Snow in the Northern Plains...(10-4-12)
We’ve finally managed to reach into the 70s today with some sunshine but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about snow. The first thing that caught my attention was the poor folks in the Red River Valley of the Northern Plains. They were under a Winter Storm Warning today with upwards of a foot of snow expected with winds gusting to 30 mph. No word on whether this storm was given a name by the Weather Channel....Early season snow is certainly not out of the question in this part of the country but this storm is a bit of anomaly. The National Weather Service Grand Forks only mentions storms this early in the season in 1985 and 1950. Shortly after looking at the storm in the northern Plains I got a peek at the monthly El Nino update and there was some potentially important news when it comes to our winter weather. There is now some question as to whether there is going to be much of an El Nino this winter. El Nino is the warming of the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Here is what the Climate Prediction Center said: Compared to the past few months, the chance is reduced for El Niño to develop during Northern Hemisphere fall/winter 2012-13. Due to the recent slowdown in the development of El Nino, it is not clear whether a fully coupled El Niño will emerge. The majority of models indicate that borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions will continue, and about half suggest that El Niño could develop, but remain weak. The official forecast therefore favors the continuation of borderline ENSO-neutral/ weak El Niño conditions into Northern Hemisphere winter 2012-13, with the possibility of strengthening during the next few months.ENSO Neutral is just a fancy way to say there isn’t an El Nino or a La Nina. The fact that we may be just barely in an El Nino could have big implications for our winter forecast. For us, the weaker the El Nino the more snow Syracuse tends to receive. Here are the numbers I’ve pulled from El Ninos over the past 60 plus years and Syracuse snowfall:
Of course this is not our official forecast for the upcoming winner but it will be one piece of data that we will use when we make our prediction in November.Before you get too depressed, keep in mind that the average date of the first one inch snowfall in Syracuse is more than a month away -- November 15th.
|Weak El Nino||129.0” (8 Winters)|
|Moderate El Nino||110.4” (9 Winters)|
|Strong El Nino||106.4” (4 Winters)|
Copyright 2012 Newport Television LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.