Is it crazy to start thinking about what the Winter of 2018-2019 might have in store? Perhaps a little bit. But Jon spoke with Meteorologist Michael Clark of BAMWx.com on Thursday (June 7th) and the topic of the Winter of 2018-2019 came up. That part begins at the 4:25 mark of the video. Apologies for Clark’s audio level..still working out a few kinks in the new tech, but if you turn up your volume, you can understand what he says. If you would just rather read the transcript of what he said, scroll to below the video, or if you want to watch the video from the point where we begin discussing the possibilities for the Winter of 2018-2019, CLICK HERE:
JON MILLER: I know it’s early, very early, but are there any large scale, macro-level climate drivers showing their fingerprints that gives you an inkling of what we might expect for the winter of 2018-2019?
There are three things that spark my interest right now, or are grabbing my attention.
First, we are heading back into a grand solar minimum period, with lower sunspot activity and lower solar energy. There are strong correlations to longer, colder duration winters during periods like this and to some degrees, last year was an example of that. We are really coming in to that solar minimum this year, next year and probably the year after…I think you can relate this to the 2008, 2009 and 2010 time frame which was a low solar period. That is working out well. (Clark tweeted about this back in December of 2017, and you can see the 2008 reference data there)
The second thing is the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation), or the equatorial pacific waters. There are strong indications that a weak to moderate central-based, Modoki (a Japanese word meaning ‘same, but different’) based El Nino could develop. That means it’s not a basin-wide event, but more of a central based event. This can really enhance the winter pattern in the United States with a big U.S. eastern trough, which would be cold and snowy (if it comes to pass)…2013-2014 would be an example of central based activity.
The third thing is the QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation), basically it’s the wind pattern over the tropical pacific. The QBO is easterly…right now, it’s very easterly and that factored in with a central based El Nino can lead to a big time hitting winter. From an analog standpoint this upcoming winter (if these events persist) would be harsh, cold and snowy, especially in the east and northeast. These three major atmospheric atmospheric drivers lend support to a cold United States winter.
I also asked Clark about how forecasters missed on the February 2018 forecast, as well as what the rest of this summer looks like. Those two segments follow the discussion on the Winter of 2018-2019.