The Winter Season always has the most interest here in the VA/NC regions. Other seasons rarely contain events that shutdown schools and disrupt daily business as much as Winter. That being said... Central VA saw massive disruption in the 2000 and 2010's caused by:
- Hurricanes, Isabel and Irene.
- A Summer Derecho wreaked havoc on the power grid.
- Tropical Storm Gaston (Honorable Mention) damaged areas due to flooding
Winter 2013-14 featured harsh cold across the Eastern US and the more frequent forays into below 10 low temperatures than I remember as a child in the late 70's. Elsewhere, the Great Lakes still contained ice in the areas most hard frozen in JUNE. My theme last Winter was "Go Big or Go Home" based on that expected cold and associated disruption. At the weather level, many of you will know that these terms describe what kept temperatures so cold, so long : -NP, -EPO, +PNA, -AO. Those names describe observations made in the North Pacific, NE of Hawaii, Western US, Canada. Take note that the NAO (North Atlantic) was not a major player last winter.
Keep in mind the following principles:
- This is October: While changes are not expected, my final prognostication in late November is subject to change.
- Weather is a designed mechanism: The weather as a system that was designed by God. This means that study of that system must include an investigation into the purpose of each system. How does a layman apply this? Include economics in the process of observing weather.
- Warm Gulf of Alaska - Based on data in modern times, this is the key to every big winter in the NC/VA region. People like to rave about -NAO but... -EPO/+PNA is a stronger correlation to cold,
- Cool North Atlantic: This feature is a key reversal that is expected to introduce a dominant negative NAO into this season's weather equation.
- Developing El Nino: Pacific and Indian Ocean weather patterns and ocean temps are indicative of a weak/low moderate episode of West Based El Nino (called "Modoki"). This situation provides enough El Nino to keep the mean trough mostly in the East but not so much that rainy cool weather dominates over cold.
- Warm Gulf of Mexico - Feeds Nor'easters and Nor'easter wanna be 's :>)
and the long steady uptrend channel since 1991.
October snowcover better correlates with Winter Outcomes.
This data stops at 2013. I can tell you that the month started
at +4 on the scale.