One of the obscure things I remember about 9-11 was the incredible weather. I was in NJ and had gotten up at sunrise with my cousin to surf some nice long period swell from a hurrican well offshore. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a beautiful offshore breeze. Only 100 miles to our North the terror was unfolding. It was one of the most beautiful weather conditions I can remember. I would later find out that there were quite a few lives saved that day because of World Trade Center employees that called in sick to go surfing.

It wasn’t until I came in for lunch that I learned of what had happened. That afternoon the sky was so clear that you could see the smoke streaming out across the Atlantic Ocean well to the NOrth. I had friends and family who left in the following weeks to go up and help in the search in rescue efforts. I was scheduled to go on a surfing journey around the world only 2 days later and I will never forget riding plane after plane and being one of only a few people on each plane.

God Bless the families of the victims and those continuing to be affected, including the rescue workers who are now suffering diseases caused by the debris.

As many of you who have been reading the blog for a while now know, I eventually decided to live in the mountains and vacation at the beach instead of the other way around. What is interesting though is that the oceans play such a big role in our weather patterns here in the mountains and I’m glad I spent all of those years tracking the same weather patterns in order to forecast swells. I get quite a few emails from readers who live near the coast that love to tell me different things they see going on with the weather and the sea life and how they think it might correspond to upcoming weather for CA.

I have also been getting some emails recently about the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for 2013 and my thoughts. I read the article in the Tahoe Bonanza where NWS employees in San Francisco actually knew the statistics that the almanac has been less than 50% accurate in their Winter forecasts for our area. I am not completely familiar with all of their techniques so I really cannot comment on their forecast other than to say that I don’t use it at all in my forecast.

In the short to medium range the weather looks to continue to be dry, so no early September snows in the offing right now. The temperatures should be average to below average through the end of the month and you saw the forecast ideas in the last post for cooler than normal weather for the FAll. The El Nino was starting to come on quick in the equatorial Pacific this summer but has been weakening recently, possible thanks to all of the cold water to the North. I would not expect anything strong in a cold PDO phase.

I am still working on the Winter forecast (my guess at Winter). I take all of the current conditions atmospherically and with the oceans, and compare them to past years with similar conditions. I then take the long range forecast models and compare them to what happened after in previous years with similar starting conditions. I will then come up with an average temperature and precipitation pattern and correlate that to snowfall. It’s not an exact science and no one can accurately predict a Winter season this far out, but since we all need to know what to expect I work with as much information as I can to come up with the Winter forecast.

Two seasons ago you could see the big Winter coming and I was all over a 125% of average or better season and we ended up at 150%. This time last year I was writing about a below average season coming up with around 75% of average snowfall, but then was thrown for a loop by the models going crazy and predicting a super La Nina last minute so I cautiously edged it up to a forecast for an average year. We ended up near the original forecast of 75% of average thanks to a Miracle March. So what will we have this season? Will I get lucky again or blow it? We’ll have to see…. I have a lot more research to finish up over the next few weeks on top of moving…

Right now based on the ocean conditions and Fall patterns setting up I am thinking this Winter could be similar to 02/03. A weak El Nino season in a cold PDO. I want to look at a lot more seasons with similar conditions go back through history. I also want to consult with my cohorts over at opensnow.com. Stay tuned…..

I am going to be pulling back on my work with some of the ski resorts this season to spend more time working on forecasts for this site and my CA section on opensnow.com I will stay as the official snow forecaster for Squalpine. I have a new office now at the base of Squaw, and I moved up in Tahoe Donner above 7000 ft. That should allow some better real time forecasting and more pictures to be incorporated into the site. I may even get my own live webcam up and running so you can wathc the snow pile up. BA

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