Baltimore destined for a severe winter season

Maryland is in for one rough winter. 

We're in for snow. We're in for ice. And we're in for storms. 

Our early snapshot shows accumulation of up to 30 inches in parts of the state with the promise of snowstorm activity. We're looking at a much more harrowing winter than the last two yearsm , which have seen record lows when it comes to snowfall. ( Full breakdown below.) 

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Seasonal forecasts are one of the hardest forecasts a meteorologist can make given so many variables that can change on a dime and impact the final outcome of one particular season.

For example: an atmospheric phenomena called the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) can impact the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation)--Which is the main thing we look at when forecasting a winter storm event. The "NAO" in a negative phase can deliver an extremely harsh winter with cold and snow; while the positive phase can bring a mild and calm pattern. Here's the problem (why we call the MJO a wild card) the MJO is not able to be forecasted past 3 weeks and research shows there is a low probability "guessing" the MJO phase past 1 month.

Read: Maryland's Most Accurate Forecast, updated multiple times daily.

My winter outlook is based on the month of October ( a month that usually sets the tone for the type of patterns that will evolve into the winter), sea surface temperatures, snow coverage across the northern hemisphere, and a realistic approach to the seasonal ahead ( looking at what you have, comparing it to the last few years of what you got, and making an educated guess).

The secondary elements that go into my winter forecast involve sunspot cycles (the suns activity), The QBO (quasi-biennial oscillation), the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation--which ties into sea surface temperatures), SOI (southern Oscillation Index) and ENSO (El Nino vs La NiƱa)--which also ties into sea surface temperature portion of the outlook.

If you take all these elements together you get chaos. The two main components of chaos theory are the ideas that systems - no matter how complex they may be - rely upon an underlying order, and that very simple or small systems and events can cause very complex behaviors or events. So to help clear through the noise and get the best results you take the largest elements that play into the secondary elements to help devise an outcome we like to call a PREDICTION!

My 2013-2014 Winter Outlook 

Sea Surface Temperatures--

Atlantic Ocean

 

The 2013 hurricane season ends at the end of November which will mark yet another year with the lack of major hurricane activity. In terms of names storms we will finish the year average while we will finish the year well below average for hurricanes and WELL below average for major hurricanes.