Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Outlook for 2008-09 winter

Well, the sounds of gas blowers, the approach of high school football playoffs and (mercifully) the end of an election means one thing for me: It's snow time!

Only one problem -- it apparently doesn't snow here any more.

At least that's been the case in recent winters.

But I'm here to sing a different tune, winter weather fans.

I'm getting my first report of the winter off to a bold start by saying this: We WILL have an accumulating snow of 2 inches or more this winter.

OK, now that I've made a fool out of myself, here is the prevailing view on this winter from people who actually know what they're talking about.

Mainly, the picture is this: most of the atmosphereic "signals" are weak or neutral.

Last year we were in a La Nina which ended up being a disaster for us.

An index called the NAO, was in its positive state for virtually the entire winter. What we want is a negative NAO -- which is loosely defined as high pressure over Greenland which "blocks" systems from progressing across the country and traps cold air over the lower 48 states.

There are some indications that we will see periods of -NAO this winter.

Another problem in the last few winters has been a strong "Pacific Jet" which sends systems crashing ashore in the Northwest. These systems cut across the northern tier, keeping cold air locked in Canada.

Again, there are indications that this pattern will not dominate the entire winter.

Using other even more complicated signals, a number of pro mets feel like late November and December might well be the coldest months of the winter. They forsee a January thaw, followed by perhaps one more shot of cold in February.

Looking at current model trends, some credence is lent to this idea. We will get quite cold this Saturday night and Sunday and into next week -- temperatures that feel more like mid-January than mid-November.

And there are indications from computer models that the cold air will be hanging around, perhaps until Thanksgiving and beyond.

While it is unusual to see snow here in November (remember the year it snowed during the Shelby parade not too long ago?) it's not impossible. And once the calendar turns to December, our chances of snow ramp up quickly with literally every day that passses.

So, I think we break our losing streak on snow this year and I wouldn't be surprised for us to see some snow threats as early as around Thanksgiving and certainly into December.

Keep an eye on this blog for updates all winter long and don't forget to signup for e-mail weather alerts if you want to know when my updates are posted.


TC said...

I believe this winter will be cold with maybe one good snow( 4" + ) and a major ice storm.

I don't put much faith in computer models. It seems they are wrong 95% of the time.

I'm heading to Mt. Mitchell tomorrow to see how cold it is there. Saw quite a few icesicles this past Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I believe we are finally going to get snow this winter. I have never seen the amount of acorns like I have this fall! Plus, I had a Wooly Worm at my doorstep last week.

Anonymous said...

I believe we will temps in the upper 60's low 70's around Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of acorns, for the past 2 winters it has been like rollar skating in my front and back yards...due to all of the acorns. TONS of acorns and NO snow! This year, I have NO acorns! None of my neighbors do either. The squirrels seem desperate. I think we will see some SNOW, but I sure hope we get more than just 2" all winter.


Anonymous said...

Hi Skip.

I like Joe D'Aleo's blog ( He is one of the founders of The Weather Channel (well before they became The Global Warming Hysteria Channel)and really knows his forecasting.

He has a similar forecast:


Iceman said...

The latest GFS model. The 18z run. Is predicting a 1-2" snow Sunday Nov. 23 and another 2-3" snow Saturday November 29. Doubt this would happen but you never know.

Anonymous said...

No one knows there forecasting as previously stated. Most weathermen are WRONG when it comes to forecasting here.

Anonymous said...

Iceman, you know what "GFS" stands for, right? Good For $#!T.

I wouldn't trust it past tomorrow afternoon...


Skip Foster said...

Yeah, I'm a "euro" man myself but the GFS is good for some eye candy.

Not a fan of D'Aleo although I certainly hope his forecast for this winter verfies!!

Anonymous said...

I prefer the Euro models too. GFS just left me disappointed too many times last year.

Curious. Why don't you like D'Aleo?


Iceman said...

Yea it does flip flop back and forth a lot. It is wrong a lot I was just browsing through them and saw it. Now it is saying no snow.

Jody said...

Is there some way to subscribe to this blog?

Skip Foster said...

Yes, Jody. You can get an e-mail alert when my blog is updated for weather.

Go to this address:

And check the weather box and you'll be signed up!