Posted by: rockster11 | August 1, 2010

Gamble’s Rambles edition 1: 2010-2011 Preliminary winter forecast

Well here we go!! Yes it is only August 1st but I am so excited about the 2010-2011 Winter season that I wanted to get a “preliminary” winter forecast out to the good people of Indiana.. All in all last year I missed my snow total by 4 inches and I goofed February up as you can see below, but December and especially January went exactly the way I thought they might… You have to remember that we got VERY lucky in February.. WE should not have gotten the amounts of big snows we did in that month because of the El Nino Pattern that we were in, so that was a very unorthodox month in terms of the atmospheric pattern..

This year is going to be an entirely different animal… I truly believe this will be a BIG and I mean BIG teeter totter type of year in the temperature department. I will get into that in a few moments. I also want to divulge that I am far from an expert.. I am just a typical guy doing something that completely interests me.. If I don’t know about a specific weather related item I will tell you and there is ALOT I still don’t know and understand. Remember I have taken no schooling, this has all been learned on my own for the past 15 years.. I am still learning to read Teleconnections like the Arctic Oscillation Index (AO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Pacific North American Pattern (PNA) and the Antarctic oscillation (AAO)  and the Greenland Block… Every one of these phenomenon help to dictate our weather during the winter.. I really love going by the AO index.. I have found when it tanks into the Negative territory, then our temps are gonna take a dive. Likewise when it moves into Positive territory, our temps go up… You will really hear me preaching the gospel of the AO index this year, as I truly believe the index will be all over the place with our temp’s being the same way…

Last year we were in an El-Nino.. Simply put An El Nino is an abnormal warming of the Central and Eastern Pacific ocean.. This abnormal warming pushed our jet stream WELL south, which is basically (and Im putting it simple terms here) a steering current of winds in a narrow corridor that storm systems like to ride.. So in other words it is like a Big Brother giving its little brothers and sister storms systems a piggy back.. (Hey gotta keep it fun, I need you all to read the whole thing. :P)  The abnormal push of the JET to the south is why we saw snows in Texas and other southern areas that usually don’t get snow.. When the Jet moved south the Colder Canadian air was able to infiltrate right along with it….

This year is a whole different Beast in my opinion… We are currently, the last time I looked, in a very weak LA-NINA cycle..A La-Nina is the complete opposite of the El Nino.. It is an abnormal COOLING of the central/eastern Pacific waters… As a result of this abnormal cooling the Jet Stream is shoved much further north across sections of Indiana and Michigan.. This is EXACTLY why places like Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota have been having such a rough severe weather season and it is why Rain has seemed to dominate our pattern every other day.. Storms are “piggy backing” along the Jet. It is ALSO why we have been hotter, a Further North jet allows hotter and more moist air from the south to move right on in.. IT IS a classic weak La Nina Pattern!!!… The question is how strong of a Nina will we be in once winter comes?? I have seen talk of forecasters saying anywhere from neutral to Moderate.. I am going to go with a strong weak to a weak moderate Nina which in turn means this one thing…. Snow/Cold Rain/Ice and a lot of it in the midwest…. I am not going to go by month this year but rather by states in the immediate area, starting of course with our beloved INDIANA region..

Indiana/Illinois/Ohio/Michigan:   Let us start with…….. of course… INDIANA.. I am going to put it up front, and I am going very bold here but I believe Indiana is going to be a big battleground for winter storms this year, I am really hesitant with this but I am going to stick with this number for now.. I believe Central/North Central Indiana will see 36-42″  of snow this year and at least 1 1o”+ snowstorm.. which would put us in the above normal category for snow by about 5-10″.. If our La-Nina holds it’s current strength or gets stronger, then this number will be very close, In my opinion.. If it weakens or we even get back into a Neutral  cycle, then this number will likely be much to high.. Like I said earlier I believe Nina will still be going strong and we will hold this number.. If you are from Chicago or Michigan then get ready, this IS your year!!! I truly believe the lake effect machine will pound Western Michigan and areas into northern Indiana early in the winter season.. Of course Chicago usually relies on separate storm systems rather than lake effect but I suspect there will plenty of  Big Storms that affect the region this year.. Ohio is  a much tougher one to nail down and I am quite honestly having problems figuring out how much you will receive..  but I am going to go with a normal snowfall season for most of Ohio with the northern county’s getting the brunt of the good winter..

Minnesota/Iowa/Wisconsin:  Just as the severe weather season has treated them badly, I expect Winter to be no different.. These are the big winners this winter in my opinion.. I really think you all will go very cold and very snowy very fast.. Again, this is all based on the Nina Pattern.. I expect all 3 states to be above average in the snowfall category with Minnesota and Wisconsin dominating the scene…..

All in all I believe this might be Michigan’s come back year in terms of snow… current pattern is setting up PERFECTLY for them and I will be watching very closely to see if this holds true into November…

As we get into September I will be updating this post to see if I still think everything is on track, but I really believe Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and points west from there will be the big winners this year in winter precip…. Now you all know how finicky these systems are and how the difference of 50 miles can mean Rain/Sleet/or Snow but I am not too concerned with it right now… We have lots of HOT summer to go.. yes I said Hot, August in my opinion is looking horrid in the temp’s… But, that, is another prediction.. 🙂 Enjoy everyone.. I will incorporate maps and graphics with my next update.. 🙂

Matt the weather Bum………. OUT..



  1. Hey it is way past sept 1st and i am still looking everyday for a update. Please Please Please tell me we are going to have alot of snow in michigan this year. I am a winter baby and would really love to see a good winter with alot of snow not only for the fun but to bring our great lakes water level back up.

    • Hello Rae!! I have had to push back my next entry because I want to make sure that La Nina is going to to indeed make it to the “strong” category.. Needless to say the Great Lakes are going to be a great source of snow this year as the lake affect machine will be in full affect.. I am probably going to be lowering Indiana’s totals and keeping with Michigan’s forecast.. A stronger Nina means a stronger chance at above normal temps for the area, but I really still think you are in for a great winter up in Michigan!! Thanks for the interest, and I will be updating soon!!


  2. Hi, I live in Southeastern Illinois (45 min. south of Effingham), and I was curious if we were going to get much snowfall this winter? I love snow and we never get enough. What about ice? Please say lots of snow!! 🙂

  3. Hey, I noticed you gave the forecast for central and northern Indiana. What about South Central Indiana (around the Bloomington area)? Does it look like we will get lots of snow and cold temps?


    • Hi Sherry.. 🙂 I will cover all of this in my next update which is coming this week.. This will be my FINAL Winter outlook and will have maps of where I expect wintry/sloppy precip to setup.. Southern Indiana is a toughy right now, but I am leaning one way.. Stay tuned!!

  4. I love snow, and live in central Indiana. Will you be lowering the projected snowfall for Indiana? ..Great job by the way!..your writing and research are intriguing

    • Thank you so much David!! I am FAR from an expert and very much a novice, but I absolutely love the challenge of trying to predict what will happen based on atmospheric conditions.. As for your other question… Update is coming.. 🙂

  5. how much snow should i expect in the indianapolis area

    • Adam… I have an update coming.. And yes I have revamped Central Indiana’s totals.. Stay tuned. 🙂

  6. Matt – Do you think that Central Illinois will have a lot of snow this year? I would really like to keep the tradition of sledding going strong and building an igloo. Thank you so much and I really appreciate your report!


    • Hi Alex!! thanks for the interest…. I have an update in the works and Central Illinois is going to be covered.. It is a tight call for you over there, but I do believe you stand a better shot at significant snows.. I am really going to be watching how powerful our arctic air intrusions will be this winter… We will have a strong southern ridge in place and we will literally be right in the battle zone of warm and cold air.. Stay tuned!!

  7. Let it snow! I am specifically interested in your opinion of the Allen County Indiana Region. I hate the cold, but to say the least, if it’s going to be cold I have to have the snow. Lots of deep snow.

    • Hey, Rick… I extended the snowier portion of my forecast into Allen county and most of Northern Indiana to account for the Lake effect bands from Lake Michigan that so commonly makes it that far your way.. I am really calling for a BIG lake effect year for the lake effect bands… 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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