So far this December is on pace to be the 3rd warmest on record. So I understand the constant questions about when we might see some, at least, winter-like weather. Though at times I feel like my kids are asking me, “are we there yet?”, on vacation when we just left the house. 🙂
So while I don’t see us getting major arctic air, which is very rare in EL Nino winters. I do see some cooler and more seasonable weather in the New Year. There are signs in the long range pattern that it starts to cool down. Now this is all model data, but a lot of it is ensemble data which means many runs of the models and these trends have been in the guidance for many runs.
ECMWF ensemble for Charlotte 45 days out.
This is a fun chart but can be confusing to look at. There are 51 members of the ECMWF model ensemble and all are shown in the top from E-50. So each row of color is a model forecast notice how the cooler colors show up around Jan 1st and after. The bottom is just a simple line chart showing all the members as well. Clear trends of cooler weather after the 1st of the year.
ECMWF Ensemble snowfall for the next 45 days.
This only goes out 16 days but notice the same trend for cooler weather.
GFS Ensemble Anomalies:
GFS Ensemble probability of 1″ of snow over the next 16 days.
This is the latest Seasonal forecast from the Japanese model:
This model has done well in the past and showed temperature anomalies for the rest of the winter. I have serious suspicions about this model this year.
What does this all mean?
Listen we are not going to see a super cold winter in this type of pattern or strong El Nino. That’s just not possible, but the active storm track and just near average temperatures mean we get a few opportunities for a winter storm. In between these storm chances I expect lots of warm spells. This is going to be a wild late winter and spring. The January-March time frame is also when the largest impacts of El Nino are actually felt. So hold on there will be some wild swings over the next 3 months.