Posted by: rockster11 | November 22, 2009

An El Nino Winter=’s An El Headacheo for 3 months….

Hello Everyone… This is it.. This is my official winter forecast for the greater Central Indiana area for the 2009-2010 season. :)…Let me first say that one thing you will always notice about me is I am HONEST. If I am wrong, I admit it.. I am not afraid to stick my neck out as to what I think will happen. “Most” (there are still a select good ones left) of our on air Tv personalities are just afraid these days IMHO… They rely too much on Computer models for their info… Don’t get me wrong, I use computer model’s but the sheer essence of gut instinct seems to be disappearing from today’s mainstream weather.. This is where I differ, I will use my gut, and if my gut is wrong I WILL admit it.

El Nino, simply put is an above average warming of the western pacific waters… This warming pushes storm tracks usually to the far southwest.. Those storms generally ride along the southern United States and Up the Eastern Seaboard.. For snow lovers in Indiana, a true by the Book El Nino generally isn’t favorable if you’re a snow lover… I am still not buying this scenario as I think El Nino will begin to fade around the end of December…But as this writing it is still strengthening.. I will stick to my guns though. 🙂

Let me also talk about a “favorable” track for big snows… For big snows we need a lot of things to come together, a favorable Jet Stream pattern, a Strong Low pressure system that ejects from the south, and plenty of gulf moisture to feed the low, not to mention critical thickness temps that support snow throughout the entire upper levels of the atmosphere.. It can be 29 degrees on the ground but if we get a shallow layer of warm air aloft, then we can get sleet/freezing rain.. The Key to good snow is no pesky what is called WAA or Warm Air Advection.. This is what makes the actual low track SO important.. Every low has a warm front and a cold front associated with it, if you get a warm front out ahead of the ejecting low, that is where we get our Warm air Advection to occur…… A great low track for Central Indiana snows is usually a low that travels through Extreme Southern Indiana, or for the BIG STORMS even as far south as Southern Kentucky… the Heaviest snow falls within 100- 250 miles north and northwest of the actual lowest pressure.. So you can do the math when you see the big “L’s” on your local weather forecast’s/maps… you must also remember, when you hear local meteo’s say that the track of the Low means everything, they are RIGHT…. A shift of a Low Pressure track by as little as 50 miles, north or south can cause MAJOR implications on what type of precip your area will get.. It can truly be a beast sometimes to figure these things out.. But I will do my best this year 🙂

Now on to the goody’s, what I think will occur….. The National weather service seems to think we are going to be on the dry side this winter and an “equal” chance of normal temps…. I won’t even get into what that means because I think it is the silliest  forecasting tool that I have ever seen… It basically means temps could either be above or below normal for the entire winter (according to them) and precip will be lacking, again for the entire winter… I am going to say up front that if this El Nino does continue to strengthen through January and February then our winter will be above normal on temps and below normal snowfall will occur, again if this is a ‘true by the book El Nino”….  I am now going to go through Each month Starting with December…

DECEMBER… This could be our month if you like snow… I really think we are going to go cold quickly and furiously. I am predicting temps to be slightly below normal for this month and for snowfall to be right at normal. I think we will get 1 possibly 2 of our major storms in this month.. By major I mean an accumulating snow of more than 5 inches for a single event. I am going to put our December total snowfall at 13.6 inches

JANUARY… Traditionally our coldest month, and I don’t believe January will disappoint.. I will again put temperatures at “slightly below” normal for the month, but I believe we will start seeing more East coast runners and Appalachian runners in terms of storms (not favorable tracks for our area for big snows)… My Predicted snowfall total for the month of January is going to be 8.2 inches… Let me add that I believe a lot of our snow totals from this month will come from what is commonly referred to “Alberta Clippers”. These are fast racing storms that dart of out of  Canada and dump on average a 1-4 inch snowfall.. they can be stronger on occasions, but they usually move too fast to cause real high totals…

FEBRUARY…. This is where things get dicey for me… I think we are going to run into an ice problem for this month.. I believe temps in this month will moderate from normal to slightly above normal…Again, if we see a strengthening El-Nino then temps will be above normal… If we see our El Nino fade then Temps will be around normal.. Either way the concern for Ice Events is in my mind for this month. I believe our total snowfall in the month of February will be 8.6 inches…

 This puts us in a total of 30.4 inches for the winter… the average for the Indianapolis area is 27.0 inches so I am indeed calling for a “slightly above average precip” winter in terms of snow….

We will see how this all plays out as I am sticking my neck in the vise so to speak… If El Nino does remain and strengthen then my numbers will most likely be way off… Thats the fun in forecasting though!! Sorry for not using any graphical maps.. I think I explained what I needed to in words.. I am not a graphical map kind of guy, plus I just dont have the know how on how to make them… Enjoy the winter everyone!!! Whatever you wish for, I hope you get it.. 🙂

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