I created this long post on Saturday and wasn't able to finish it up until now so I'll post it in the ENSO thread.
I've been analyzing, studying and researching some ideas of where we may be heading as we head towards Autumn/Winter. While we just endured our 3rd mid summer heat wave, it won't be long till we begin posting/commenting about the Autumn/Winter discussion. Early on this year, I believe it was back in March, I personally felt that based on my own research that the upcoming cold season could shape up into becoming a rather extreme one for North America, as well as, in Europe. TBH, I have not felt this confident in a very long time. In fact, I don't think I have felt this confident for a pre-season forecast in my years of tracking the weather. However, as is the case in all long range forecasting, there is a chance I may fall flat on my face, but I may also get it somewhat right. I'm basing my gut feeling on what I'm seeing from all the long range models, including SST anomalies, low solar, QBO pattern recognition and finally my own intuition.
There are always many factors that can collapse a 6-month long lead forecast and I'll be the first to admit it. However, I do want to say, that there is strong argument for a lot of cold air to be around for the next cold season. Where will the storm track set up is the million dollar question?? I will not even bother on figuring that out right now as we will have to wait till the next LRC sets up in Oct/Nov. Although, I will argue that it will likely have a southern bias this season which I called for back in March as nature will have to balance out the pattern and this will be the year.
I'll first start out by stating what players that can but a dagger into a potential cold season: 1) Trend towards a stronger Nino 2) Non-Modoki Nino 3) Minimal high lat blocking
Here are the reasons why I strongly feel that the U.S. will be under the gun for some extreme weather. The hype may be to much early on, but this time it may have merit.
Latest QBO reading for the month of May continues to trend down and a current reading of (-24.23)...here is the graphic showing the plummeting trends mid year...
Both 30/50mb readings...
Current 30mb QBO chart below...the growing "blue" colors in June showing the drop...
All of the above info suggest high lat blocking, additionally, we are in a low solar period, which provide me with higher confidence we will see more Arctic blocking this upcoming season. Now, the SST's that are evolving in the equatorial PAC and N PAC are eye popping. I have not seen trends as such before in my years of following the weather. Maybe some of you older folks have, but to see a "True" central-based Nino, alongside a +PDO in the N PAC, this may shape up to being one of the most interesting seasons I have seen.
In terms of the current state of the Arctic, another cool/cold summer is in the works, parts of Canada are enduring a "Year without a Summer" and I firmly believe we will see the early onset of the Polar Vortex across Canada in Sept, but moreso, in Oct/Nov as the new pattern evolves. There are some models that are continuously showing the trend that Winter starts early and vigorously across Canada in the month of Sept, building up an early snow pack which has not happened in recent years.
Arctic temps running below average thus far and with the summer time vortex forecasted to spin up in the next few days across the Pole, these temps will continue to stay below normal.
North American snow cover extent continues at decadal highs...
What worries me about the trends in the CFSv2 is the size/strength of the Nino across the equatorial PAC. Latest guidance is showing a peak of +1.5C (late Autumn) which would be borderline strong.
Although, it does trend cooler in the all important ENSO 3.4 region as winter progresses. On top of that, it is not backing off the idea of a Modoki type Nino, all the while, the NE PAC "Ring of Warmth" continues. Of note, the ATL seaboard stays warm which may kick off early season SE ridging and keeping the main trough centered across the central CONUS early in the season.
The CFSv2 has been showing a good signal for a southern stream storm track that makes sense for an El Nino season. Bodes well for the southern Plains states and Desert SW that have had a miserable past 2-3 cold seasons.
Taking a look at the latest CanSIP's long range outlook, it agrees with the rest of the long range climate models that a central-based Modoki Nino is in the cards. More importantly, it evolves in the all important months of Oct/Nov.
Gosh, this would be an ideal trough position during the month of October. I have not seen this type of 500mb pattern across the N PAC during the month of Oct in a long time. All in all, there are some encouraging signs that the forthcoming cold season will be an interesting one. One thing is for certain, nature is, and, will always be in control, and in the end, she will have the final say.