Winter Weather 2023 23

Winter Weather 2023 23 – New forecast data for winter 2022/2023 is available. This shows the increasing influence of the La Nina phase in the third year. A blocking high pressure system is expected to develop in the North Pacific, which will change the jet stream over North America. The latest forecast also shows the possibility of more snow across the United States.

Many factors work together to affect the winter season each year. But this year one of the main factors is the cold La Nina in the ENSO region of the equatorial Pacific.

Winter Weather 2023 23

Winter Weather 2023 23

But how can the sea have such an effect on a winter’s day? We will first look at how La Nina works and how its strength is predicted to change as we approach the 2022/2023 winter season.

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La Nina develops in the ENSO region, short for “El Niño Southern Oscillation.” This region of the equatorial Pacific alternates between warm and cold phases. Phase changes usually occur every 1-3 years.

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The cold phase is called La Nina, and the warm phase is called El Nino. We are now in the La Nina phase and entering the third year, which is a rare occurrence.

The image below from NOAA Climate shows the typical cycle during the ENSO cold season. Winds descend in the eastern Pacific Ocean, promoting stable and dry weather. At the same time, winds are increasing in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, with lower pressure and more precipitation.

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In this way, ENSO has a significant effect on tropical precipitation and forcing patterns, thereby influencing the ocean–atmosphere system. Through this ocean-atmosphere system, ENSO’s influence spreads globally.

Given the recent lack of global oceans, you can see a cold La Nina developing in the tropical Pacific. The rest of the world shows strong convergence of heat in the North Pacific and North Atlantic, which contributes to the development of regional patterns.

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Below is a close-up analysis of the tropical Pacific landscape. We see cold anomalies in the highlighted ENSO region. An active La Nina is now entering its third year, expanding the cold ocean deficit over much of the tropical Pacific.

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La Nina forms under the easterly trade winds, which can tell a lot about the general conditions of the global circulation. In this way, we can use these anomalies as “indicators” to understand the state of the global climate today.

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Below you can see the progression of historical La Niña episodes over the years, with only two events occurring in the third year. Three events were neutral in the third year, and three events turned into El Nino in the third season.

In order to better understand the development of ENSO, we made a video showing the lack of ocean temperatures from June to October 2022.

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ENSO cooling began again in August when a cold wave appeared across the equatorial Pacific. However, it rose in September as the easterly trade winds strengthened.

Below we have an analysis/forecast chart from ECMWF, showing the forecast for the central ENSO region. La Nina conditions (below -0.5) will prevail in late fall and winter. But the decline of La Nina is expected early next year, and there could be a warm phase in 2023.

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If we look at the IRI probability forecast, we can see a high agreement with the cold season lasting through the winter season. We expect a break in the cold season as we move into next spring, with the warm phase likely to increase later in the year.

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The combined ocean forecast shows above-average winter temperatures in the Pacific region. A stable La Nina is predicted in all long-range systems, providing high confidence in the climate impact.

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In general, the primary impact of these ocean anomalies is seen in changes in the jet stream. A jet stream is a large and powerful wind (air) at an altitude of about 8–11 km (5–7 mi). It is connected to the pressure system and affects its flow and development.

The jet stream is an important part of this forecast. This is one of the main ways that La Nina can directly change the climate, especially in North America.

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Historically, strong blocking high pressure systems in the North Pacific are the most common product of the cold phases of ENSO. It often directs the polar jet stream down into the northern United States.

The chart below shows the average of recent La Nina winters. We see a high pressure system in the North Pacific and an area of ​​low pressure over Canada and southwestern Europe.

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The spread of high pressure systems promotes the development of low pressure areas across Canada. This forces the jet to flow down between the two pressure systems, bringing colder air into the northern United States.

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If we look at the temperature analysis for the same winter, we can see a cold anomaly under the jet stream in western Canada and the northern United States. Winters are warmer than normal in the US Southwest, US Southeast, and eastern Canada.

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In terms of precipitation, La Nina winters are drier across the southern United States. Dry conditions are also developing in the southeastern United States as La Nina produces a weaker subtropical jet stream and less moisture to the east. More precipitation is common in the US Northwest, the Great Lakes, and parts of the Northeast.

You can see a reproduction of the jet stream in the image below. The figure shows the average jet wave during a La Nina winter and the resulting climate over the United States and Canada.

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Warmer, drier weather in the south brings cooler temperatures and storms from the polar regions to the northern and northwestern United States.

In the northern part of the country, colder and wetter events are common, as the jet stream drives such storm systems. But it can retreat into the southern United States, creating a warm, stable climate with fewer storms and cooler temperatures.

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As colder air is lighter in the northern United States, it also increases the chance of snow. In particular, areas such as Alaska, Canada, and the northern/northwestern United States benefit from more precipitation during the cool ENSO period. Image below provided by NOAA-Climate.

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Now you know where La Nina is coming this winter and how it affects the jet stream and climate. We’ll also take a look at the actual model’s forecast, updated just this month, and his tips for the 2022/2023 winter season.

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In this update, we’ve focused on the three-season model. ECMWF from Europe, CFSv2 from the USA and the Canadian CanSIPS model. Image courtesy of the Copernicus Climate Project, CPC/NCEP, and Tropical Savory.

All these forecasts are averaged over three winter months of weather (December-January-February) and show the weather in general.

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Even if the model is 100% accurate, it doesn’t mean that this kind of weather will last for the next three months. It simply shows what the weather will look like most of the time.

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The ECMWF model is considered one of the most reliable forecasting systems. But because we only look at the big trends and the weather over a longer period of time, it’s hard to measure true confidence.

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The updated ECMWF winter pressure forecast below further strengthens the La Nina high pressure system in the North Pacific and extends into the western United States. A low pressure anomaly is expected over western Canada, which will push the jet stream into the northern United States.

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We also see the North Atlantic in the negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In addition, an area of ​​low pressure in southwestern Europe and the Azores, which opens different patterns during the winter.

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The ECMWF monthly NAO forecast below indicates a negative trend for early winter. This will increase the chances of cold events in the eastern US and parts of Europe. A negative NAO means higher pressure over Greenland and Iceland, disrupting the normal westerly jet stream pattern.

Global air temperature projections show an expected pattern. Western Canada and the northern United States have seen cool to moderate temperatures. Warmer anomalies are predicted in the western and southern United States.

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Europe shows a warmer climate in the west, with the influence of a nearby low pressure area. Warmer anomalies are expected in some parts of Central Europe, rising to the northeast.

Looking at projections of potential land temperatures across Europe, we see an interesting pattern. Most of the central and western continents are temperate. However, it could be warmer than average in the south and north.

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Across North America, the updated ECMWF forecast shows moderate to cold temperatures across much of western Canada, extending into the northern United States. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are forecast across the southern United States, with weaker anomalies in the Northeast.

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A negative NAO usually means more northerly flow over the Midwest and eastern United States. We have seen this development before with La Nina winters.

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In this forecast we see a lower probability of a warmer anomaly.

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