Winter Forecast 2018/19 | El Nino WINTER will bring Severe Snowfall & Freezing conditions!

NOAA’s Climate prediction centre announce a 75% chance of an El Nino winter this year and whilst it is not expected to be the strongest ever seen it will still effect the weather we see.

In summary El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), stretching along the equator across the Pacific Ocean. It is known to trigger intense weather patterns across the world.

Typically El nino winters will lead to colder weather towards the Gulf states of the U.S whilst being milder than usual in the North West of the country. Higher than usual precipitation can tend to give way to potentially record breaking snowfalls later in the season.

For the UK and the North West of Europe El Nino winters tend to be colder than average which will of course increase the likelihood of snowfall events. Whilst individual snowfall events look likely this winter they will almost certainly be interspersed between milder spells due to the temperate climate of the UK.  So those hoping them headlines of ‘4 months of crippling snow’ would be true are likely to be dissapointed. 

Other factors to consider for the UK also point to a colder winter:

At present the current solar cycle is the 24th. Solar cycle 24 is currently on pace to be the weakest sunspot cycle with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 in February 1906.

2018 is also running close to the lowest sea ice extent in the Arctic ever for this time of year. This increase in fresh water has been linked with a slow down in the Gulf stream and an increase in Northern Latitude blocking.

Will the USA see a bitterly cold winter?

Well for the snow lovers out there the news you have been waiting for is…

Well not good.

NOAA have recently gave their thoughts on the upcoming winter of 2018/19 and with a strong El Nino likely a warmer than average winter is expected.

So what is El Niño?

El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. In layman’s terms, the ENSO cycle is a scientific study of the temperature fluctuations between atmospheric and ocean temperatures in the central Pacific. Of these two phases, La Niña is considered to be the cold phase of the ENSO cycle, and El Niño is considered to be the warmer phase. While both phases occur seasonally, historically El Niño is more likely.

The NOAA is predicting a 70% chance of an El Niño pattern winter for the Northern Hemisphere.

When it comes to the winter weather forecast for the 2018-2019 season, the NOAA has reported that there is a 70% chance that we will have an El Niño winter season, meaning early predictions call for a warmer than average winter across the United States.

What does this mean for early winter?

Based on the early prediction for an El Niño winter, the NOAA has predicted that the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies will all see below average to equal chances of precipitation from October through December. However, Colorado, parts of Utah, and the Southern Rockies are all expected to see above-average precipitation for the start of the season. New England is expected to see average precipitation throughout the start of the winter.

The NOAA is predicting higher than average precipitation throughout the Rockies and Colorado, with lower than average precipitation in the PNW, and average precipitation across New England.

While precipitation is expected to fluctuate across the country, the El Niño prediction calls for warmer than average temperatures across the entire country from October through December.

Winter Weather Forecast 2018 2019

The NOAA is predicting warmer than average temperatures across the entire country to start the season off.

What does this mean for mid-to-late winter?

As winter progresses into January through March, most resorts across the entire country are forecasted to see continued equal to low precipitation averages. However, parts of Alaska and the Southern Rockies are expected to see higher than average precipitation in the second half of the winter.

The NOAA is predicting that many resort areas across the United States will see either equal or less than average precipitation throughout the second half of the winter season.

When it comes to the temperature, the entire country is expected to see warmer than average temps continuing throughout the second half of the season.

Warmer temperature patterns across much of the United States are expected to continue straight through to March.

Can we trust this early forecast?

While predictions for low precipitation averages and warmer temperatures are undoubtedly startling for all of the powder chasers among us, it’s important to remember that this early forecast is just that, an early forecast. When it comes to on-hill conditions, individual storm cycles and short-term predictions are far more likely to accurately forecast conditions than anything months out.

Long story short? It’s far too early to make any definitive call, and while the early predictions don’t look great, there is really no telling what the season will bring. Make sure to check back in the coming months for both the Farmer’s Almanac and Old Farmer’s Almanac weather forecasts, as we will be updating you on every early season prediction as they become available.

2015 turned out to be another record year for climate change

The latest state of the global climate report reveals 2015 was a record-breaking year, following on from 2014, which recorded the previous highest average global surface temperature.

In 2015 – the warmest year on record for the second year in a row – the Earth’s surface reached more than 1°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time since records began and the levels of dominant greenhouse gases again reached new high levels.

Kate Willett – a senior scientist with the Met Office, specialising in climate monitoring – leads the Global Climate chapter of the report published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). She said: “Looking at a range of climate measurements, 2015 was yet another a highly significant year. Not only was 2015 the warmest year on record by a large margin, it was also another year when the levels of dominant greenhouse gases reached new peaks. Measurements from a series of monitored glaciers showed continuing retreat for the 36th consecutive year, and sea levels and ocean heat content were all at their highest levels.”

The most prominent climate feature of 2015 was the development of an strong El Niño event – the development of a warm pool across the east-central Tropical Pacific Ocean – which helped raise global average surface temperatures in 2015 and CO2 levels. One of the most significant impacts of 2015 was the changes to the world’s water, or hydrological cycle brought by the strong El Niño. Kate Willett added: “Drier-than-average conditions were common, with below average soil moisture and groundwater storage contributing to intense and widespread fires across Indonesia. Globally there was a 75% increase in the extent of land experiencing severe drought, bringing hardship to many communities.”

BAMS report 2015

State of the Climate in 2015

The State of the Global Climate report is compiled by more than 460 authors – from 62 countries – including significant contributions from the Met Office, which leads the report’s Global Climate chapter. The report is led by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

Commenting on the report, Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, said: “This ‘annual physical’ of Earth’s climate system showed us that 2015’s climate was shaped both by long-term change and an El Niño event. When we think about being climate resilient, both of these time scales are important to consider. Last year’s El Niño was a clear reminder of how short-term events can amplify the relative influence and impacts stemming from longer-term global warming trends.”

“The State of the Climate report continues to be critically important as it documents our changing climate. American Meteorological Society (AMS) is proud to work with so many from the science community to make this publication happen,” said Keith Seitter, Executive Director of the AMS.

The State of the Climate in 2015 is the 26th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the BAMS. The journal makes the full report openly available online.