Mike Masco's 2012-2013 Winter Outlook

Snow & Cold Look To Rule The Winter Season

Baltimore, MD - Mike Masco


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This winter will be nowhere near last years historically warm and snowless winter season!
Specifics will be found below!
The Science Behind The Outlook
The winter of 2012-2013 will follow a similar pattern we first saw appear in early October. Severe cold outbreaks began in the northern plains causing the entire month of October to run well below normal in the Midwest. This air modified as it moved east bringing below normal temperatures across the Mid Atlantic. The persistent trough in the east was in response to a negative NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) / AO (Arctic Oscillation) pattern that started during the late summer months. 
My forecast has been weighted by three things. The LRC model (30%) Blocking in the North Atlantic (30%) El nino event (20%) and PDO (pacific water temperatures) (20%)
I weighted the LRC among one of the highest elements inside my outlook. Research shows us that recurring patterns in October show up several times over again in the months of December, January, and February. My winter outlook included research elements from the Lezak Recurring Cycle theory, better known as LRC!
Here is what the LRC theory tells us:
A unique weather pattern sets up every year between October 1st and November 10th
The weather pattern cycles, repeats, and continues through winter, spring and into summer. Identifying the cycle length helps tremendously when making long range weather predictions.
Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established and also repeat at regular times within the cycle. These dominant repeating features are a clue to where storm systems will reach peak strength, and where they will be their weakest.
Second highest weight goes to blocking in the Atlantic and Arctic. Two variables will strongly influence
the winter outlook, they are the AO and NAO, better known as North Atlantic Ocillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). 
The NAO and AO run in both a positive and negative phase. What we need to see is a NEGATIVE PHASE in order to see snow and cold. Since late July the NAO has gone negative and basically stayed that way throughout the fall. Research notes that a strongly negative NAO phase predominately in October typically shows back up several times during the winter months.
The AO, Arctic Oscillation can be longer lasting in comparison to the NAO and it too has stayed very negative with a few bumps to near normal levels.
This year I weighted the El nino event third in my forecast. Since this year favors a mild El nino event (closer to normal levels) it will pose little impacts to the USA. That being said, warming in a key area over the central pacific favors cold and some what of an active subtropical jet stream. I do see that playing a role in this winter however, I do not see historic snow events since the moisture feed from the subtropical jet will be limited.  
Finally, the COLD PDO. PDO stands for THE PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION. What you need to know is a COLD PDO (what we are in now) features very cold water in the pacific. This features more of a trough in the west with a ridge in the east. This set up means a WARMER than normal winter ahead. Last year the PDO played a huge role in the winter of 2011-2012! While it will remain a cold PDO going forward, there are indication it's NOT AS COLD this year going into this winter. This means troughs will not be as long lasting in the west, keeping the east warm! 
So here is my WINTER OF 2012-2013 FORECAST:
This winter will run below average for much of the winter with a few warm ups from time to time. When we are in a cold week, it will be brutally cold! January will be the coldest month this winter averaging 5 degrees below average. February will actually warm especially towards the end of the month.