24 JAN 1030 EST STARDATE 201201.24
There is a famous scene and photograph from world war two where field Marshal Walter Model is talking to Hitler about the options left in the Battle of the Bulge (a.k.a. The Ardennes Offensive). And in that conference Model says to Hitler…
” We must face the facts squarely mein Furhrer …we cannot force our way to the Muese River. It is over”
That’s where we are right now. Like the Ardennes Winter offensive of December 1944 …the cold weather or winter counteroffensive of 2012 is in serious trouble and is likely headed for total collapse and failure . With the Battle of the Bulge there are several important reasons for this– the initial reaction of the American troops along the Our River and Elsenborn Ridge… the inability to take the key town/ road junctions of St Vith until DEC 21 and Bastogne which was never taken… Just to name a few reasons.
With regard to this particular winter –or non winter depending on your point of view – the problems remain immense and the model depiction of how the pattern is going to evolve over the next 10 days has been really bad. The various weather models keep forecasting these sorts of significant developments of what the pattern is going to look several days down the road . Yet when that time arrives and we compare the actual atmosphere to the forecast from six or eight days ago we see huge discrepancies .
Therefore if you are hoping for…or anticipating a significant change in the overall pattern across North America and/ or the northern hemisphere which will bring about a stormy and or colder pattern for the eastern CONUS… well you are in trouble. It’s not going to happen .
There still remain a decent possibility of a significant winter storm at some point in February or March for the eastern U.S. and especially the East Coast. But in terms of a prolonged pattern flip or change? NO.
In the last discussion I wrote ( BIG BERTHA and the BUTT SISTERS) I tried to walk a fine line between optimism and reality. There have been several false signals given off by both the European and the GFS models during the past several weeks which seem to be indicating the pattern was about the switch. But I also emphasized that despite repeated attempts by various models to accurately forecast the AO and the NAO to go negative…. In every case the models have turn out to be disastrously wrong. Only twice since the beginning of autumn has the AO and the NAO dropped into negative territory but that is not what we seen from the various weather models time after time after time over the past several weeks.
There is simply no other way to say this. The GFS European and Canadian models… Both with respect to the operational and the ensemble — have been wrong. As an extremely wrong. As in ” without a clue”.
Invariably when the models begin to see that things are not turning out as earlier forecasted they come up with a new solution after adjusting the pattern and delaying the cold.
For example this image compares the European Model / ensemble from JAN 18 valid day 6… to TODAY Jan 24.
A quick glance would show that the day 6 European model has verified pretty well when compared to what the atmosphere actual looks like over the northern hemisphere today January 24. But there is an important difference and that has to do with the key feature I talked about on January 18… which was the development of New Vortex over the Sea of Japan. It was this feature on the JAN18 European model at day6 that was suppose to start the entire pattern change. However if we look at the current image we see this Vortex is NOT anywhere near the Sea of Japan… It over the north side of Siberia almost in the arctic regions.
This has huge implications for the entire pattern.
Indeed if we look at the European model ensemble from JAN18 valid at day 10… And compare it to the JAN 24 0z European model for JAN 28-29 … The differences are quite significant.
The European ensemble at day 10 from Jan 18… valid for the 28th … Showed a very large powerful new vortex centered over the Sea of Japan. The updated version of the European model valid for the 29th of January does NOT show that this feature at all! There is NO deep close 500 low anywhere near the Sea of Japan ….so the entire pattern is fundamentally changed and the development of the colder wintry pattern for North America does not exist. Instead we have of new deep vortex over the north side of Alaska which is where is been for most of the winter and is the proverbial kiss of death for getting any sort of sustained cold winter patterns in the eastern half of the U.S.
Looking at day 10… valid FEB 3 … We see more the same sort of thing. The PV is centered over the western side of the arctic region barely reaching into the western hemisphere. All the truly cold air is located on the Pacific side of the arctic circle not on the Canadian side. This is simply the wrong location for the PV to be located IF you are trying to get the pattern to change over the eastern half of North America.
What a god awful nightmare… If you like a winter weather in the eastern U.S.
Even if we try and project or hold for something to change down the road we run into problems. The general trend of the Arctic Oscillation ( the AO) is moving back towards a neutral and is no longer dropping into the negative territory. WHY? Because the PV that was in the gulf Alaska and heelped bring about the Seattle and Pacific Northwest snow and ice storm did NOT move east into western or Central Canada ( like the Models forecasted). Instead it has reformed on the north side of Alaska where it has been for most of this winter… which really is + AO position.
Even the negative trend in the NAO has halted and the GFS ensemble show the NAO levelling off at Neutral. Again go back and reread what the model data and the trends are showing on January 18. This was not the way things supposed to be evolving .
And if you are a professional meteorologist and you cannot see this then you are trying to sell somebody something or you are delusional.
And really the pattern does not change much no matter what we look at with respect to any particular model. For example here is the day 10 GFS — the 0z run– ensmeble mean. We have a moderate sized trough in the east a little bit of a ridge on the West Coast… which by the way the European model does not have… The dark purple areas clearly show 2 PVs located on the Pacific side of the arctic circle . Another words although really serious cold air is located on the long side of the world to get a sustained cold pattern to develop in North America
***** It is hard to understate how damaging it is with respect to the pattern the evolving into a cold one over the eastern half of North America and the U.S. with a huge vortex of centered over Alaska or snow on the western side of the arctic circle. ****
If we look at say the 8-14 day reforecast model from ESRL … The pink areas clearly show some sort of -NAO but the pronounced and very noticeable dark Blue areas over Northern Alaska is STILL there and shows no signs of moving. What this feature does is essentially cause the Pacific jet to become very strong… And therefore there can be no sort of pattern a amplification over the eastern pacific / west coast of North America ( NO +PNA and distinct tendency to get a – PNA).
One last note: if we do in fact keep and hold the -NAO into a good portion of FEB … then it still might be possible to get a surprise a snowstorm for the northeast US of the some magnitude. By surprise I am talking about relative terms — inother words it might be something that 10 days out looks like nothing and then in the last 72 hours things change into a moderate or significant snowstorm for the northeast U.S. In order get something like this to happen there would have to be some sort of pattern amplification occurring on the West Coast – a ridge over western US / Canada– that would cause a short wave to dig much further to the south resulting in some sort a cyclogenesis over the southeast U.S.