Snowfall forecasts for winter 2022/2023 show a global weather signal for La Niña, now active for the third consecutive year. From Canada to the United States and across the Atlantic to Europe, let's take a look at snowfall forecasts and trends for next winter.
First, we will look at the leading global weather factor in upcoming weather seasons, La Niña. What does the latest ocean analysis data show and what are the expectations?
If you then look at global long-range weather forecast systems and analysis of historical data, you'll see the first snowfall forecasts for the coming winter.
MAIN SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS
ENSO is short for "El Niño Southern Oscillation". This region of the equatorial Pacific alternates between warm and cold phases. Usually there is a phase change every 1-3 years.
The cold phase is called La Niña, the warm phase El Niño. We are currently in a La Niña phase entering its third year, a rare event.
ENSO significantly influences tropical precipitation, pressure patterns, and the complex exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. We observe large-scale pressure changes in the tropics with each new phase of development. These changes will affect the rest of the world with some delay.
In this way, ENSO significantly affects tropical precipitation and pressure patterns. In doing so, it significantly alters the atmosphere-ocean feedback system. Through this feedback system, ENSO's influence extends globally, particularly on winter temperature and snowfall patterns.
Next we have the latest surface analysis of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Cold ocean anomalies cover most ENSO regions in the tropical Pacific. This is the currently active La Niña, which is currently strengthening.
La Niña usually forms during strong trade winds, which can tell us a lot about the state of the global circulation. In this way, we can use these anomalies as an "indicator" to know the current state of the global climate system.
Ocean anomalies for the last two years in the ENSO region are presented below. You can see the first La Niña event in 2020 and a second year La Niña in late 2021. A third year event is now developing and is expected to mature by winter 2022/2023.
ENSO WINTER FORECAST
Below is an analysis/forecast graph from ECMWF showing thatlong term prognosisthe core ENSO region. As forecast, La Niña conditions will persist through the fall and winter. A weakening La Niña is expected early next year, with a possible warm phase later in the year.
To better understand ENSO changes, we have produced a video showing La Niña anomalies from late spring through summer.
The video below shows cold ocean anomalies in the equatorial Pacific developing as we approach the beginning of fall.
What exactly does this mean for winter weather patterns and snowfall potential? First, we'll take a closer look at the weather influence that La Niña typically shows in North America.
There are no known specific/direct influences from Europa because it is too far from the source. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have an impact.
La Niña changes the weather around the world, but in addition to directly affecting North America, in places like Europe, many other factors are at play before the direct impact of La Niña goes that far.
WEATHER PATTERN WINTER IN NORTH AMERICA
Usually, the first impact of these oceanic anomalies is the changejet stream. The jet stream is a large, strong current of air (wind) at an altitude of about 8 to 11 km (5 to 7 miles).
Historically a strong blockhigh pressurein the North Pacific it is the most typical effect of a cold ENSO phase (La Niña). This normally directs the polar jet stream downward over the northern United States.
The following image shows the average pressure pattern during recent La Niña winters. We see a strong high in the North Pacific and a low over Canada and the northern United States. photos ofNOAA Physical Science Laboratory (PSL).
The circulation of the strong high pressure system encourages the development of a low pressure system over Alaska and western Canada. The jet stream curves downward between the two pressure systems, marked by the blue lines.
You can see this jet stream diversion in the image below. The image shows the average position of the jet stream during La Niña winters and the resulting weather patterns in the United States and Canada.
The displaced jet stream brings cooler temperatures and storms from the polar regions to the north and northwestern United States, and warmer, drier weather to southern parts.
If we look at the temperature analysis for the same winters as above, we can see the cold anomaly area below the jet stream in western Canada and the northwestern United States. A cool area stretches across the Midwest and dips down into the south-central plains.
Warmer than normal weather and mild winter conditions generally prevail in the southwestern United States, eastern United States, and Canada. The main winter weather "battle zones" are usually in the Midwestern and Central United States.
In terms of rainfall, La Niña winters are typically drier in the southwestern United States and Canada. Drier conditions are also found in the southeastern United States, as La Niña means a weaker subtropical jet stream and less moisture to the east. More precipitation is typical of the northwestern United States, the Great Lakes, and parts of the Northeast.
But speaking of precipitation, what about snowfall? Data shows that the La Niña jet stream is also altering snowfall potential over North America as pressure systems take a different path.
Colder air is more accessible to the northern United States, increasing thenevadapossible if there is humidity. In the following graph ofNOAA-Climate. You can see the average snowfall pattern for weak La Niña years as expected this winter season.
In addition to the Northwestern United States and Midwest, we see more potential for snowfall in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.
But now let's look at some early winter snowfall forecasts from actual forecast models. We now know from historical data what to expect.
SNOW FORECAST WINTER 2022/2023
The format will be simple. We will look at two established systems of seasonal weather forecasting. ECMWF comes first, followed by UKMO.
You'll see the average snowfall forecast for the November-December-January period and then we'll do a monthly breakdown. There are many details in the monthly forecast that the general seasonal average does not show.
In this first snowfall forecast we do not consider February yet, because some data is not yet available. In addition, February also has a long delivery time. But we will include it in all future updates.
ECMWF WINTER 2022/2023 SNOW FORECAST
We'll start with the ECMWF, the most widely used and respected seasonal forecast system.
First, if we look at the average image of Europe, we can see a pretty weak snowfall forecast. Less than normal snowfall is expected for most of the continent.
The November forecast shows some potential for increased snowfall in Central Europe. But most other parts are forecast with less snowfall than normal this month.
The December snowfall forecast shows stronger negative anomalies. The pattern appears to be under the influence of an anticyclone, as the forecast does not allow for many large-scale snowfall scenarios.
There is no real improvement in the January forecast. Less snowfall is forecast for most of Europe in mid-winter, except for a few smaller areas.
ECMWF SNOW FORECAST IN NORTH AMERICA
Starting with the average image for the United States and Canada, we may see more snowfall over western Canada and the eastern United States. Surprisingly, we are seeing less snow forecast in the western United States.
HeSnowfall forecast in Novembershows greater snowfall potential at higher elevations in the western United States and Canada. However, much of central and eastern Canada and the Midwestern United States experience less snowfall in late fall.
HeDecember Snowfall Forecastshows the potential increase in the southern and central United States, extending through parts of the Midwest to the Great Lakes. This forecast run shows less snowfall in the western United States.
January Snow Forecastshows an even stronger pattern with more snowfall in the same regions as the previous month. But the lack of snowfall in the Upper Midwest and Northwestern United States is surprising in a La Niña winter. This will likely be fixed in future runs.
UKMO WINTER 2022/2023 SNOW FORECAST
Long-term weather forecasting is not easy. We only look at trends and probabilities, but still variation is key. The more forecast data you can look at, the better you can get a picture of where the target is. Or you can get even more confused.
As one forecast model can never be relied upon, we have chosen to use the UKMO long-range forecast system in conjunction with the ECMWF. It is developed by the UK Met Office, where the acronym UKMO comes from.
First, if we look at the seasonal average for Europe, we see another weak snow forecast identical to the one from the ECMWF. Less than normal snowfall is expected for most of the continent. UKMO uses a different parameter than ECMWF, but it is also directly correlated with snowfall.
The November forecast indicates some potential in the northern parts of Europe. But otherwise, the rest of the continent shows less snowfall than normal for this month.
The December snowfall forecast shows stronger negative anomalies, as does the ECMWF. This agreement in both models gives more confidence for this scenario.
Other than the higher elevations, there is no significant improvement in January. This shows that precipitation is present but temperatures are not cold enough for snowpack in the lowlands.
NORTH AMERICA UKMO SNOW FORECAST
The average seasonal forecast for the United States and Canada shows a much more typical La Niña snowfall pattern. We are seeing more snowfall in the Northwest and the Great Lakes. As a result, more snowfall could be expected in the northern United States, but it still looks more like La Niña than ECMWF.
HeSnowfall forecast in Novembershows widespread reduced snowfall. This is mainly due to the warmer than normal temperatures expected in the fall. More cooling is required in the later parts of the year to provide extensive snowfall patterns.
HeDecember Snowfall Forecastshows this increase in snowfall, especially in the northwestern United States. More snowfall can also be seen in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Less snowfall than normal is expected for the rest of the United States this month.
January Snow Forecastshows an even stronger pattern with more snowfall across much of the northern United States. This looks much more like an expected snowfall pattern in a La Niña winter. However, the western and southern United States experience less snowfall typical of such a jet stream positioning.
NOAA WINTER FORECAST 2022/2023
This is also captured in NOAA's official 2022-2023 winter temperature forecast for the United States. It shows equal probabilities for cooler temperatures in the northern United States. The southern half of the country and the Northeast have a higher chance of warmer-than-normal weather, as seen in previous models.
However, be aware of the low point in "average" temperatures that likely extends into the lower Midwest. This can be interpreted as a potential pathway for bouts of winter cold air and increased potential for snowfall.
UKMO's snowfall forecast shows that this scenario has also been implicated in historical data as a weather 'battle zone' under the jet stream.
The official precipitation forecast is similar to UKMO and historical data. We see an equal chance of more precipitation (and snowfall) in the northern half of the United States. A drier-than-normal winter season is forecast for the southern United States.
We will be posting our extended winter 2022/2023 forecast update later in September with new data, so keep checking back.
We'll also keep you posted on other developing weather trends, so be sure to bookmark our page. If you saw this article on the Google App (Discover) feed, please like the (♥) button to see more of us.the prognosisand our latest articlesclimate and natureIn general.
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