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December 2021 Observations and Discussion


Tom
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As we open up Dec, the lower 48 is currently sitting at one of its lowest snow cover ratios in the past 2 decades sitting at a paltry 8.6% yesterday.  The obvious culprit is the pesky W/SW ridge that has brought forth record time warmth.

 

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As we move forward, a true pattern change is ahead as a SW Flow develops and will change the above map...but to what degree?  The northern Sub will first benefit in this change and then the pattern should press farther south.  I'm seeing some signs of the return of the "Baffin Bay Ridge" that was all so common back in Oct.  The LRC cycle #2 shall commence.  I haven't read or listened to Gary's Winter Forecast yet but to me it does appear that this years pattern is close to 60 days (+/- 2 days).  I'm still not 100% but at this point that is where I'm at.  Would like to see where we are after next weeks wx bc that will be a big clue as to where the storms track into the west/southwest regions of the U.S.

With that being said, last nights 0z Euro showing this for the 1st strong northern stream wave dumping some significant snows up north.  I like it when nature fills up the missing ingredient to brew cold and seed cold down farther south.

@FAR_Weather riding the southern edge while @Beltrami Island looks golden and east towards @Madtown

 

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0z EPS...

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Big changes the last 2 runs of the EPS over the Central CONUS as much cooler trends are showing up and an uptick in snow chances later next week.  As mentioned above, the return of the "Baffin Bay Ridge" is appearing in the Week 2 pattern which is shoving the jet stream farther south.  In addition, the Strat is playing ball as one can vividly see that by Day 8 a large warming pool just west of Greenland and N of Hudson Bay develops and right when there might be a 3rd system to track by the following weekend.

 

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0z EPS snow mean suggesting a good LR signal for a swath of snow across the Plains/MW/GL's late next week...

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0z Euro op run has flashed this potential system for a couple runs and the GFS is also on board....let's see what happens but it does look more wintry overall...finally...

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5-day temp mean per the latest 0z EPS mean...where there is snow OTG temps remain BN and where there "could"  be snow OTG later next week temps are trending cooler each run.  

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Finally, I'll end this post with this comment on the teleconnections to look out for in the LR for those seeking winter wx (including myself).  If the latest trends are accurate and hold onto the idea that the EPO/WPO relax towards neutral, that would be welcomed news as the raging PAC jet wouldn't inundate the lower 48 with warmth and allow for the jet to track farther south.  There is consensus among the modeling as you can see below...

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Is the MJO going to play ball also??  Yesterday's Euro Weeklies says yes...all in all, + trends of late...

 

image.png

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After looking at last evenings Euro weeklies, check out the stark differences in the 500mb 5-day mean for the opening days of this month.  The western C.A. trough is almost completely washed out and now a strong N.A Vortex is centered over Canada.

10 days ago vs recent run...

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Current Run...

6.png

 

What could this mean going forward??  If the MJO forecast is correct (BIG question) then I believe its bias of holding a strong western Canadian trough in the LR is questionable.  This would be especially true if the EPO/WPO forecasts hold as both teleconnections are suggesting neutral to negative territory throughout the middle & end of DEC.

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3 hours ago, Grizzcoat said:

The MJO is very key to the future of this upcoming winter.

 

3 hours ago, Tom said:

Big changes the last 2 runs of the EPS over the Central CONUS as much cooler trends are showing up and an uptick in snow chances later next week.  As mentioned above, the return of the "Baffin Bay Ridge" is appearing in the Week 2 pattern which is shoving the jet stream farther south.  In addition, the Strat is playing ball as one can vividly see that by Day 8 a large warming pool just west of Greenland and N of Hudson Bay develops and right when there might be a 3rd system to track by the following weekend.

 

2.png

 

0z EPS snow mean suggesting a good LR signal for a swath of snow across the Plains/MW/GL's late next week...

3.png

 

0z Euro op run has flashed this potential system for a couple runs and the GFS is also on board....let's see what happens but it does look more wintry overall...finally...

5.png

 

 

5-day temp mean per the latest 0z EPS mean...where there is snow OTG temps remain BN and where there "could"  be snow OTG later next week temps are trending cooler each run.  

1.gif

 

Finally, I'll end this post with this comment on the teleconnections to look out for in the LR for those seeking winter wx (including myself).  If the latest trends are accurate and hold onto the idea that the EPO/WPO relax towards neutral, that would be welcomed news as the raging PAC jet wouldn't inundate the lower 48 with warmth and allow for the jet to track farther south.  There is consensus among the modeling as you can see below...

7.png

 

8.png

 

Is the MJO going to play ball also??  Yesterday's Euro Weeklies says yes...all in all, + trends of late...

 

image.png

Going back to Sept, the MJO seems to be the teleconnection with the single biggest influence on our weather.  Last night Gary predicted an Artic outbreak lasting 10-14 days but didn't give a date on when it would happen. (He recorded his forecast last week and clearly didn't know the cycle length at that time.)  Tom if it is indeed around a 60 day cycle, when would that most likely occur?  The post Grizz shared a few days ago could indicate the first of Jan, which would make some since with the largest storm in the pattern being due in right before New Years.  Thoughts guys?

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I'm telling ya, if there's one signature in this young winter season so far it's the wild swings. 56F yesterday but this morning I'm driving to work in steady snow falling. Nice med sized flakes coming down gently all morning like you envision your "first flakes" scenario in the Lwr Lakes. Perfect start to my TGIFriday. Happy Friday to all! Looking like exciting wx is finally looming for most if not all of the Sub. #goodtimes

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Winter 2021-22 Snow Total = 9.2"  Largest Storm: 4.2" (11/27)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 7.7 Dec: 1.5 Jan: 0.0 Feb: 0.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = XX.X" ??

2020-21 = 36.2"  2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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Just now, jaster220 said:

I'm telling ya, if there's one signature in this young winter season so far it's the wild swings. 56F yesterday but this morning I'm driving to work in steady snow falling. Nice med sized flakes coming down gently all morning like you envision your "first flakes" scenario in the Lwr Lakes. Perfect start to my TGIFriday. Happy Friday to all! Looking like exciting wx is finally looming for most if not all of the Sub. #goodtimes

Definitely a battle zone setting up, which usually means precip/storms.  So that's a good thing.  Just need one little buckle in the jet stream to provide a share the wealth type storm.  1 time the long range GFS will be right.  Will it be the storm it's showing in 10 days?  Let's hope so!  I've got 87 days left where I care about snow.  So plenty of time to track and hope. 

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Just now, westMJim said:

Getting some light snow here at this time no accumulation. With that wet snow falling the temperature here is 34

Interesting, my whole yard was white and had to brush my car off leaving for work this morning on the NE side.  about 3/8".  Roads are just wet though.  

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15 hours ago, Clinton said:

KC hit a high of 71 today breaking the previous record of 70. It was a beautiful day with sun and calm winds.

There was also wind in Ashland, so I wouldn't really call yesterday a hot day unless you're exerting yourself. 

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ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif

Ashland, KY Weather

'21-'22 Cold Season

Snowfall - 7.5"
December: 0.1"
January: 7.4"
February: _._"

Snow days: 4 (4.0" Jan 16-17)
Highs <32: 1 (21 Jan 7th)
Min: 7 (Jan 8th)
Max wind: 30mph (Dec 25th)

[Klamath Falls, OR 2010 to 2021]
https://imgur.com/SuGTijl

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3 hours ago, Clinton said:

 

Going back to Sept, the MJO seems to be the teleconnection with the single biggest influence on our weather.  Last night Gary predicted an Artic outbreak lasting 10-14 days but didn't give a date on when it would happen. (He recorded his forecast last week and clearly didn't know the cycle length at that time.)  Tom if it is indeed around a 60 day cycle, when would that most likely occur?  The post Grizz shared a few days ago could indicate the first of Jan, which would make some since with the largest storm in the pattern being due in right before New Years.  Thoughts guys?

Its pretty obvious this has been a challenging season to decipher the LRC when the guru is having a tough time!  I'll have to dig more deeply into my notes over the weekend when I have more time and see more model data on timing of when big storms and cold are possible.  All the LR modeling are showing a very active pattern starting to set up next week and will remain active through the holidays.  It'll be busy on here is all I gotta say.  Someone on here will cash in Bigly.

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If you want to find winter, just go to Hawaii.

https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=hfo&wwa=blizzard warning

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
311 AM HST Fri Dec 3 2021

...BLIZZARD WARNING FOR THE BIG ISLAND SUMMITS...

HIZ028-040215-
/O.CON.PHFO.BZ.W.0001.211204T0400Z-211205T1600Z/
Big Island Summits-
311 AM HST Fri Dec 3 2021

...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO
6 AM HST SUNDAY...

* WHAT...Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations
  of up to 12 inches or more. Winds gusting over 100 mph.

* WHERE...Big Island Summits.

* WHEN...From 6 PM this evening to 6 AM HST Sunday.

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult to impossible.
  Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times,
  with periods of zero visibility. See the High Wind Warning
  that is also in effect.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The strong winds will likely cause
  significant drifting of snow.
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9 minutes ago, Tom said:

Its pretty obvious this has been a challenging season to decipher the LRC when the guru is having a tough time!  I'll have to dig more deeply into my notes over the weekend when I have more time and see more model data on timing of when big storms and cold are possible.  All the LR modeling are showing a very active pattern starting to set up next week and will remain active through the holidays.  It'll be busy on here is all I gotta say.  Someone on here will cash in Bigly.

One of the hardest I can remember, I'm getting tired of wiping egg off my face.  It doesn't help that we have a lot of similar storms in the pattern and that the models have been terrible beyond 5 days.  The last time I can remember a cycle length of 60+ days was 2010/2011.

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1 hour ago, tStacsh said:

Interesting, my whole yard was white and had to brush my car off leaving for work this morning on the NE side.  about 3/8".  Roads are just wet though.  

I also have heard that there was snow on the ground in the Rockford area as well. There was some slushy snow on the roofs and car tops but not on the ground.

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Whaddya know, I estimated an inch, and that's exactly what the airport recorded. Signature updated. 30*F.

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>1" snowfalls at KFAR in 2021-22: 11/11-12 (1.0"), 11/13 (1.8"), 12/2 (1.0"), 12/4-5 (4.8"), 12/21 (3.1"), 12/25 (3.2"), 12/26-27 (8.6"), 12/28 (2.9"), 1/4-5 (3.2"),

 

Total 2021-22 snowfall at KFAR: 31.7"                                                  Coldest Minimum: -28*F (1/1, 1/7)

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9 minutes ago, Clinton said:

One of the hardest I can remember, I'm getting tired of wiping egg off my face.  It doesn't help that we have a lot of similar storms in the pattern and that the models have been terrible beyond 5 days.  The last time I can remember a cycle length of 60+ days was 2010/2011.

Well said, it certainly has been a fascinating season trying to dial in on this LRC length.  I didn't follow the LRC back in '10/'11 so that would be quite some time since we have had a long cycle length.  As you said, with so many similar storms/clippers and so forth, IMO, this bodes well for an active season.

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14 minutes ago, OmahaSnowFan said:

The political hacks at the CPC don't see winter coming quite yet...

 

Why is every post of yours negative and snarky? Every CPC outlook past week 2 is always above normal, you know that.

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>1" snowfalls at KFAR in 2021-22: 11/11-12 (1.0"), 11/13 (1.8"), 12/2 (1.0"), 12/4-5 (4.8"), 12/21 (3.1"), 12/25 (3.2"), 12/26-27 (8.6"), 12/28 (2.9"), 1/4-5 (3.2"),

 

Total 2021-22 snowfall at KFAR: 31.7"                                                  Coldest Minimum: -28*F (1/1, 1/7)

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6 minutes ago, Tom said:

Well said, it certainly has been a fascinating season trying to dial in on this LRC length.  I didn't follow the LRC back in '10/'11 so that would be quite some time since we have had a long cycle length.  As you said, with so many similar storms/clippers and so forth, IMO, this bodes well for an active season.

That's the year I began to follow the LRC.  It was a La Nina that year, maybe not quite as warm as this has been and we had received only about 4 or 5 inches of snow going into the last week of Jan.  In early January Gary  forecasted a cold and very snowy Feb (in fact right down to the dates.)  The next thing you know the AO and NAO tanked and the snow commenced.  I got around 44 inches of snow in Feb (26in from one storm) and have followed ever since.

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1 minute ago, Clinton said:

That's the year I began to follow the LRC.  It was a La Nina that year, maybe not quite as warm as this has been and we had received only about 4 or 5 inches of snow going into the last week of Jan.  In early January Gary  forecasted a cold and very snowy Feb (in fact right down to the dates.)  The next thing you know the AO and NAO tanked and the snow commenced.  I got around 44 inches of snow in Feb (26in from one storm) and have followed ever since.

Holy snikes!  That must have been quite a finish to met Winter.  I remember that year vividly bc I left for AZ in March and we still had snow OTG up until the 2nd week.  In fact, I think we got hit by a nice 6-10" storm during the 1st week of March.  Cold storm with a lot of wind.  That was a back loaded season for sure.

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1 hour ago, Andie said:

Any thoughts on late December in Texas/Oklahoma region? 

I think it's hard to say at the moment.  They're some indications that it could turn cold and stay cold for awhile after Christmas.  I think it's just a little to early to make any bold predictions though.

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Models continue to struggle with the weak Tuesday system.  The GFS is back to dropping snow across Iowa, the Canadian drops an inch or two over western Iowa, and the UK drops the snow across southern Minnesota.

season snowfall: 16.0"

 

'20-21: 52.5"      '19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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1 hour ago, FAR_Weather said:

Why is every post of yours negative and snarky? Every CPC outlook past week 2 is always above normal, you know that.

It sounds like you're mad you're not in the winter storm watch....

You've actually liked quite a few of my "negative and snarky" posts lately. Weird.... I actually thought I was being funny pointing out the blizzard warnings in Hawaii. 

And I don't get how when others here were the ones that called the CPC "political hacks", when I use that phrase it's offensive. 

Anything else moderator?

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17 minutes ago, OmahaSnowFan said:

You've actually liked quite a few of my "negative and snarky" posts lately. Weird.... I actually thought I was being funny pointing out the blizzard warnings in Hawaii. 

It was funny.

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>1" snowfalls at KFAR in 2021-22: 11/11-12 (1.0"), 11/13 (1.8"), 12/2 (1.0"), 12/4-5 (4.8"), 12/21 (3.1"), 12/25 (3.2"), 12/26-27 (8.6"), 12/28 (2.9"), 1/4-5 (3.2"),

 

Total 2021-22 snowfall at KFAR: 31.7"                                                  Coldest Minimum: -28*F (1/1, 1/7)

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Looks like the "Gales of November" are running a bit late this year. GRR likes our odds at a windstorm. 12z GFS for Monday:

image.png.6d459d53196c6dec56f7251639911bf9.png

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Winter 2021-22 Snow Total = 9.2"  Largest Storm: 4.2" (11/27)        Oct: 0.0 Nov: 7.7 Dec: 1.5 Jan: 0.0 Feb: 0.0 Mar: 0.0 Apr: 0.0

 

Annual avg for mby = XX.X" ??

2020-21 = 36.2"  2019-20 = 48.0"  2018-19 = 56.1"  2017-18 = 68.3"   2016-17 = 52"   2015-16 = 57.4"   2014-15 = 55.3"   2013-14 = 100.6" (coldest & snowiest in the modern record!)  2012-13 = 47.2"   2011-12 = 43.7"

 

Legit Blizzards (high winds and dbl digit snows): Feb 2011, Dec 2009, Jan 2005, Dec 2000, Jan 1999, Mar 1998, Nov 1989, Jan 1982, Jan 1978, Jan 1977, Apr 1975, Mar 1973, Jan 1967, Feb 1965, Jan 1918

 

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2 hours ago, Clinton said:

One of the hardest I can remember, I'm getting tired of wiping egg off my face.  It doesn't help that we have a lot of similar storms in the pattern and that the models have been terrible beyond 5 days.  The last time I can remember a cycle length of 60+ days was 2010/2011.

On today's 12z GFS and CMC I can still see signals for a 60 day cycle but they're still fairly weak. I do think the Oct part of the pattern will be weaker and less organized in cycle #2 because of the strong +AO and +NAO signals, and the models might be picking up on that. On a side note,  I think if we have an arctic outbreak this year in our area it will be in cycle #3...so maybe in February (remember last year? lol)

Getting egg on our face is what makes it fun. Heck, I still haven't ruled out a 65-68 day cycle. I always wondered if some year the LRC would get blown up because no true recycling pattern could be found. I wonder if Gary ever worries about that... 🤣

 

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  • 21-22 snowfalls >=3": Jan 14/15 (3.4"); Season total: 5.1" (30% of seasonal normal 17.1" as of Jan 16, 2022)
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The latest Euro is similar to the UK Tuesday.  1-2" of snow falls across southern MN, with nothing in Iowa.

season snowfall: 16.0"

 

'20-21: 52.5"      '19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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The Euro still has the big storm next weekend.  Hopefully, it won't fade away as we get closer.

prateptype_cat_ecmwf.conus.png

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season snowfall: 16.0"

 

'20-21: 52.5"      '19-20: 36.2"      '18-19: 50.2"      '17-18: 39.5"      '16-17: 17.9"      '15-16: 20.0"      '14-15: 30.4"      '13-14: 48.3"      '12-13: 34.1"

 

Average snowfall: ~30"

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10 minutes ago, Hawkeye said:

The Euro still has the big storm next weekend.  Hopefully, it won't fade away as we get closer.

prateptype_cat_ecmwf.conus.png

These are the storms I miss for the Grand Rapids area.  Wish it would come true, but who knows?  I'd be good with winter after that one.   

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43 minutes ago, FarmerRick said:

And by tomorrow, it'll probably show nothing. Way too far out to get excited.

That's true but it's better than models continuing to show a torch. 12z suite makes me a bit more hopeful that we can snag our first measurable snow in the 7-10 day range. But yeah, it could definitely flip back to warm by tonight. 

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Snowfall in Lincoln, NE:

2017-18: 21.4"   2018-19: 55.5"   2019-20: 17.6"   2020-21: 49.4"   2021-22: 2.3" (so far)

Average: 26"

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1 hour ago, mlgamer said:

On today's 12z GFS and CMC I can still see signals for a 60 day cycle but they're still fairly weak. I do think the Oct part of the pattern will be weaker and less organized in cycle #2 because of the strong +AO and +NAO signals, and the models might be picking up on that. On a side note,  I think if we have an arctic outbreak this year in our area it will be in cycle #3...so maybe in February (remember last year? lol)

Getting egg on our face is what makes it fun. Heck, I still haven't ruled out a 65-68 day cycle. I always wondered if some year the LRC would get blown up because no true recycling pattern could be found. I wonder if Gary ever worries about that... 🤣

 

I agree if the AO and NAO continue to stay positive it will water down cycle 2 (maybe literally).  These models will look so much different in 4 days and I bet cycle 2 will show itself.  If not Gary may have to be hospitalized lol.  The 12z Euro is eye candy, it looks organized and shows a little cycle 2 with it also.  

You may be spot on with your artic outbreak prediction for Feb, but I'm thinking a little earlier this year like the start of January.  I think after Christmas that big storm from later Oct will produce for many on here and that combined with a phase 7 or 8 MJO will unleash it.  Maybe we'll have 2 big shots of artic air and both be right!

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26 minutes ago, Clinton said:

You may be spot on with your artic outbreak prediction for Feb, but I'm thinking a little earlier this year like the start of January.  I think after Christmas that big storm from later Oct will produce for many on here and that combined with a phase 7 or 8 MJO will unleash it.  Maybe we'll have 2 big shots of artic air and both be right!

Actually this is the same part of the pattern I was thinking and looking it over again I think you are right.  My only concern is if a strong +AO and +NAO are still in place and would a favorable MJO overcome this. I was thinking cycle #3 might end up more closely resembling cycle #1 and thus a better chance for an arctic outbreak. However, after redoing the math that might be in early March or later so maybe early January is the better chance. I may have a little egg on my face now...lol

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  • 21-22 snowfalls >=3": Jan 14/15 (3.4"); Season total: 5.1" (30% of seasonal normal 17.1" as of Jan 16, 2022)
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Lol, GFS is showing 22" in Sioux Falls for next weekend's storm.

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>1" snowfalls at KFAR in 2021-22: 11/11-12 (1.0"), 11/13 (1.8"), 12/2 (1.0"), 12/4-5 (4.8"), 12/21 (3.1"), 12/25 (3.2"), 12/26-27 (8.6"), 12/28 (2.9"), 1/4-5 (3.2"),

 

Total 2021-22 snowfall at KFAR: 31.7"                                                  Coldest Minimum: -28*F (1/1, 1/7)

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