The elements are in-the-making for a classic OLD FASHIONED NEW ENGLAND WINTER! Growing-up in Adams, and living all my life in Northern Berkshire County to-this-point... I can say I have truly experienced winter, without a doubt. My good friendship with former WMNB/WNAW Senior Forecaster George Trottier &
John Hockridge of New England Weather Associates, has educated me with understanding the signs that hint at a possible old fashioned winter. It cannot be overlooked that November, especially the last two weeks of-the-month tends to set the overall pattern for the winter as a whole. Following analogs (or weather data from the past 50 years) points to a strong connection with November trends, in-relation to the overall longwave weather pattern that becomes established for the up-coming winter. It should also be noted, that analogs also support the exact opposite trends for the overall upcoming winter as to what was experienced during the month of October. October 2014 did average around 2-4° above normal throughout New England. With that said, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index forecast (image above) on November 11, 2014, (area I circled in-black) points-to-a significant change in the longwave weather pattern, happening at a very critical time. The Arctic Oscillation will become increasingly Negative (area circled in-black) around November 16th, meaning the Polar Vortex (PV) will split and drop south, over east-central Canada. In advance of this significant change, will be a cold front crossing New England on Thursday, November 13th, that will mark the beginning of change... marking the unofficial beginning of the 2014/15 Winter Season! As a well built house has a good foundation... so does the making of an old fashioned winter. There is much more to that foundation than just the Arctic Oscillation (AO) becoming increasingly negative. For instance, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will also become negative around this period. Why is this important? If you don't have a blocking area of high pressure in the North Atlantic, the jet stream can deliver shots of intense cold... but it will be short-lived and any coastal development in-association with it will tend to move out-to-sea. The NAO was not negative last winter of 2013/14, but positive... which was responsible for many coastal storms moving out-to-sea and frequent mild spells in between the cold snaps. This year, the NAO is hinting it will be the exact opposite as experienced last winter, truly following trends of the Arctic Oscillation. With this stated, we can strongly take into consideration that this up coming winter season will more than likely feature prolonged periods of cold... and strong potential of coastal storms (Nor'Easters) in contrast to last winter. Finally, we cannot ignore solar activity, which is extremely important... the sun is now heading toward a solar minimum. Some of your most volatile winters are experienced during solar minimums, due to virtually no sun spot activity on the solar disk, meaning ultraviolet rays do not fall back on the earth. This in return strongly encourages high latitude blocking in association with a highly Negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) & North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In short, enjoy the warmth of November 11-12th, while you can, as we will soon be in for a reality check!
***The significant warm-up as of Sunday, November 23, 2014 is NOT a major long wave pattern change, but a temporary relaxation of the overall longwave pattern that recently became established!
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