Back to homepage

2016-17 Winter Outlook


Let’s start with last year and learn from our past as move into this year.

Last Year Forecast Recap

What I have highlighted in RED is what happened last winter – the Super NINO overwhelmed the pattern flooding the USA with warm Pacific air. WE did have a stretch with a –AO and –NAO that brought us cold temps from about Jan 10th to the 25th and then again when we went below zero for the second straight winter in February. We had a Godzilla storm that produced 20”plus for the entire NYC Metro area and broke the record in Central Park for the most snow from one storm – EVERRRRRRR!!

Cliff Notes:

  • Slow start to winter with transient cold shots – white xmass? (Bust 74* BLAH!)
  • Precipitation overall is going to be above average with such a strong El Nino (yup)
  • We really take off come mid-January at it lasts through March – possibly until the last week timeframe (Jan 10th actually we flipped)
  • One or two Godzilla Snow storms (one – missed by 75 miles on another ugghhhh!!)
  • Get the snow blower ready I say along with the firewood and the RUM CHATA drinks!


What could wrong? The unexpected:

  • Nino somehow strengthens and continues to through the winter
  • The Nino forcing sets up more east than modeled or thought to be – this would cause warm and wet conditions for the most part (Did not happen)
  • Polar Vortex/AO does not come to fruition or AO suppresses our storms south and east (No they did come to fruition but not for as long as we needed)
  • EPO stays negative (No – rats!!)
  • Mother Nature says not this year Al Q – boo hooo!! (No she loves the Al Q!!)


Winter total – BN snowfall for the ALQ region of NNJ 32” – about 2” below normal

Here are the map compliments of my man Tom Stavola

Far NW NJ(Pink area) – Weenie Suicide Zone ugghhhhh!!

Okay Peeps enough last winter right?  xmas time – bbcue on the grill like I was in Southern California – ba friggin humbug to that lets get ‘er on:

I am not a pro met nor did I go to school for such but just a passion of mine and lots of research went into this forecast and each post I do. Winter is the best time of year in my opinion, cold, the beauty and majestic snow – heck I do not mind summer but it is winter that I cherish and look forward to the most. This write up has taken hours of research and I have borrowed much information from mets across the internet, paid websites and weather forums/boards that I belong to. There are so many variables that come into play for a winter forecast and it is always a complex forecast but I will do my best to make it simple and humorous. Okay weather weenies here we go. Are you ready? I as heck sure am let’s do this!!


SST – Sea Surface Temperatures

Peeps this is what drives our weather as a whole. The Pacific bathtub of water is what gives us warmth and wetness at times in the winter. The waters were building last winter and like a pot of water on your stove talking what my Grandmother would call – a sphoomiga (boil water on the stove and add 3 tablespoons of salt, put a towel over your head as your stand above the boiling water and inhale – opens up the nasal passages if you have sinus issue! Old Itralian remedies work every time!) This year the whole body of water has cooled greatly to a state in the ocean of what we call La Nina. Tis means the waters along the equator are cooler than normal. My question is we are either in a Nino or a Nina so what the heck is normal then?? We seem to be in a state of

You have to admit one of the funniest scenes EVERRRRR in movies!!

La Nina was declared by NOAA on Nov 10th.

Here is what the pattern will be like as per NOAA.

or as this map shows Nina:


Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Map – that cold tongue of water from the wester asian coast all the way to the west coast of America is a big change since I started this write up that if it does not reverse could have an effect on my prediction!  We shall see.


We had a very warm western Atlantic that has cooled but is still above normal and may enhance storms if they take a coastal a track. Also, it may enhance the SE ridge and make the warm South Western Atlantic air invade our territory making it feel more like late March than winter.

Relatively warm waters:

Indian Ocean

Something called the Dipole – two halves of the Indian Ocean. This was a big driver that helped Nino overwhelm the USA with warm air. It was way above normal like the Pacific so we had two massive bodies of water pushing all this warm air – so one reinforced the other. It was like the dunes at the Jersey shore trying to keep the storm surge of Sandy out – did not happen and we were inundated with warm air. The IO has cooled dramatically so it will help in our pattern.

ENSO – Nino Hangover

Those of us who are of the age of to consume alcohol have somewhere experienced this some are worse than others. For me the worse were from the mix of alcohol to beer (makes you sicker!) and like the song – shot shot shot shot shot! Well, equate this to the atmosphere. We have all the warmth from this super Niño and all of it can be absorbed by the air so while the waters cooled tis warmth had to go somewhere. It went north into the Arctic. Our pattern this summer and fall was a result of this as well being abnormally warm.

Map of the Arctic – see all those red and purplish colors – that is the heat in terms of water vapor that has collected over the arctic region.


Pacific Decadal Oscillation/EPO

The warm Pacific Waters off the Western Coast of the North American continent and up into the Gulf of Alaska region was warm coming into October but has since cooled . You can see from the map here. This warmth would cause the air to rise thus raising the heights over the Alaska/ British Columbia  NW Canadian Region. When this occurs the cold polar air from this region would be funneled in a south west direction towards the East Coast but more so the North East. This is said to be a negative EPO and a block of the Northern Pacific Jet Stream. IF we have positive EPO then we have warm pacific air flooding our USA and our region.

This is what it was when I started writing this: black circle just south of Alaska and since has cooled considerably – Not good peeps!!

I feel the EPO will be neutral to slightly Negative (0 – 1) this winter if this warm blob can recover the coming weeks before mid December.

A negative EPO state brings this:

Positive is the opposite – ugghhhh!!


If we can get the heights to rise over the west coast then this will help our storm track as the storms will come in off the Pacific and drop south of our area and then upwards in a NE direction. The PNA is responsible for aiding in this track and keeping us colder as well.

Come on you west coast hippies give your east brother come help this winter (+PNA)!!

AO – The Arctic Oscillation

This is related to the wonderful catch meteorological phrase the “Polar Vortex” from two winters ago. I remember people asking me how bad this storm is going to be. I looked at them in bewilderment and said what storm it’s going to be sunny for the next few days, pulled dup my weather boards on my smartphone and said I don’t get what you’re saying? The person said I mean this Polar Vortex is going to be bad like a blizzard or worse? WOW – it is a circulation of air high up in our atmosphere and this chart illustrates this point greatly.

Siberian Snow Cover

WOWZA – we are off the charts for this region this year but off the charts on record low snowp ack for the Canadian Region lately. SO what gives? Well the Pacific Jet has flooded the North American continent with warm pacific air and has eroded the snow growth in October and brought it to a standstill this month so far. This is where our cold pool or air source comes from – Canada. If the ground is bare without snow pack then our cold air source is negligible and will moderate as it gets to us here on the East Coast. Siberia snow pack helps disturb like some of us are the Polar Vortex. It has already split which is unprecedented and is brong record bone chilling cold to Asia and Europe – likes they have not seen since 1800’s – YIKES!

Siberia =  BOOOM!!

Canada close up – Ugly peeps!

Chart that says WTH???

Siberia WOO HOOO!!!

We want the Siberian and also Canadian snow cover to be expansive and this year’s Siberian snow cover was one of the greatest of all time. So what does this mean? Well, we have right now a weak polar vortex that already did a Simone Biles and split!

Here are the effects of the Siberian Snow Cover:

IF we get a split and the PV orients in the correct position then we will see a Negative AO state. The left side is what we want.


Also there is research on the AO in October and the relation to the winter. If it is negative in this month then it will be Negative for the winter overall – well guess what?? Buehler? Frye??




2014 -0.969  0.044  1.206  0.972  0.464 -0.507 -0.489 -0.372  0.102 -1.134 -0.530  0.413
2015  1.092  1.043  1.837  1.216  0.763  0.427 -1.108 -0.689 -0.165 -0.250  1.945  1.444
2016 -1.449 -0.024  0.280 -1.051 -0.036  0.313  0.085  0.472  0.781 -1.917


Hope this does come to fruition.

If we get the PV to split and it sets up camp (like Washington at Valley Forge) on the west shores of Hudson Bay then we will have cold arctic air flooding the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. If it sets up over Greenland then we’ll see cold air but not as cold as the previous. The polar vortex already split and Siberia and and Europe are having one hell of an n early winter. It will consolidate come back together and then split again towards the end of December – it is in a very weak state again abnormally weak. Last year Thor was called in to break this bad boy up and that happened but only lasted for a couple of weeks. Once this occurs we have about a 10 day lag period for it to do its dirty work in pouring cold air in. believe it will I am hoping we get.


NAO State – North Atlantic Oscillation

The map tells a lot here – it can lock in the cold air and slow up the storms as they come our way. This is what we call our blocking – a Negative NAO gives us cold and if we get a storm it can slow it down. It can also suppress (we call it suppression depression) storms giving DC and Del all of our snow!! The cold pool of water just south of greenland argues for a Negative State of teh NAO this year which we would need to for a good winter so lets hope for this to come fruition. The last winter we had a good Negative NAO 2010-11!


Solar Activity – QBO (Quasi Biennial Oscillation)

The QBO is the least known factor in our winter weather pattern and the most interesting. It is the gauge of the solar activity and the down welling effects it has on our atmosphere. It is something quite honestly I am not well versed on so I will not even try to discuss this here, sorry. We are in a period that is heading towards what is called a solar minimum. This means there is less solar flares and activity from, our energy source, more so our life source. Just think how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of our solar system. You, I and everyone on this planet are a quark compared to this fluid alien system. So what does this mean? OMG so many of these questions wth!! I know but with less solar activity we have less warming of the atmosphere from space which leads to colder patterns. So far we have seen a rise in the westerly’s winds and a more positive QBO that usually means less NAO blocking. The sun is quieting down with less flares and coronal holes but this takes time – not like flipping as witch in your home now and it shuts off.

AAM = Atmospheric Angular Momentum

“a measure of how fast the atmosphere is spinning relative to the Earth’s rotation, is a complex variable that can offer insight to particular flow configurations within the atmosphere. “

It has been very positive lately causing a strong Pacific Jet that has flooded the entire North American continent with mild air. It is forecasted to move to a negative state which should help slow down this beast as we head into our La Nina state.


Analogs Maps – years to compare to that have had similar atmospheric conditions:





Month by Month call


N to BN by .5 – 2 degrees possibly (arctic blast?)

Snow –  Above Normal – (5-8”)


BN by 1 to 2 degrees – arctic cold shot or two

Snow –  Normal (8-10”)


Normal temps – may flip by the 20th time frame to AN temps/springlike

Snow – Normal (8-12”)


– We flip to spring after the first week time frame possibly if not sooner like I stated above in February

Normal to AN Temps

Snow – if we can get a well-timed storm or two maybe = Normal to AN


Timing is CRUCIAL AND I EXPECT light to moderate snow storms ( 2- 6″ types) with a possibility of a few transition storms (snow to ice to rain and the other way) and ice accretion storms for our NNJ area.

Overall Winter December to early March

I think it is more snowfall and cold North and West of the coast and they FINALLY go back to normal amounts like the Jersey Shore and Long Island – grrrrrrrr!!

Temperatures about Normal to BN (-2) overall

Snowfall Amounts – this is tough to call as it is every winter so here is my thought on this

NNJ – 32-40”

NYC Metro 23-29”

LHV – 36 – 44”

Joe Bastardi’s Call whom I follow

My boy Frank the P from the NJ Strong Weather forum:




If I need to update this forecast I shall.

I certainly hope you enjoyed this analysis and write up and fingers crossed that it comes to fruition or even better not worse!!


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 188 other subscribers


February 2018
« Jan