Well, that much is obvious. But he seemed to be inferring that the large scale pattern drivers are finally turning favorable for cold, when if you live in MT or anywhere in the northern tier, you've done just fine this winter without his coveted -NAO/-PNA combo.
The dominant factor this winter has undoubtedly been the -EPO, and that's not changing with this upcoming cold period. The main difference is it's finally a more favorable block for the West overall.
It may or may not be a direct result of the SSW. Sometimes those lead to good things for the West, sometimes they don't. Regardless, this cold season has had nice blocking since it started, which is why places as close as Montana have had the winter they've had. Not like we're seeing a flip from a 1999-00.
Here’s my two cents:
1) It is a direct result of the SSW. This is quantitatively demonstrable, from a physical/observational standpoint, so it’s not really up for debate (IMO).
2) Until now, the large scale drivers have not
been favorable for PNW cold..it’s been a +PNA/+NAO winter, which has teleconnected well with the broad WHEM Hadley Cells and a NE-shifted warm pool.
3) The -EPO won’t be a major factor after Feb 22nd. It’s just a pure -PNA/-NAO constructive interference regime at that point. Much like mid/late 1955/56, 1968/69, 1981/82, 2005/06, etc.