Texas Winter 2014-2015

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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#21 Postby Ptarmigan » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:45 pm

Ntxw wrote:Being that winter is only 5 more months away, I'm sure others here are anxious to know what to look for the next few months that could give us the slightest inkling of what may be. For today, I'm going to start with the EPO or East Pacific Oscillation.

Last winter we were privileged to witness this oscillation at it's best. Ignored for years we finally came into conclusion that it has a tremendous influence. Back in October and November we saw the signs of this signal telling us what it would do the whole winter even at the face of a strong +AO/NAO and unfavorable PNA. For years we have come to think the AO releases cold air and used to far too deeply on determining outbreaks. While this is a good start it does not always direct it towards our neck of the woods (Texas) for this you need the -EPO. Without it the -NAO that usually accompanies -AO (the two are closely related) will flush it across to Europe and Asia while the Pacific sends in mild air.

Here are some examples for two decades that were very different from other, AO/NAO that are not too much of influence long scale but the EPO has glaring differences.

1980s were a very cold decade dominated by anomalous -EPO

Image

1990s were a much warmer decade with predominately +EPO

Image


______________________________

And then even on a seasonal scale the differences are drastic
Winter of 2011/12's +EPO dominance
Image

Last winter -EPO dominance
Image

As the days grow shorter, I'm sure all of us will be keeping a close eye on the Pacific Ocean and what it may do, McFarland gave us a good standard to this oscillation but more is needed to understand it, most severe Arctic outbreaks in Texas can be traced back to the EPO. One eye will be on the tropical Pacific for El Nino the other on the North Pacific for blocking. Of course unless you are a certain met heat miser from Houston.


The January/February 1951, December 1983, February 1989, and most recent ones occurred in negative EPO or North Pacific Oscillation (NPO). The 1951, 1983, 1989, and 2014 had mostly positive NAO. It shows that negative NAO is not necessary to have freeze. EPO is just as an important factor. I think EPO is overlooked a lot and NAO gets more attention. NAO is closer to America than EPO is, as it is over Alaska. EPO is the Pacific version of NAO.
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#22 Postby Ntxw » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:44 am

Repost from the summer thread:


Last July one of our seasoned posters (Texas Snowman) posted JB's tweet on the CFSv2's winter forecast. It was spot on the money, so what does it have this July?

Image

Looks like your classic El Nino/-NAO couplet
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#23 Postby Ralph's Weather » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:44 am

Time to start looking towards winter after our "Winter in July" where temps started in the 60s and 70s with rain and drizzle for several days. Things are looking good for next winter, the main factor to watch is if the EPO will stay negative for us.
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Re:

#24 Postby Ptarmigan » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:38 pm

Ntxw wrote:Repost from the summer thread:


Last July one of our seasoned posters (Texas Snowman) posted JB's tweet on the CFSv2's winter forecast. It was spot on the money, so what does it have this July?

Image

Looks like your classic El Nino/-NAO couplet


Just like 2009-2010.
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#25 Postby Ralph's Weather » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:44 am

Between last week's cold shot, the upcoming one next week and the ones that appear in the longer ranges it is as if fall started in mid-July this year. It appears that this is the result of the -EPO that continues for an historic period of time plus the Western Pacific storm season ramping up. At this point we can expect a cold shot 10 days after a West Pacific storm recurves.
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#26 Postby texas1836 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:49 am

Oh man, already started the Winter talk skipping Fall. Tell me it ain't so!!!!!
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#27 Postby Ntxw » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:26 pm

Since when does NOAA forecast below average winters for Texas? They were egregious last year so take it with a grain of salt. However this map seems they are going for the usual Nino climo along with -EPO Alaska.

Valid for DJF
Image
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#28 Postby Janie2006 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:10 pm

If this winter is anything like 1982-'83...... :froze:

Portastorm wrote:Here's a little fun reading fodder for y'all:

http://theweathercentre.blogspot.com/2014/06/preliminary-2014-2015-winter-forecast.html


How about some updated reading fodder? :lol:

http://theweathercentre.blogspot.com/20 ... inter.html
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#29 Postby Portastorm » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:26 pm

Thanks for the update! Some of us have been keeping a quiet but vigilant eye on those warm NE Pacific waters. They show no sign of abating. And we know what they produced last winter.
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#30 Postby Janie2006 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:26 pm

Something else to watch closely.....those waters near Nova Scotia and Greenland are awfully warm now. If that feature persists things could get very interesting indeed.
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#31 Postby texas1836 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:49 am

:uarrow: How does that affect our weather here???? I get the Pacific, but not sure of Greenland waters.
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#32 Postby Janie2006 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:23 am

The evidence strongly indicates that a -NAO (Negative North Atlantic Oscillation) due to those higher heights off the coast of Greenland leads to a blocking pattern during the winter. So, instead of arctic air being shunted across Canada and the Northeast it gets blocked and funnels directly into eastern North America. Sort of like what happens because of the Pacific waters, but on the opposite end of North America.

Right now you've got warm water in the NE Pacific and warm water off the coast of Greenland. That situation can change well before winter, but imagine a situation in which you've got *two* blocks. I should think that it would act as a pure funnel for arctic outbreaks.
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#33 Postby texas1836 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:39 am

Thanks for the information Janie2006. Blocking in the East and West, El Nino and low solar activity.....this could indeed be an interesting Winter, very interesting.
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#34 Postby Texas Snowman » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:51 am

:uarrow: Every so often, once in a blue moon, you get one of those winters in Texas that legends are born from.

Maybe this will be one of those years.

Meanwhile, my weather spies indicate that there has been an unusually large order placed for a shipment of wool long johns. Interestingly enough, they appear to be destined for a Houston area address this fall!

Wonder what that might mean for us? :)
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Re:

#35 Postby Tireman4 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:33 pm

Texas Snowman wrote::uarrow: Every so often, once in a blue moon, you get one of those winters in Texas that legends are born from.

Maybe this will be one of those years.

Meanwhile, my weather spies indicate that there has been an unusually large order placed for a shipment of wool long johns. Interestingly enough, they appear to be destined for a Houston area address this fall!

Wonder what that might mean for us? :)


Yeah, two powerful, huge, propane heaters too.....
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#36 Postby Ntxw » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:55 pm

Today lets discuss a little about the AO/NAO. We have learned that the EPO can be the driver of cold into the continent. So can the AO/NAO, both are an extension of the other and tend to follow one another. However there is more variability with these two indexes because if they aren't positioned correctly or if the EPO is not favorable they can actually send cold to Eurasia instead. The key here is in their negative phases the AO will unleash lower heights into the mid latitudes allowing the easy access to colder air. The NAO, if west based towards Greenland or Eastern Canada will block storms and create a clog into the pattern.

Caveat

*IF the Pacific is favorable and warm is not allowed towards the continent from that big Ocean then we can dam up and lock in place arctic air masses over the US with a -NAO bundling in some big storms. If you do not have a favorable EPO/WPO then you'll lock in warm air that is streaming in while cold is funneled to Europe.*

I took a composite of the top 4 (would be 5 but one of the years is not available in the dataset being pre-1948) patterns for snowfall at DFW. It's actually similar at other stations in Texas but they don't receive snowfall on a consistent basis to track but individually the years or patterns resemble.

500mb pattern

Image

Pretty clear the -NAO/AO has significant say on snowfall patterns, it is to snow as the EPO is to cold. The EPO alone doesn't lower heights for colder air aloft, tends to be shallow. But with the help of a -NAO/AO you will get those lower heights. We'll be looking for signs of this index as well!


For fun, I pulled up what the pattern was like for Houston's big blizzard back in Feb of 1895. Indeed you see similar players.

Image

San Antonio's big 1985 storm, blocking here was centered more in central Canada but the -NAO/AO was prevalent

Image
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#37 Postby Ptarmigan » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:07 pm

Ntxw wrote:Today lets discuss a little about the AO/NAO. We have learned that the EPO can be the driver of cold into the continent. So can the AO/NAO, both are an extension of the other and tend to follow one another. However there is more variability with these two indexes because if they aren't positioned correctly or if the EPO is not favorable they can actually send cold to Eurasia instead. The key here is in their negative phases the AO will unleash lower heights into the mid latitudes allowing the easy access to colder air. The NAO, if west based towards Greenland or Eastern Canada will block storms and create a clog into the pattern.

Caveat

*IF the Pacific is favorable and warm is not allowed towards the continent from that big Ocean then we can dam up and lock in place arctic air masses over the US with a -NAO bundling in some big storms. If you do not have a favorable EPO/WPO then you'll lock in warm air that is streaming in while cold is funneled to Europe.*

I took a composite of the top 4 (would be 5 but one of the years is not available in the dataset being pre-1948) patterns for snowfall at DFW. It's actually similar at other stations in Texas but they don't receive snowfall on a consistent basis to track but individually the years or patterns resemble.

500mb pattern

Image

Pretty clear the -NAO/AO has significant say on snowfall patterns, it is to snow as the EPO is to cold. The EPO alone doesn't lower heights for colder air aloft, tends to be shallow. But with the help of a -NAO/AO you will get those lower heights. We'll be looking for signs of this index as well!


For fun, I pulled up what the pattern was like for Houston's big blizzard back in Feb of 1895. Indeed you see similar players.

Image

San Antonio's big 1985 storm, blocking here was centered more in central Canada but the -NAO/AO was prevalent

Image


The February 1895 freeze is a big one like January 1886, February 1899, December 1983, and December 1989. February 1895 had a strong negative NAO/AO. December 1983 was from negative EPO.
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#38 Postby orangeblood » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:07 am

Glad to see this thread picking up activity, It's that time of year, less than 4 months away from the start of the winter season. The CFSv2 models continue to show a prime setup for a colder and wetter than normal winter for the southern plains...High anomaly heights over south central Canada with the pacific jet cutting underneath. According to this model, the Pacific jet gets active starting late Dec and really gets cranking in Feb. 2015. It shows a massive Gulf of Alaska low setting up a little further south than normal, pivoting storms much further south across the US/Mexico border.
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Re: Texas Winter 2014-2015

#39 Postby Portastorm » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:31 pm

aggiecutter wrote:For those concerned about the upcoming winter, JB discusses it on the WSJ site. It's a freebie. To paraphrase, he said the south and southeast would be well above normal for snowfall this winter. The only exception will be the Austin area. Where it will be warm and dry.

http://live.wsj.com/video/this-year-win ... D7CFEDBE4E
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#40 Postby texas1836 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:00 pm

:uarrow: Maybe I'll finally get that 24" of snow I've been waiting for.
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