Every meteorologist I follow continues to forecast a cold to very cold February, potentially for the majority of the month. Let’s jump right in to some recent discussions.
Another classic “EPS suggested a ridge 15 days out in the east & is going to blow torch” & now it’s a trough..I hope folks finally are taking these eastern US ridge biases seriously, you choose to ignore the influece of -QBO/low solar & you’ll be left consistently wrong #NatGas pic.twitter.com/MTL6cWP69e
— Kirk 🌽 Hinz | BAM Weather (@Met_khinz) January 28, 2018
I have been blogging and talking about this all winter. The old 15 day forecasts, once we get closer to the predicted time and we get to less than a week out, are changing drastically….as drastic as predicting a Southeastern Ridge often this winter (which is a warmer signal for the east) but once we get closer, we actually experience a trough in the east….again, this is as opposite as you can get, which suggests there is a bias in the model computer inputs for this year that are not taking advantage of the climate drivers which will wind up being this year’s story.
My friends over at BAMWx.com have repeatedly questioned the models dating back to December, and have said they believe the models are not accurately handing the negative/descending QBO state or the lack of solar (sunspot) activity for this year. They’ve been right all along, as has MDA.
So the Southeastern ridge is something to be skeptical of the rest of the way, but we are nearly ‘done’ with the forecasting portion for the winter, because it just seems as though the pattern is set, it is what it is and we are going to experience a repeat in February of what we experienced between Christmas and the middle of January.
#European & #GFS models in strong agreement that very #cold pattern will return to #Midwest, #GreatLakes , & #NorthEast late this week & persist much of #February. Developing upper level #jetstream pattern in #NorthAmerica & #ocean currents also support this idea. #Energy #natgas pic.twitter.com/2ckMGuN6Uz
— Freese-Notis Weather (@FreeseNotisWx) January 28, 2018
I know what some of you may be asking. “But Jon, you just said the models are struggling, why continue to post about the models?” That’s a valid question, but the ‘wrong’ in the models is their bias with the warm, that has been repeatedly wrong pursuant to the Southeastern Ridge. One they get ahold of the colder signals this year, they are able to hone in and do a decent job. They just struggle with the phantom warmth that shows up. This cold look has verified a few times this year and when the models have seen the cold this winter, it has hit.
Almost looks like the GFS dropped a nuke over the North Pacific during the 11-15d period forecast.
*Note: the GFS has very little skill at this far, though personally, I think we are looking at risk for another anticyclonic wave break o/Pacific in 2 weeks* pic.twitter.com/umyy4UzLrR
— Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) January 28, 2018
What he means here is, focus on Alaska…and the reds, then the whites within the reds…this is an incredible high pressure ridge and very warm air. When you see something so strong like that near the Arctic, that tends to push the cold down into the lower 48 states, as this model is projecting. Then here is when it gets very interesting:
Add this to the list of #PolarVortex behavior you really never see. "Canadian Warmings" are fairly common in the #polar #stratosphere and just happened in December 2017. But a Scandinavian Warming? That I cannot recall even on a model run! Will be interesting to watch. pic.twitter.com/bJwC41KDnh
— Judah Cohen (@judah47) January 28, 2018
So early in the animation, you see the same high pressure ridge blowing up near Alaska…then around Feb 7th to 10th, you see another STRONG high pressure system blow up over in Scandinavia, which displaces the Polar Vortex from its Arctic home and down into the United States. Then this:
— Judah Cohen (@judah47) January 28, 2018
This tweet would be supportive of the previous two…Alaskan Ridge as well as a ridge over the North Pole and even Greenland. If this were to verify, the air over the Great Lakes, Northeast and Ohio Valley would be incredibly cold. It would also have nowhere to go…it would be ‘blocked off’ from retreating back to its northern home, hence the term blocking. You’ve seen me use that term before, and these tweets provide the perfect graphic example of what that means.
I do want to add here that the Scandinavian stratospheric warming event would be rare…and therefore the chances for that actually happening are not extremely high.
Here is what MDA has as their current 6 to 15 day forecast:
Here is a 45 day model projection from the CFS, but again, beware putting too much faith in the models right about now:
The usual caveat; these are forecasts and not guarantees, but the ‘organic forecasting’ methods used by BAM and others this winter have performed ‘better’ than the models…and those organic methods are and have been showing a return to the freezer for much of the country east of the Missouri River (KC)…now, the modeling is beginning to show that as well.
If these ideas verify for February, many of us will experience challenges similar to what we went through in January with regards to trucking & product availability.
Get full and stay that way as long as you can. I REALLY hope you used this halftime ‘warm up’ to such ends…if so, the duration of the challenges you WILL face in February will be shorter.