When will winter return to the East??

>> Saturday, December 30, 2006

First off, I am feeling much better today. I have loaded up on vitamin B12 yesterday and today. I don't know if it is that or the virus just ran its course, but either way, I am much-improved. Not 100% yet, but getting closer....

As to the question in the title, I am continuing to get more confident that winter will indeed make a comeback over the eastern US next month. And, I continue to think we will see significant signs of that occurring in the January 10-15th time-frame. Here are a few of the reasons why....

  1. The NAO will trend toward neutral by mid-month after beginning the month on the positive side. In fact, I think the NAO could make a run at being negative by the time the second half of the month unfolds.
  2. The AO, which has been raging positive since the end of November, will take a big tumble around mid-January. The last time the AO took a crash like I am expecting was back in October. By the way, if you recall, Charlotte finished October almost 4 degrees below average in the temp department.
  3. A deep trough will likely dig into eastern Asia and Japan next weekend. Using the typical 6-10 day teleconnection there to the eastern US, that would again indicate a good chance for and eastern US trough right in the 10th-15th time-frame.
Now, will this be another transient shot of colder weather, or will it be a more sustainable pattern. Well, in my opinion, this hinges on two things. First of all, the dreaded southeast ridge. If you like cold and snow in the East, this thing has been brutal for the past couple of weeks, and it looks to hold fairly strongly on into January. But, there are signs this will break down around mid-month next month, and if that occurs...definitely a good thing for cold weather fans in the East.

Secondly, can we get any blocking established? I don't have a good answer on that one yet. But, my gut tells me that as we head through the second half of January, we will indeed see blocking set up that could keep us in a prolonged colder than average pattern. But, we shall see....

So, there ya have it. I do think a colder pattern will make a return to the eastern US by around mid-January. However, don't get me wrong....at least the first 7-9 days of the month will feature primarily above average temps around here. The potential pattern change is after that.

And, how about some December verification? Through yesterday, CLT was a +2.3 for December. My forecast was +0.5. The error there was an expected end of the month cool-down that simply didn't happen. My forecast, from back in mid-November, for January for CLT was a -2.0. For the moment, I will still ride with that, although the second half of the month will certainly have to be cold to overcome the warm start to the month for that to verify.


Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Great blog! I love the detail you go into.

Question... is there a site you would recommend to research the teleconnection indices more? I understand them at a very basic level, but would like more info. The CPC has some information, but it seems to be geared more towards those that already have detailed knowledge. Thanks!

Matthew East 8:08 PM  

Thanks for your kind words!

A good site I would recommend starting at to learn more about the teleconnection indices is http://www.theweatherprediction.com/

That is Jeff Haby's site (one of my college professors), and you will be hard-pressed to find something about meteorology that is not on that site.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask....

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