STORM TRACK SHOULD REMAIN IN GEAR THE REMAINDER OF THE WINTER
Written by: William R. Deedler, Weather Historian NWS White Lake
In the earlier Winter Outlook, an active storm track was forecast for this winter resulting in above normal precipitation and widely fluctuating temperatures. Up through late January, that has been the case (and then some) with a cold to mild December, warm to cold January and all encased in frequent storms bringing above normal precipitation (including snowfall).
The latest 500mb anomaly probability guidance from CDC for the remainder of the winter pretty much compliments our earlier outlook while remaining true to its original experimental 500mb anomaly projections for the winter (DJF - displayed last October). Note, below is the original 500mb anomaly and estimated mean wind trajectory for the winter issued in October 2007. Below that, is the most recent January 2008 for February – April 2008 issuance. As one can see, they are nearly a duplicate of each other (excluding the hand-drawn annotations).
Storm Track Projections for the Winter of 2007-08 taken from Winter Outlook.
The projected 500mb anomaly pattern also strongly resembled our analogue winter pattern as both intimated a busy storm track this winter with above normal precipitation. The resultant storm tracks were drawn for the Winter Outlook using the analogue winters and 500mb projections (riding along a rather tight baroclinic zone). Below that, are the main storm tracks (less fronts) from late October 2007 into late January 2008. As you can see, it has been fairly busy in the referenced area drawn above - from the Midwest into the Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley.
Main Storm Tracks from October 24 2007 – January 24 2008 (Michigan white dot)
More on these recent storm tracks, including wind trajectories and precipitation, can be found at this page at CPC.
Little change is expected in the temperature department with variability the name of the game as we remain in or near the storm track. Originally in October, I called for around normal for the average winter temperature (ranging from 1.0 degree below normal to 1½ above). Due to the unseasonably warm weather experienced the first half of January, the above normal part of that range will likely suffice (and possibly higher) but obviously, the jury is still out on that one. Some more aggressive cold snaps could temper our above normal average temperature thus far, therefore let’s give that part of the forecast the remaining time to work (or not ;-).
If you are a winter weather enthusiast, try to get out and enjoy the remainder of the winter!