 / '20:  5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)
- Negative 5H GPHa over Gulf of Alaska & Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Hawaii ==> EPO > 0
- Overall North American pattern mimics Tropic/Northern Hemisphere's (TNH) negative phase often associated with +ENSO.
- Negative TNH ==> 1)  stronger than normal Pacific jet farther south of its normal axis and 2) well above normal temperatures in eastern North America.
- Active sub-tropical jet
- Positive GPHa over eastern Canada would 1) advect cP flow from hi-latitude snow fields into the eastern U.S. and 2) weaken the Hudson LOW.

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At the 95% confidence level ... the Chi-square 'Test of Independence' shows the negative state of NOV/s AO and the average AO state for the ensuing D-J-F period are not independent.  They are related and have predictive value.

Over the AO/s 69 year period-of-record ... the data show when NOV/s AO is negative ... there's a 71% chance the winter/s average AO will be also negative.

The present analog years add weight to the Chi-square analysis indicating AO/s average state this winter will be negative.

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Key
5H - 500 mb
2mTa - 2 meter temperature anomaly
GPHa - geopotential height anomaly
EPO - Eastern Pacific oscillation
cP - continental Polar air mass
INVOF - in the vicinity of

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winter '19 / '20 - Leading Analog: Winter '04 / '05

Through a careful multi-variate analysis of key teleconnection indices and the process of elimination ... we/ve settled on the '04 / '05 winter as this winter/s leading analog for the Contest/s forecast area.

Bottom line up front:
- Temperature:  near normal except below normal over far northern stations
- Snowfall:
Above normal - northern half of forecast area
Normal to below normal - southern half of forecast area

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Consensus of dynamic and statistical model outlooks
ENSO:  La Nada+ (0.5°C < ENSO Region 3.4 SSTa < 0.5°C)

Current PDO state (OCT-to-MAR) < 0

2019 trend analysis
QBO:  W (+) going E (-)

2x2 contingency table (Chi-SQ Test for Independence) AO NAO
If NOV AO < 0 then 71% probability D-J-F average AO < 0
If NOV NAO > 0 then 73% probability D-J-F average NAO > 0

The analog winter/s key features follow:
ENSO:  +0.5°C (lowest threshold of weak El Niño)
MEI:  La Nada+
QBO:  W (+) going E (-)
PDO < 0
AO < 0
NAO > 0
EPO < 0
Contest stations' cumulative season-total snowfall:  1,446" (AVG:  1,095")

Winter '04 / '05 - 5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)
Negative 5H GPHa - W & Negative 5H GPHa - E  ==> Trof-W / Trof-E
Neutral 2mTa over east coast; negative 2mTa over New England

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Winter '04 / '05 monthly anomalies (D-J-F)
 
DEC '04 - 5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)
Positive 5H GPHa - W & Negative 5H GPHa - E  ==> Ridge-W / Trof-E
Negative 5H GPHa INVOF Greenland ==> NAO > 0
Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Gulf of Alaska & Positive 5H GPHa eastern ATL ocean ==> AO > 0
Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Gulf of Alaska & negative 5H GPHa INVOF Hawaii ==> EPO < 0
Negative 2mTa over SE and Gulf Coast


JAN '05 - 5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)
Negative 5H GPHa - W & Positive 5H GPHa - E  ==> Trof-W / Ridge-E
Negative 5H GPHa INVOF Greenland ==> NAO > 0
Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Gulf of Alaska & Positive 5H GPHa eastern ATL ocean ==> AO > 0
Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Gulf of Alaska & negative 5H GPHa INVOF Hawaii ==> EPO < 0
Positive 2mTa over SE and Gulf Coast; negative 2mTa over NE CONUS

FEB '05 - 5H GPHa (l) & 2mTa (r)
Negative 5H GPHa - W & Negative 5H GPHa - E  ==> Trof-W / Trof-E
Positive 5H GPHa INVOF Greenland ==> NAO < 0
Negative 5H GPHa INVOF Gulf of Alaska & Negative 5H GPHa eastern ATL ocean ==> AO < 0

Neutral 2mTa over east coast; positive 2mTa over NE CONUS

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Key
5H - 500 mb
2mT - 2 meter temperature
2mTa - 2 meter temperature anomaly
GPHa - geopotential height anomaly
ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation
MEI - Multivariate ENSO Index
AO - Arctic oscillation
NAO - North Atlantic oscillation
EPO - Eastern Pacific oscillation
PDO - Pacific Decadal oscillation
CONUS - continental United States
INVOF - in the vicinity of

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Winter '19 / '20 - Snow Storm #1: FINAL Results

Forecaster verifications and the FINAL Results / Storm summary available at NEWxSFC/s home page.


SUMSQ:  sum of square error (")
SUMSQ Z:  Z-score
STP:  storm total precipitation error (")
TAE:  total absolute error (")
AAE:  average absolute error (")
(#):  category rank

Forecast by Observed Snowfall Scatterplots for Top Forecasts
Snowfall forecast's dotted blue line below (above) Observed snowfall solid red line ==> under (over) forecast

Station by Station Comparison of Top Forecasters

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Winter '19 / '20 - Snow Storm #1: Preliminary STP Verification

AVG SN:H2O is quantity-weighted
UPDATE 2 (09-DEC-19 @ 6:50 PM EST):  For the Record - CON STP changed from 6.9" to 7.1" per CF6 bulletin.

Revised STP did not change rank ordering of forecasts; however ... the minor changes in Z-Scores will be applied to season-end calculations.

UPDATE (04-DEC-19 @ 9:50 PM EST):  corrected BOS STP

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Preliminary verification of storm-total snowfalls for SUN through TUE from CDUS41 (CLI) ... CXUS51 (CF6) ... METARs ... and PNS bulletins.  Good coverage and reporting with exceptions at CON.

Exceptions
CON
No daily snowfall reported in CF6 or CLI bulletins for 02-DEC-19.
PNSGYX carried 5.2" from ASOS
SUN-TUE CLI bulletins carried 3.5" ... MM ... 1.9" = 5.4" (0.69" liquid)

CON METARs did not report mixed-precipitation
PWM SLR 10:1 (no mixed precipitation)
ORH SLR 10.7 (0.02" freezing precipitation removed)
CON verification STP:  6.9" (estimated at 10:1 SLR for 0.69 liquid precipitation)
STP may be amended if official data reported prior to posting of FINAL results.

HYA
STP estimated by applying 10:1 SLR to 0.12" liquid reported in METARs during period of frozen precipitation

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SLR not reported for some stations with measurable snowfall b/c significant liquid and / or freezing precipitation also occurred during the verification period.

Winter '19 / '20 - Snow Storm #1: Three Daily Snowfall Records Set - Storm Day 3

Three forecast stations along the eastern edge of the forecast area set new daily snowfall records on the third and final day of Snow Storm #1.

Station - New Record (Old Record; Year)
BOS - 4.8" (4"; 1893)
PVD - 3.4" (3.3"; 1963)
JFK - 0.2" (T"; 1989)

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CORRECTED to include BOS