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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I have no new found love for this years holiday weather but beyond that maybe

I don't have any new found optimism for the holiday period I am sorry to say. I can however begin to hang my hat on the Madden-Julian Oscillation or MJO so lets do that together before the warm weather further irritates our holiday cheer. Without getting into intricate details, the MJO phases define various cyclical periods of convective activity over the Indian Ocean and lower latitudes of the Pacific Ocean. To put it as plainly as possible, such convective activity has the capability of re-dealing the cards in the Pacific Ocean. Over the last 6 weeks, we have been stuck in Phase 3 and 4 which is generally a warm phase for eastern North America since it correlates quite directly to a strong Pacific Evil Empire. Over the next two weeks however we will shift to phase 5 and subsequently into phase 6. Phase 5 is still very warm and Phase 6 is less warm. Further extrapolation would take us toward phase 7 after the New Year however. If the aforementioned convective activity reaches this phase, the deadly ridge in the Pacific would get broken and the jet stream loosened. Though there are no glaring signs of this yet, I am tentatively going to expect a pattern change between January 5th-10th and this is one reason why.

In the short term we have an another all rain event arriving Thursday evening. The wet weather clears by Friday and temperatures begin a slow and very temporary descent toward normal (though they probably fail to get there). On Saturday, it will actually feel like December, somewhat anyway. Models are actually predicting a few decent streamers off the lakes (geek speak for snow squalls) and if the mountain is positioned under one of them for a bit, we could see several inches of snow. Perfectly reasonable to expect a few inches across the high country but it won't be the kind of snow with any staying power.

Any snow is out by later Sunday and the mild air is back by later Monday. There are a few weaker weather systems that will pass during the early part of the week. The first Monday could provide some mixed precipitation though not a lot later Monday. The 2nd during the middle of the week is probably mostly rain. Another big push of warmth follows for the Christmas holiday bringing another round of much above normal temperatures. Ensemble data is pretty clearly indicating that the mild air will continue to dominate at varying intensities until at least the New Year. There have been a few teases from operational model runs advertising a bit more excitement but this is only a little short of praying for a miracle.

4 comments:

JP said...

Thanks for all of your thoughtful analyses. Question: how long do these arctic occilation patterns typically persist? Is there a typical duration relative to a ski season or are they highly variable, so it could last the whole season or just as likely end part way through?

Unknown said...

Thanks for keeping the blog updated Josh. Time's like these are why God invented whiskey.

Jared Miller said...

Thanks for keeping the blog updated Josh. Time's like these are why God invented whiskey.

Gore said...

Agreed. Thanks and happy holidays.!