Winter Weather 2023 23 – The first look at the forecast for the winter of 2022/2023 shows a clear effect of the third phase of La Niña. It will change the pattern of the jet stream in North America and the Pacific and expand its reach to the rest of the world. But a new ocean anomaly is emerging that will take its toll.
To understand and understand winter, one must understand that there are many “drivers” of the weather. Earth’s climate is a very complex system with many large and small scale weather effects. First we discuss what this La Nina actually is and how it will affect the winter season of 2022/2023.
Winter Weather 2023 23
Below we have the La Niña winter pressure model for 10/11. High pressure was blocked from the United States to Europe by low pressure and cold air over Greenland and the North Pacific. This is what winter enthusiasts in Europe and the United States look forward to every winter. But we will see if we can find similar trends in the first forecast for winter 2022/2023.
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Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet’s surface and play an important role in the Earth’s climate system. You can see the air-sea interaction in the image below. It is very difficult, but you can see the system of mutual respect and many small and big things.
The main thing here is the word “two countries”. For example, we sometimes look at ocean anomalies and how they affect our long-term climate, when climate also affects ocean anomalies.
Tropical trade winds are an important link between the ocean and climate. They can mix ocean surface layers and change ocean surface currents and temperatures. This can then lead to changes in precipitation and pressure distribution.
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But what is a trade wind? The trade winds that blow toward (and across) the equator in both hemispheres are strong and constant. In the image below you can see the prevailing global winds, with the trade winds highlighted in yellow and red.
So it is very important to realize that while the oceans can directly play their role in the climate, they also change due to the climate.
All over the world, some ocean areas are important in one way or another. We can have monthly, seasonal or decadal anomalies in the ocean. Sometimes they can tell us a small part of what will happen in the future.
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Based on the latest ocean anomalies, we have identified two key global areas that we are currently eyeing for development in the winter of 2022/2023. Each one has its own role and importance in different fields and time scales.
In the middle is the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. This is one of the most famous ocean oscillations, with a strong influence especially during winter.
On the left (red box) you can see the Dual Direction Index (DMI). It rotates according to the temperature difference between the East and West Indian Ocean.
Weather Prediction Center
We will briefly cover both regions with key news, analysis and forecasts. We will also look at the historical patterns associated with these anomalies and what they can tell us for the winter of 2022/2023.
ENSO is short for “El Nino Southern Oscillation.” This region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean alternates between warm and cold phases. Phase changes usually occur every 1-3 years.
The cold phase is called La Nina, the warm phase is called El Niño. We are currently in the La Niña phase, entering year 3, which is a rare event.
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ENSO has significant effects on tropical rainfall, pressure systems, and the complex exchange between ocean and atmosphere. We see significant changes in pressure in the tropics with each new phase of development. With a slight delay, these changes affect circulation throughout the world.
The NOAA weather image below shows a typical cycle during the cool phase of ENSO. Air flows from the eastern Pacific Ocean, which contributes to a calm and dry climate. At the same time, the air in the western Pacific Ocean is increasing with heavy rain and low pressure.
Thus, ENSO significantly affects tropical rainfall and pressure patterns and thus the oceanic and atmospheric feedback system. Through this ocean-atmosphere system, ENSO’s influence spreads across the globe.
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Below we have an analysis of the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean. We can see cold anomalies in ENSO marked areas. It is currently entering its third year of active La Niña phase.
La Nina occurs during strong trade winds, which can tell us a lot about the general global cycle. Therefore, we can use these anomalies as “indicators” to know the current state of the global climate system.
Below you can see the last two years of ocean anomalies in the ENSO region. You may see the first La Nina event in 2020 and the second La Nina event in late 2021. A third annual event is expected for the fall and winter of 2022/2023.
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To better understand the development of ENSO, we’ve created a video showing La Niña anomalies from spring to summer. The video below shows cold ocean anomalies in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Watch for “tides” across the region as the trade winds push the surface of the water westward.
Below we have an ECMWF analysis/forecast graph showing the long-term forecast for the main ENSO region. La Niña conditions will prevail during autumn and winter. But La Nina is expected to weaken early next year, with El Nino possible later in the year.
Combined ocean model forecasts show cooling anomalies in the Pacific during winter and early winter. As you can see in the picture, another interesting area is marked in the western direction.
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Typically, the first effect of these ocean anomalies is seen in changing currents. A jet stream is a large and powerful current of air (wind) at a height of 8-11 km (5-7 mi).
It flows in a west-to-east motion across the Northern Hemisphere, interacting with pressure systems and shaping our surface climate.
Below is an example of the jet stream during winter at an altitude of about 9 km / 5.6 miles. You can see the jet stream circling the middle of the United States. In northwestern Europe it slopes upwards. Such structures bring cold weather to the eastern United States and cold weather to Iceland and the British Isles.
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The jet stream is an important part of this story. This is one of the main ways that La Niña can directly cause climate change, especially in North America.
Historically, a strong anti-high pressure system in the North Pacific is a more characteristic effect of the cold phase of ENSO. It usually directs the polar jet stream over the northern United States.
The image below shows the average La Niña pattern over the past few winters. We can see a strong high pressure system in the North Pacific and a low pressure area in Canada and southwestern Europe.
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The circulation of a high pressure system contributes to the development of a low pressure area over Alaska and western Canada. It turns the jet stream downward between two pressure systems.
Looking at the same analysis of winter temperatures, we can see an area of cold anomalies below the jet stream over western Canada and the northern United States. There are also cold anomalies in Europe, but these cannot be directly linked to La Niña.
You can see the direction of the jet stream in the image below. The figure shows the average position of the jet stream during the winter La Niña season and the resulting weather trends over the United States and Canada.
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The migrating jet stream brings cold temperatures and storms from the polar regions to the northern and northwestern United States, and warm, dry weather to the southern parts.
In the northern part of the country, we are seeing cold and wet events occur more frequently as the jet stream directs storm systems that way. But it can block South America to some extent, creating a warm and temperate climate with infrequent storms and cold spots.
Looking at precipitation trends, we can see more precipitation in the northern part of the United States. This is where colder areas and storm systems travel during the La Niña winter. In the southern United States, generally dry conditions prevail.
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But speaking of winter and the jet stream, what does it do to snow? Well, the displacement of the jet stream also changes the position of the snow because the pressure patterns take different paths.
Cold air is more readily available in the northern United States, which also increases the chance of snow if moisture is available. Areas such as Alaska, Canada and the northern/northwestern part of the United States especially benefit from heavy snowfall. Images provided by NOAA-Climate.
After passing through Canada and the United States, the jet stream moves to the North Atlantic. He can take a different route from there. It is highly dependent on current circulation patterns and pressure patterns in the Atlantic Ocean.
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This is where La Niña loses its direct influence over Europe as regional weather patterns in the Atlantic Ocean play a role. But it usually still has a big impact because it changes