Joe Bastardi Reaffirms Winter Outlook

Image from Accuweather.com.  Click for larger image.

Image from Accuweather.com. Click for larger image.

If I were selling a weather forecast product, such as, say, a winter outlook, this might be a good time to publish such a product.  In a week that saw literally thousands of cold weather records set, and with the prospect of an early Nor’easter, now would probably be the time to look to the coming winter.  It’s certainly going to be on the minds of many.

Joe Bastardi of Accuweather (and the occasional appearance on FOX News) has reissued his Winter Outlook, which first appeared in late summer.  It seems he may have added some more detail to his forecast, but it generally remains the same.  And it’s hard to argue against at the moment given the weather pattern experienced this week.

You can read the full article here, including regional breakdowns and maps specific to temperature and precipitation.  In short, Bastardi maintains the mid-Atlantic to southern New England area could see the most snow they’ve seen in the last 5-10 years as a storm track favorable for frequent Nor’easters develops.  Since traffic is already an issue from Washington, DC to Boston, MA, the prospect of increased snowfall from previous years is downright frightening.

Also scary?  The potential for multiple snow/ice storms in the South – a region not too familiar with winter weather and even less appreciative of anything cold and wintry.  Snow and ice storms in this area can severely impact travel, property, and even life.

Of course, any such forecast, whether coming from an almanac, private meteorology company, or NOAA, should be taken with at least a medium-size grain of salt.  Meteorology still has some trouble predicting what will happen three days from now, not to mention three months from now.  I, along with much of my meteorology brethren, are aware of this fact.  Still, the public looks for information like this, so I offer it to you here.  Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to Joe Bastardi Reaffirms Winter Outlook

  1. Jory (Sandy) says:

    Thing about El Nino this time around, there is a cool PDO. I’m curious what that will do. Doesn’t it cancel out some of the effects of an El Nino>

    • Steve J says:

      Great point! During the cool phase of the PDO, which it seems we’ve entered, El Nino events are generally believed to be weaker and less frequent than those during the warm phase. I’m guessing that is playing a big role in Bastardi’s prediction. He doesn’t mention the PDO specifically, but his forecast appears to be based on the notion that the current El Nino will weaken. My guess is he believes the El Nino will weaken because of the cool phase PDO.

      It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. The PDO was in a cool phase from the end of WWII until the mid-1970s when it shifted to a warm phase. It remained warm until last year when it’s believe to have shifted into a cool phase. Here’s what I find so interesting – think of the progress made in atmospheric science since the mid-70s. Satellite and surface observations as well as forecast models have improved dramatically since that time, but they’ve all operated with a warm phase PDO. If we have entered a cool phase (and if the PDO matters at all), have we made assumptions or predictions that will no longer be valid? It’s an odd question, but worth considering in my opinion. I’m looking forward to maybe finding some answers.

  2. Pingback: Winter Forecast, Weather Humor, Mammoth Snow « Cloudy and Cool

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