So many people are asking me that question…or something along the lines of since the winter was so warm does that mean a hot summer. A month or so ago, I wrote a blog that statistically showed that there was NO correlation in terms of warm winter=hot summer for KC. More on that in a minute.
One of the things that has struck me about this unusual weather we’re having is that severe weather has been occurring in some strange spots for for late winter/early spring. I believe that several of the counties in MI reported their earliest tornadoes in their history over the past couple of days…including this one in Washtenaw County and Dexter. This wasn’t your ordinary tornado either, producing solid damage in its wake.
Here are a couple of videos that show what happened yesterday…note that the language may not be the best if you know what I mean.
Then there is this video…as the saying goes you can’t fix stupid. This is what NOT to do when a tornado is nearby…sometimes you really just wonder.
Meanwhile, in Midland County in northern MI, they too had a tornado earlier in the week, that is a record for the northern most tornado in MI so early in the season. A couple of days ago parts of SE Canada were under Severe T/storm Warnings…that to me is amazing for mid March in that part of Canada.
Yesterday I saw some information that made me want to look further into this. The piece of information that I saw was that this DEC-MARCH was the 4th warmest winter nationwide. My previous research was confined to KC only. So let’s look at the previous 3 winters that were warmer than this winter across the nation. For that we need to use the winters of…
#1 #1999-2000 (Warmest winter season nationwide)
So how did the following summer do for temperatures?
Let’s start with the summer AFTER the #3 warmest winter on record for the nation…that would be the Summer of 1992.
So the answer to that question is a resounding NOOOOOOOO! Look at some of the temperature departures across the middle part of the country…more than 4° below average! In July of 1992 in KC we had close to 15.5″ of rainfall making it the wettest July in our history.
Now let’s move on to #2 winter of 1998-99 and the summer of 1999. How did that fare for the nation…take a look at the temperatures compared to average.
I would say in this case…yes the summer of 1999 was indeed warmer after the warm winter of 1998-99. The core of the warmth though was in the New England area down through the TN valley into the Deep South. Notice for the Midwest as a whole, really not too bad. It was also pretty dry across the Mid-Atlantic and the NE part of the country…usually the two go hand in hand.
OK so we have one resounding NO and one sort of YES, but not really here in the Midwest. Now let’s look at the big kahuna, the #1 Warmest winter for the US…that would be the Winter of 1999-2000. Let’s look at the Summer of 2000.
OK, so now we have the reverse of what happened after #2. The OH Valley and the NE and New England were below average while parts of the Plains and almost all the US from the Rockies west were well above average in spots.
So were these departures influenced by the ENSO situation. Perhaps. The warmest winter for the US occurred in 1999-2000, we were undergoing strong La Nina conditions for the winter season, then a continued weak La Nina through the summer season as well.
In the case of the #2 winter (1998-99) it was much the same with moderate La Nina conditions in the winter season weak La Nina conditions in the summer.
Finally in the case of #3 the winter of 1991-92 and then the following summer of 1992 we were undergoing moderate El Nino conditions during the winter and weak El Nino conditions during the summer.
In reality though there really is no direct correlation that can be made about the simple question of whether a very warm winter season nationally mean a hot summer season which confirms my previous blog.
Hopefully that answers the question once and for all. With that said though, one has to be impressed by how far north the jetstream has retreated so early in the year.