15 January 2011

When La Nina Comes Callin': Long Range US Forecast


Long-range weather forecasting is still an experimental art form, but some US and UK practitioners are getting better at it (Not the UK Met). Here is what the long range gnomes at Accuweather have to say:
The current La Niña is still going strong and expected to persist through at least the spring. AccuWeather.com long range forecasters think it could even last well into the summer or early fall.

So what does that mean in terms of weather for the coming months? What can people expect for the rest of winter and the upcoming spring? Will there be a continuation of non-typical extremes like we've seen over the last few months?

What to Expect in Coming Months

In short, AccuWeather.com Expert Long Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok says that we can expect to see more of the non-typical La Niñna events in parts of the country in coming weeks.

For example, he expects colder-than-normal conditions to continue affecting the East through the end of January and possibly the first half of February. In contrast to December, which was coldest compared to normal in the Southeast, the upcoming cold in the East is expected to be most extreme in the Northeast.

A blast of cold air coming to the Northeast the weekend of Jan. 22-23 is forecast to be especially brutal. A healthy snowpack covering much of the East now will help make upcoming cold outbreaks even more intense.

...In the Southeast, Pastelok thinks the cold that continues in coming weeks will be significant enough to make temperatures for the entire winter average out below normal for much of the region. This would be an impressive feat, considering that La Niña winters in the Southeast are typically warmer than normal.

In general, Pastelok also expects a continuation of stormy weather from the Tennessee Valley into the mid-Atlantic for much of the rest of the season. Storms that track through this zone can vary between producing snow, ice and heavy rain.

The bitter cold destined for the East will first blast through the Midwest. So more extreme cold is in store for people across that region as well.

...The Southwest started this winter off with cool temperatures but has recently experienced warming. That warmth is starting to spread eastward into Texas, and Pastelok expects most of the interior Southwest and Texas to stay warmer much of the rest of the winter.

Above-normal precipitation is expected for the Northwest for the rest of the season with higher-than-normal snowfall in the interior. Temperatures should average below normal for the rest of the season. _Accuweather
More on strong La Nina from Wattsupwiththat?!?


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