Well, maybe it is, but who cares?
A little over a month ago, Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi came out with this outlook for the 2009-10 winter:
It received much attention, primarily because it suggested a harsh winter for the heavily-populated mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Bastardi based this prediction on a number of factors, including a weakening El Nino. (Small tangent… in college we did a brief, statistical study correlating El Nino and snowfall near Chicago, IL. Normally, El Nino results in less snowfall during the winter, but we found that a weak El Nino may result in above-normal snowfall in the area.) Bastardi’s suggested storm track indicates a winter full of nor’easters.
To his credit, Bastardi’s outlook for the remainder of summer has been fairly accurate. Still, a winter outlook is always a tricky endeavor. There’s teleconnection after teleconnection and it’s tough to see how they balance to create a certain weather pattern in winter.
Searching the “weather” tag in WordPress, I came across this post from Paul Yeager on his weather blog. In it, Paul brings up a different teleconnection – Siberian snow in October. He points out that Dr. Judah Cohen has been studying this for some time and feels it has predictive value for winter outlooks in the US. It might be something worth watching this Fall as US winter approaches.