© 2019 Terry Swails

HMMM...A COUPLE THOUGHTS ON THE COMING WINTER.

July 22, 2018

I was looking at the latest MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation) forecast for the remainder of July and into August and there's no doubt in my mind we are going into a prolonged period of near to below normal temperatures. Notice how phase 6 of the MJO is well correlated to significant temperature departures in both July and August. (right panels)

In looking at analogs of similar mid summer weather patterns 1996 came up. Notice how close its MJO cycle is to what's happening this year. July is in red. You can see the progression from phases 1 and 2 into 6.

Temperature departures the last 10 days of July in 1996 turned out like this.

Here's the projected departures the next 10 days of July 2018, That looks very much like 1996.

I looked back at the enso state both of those years and found 1996-97 was a neutral winter. In other words no major leaning towards La Nina or El None.

This year most models indicate a weak El Nino developing, not far from a neutral state.

Just for kicks, because of the strong similarities between this summer and 1996 I went back and looked at the 1996-97 winter and it was a tough one. Here in Cedar Rapids we measured 54.6" of snow. Only one winter since 95-96 has had more and not by much. That was 2007-2008 when 56.6" was logged.

Averaged temperatures for winter 1996-97 (December-February) were 2.2 degrees below normal.

The big take away in this little exercise is that if the strong summer correlation to this summer and 1996-97 means anything, this winter could have us shoveling and heating more than usual. To be clear, this is not a forecast just an observation based on historical analogs. You may have heard the saying the past is the window to the future. Maybe, maybe not! We'll keep an eye out the next couple of months to see how the 2 years trend. Meantime, roll weather...TS

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