Tuesday, November 19, 2013


NASA Solar Activity as of November 19, 2013
 Solar Activity, while mentioned by few professionals concerning Winter Outlooks... is one-of-the most important factors shaping this upcoming Winter season, it is what I call the foundationThe above image of the solar disk from NASA on November 19, 2013, shows 4-active sunspot regions in-general (circled-in-black) on the sun. The sunspot region toward the center of the solar disk, is most active... however all circled sunspot regions have-to-be-watched. Of note, during a Solar Minimum, the solar disk would be virtually free of sunspot activity... as we head toward 2016, the above image will be less-of-a-factorSunspots have a direct relation to High Latitude Blocking episodes, due to the entrapment of heat through UV Rays... promoting increased ozone formation. The more active the sun, the more of a driver it is... influencing the Earth's stratosphere (poleward), where pronounced cooling occurs. Therefore, the orientation of the jet-stream keeps the heart of the Polar Vortex (PV) at the North Pole...
encouraging an overall progressive pattern (with short-lived shots of cold air) in middle latitudes with a highly Positive Phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and 
North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). As a result, the weather pattern experienced in middle latitudes, is an overall milder, dryer pattern... which is a signature of increased solar activity, especially during a Solar Maximum.

AO GEFS Index Forecast  -  November 19, 2013
Looking at the Arctic Oscillation (AO) Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) forecast, shows true signs of solar influence. Within the area circled-in-red, the AO Index has been averaging around  +3.0 Standard Deviation (SD) above normal-mean... from extreme late October to mid-November. During this time period there was also a  pronounced resurgence in sunspot activity, which is clearly observed with this classic +AO signature.

SWPC Solar Cycle Progression as of November 4, 2013
Viewers of this site understood that a Solar Maximum was experienced during 2011/12 & 2001/02... following the 9-11 year Schwabe Cycle, which averages to be exactly every 10.66 years that a solar maximum is observed. However, following this cycle also hints at a resurgence of solar activity about 2 years after the actual observed maximum... this occurred in 2003/04 (which highly influenced that Winter season) now were 2 years after the maximum again, with another resurgence in sunspot activity. In posts I published during the 2012/13 Winter Season, I wrote about a return to the classic old-fashioned New England Winter's (as experienced throughout most of the 1960's & 70's) from 2016 through 2020. I stated this with a strong understanding that this period will be the start of a Solar Minimum (which will strongly encourage High Latitude Blocking episodes due to a non-active solar influence), following the Schwabe Cycle. But, there is also another important factor to strongly consider...
on January 4, 2008 we entered Solar Cycle 24. While Solar Cycle 23 was highly active in-terms of sunspot activity, especially before the observed minimum in 2006 (as seen on the SWPC image above), Solar Cycle 24 has paled in-comparison. This is a highly important factor, that will also have a significant influence over the next decade+... considering that the actual solar cycle is about 22 years long.

My thoughts for the 2013/14 Winter Season: Due to a resurgence in solar activity, it's critical in how active the sun remains. However, I will clearly state that seeing the actual Solar Maximum was observed in 2011/12... I certainly believe that it won't be as mild as that Winter. In fact, if you follow the Schwabe Cycle closely... this resurgence in active sunspots should be short-lived. Taking this strongly into consideration, I feel the potential is strong for established High Latitude Blocking episodes from January through March. December is critical, but will more than likely be a period of transition... as the current solar activity will be less of a factor on the overall 500-millibar Height Pattern.

Now that I presented the foundation, I am going to link to NY NJ PA Weather for the finer details on the Winter Forecast for 2013/2014... which is the best seasonal outlook I have ever read.

New England NAO will continue to-be-updated through the Winter season.