Posted: Jun 26, 2012 - 2:16 AM GMT
Edited: Jun 26, 2012 - 2:17 AM GMT
Another winter like last year, I think more then we want will fall. If you cant make snow, you cant be open. We still live in a age where if most skiers dont see snow in the backyard they think areas are bare. If we got a record cold winter, people would stay inside. Sometimes you just cant seem to win. I just hope for the best. I wonder how Vermont is doing with summer business? Or, any region for that matter. __________
Excerpts from 6/25 email from old schoolmate who lives in Loveland (the town, not the ski area), CO:
"In a rush...fire moving north and west... at one point seven miles away. We're two miles from evac zone...the heavy slurry bombers come in...getting used to them being constantly overhead during the daylight hours... praying for their safety and for the boots on the ground. If fire moved south last week we would have been forced to leave. Luckily, they made a stand.
Things are drier than I've ever seen. Usually this time of year its lush green. Now, everything is dead and crispified. Last night we got .25" of rain... the first in maybe two months. Today was the fourth 100 degree plus day in a row."
Well this is encouraging news, as I enjoy our 98 degree weather...
AccuWeather.com Long Range meteorologists, headed by Paul Pastelok, are projecting an El Niño this winter. However, the key is the strength of the feature.
"Based on what the patterns we are already seeing over the Pacific Ocean, we believe that an El Niño is beginning to set up and we may have a weak El Niño signature by late in the summer," Pastelok said.
How strong the El Niño becomes seems to have an interesting outcome for snowfall for the northern United States.
Pastelok's crew is projecting a weak to moderate El Niño for this coming winter.
According to a study done by Ralph Fato, during a "weak" El Niño, many winters have brought above-normal snowfall for cities such at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford and Chicago. However during strong El Niño winters, snowfall trends to well-below average.
During a weak El Niño, there is generally a balance between southern warmth and northern chill, resulting in ample energy and moisture for storms.
During a strong El Niño, the storm track sets up in such a way to allow warm air to overwhelm the Midwest and Northeast; therefore, storms tend to favor rain rather than snow.
There are other oscillations that also have effects on the weather patterns. This past winter, in addition to the La Nina, there was an unusually strong and persistent positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO).
The AO usually fluctuates back and forth between positive (strong jet stream near the Arctic Circle) and negative (weak jet stream near the Arctic Circle) over the course of a winter.
In short, when the AO is strongly positive, the jet stream is strong from west to east around the Arctic Circle and cold air cannot escape southward to the mid-latitudes.
"The persistent, strongly positive AO this past winter was highly unusual and had a profound effect on temperature and snowfall over much of the U.S. and southern Canada," Pastelok said.
Since the clash of cold air with warm air is a key ingredient for storms and cold air is needed for snow, a strongly positive AO greatly reduces the chance of such an occurrence.
Generally, the AO cannot be predicted more than a few weeks in advance.
"However, odds are greatly in favor of the AO either being less strongly positive or at least being negative at times this coming winter, compared to last winter," Pastelok said.
A negative AO is a weaker circulation around the Arctic Circle and allows cold air to drive southward.
The strongly positive AO throughout this past winter prevented a feature called the Greenland Block from setting up. The Greenland Block tends to lock in sufficient cold air in the northeastern U.S. for approaching storms.
The less strongly positive AO and occasional blocking should at least create more opportunities for snow this winter.
Inaccuweather is a joke. Don't believe them. They always go for the worst case scenario.
Honestly, predicting seasonal snowfall is a crapshoot this far out, and maybe with a lot of research a forecaster has slightly better than 50/50 odds. There are so many factors, so many storms that can be close calls (say surface temps of 34F/Rain and 32F/Snow) that trying to predict this far out is very very difficult.
I wonder how Vermont is doing with summer business? Or, any region for that matter.
We drove through Woodstock VT on our way back from Ohio last night (June 30) it was very quiet in the center of town - plenty of parking - not the usual case on a Saturday night but maybe its just off because the its early in the summer season and 4th is on a Wednesday.
The latest article on this topic: "So This is What Global Warming Looks Like" ....
WASHINGTON (AP) - If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks.
Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho.
These are the kinds of extremes climate scientists have predicted will come with climate change, although it's far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June..
But since at least 1988, climate scientists have warned that climate change would bring, in general, increased heat waves, more droughts, more sudden downpours, more widespread wildfires and worsening storms. In the United States, those extremes are happening here and now.
So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the U.S. were in areas under extreme heat advisories last Friday, two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and Florida.
"This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level," said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. "The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about."
"What we're seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like," said Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. "It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters."
Oppenheimer said that on Thursday. That was before the East Coast was hit with triple-digit temperatures and before a derecho - an unusually strong, long-lived and large straight-line wind storm - blew through Chicago to Washington. The storm and its aftermath killed more than 20 people and left millions without electricity. Experts say it had energy readings five times that of normal thunderstorms.
Fueled by the record high heat, this was one of the most powerful of this type of storm in the region in recent history, said research meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storm Laboratory in Norman, Okla. Scientists expect "non-tornadic wind events" like this one and other thunderstorms to increase with climate change because of the heat and instability, he said.
Such patterns haven't happened only in the past week or two. The spring and winter in the U.S. were the warmest on record and among the least snowy, setting the stage for the weather extremes to come, scientists say.
Since Jan. 1, the United States has set more than 40,000 hot temperature records, but fewer than 6,000 cold temperature records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through most of last century, the U.S. used to set cold and hot records evenly, but in the first decade of this century America set two hot records for every cold one, said Jerry Meehl, a climate extreme expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This year the ratio is about 7 hot to 1 cold. Some computer models say that ratio will hit 20-to-1 by midcentury, Meehl said.
"In the future you would expect larger, longer more intense heat waves and we've seen that in the last few summers," NOAA Climate Monitoring chief Derek Arndt said.