Not literally but the warmup to Winter forecasts. I’ve been doing some researching and looking at the ocean temperatures currently and forecasted. The El Nino came on a little stronger this summer but right now it looks like it is pulling back to weak range, maybe due to the cold water in the Northern Pacific with the cold PDO.

The cold PDO would argue for more trough than not in the West this Winter as in 09/10 & 10/11. Last year the strong Arctic Oscillation was blamed for holding all the cold and jetstream to our North for the first half of the Winter. We have a weak El Nino but the water of the coast is still fairly cold so I don’t see a big hose for SoCal this Winter as of right now. It is going to be interesting to see what drives the pattern.

It’s too early for a full Winter prediction but going with my gut right now an average Winter may be in store similar to 09/10 with a cold PDO and weak El Nino. Spread out evenly across the Winter months. I should have stuck with my gut last August when I was predicting a 75% of snow year and then got side tracked by the super La Nina forecast that came out in the fall. I didn’t buy that but I did think it would nudge into moderate territory and we could have had an average Winter.

I dug in and trusted that there was enough Winter happening everywhere else around the globe to bring us a comeback. Although we had quite a comeback it was too little too late for most of the businesses. I ended up doing more grief counseling than snow forecasting in December and January. But that is behind us now so let’s work on getting a great start to this season.

Joey B. over at Weatherbell (he grew up right down the street from me in an overwhelmingly Italian town, so insert the Italian accent) is convinced that we will see blocking in the North Atlantic this Fall. That will dig and hold a trough over the West sending early season cold and early season snow into the mountains. Here is his Oct-Nov temp forecast map.

Not looking like an Indian Summer pattern, but more like one that could have you in the backcountry before the ski lifts turn. Storms in the Fall tend to be much weaker as the jet stream hasn’t strengthened to Winter mode yet, so smaller storms in inches to get you in the mood.

I still have a lot of work to do analoging with previous Winters with similar patterns. My computer is still in for warranty work after the kids had their way with it, so I’m doing a lot research through my iphone and going cross-eyed. After it’s back it’s time to say goodbye to my social life and hello to my life of snow obsession as we head into the season. These Summers keep going by faster and faster.

I’m also making the move back up into Tahoe Donner. I must have had a slight memory lapse of how much snow I used to shovel up there, or maybe the lack of snow last season is making me want to gorge myself this Winter. At least I’ll have some great live reports for you. Stay tuned…BA

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