Our Winter Forecasts

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Before I get to ours…don’t forget to chime and and give us your ideas…go to the weather blog from a couple of days ago and vote…I will use your results this weekend.

Also I spent most of the blog talking about the Superstorm that was hitting western AK yesterday…the surge in the Nome, AK area was 10″ and winds were clocked at over hurricane force with snow coming down (5″ worth)…pretty impressive. So what was it like to spend a minute in a storm like that…take a look at this video that shows the storm from the middle of the Bering Sea, on a tiny island called Little Diomede. Here is a map from Wikipedia that shows the island in the middle of a vast empty expanse…

Now check out the video…

Now to the Winter Forecasts…we’ve had numerous email requests from folks who missed them last FRI and then again when we replayed them on Sunday night…I promised I’d get that information on the blog so here goes…

MT is the lowest and DH is the highest…but as you know we take a team approach to the forecast so what we’ll go with this winter is the following…

It’s interesting to note that while we talk about certain aspects about the forecast, we never talk about specific numbers with each other before the forecast is talked about. We’re all expecting more snow than average…but not as much as the last couple of winters. Last year we had close to 37″ @ KCI and the year before close to 44″. The forecast is validated @ KCI.

As far as me personally, I think these things, while fun to do, have very little skill in accuracy. Sometimes we’ll get close but trying to predict how much snow one point will have in the metro, when snowfall accumulations from individual storms will vary 2-5″ around the area is pretty crazy. They’re fun to do and you certainly have demanded it.

My own forecasts for the last couple of years have been really bad. You don’t often here a meteorologist say that in a public forum, but as you know I don’t believe that philosophy. Others may say this or that, about how they were sooo close but yet somehow they were 15″ off.

I typically take a statistical look at things…which since I’m into the numbers side is interesting, at least to me. The problem with statistics is that they don’t really help with the future…ask any economist. Sometimes though I think you can glean trends that are interesting to see if they follow through…so with that said here are some of the thoughts I had…

1) When I tried to find comparisons to dry SEP/OCT periods and then look for the snow amounts that winter…I came up with several cases and all the cases argued with average to below average amounts (avg now is about 19″)

2) My feeling though is that we’ll have increased storminess during the winter season. This would argue somewhat about an expansion of the drought that moved into the area a few weeks ago. This expansion though is my wild card in the forecast. IF it does expand farther NE (after being knocked back down after the 3-6″ of rainfall in the last 10 days) then the forecast will be vastly overdone.

3) We’ve never had 3 straight seasons with 30″+ of snowfall officially in KC.

4) But we do have a tendency that when we have a couple of years of decently above avg amounts of snowfall in a row, there is a tendency to have another 1-2+ years of more than average snowfall. This has happened, I think in 5 previous times in our recorded history, we’ve had a stretch of 3-5 years of above avg snowfall amounts

5) The atmosphere won’t be as consistently “blocked up” as it was last year. Last year, like the year before saw weather patterns that heavily favored the delivery of cold air from Canada/Arctic areas. This created a persistent snowcover from here northwards helping to keep temperatures well below average. I don’t feel that this “blocking” will be as strong or as persistent, so from a temperature standpoint hopefully that means it won’t be as persistently cold as it has been for the last couple of winters. I should note I have noticed some forecasts of really cold air centered in the middle of the country.

If you want to see my entire winter forecast click here!

I’ll try to add some of the roundtable videos tomorrow to the blog…they were pretty funny as they usually are.

Weather should be quiet through the weekend and the only system that needs watching is perhaps for next Monday, although it’s very possible that the rain will be closer to the I-44 corridor.

Joe

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