Monday, October 31, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - 22nd Annual 'Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest: Call for Forecasts!

NEWxSFC/s Director of Season-total Snowfall Forecasting

Here comes another winter with its oscillating Arctic and North Atlantic indexes ... sudden stratosphere warmings ... so-so ENSO ... and if we get lucky ... a seemingly endless parade of 'Miller A' LOWs raking the eastern seaboard.

NE.Wx/s 22nd Annual ‘Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest is the absolute best ... biggest ... and possibly ONLY chance to be recognized for your astute long-range forecasting acumen ;/

And it's s-o-o easy.
Cool prizes ... too!

All you have to do is issue the best 'season-total' snowfall forecast for 25 east coast observing stations between RDU and PHL and BOS and CAR!

Forecast element:
season-total snowfall @ each station

Forecast period:
01-DEC-22 through 31-MAR-23

Error statistic: total absolute error
[Σ abs(forecast - observed)]

NWS climate reports (CLM or CF6)

Low. Score. Wins.

Deadline for entries: WED ... 30-NOV-22 @ 11:59 PM EST (01-DEC-22 @ 4:59 UTC)

Visit the Contest's website to enter your forecast.
Follow the link at the top right corner of the page to 'Enter Season-total Forecast.'

Update your forecast as often as you want prior to the 30-NOV deadline.
Only the last entry gets verified.

1st place prize (delivered post-paid right to your front door):
... choice of a book from NEWxSFC library
... the august and coveted title 'Chief Season-total Snowfall Forecaster' for Winter '23 / '24 and
... a well-deserved place of high esteem and honor with past winners.

2nd place prize (delivered post-paid right to your front door):
... choice of a book from NEWxSFC library
... a well-deserved place honor with past winners.

3rd place prize (delivered post-paid right to your front door):
... choice of a book from NEWxSFC library
... a well-deserved place honor with past winners.

Honorable Mention: a well-deserved place of honor with past winners.

The reigning NE.Wx ‘Season-Total’ Snowfall Forecasting Champ-een is Senior Forecaster Steve Okonski (Any.Wx).

Last winter's 'Season-total' forecast summary ... verification ... and final results here.

As always; NO cost ... NO fees ... NO advertising ... NO annoying requests for personal information to enter the contest.  NEWxSFC is a just-for-fun exercise for winter wx enthusiasts to see who can make the best 'season-total' snowfall forecast.

The Contest is open to all including amateur and professional forecasters; broadcasters with or without trained Seals; any and all weather-biz types and / or wanna-bees; wish-casters ... astrologers ... along with any other universally recognized classes of dreamers; Pollyannas or Cassandras ... registered Nostradamuses ... non-violent megalomaniacs ... woolly-bear caterpillars or their agents ... pest detectives ... USENET veterans and lurkers ... riders on the StormVista ... refugees from AmericanWx ... US Weather survivors ... including self-imposed exiles from Eastern Wx ... and of course ... meteorologists.

In honor of USENET/s patron saint Mr. Joseph Bartlo's final request (RIP); trolls ... goats ... hat3-lsiters ... and psests need not apply.

Contest Status

Winter '22 / '23 - Snowfall Forecast Contests
24th Annual 'Snow Storm' Snowfall Forecast Contest

Snow Storm #1
Synoptiscope in VCP32 👀
Deadline for entries:  typically ~24 hours before the leading edge of a contest-worthy snow storm is expected to enter the forecast area.
Enter your forecast here.
22nd Annual 'Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest
Deadline for entries: 30-NOV-22 @ 11:59 PM EST
Details here


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - An over-the-horizon look at early autumn's a priori climate conditions

near Woodstock ... VT
Marion Post Wolcott (1940)
- The stars have yet to align for snow crows and other winter wx enthusiasts.
- Above-normal temperatures and below-normal snowfall for most NEWxSFC/s stations.
> Warranties neither expressed nor implied.
> User assumes all risk.
> Not intended for use by children.
Decoder Ring
AO: Arctic Oscillation
CONUS: Continental United States
D-J-F: December-January-February
ENSO: El Niño - Southern Oscillation
EPO: Eastern Pacific Oscillation
M-A: Mid-Atlantic
NE: New England
NAO: North Atlantic Oscillation
NHEMI: Northern Hemisphere
NWP: Numerical Weather Prediction
PDO: Pacific Decadal Oscillation
QBO: Quasi-Biennial Oscillation
PNA: Pacific-North American pattern
SSTa: Sea-Surface Temperature anomaly
SSW: Sudden Stratospheric Warming
To the extent ENSO ... QBO ... SSTa in the tropical Pacific and the NE coastal waters of CONUS ... sunspots ... PDO ... and the extent of Eurasian cover have any predictive value ... here laid upon the table is the current state of play heading into Winter '22 / '23 as divined from NEWxSFC/s Whirled Headquarters located east of the fall line in VA.
Output from the latest dynamic and statistical modeling predict moderate La Nina conditions (SSTa between -1 and -1.5°C in ENSO Region 3.4) to persist throughout Winter '22 / '23.
La Nina loosely favors below-normal snowfall over the M-A .... above-normal snowfall across the northern tier of the NEWxSFC forecast area ... and a toss-up for stations in between; however ... this historical model did not verify for the two most recent La Nina winters ('20 / '21 and '21 / '22) where above-average snowfall fell over northern portions of M-A in '20 / '21 and coastal stations plus CAR in '21 / '22.
The zonal wind direction near 30 mb over the tropics (~80K' above sea level) determines the QBO phase. Positive (negative) values denote a west (east) zonal wind. Zonal winds blow parallel to lines of latitude. QBO is currently west (positive) and will remain west (positive) throughout Winter '22 / '23.
QBO-W during La Nina correlates well with a strong and stable stratospheric polar vortex (PV) ... strongly negative PNA (trough out west; ridge in the SE) ... and +NAO. None of these indices in their present and predicted future state favor a cold and snowy winter in the eastern CONUS.
The current consensus of QBO-W analogs expect a monthly mean zonal wind between 5 and 12 mps. QBO-W of no higher than 12 mps purportedly does not inhibit hi-latitude blocking. Hi-latitude blocks favorable for cold and snowy over NEWxSFC/s forecast area include Greenland (-NAO) ... ridging over the pole (-AO) ... -EPO ... and +PNA.
The relatively few major mid-winter SSWs observed during QBO-W took place only when the monthly sunspot count was 'high.'
Sunspots ... as of 9/30/22: 96 (within +1 standard deviation of the mean ... i.e., not 'high').
The strong positive anomalies off the NHEMI/s NE coast favors NAO > 0.
Positive anomalies off the NHEMI/s NW coast favors long wave ridging; however ... the effect could be minimized by La Nina troffing in the same vicinity.
The current cool phase favors above normal heights ... i.e., ridging ... over SE CONUS; however ... the PDO temperature anomalies along the west coast of North America this fall are at odds with the typical -PDO conceptual model ... i.e., warm anomalies instead of cool anomalies.
The anomalously warm coastal waters in the northeastern portions of the North Pacific are more typical of PDO/s warm phase favors +PNA. 
EURASIA snow cover
Above-normal snow cover in OCT over Eurasia has a weak but statistically significant correlation with above-normal snowfall over NE.
As of 30-SEP ... snow cover was ~60% above normal. This ranks 6th during period-of-record (1967 - 2022). It's the highest areal extent since 1998 (~25 years ago). OCT/s snow cover started out strong but faded quickly to where it's near the bottom of the pack ... as of mid-OCT.
What's it all mean Mr. Peabody?
Moderate D-J-F La Ninas are rare birds looking back over last 50 years meaning there's little hard data to lean upon. Teleconnection analogs in general are contradictory. Seasonal NWP guidance can be overly influenced by initial conditions.
No reason for optimism as yet for a return to winters-of-olde or even for one without frustrating bouts of shorts'n tee-shirt weather. Maybe OCT/s data will have a different story to tell ...

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - 22nd Annual 'Season-total' Snowfall Forecast Contest: Preview

ACY (2-day mixed precip:  1.38")

We/re gearing up for the launch of the 22nd Annual Season-total Snowfall Forecast Contest where forecasters predict the season-total snowfall for 25 stations from Raleigh ... NC to Binghamton ... NY to Burlington ... VT to Caribou ... ME.

☼ Everyone is welcome to submit a forecast
☼ Totally free to enter
☼ Prizes

► Window for submitting forecasts will open MON ... 01-NOV-22 @ 12:01 AM EDT at the Contest's web site.

Main announcement with a 'Call for Forecasts' coming late OCT.

Facebook ...





Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - Eurasia Snow Cover: SEP

Eurasia/s areal snow cover for SEP-22: ~2,520,000 SQ-KM

- Almost 60% above normal (1,620,000 SQ-KM)
- Ranks 6th during period-of-record (1967 - 2022).
- Highest since 1998 (25 years ago).

The extent of Eurasia/s OCT snow cover has been positively correlated with cold and snowy winter weather in the eastern CONUS so we/re off to a good start.

Data courtesy Rutgers University Global Snow Lab

Winter '22 / '23 - North and West of I-95: Why does snow in the Eastern US always seem fall to the West of I-95?

Are the snow-maker weather systems influenced by the fall line?
"This cold-to-warm transition zone is further increased by the presence of the Appalachian Mountains, which are found to the west of the I-95 corridor. This elevation increase starts at the fall line, the geological boundary between the low-level coastal plains and the foothills of the Piedmont.
"The fall line is the historical edge of this range mountains and is the point at which the elevation of the land starts increasing. In the short distance between Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles Airport, both near Washington DC, the elevation increases over 300 feet (90 meters)" 
More ...

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Winter '18 / '19 - The Woolly Bear Caterpillar Guide to Winter Weather Forecasting

It/s that time of year again when long-range wx forecasters scour the bowels looking for ... well ... wadda you say we don/t go there.

More better ... consult the Woolly Bear Caterpillar Guide to Winter Weather Forecasting.

(Lightly edited re-post from USENET news group 11-OCT-03)

In recent weeks ... a spate of news articles have appeared about the woolly bear caterpillar and its legendary ability to foretell the upcoming winter based on the color and width of its black and orange stripes.

With so much good information scattered across so many sources ... there appeared to be a need to compile the forecasting rules.

This handy forecasting guide can be printed and kept inside your coat pocket for easy reference.

The Woolly Bear Caterpillars Among Us
There is more than one kind of woolly bear caterpillar.  The one you use when forecasting is the banded woolly caterpillar ... which becomes the Isabella moth (Pyrrharctia Isabella) in the spring.  Pictures of the caterpillar and moth can be seen here: Caterpillar Moth

Science is Skeptical
It should come as no surprise ... entomologists pooh-pooh the very idea banded woolly bear caterpillars can predict future events.  These naysayers claim variations in band color and width are evidence of a worm/s age and the fall weather conditions when the worm reached maturity.

Worms exhibiting more black than orange are older and grew in wet conditions.  Worms exhibiting less black than orange are younger and grew in dry conditions.  And therein we find the caterpillar's predictive value. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - The Strangest Superstitions About Snow In History

Wilson Bently
Snow has "... been used as a basis for everything from miraculous church-building to questionable medical cures, from holy substance to cause of disease and potential breeding-ground for hairy grubs"

"A barefoot run in the first snow of the year is recommended for everything from preventing chilblains in children to frostbite and sore throat. Eating or drinking it, meanwhile, was a cure for many ills, including warts and toothache (and freckles, which needed a "treatment" at the time), and if you had a nosebleed it was a good idea to hold snow at the back of your neck, presumably to give you something else upsetting to think about."

 More ...

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Winter '22 / '23 - Snowmageddon Weather in North America More Influenced by Tropics Than Arctic

"Winter weather patterns in North America are dictated by changes to the polar vortex winds high in the atmosphere, but the most significant cold snaps are more likely influenced by the tropics ..."

"The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters on December 27, 2019, also revealed that, unlike in Europe, the most extreme cold snaps affecting the whole of North America are not most likely to occur after a weak (polar) vortex. Instead, the shape of the vortex and conditions in the tropics were identified as stronger influences of these conditions"

More ...