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Fall-Winter-Spring 2019-20 Outlook

Here is the first official outlook.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 4:22 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 5:05 PM

I have made 9 winter forecasts since 2009.  All, but 3, have been made for our area.  Of the 9, I have forecasted 3 warmer than normal winters, one normal winter (temperature-wise) & 5 colder than normal winters.  One winter I forecasted as much colder than normal with much above normal snowfall & that was in 2013-14, the snowiest winter in parts of the area since the 1880s.  For other areas, it was the snowiest since the late 1970s to early 80s in those very snowy, bitter winters.  The 2013-14 snow season had +60" at WLFI, but +70" fell in northern Tippecanoe County!

Of the 9, I have forecasted 3 for above normal snowfall & 1 for much above normal snowfall.  I have forecasted two below normal snowfall winters with the rest as normal. 

The least snowy winter I have ever encountered in this span was in the 2016-17 winter when only 1.4" fell at the station in Evansville & the airport there had less than 1".  That & the 2015-16 were the two winters I honed in on for below normal snowfall.  In 2015-16, despite it being a very warm winter, snowfall ended up just only slightly below normal. 

These were the predictions for those winters (I did not include Falls & Springs, or Summers).

2009-10  Sandwich Winter With Cold Start, Mild Middle & Cold End (Overall Normal), Normal Precipitation, Normal Snowfall

2010-11  Colder Than Normal,  Below Normal Precipitation, Normal Snowfall 

2011-12  Warmer Than Normal, Below Normal Precipitation, Below Normal Snowfall

2012-13  Colder Than Normal, Normal Precipitation, Normal Snowfall

2013-14  Much Colder Than Normal, Normal Precipitatation, Much Above Normal Snowfall

2014-15  Colder Than Normal, Wetter Than Normal, Above Normal Snowfall 

2015-16  Warmer Than Normal, Wetter Than Normal, Normal Snowfall  (Evansville Area [Tri-State])

2016-17  Warmer Than Normal, Wetter Than Normal, Below Normal Snowfall (Evansville Area [Tri-State])

2017-18  Colder Than Normal, Wetter Than Normal, Above Normal Snowfall (Evansville Area [Tri-State])

2018-19  Colder Than Normal, Wetter Than Normal, Above Normal Snowfall (30-40")

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FALL:  Overall Warmer than Normal with Normal Rainfall.

SPRING:  Cooler & Wetter Than Normal

WINTER:

December-January-February 2019-20 Mean Temperature Anomalies:

December-January-February 2019-20 Precipitation Anomalies:

October-November-December-January-February-March-April-May Total Snowfall Anomalies:

Key Points:

1.  Similarities to Last Winter......Substantial Temperature Gradient Overall Great Lakes/Plains to Southeast......2013-14 a great analog winter...............2014-15 good analog as well.

2.  Colder Than Normal Overall Here after a slow, warmer-than-normal start November-December

3.  Bigger Temperature Swings As Compared to Normal Here

4.  More High Winds Compared to Normal

5.  Normal Precipitation Overall

6.  Above Normal Snowfall (30-40" From October to April).

7.  Warmer Start & Later Start to Snow Compared to Last Year, Trend to Much Colder Plunges January Onward

8.  Another Winter of a Couple/Few Plunges of Bitter Arctic Air with Lows to -22 In the Area (& wind chills -50 to -40).

9.  Coldest of Winter Very Late January-Early February

10.  Given Tight Temp Gradient a Major Sudden Change from Bitter Cold & Snow to Icing to Fog to Severe Weather with 60s Possible in a 2-day Period in February (Like We Saw in 2014 & 2015).

11.  Another Winter with a Higher Risk of Ice Jams

12.  Tough Winter for Roads Given Big Fluctuations.

13. January-March Average Colder Than Normal (Despite Big Surges in the Temperatures at Times......Big Plunges Will Teeter the Months Overall Colder Than Normal.)

14.  First Flakes or Less Than 1" of Accumulation for West Lafayette ob site:  November 22

15.  First 1" or Greater Snow for West Lafayette ob site:  December 27

16.  White Christmas (At Least 1" of Snow on the Ground Christmas Morning) at West Lafayette ob site:  No

Other Points:

1.  It is an neutral ENSO (sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific are not El Nino or La Nina of any type), so winter will be determined by other driving factors like snow pack, sea surface temperatures elsewhere, MJO & solar.

2.  Each player will exude influence at various times as we have not strong, strong player on the field like a strong traditional El Nino or La Nina.

3.  A combination of players on the atmospheric playing field will combine to bring results frequently, leading to a mixed-bag winter, but one that has more cold than warm & a lot of big ups & downs.

4.  Big warm ridge in Alaska & over Greenland means big trough of cold for central & eastern U.S.  However, like last winter, big ridge should occur in the Southeast.  This is will result in both worlds for us (but again, more cold & snow than warmth).  The Southeast ridge will tend to prevent an even worse winter for us.

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September: Above Normal Mean Temperature, Near Normal Rainfall

October: Above Normal Mean Temperature, Near Normal Rainfall

November: Slightly Above Normal Mean Temperature, Above Normal Rainfall

December Mean Temperature Anomalies: SLIGHTLY-ABOVE NORMAL

December Precipitation: BELOW NORMAL (Snowfall: BELOW NORMAL)

January Mean Temperature Anomalies:  BELOW NORMAL

January Precipitation: SLIGHTLY-ABOVE NORMAL (Snowfall: ABOVE NORMAL)

February Mean Temperature Anomalies: BELOW NORMAL

February Precipitation: ABOVE NORMAL (Snowfall: ABOVE NORMAL)

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SPRING:

March-April-May Mean Temperature:  BELOW NORMAL

March-April-May Precipitation:  ABOVE NORMAL (Snowfall: ABOVE NORMAL)

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March Mean Temperature Anomalies: BELOW NORMAL

March Precipitation: SLIGHTLY-BELOW NORMAL (Snowfall: ABOVE NORMAL)

April Mean Temperature Anomalies: SLIGHTLY-BELOW NORMAL

April Precipitation: ABOVE NORMAL (Snowfall: NORMAL)

May Mean Temperature Anomalies: SLIGHTLY-ABOVE NORMAL

May Precipitation: SLIGHTLY-ABOVE NORMAL (Snowfall: NONE)

West Lafayette
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A drier day with sunshine and cool temperatures
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