what? a underacheiver system ??


preliminary winter forecast issued aug 21

first to recap the summer forecast. I got the pattern right for the summer. the mistake for KY was the below for temps and above for rain should have been extended south, an overestimation of the ridge strength from 4 mo out. the western monsoon never happened in the US. but having dry over texas and the south worked out. the heat ridge was where it was supposed to be for the summer. overall a   B- for the summer.

now to the winter and last years winter outlook got an “A” being only .1 in off for yearly snow which was remarkable.

let’s look at  my analog years, these are past winters that featured similar conditions to what is going on 6 months before them (now) and similar pattern indicators and projections to what might happen this winter and similarities to past winters. one example- similar nao’s now and projected nao values, climate models are projecting a nao of -.5 for jan the winter of 88 had a smilar value thus it can be considered an analog if others values match up.  the main component of these analog years is the state of the Pacific ocean.

analog years






02-03 had fun and games lots of little snows but it did have above normal snow, nw flow and some cold spells. 06-07 went from mild and tranquil to harsh cold by feb not a lot of snow but still near norm. 51-52 was before my time but was mild. 76-77 was extreme cold and snow.


there several climate models i used to make this forecast. the two main ones are the cfs and euro. there is a link to the cfs on the side the euro you have to pay for access. the cfs is predicting a dry and slightly cooler than normal winter with more precip early than late. the euro is predicting things to get going in a big way for winter lovers after a mild start.

tropical pacfic

the nino state is a big player most winters in terms of the overall pattern. to determine my forecast for the nino state/ pacfic ocean temps this winter i used a blend of computer guidance, observations and gut feeling on the strength of the upcoming el-nino, warmer than norm ocean waters in the tropical pac.

there is currently a week el-nino in progress now and has been steady for several weeks. i think there is potential for slow strengthening of the el-nino to moderate or middle range of that moderate. before a weaking to high week by the end of the winter. this fits with the median of the computer guidance as well. all of this means that we will have several other factors to look at as well.

other factors

– canada is very cold for the summer and should build a quick snowpack

– the pdo and amo are reversing from warm to cooler cycles

– the nao has been strongly negative for a while

the guts of the forecast

jet stream








the moment you all have been waiting for…………………………………………



i will detail everything when i make the offical winter outlook later on in the fall here are some final key points about the upcoming winter.

– active southern jet, may be surpressed

– storm track should shift from midwest to south as winter goes on

– clippers will likely stay north as pac air should make us miserable for a stretch or two this winter with the dry warmth not the entire winter by far though.

– on the flip side i could see flows that set-up lake effect condtions fairly well

– plenty of arctic air should be focused on the eastern half of the US

– not one  forecast has a warm winter now for us.

–  ice storm threat is still high for this winter in any overunning set-up as there will be plenty of systems  suppresed that have enough waa ( warm air advection) to warm the upper levels but not lower.

– no strong ridge off the east coast may limit waa effects.

– lots of phasing potential for the eastern US, huge ridge in the west and in the western third of canada

– this is a dream set-up from state college pa to maine as i see now in terms of a cold snowy winter.

 for Kentucky

snow: slightly above normal

precip: near to slightly below normal

temps: below normal

what a underacheiver system (regular post with weekend outlook)

yes it was for us a well hyped up system with the computer models to back me up. most of the complexes formed south of us and there outflow boundaries lead to numerous storms over the gulf coast states which stole moisture needed for any storms in our neck of the woods. also the bestdynamics and forcing were in ohio where storms were able to overcome less moisture b/c of that. this left ky in between with scattered storms. the batch of storms which was expected late thursday won’t come b/c of earlier activity along the gulf as well. KY missing the rain is a rare event this summer.

bottom line is that activity should stay scattered through noon friday as the front leaves town this also greatly decreases the hvy rain threat. as skies clear temps will recover into the low and mid 80’s.

2. saturday should feature a cool blast of air from canada clearly seen on the 850 mb map. notice bill a close miss and some lake effect sprinkles or light showers as well. highs should be in the upper 70’s with variable clouds

don’t worry any afternoon shower will be very brief and light with 30% coverage at best.

3. with the trough axis overhead there still is a chance for light lake effect showers and maybe even a little upslope action precip coverage again 30% or less and light with variable skies and highs 80 or less and lows under 60 are possible throughout the weekend. overall a great weekend and these sprinkles should not spoil our weekend!!

4.  the trough will give to a quiet few days and warmer highs in the mid 80’s for monday and tuesday.

this post will stay on till monday so everyone can see the pliminary winter outlook, updates will be in comments section.

have a great weekend kentucky!!!


2 Responses to “what? a underacheiver system ??”

  1. raindome Says:

    Thanks for the winter forecast Mitch.

    So do you think we’ll have an early or late start to winter?

  2. mitchg Says:

    not sure on that part of it yet.

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