NOAA: Another warm winter likely for western U.S., South may see colder weather Repeat of last year's extremely cold, snowy winter east of Rockies unlikely

Below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States, while above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook, issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California’s record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state. Nearly 60 percent of California is suffering from exceptional drought – the worst category – with 2013 being the driest year on record. Also, 2012 and 2013 rank in the top 10 of California’s warmest years on record, and 2014 is shaping up to be California’s warmest year on record. Winter is the wet season in California, so mountainous snowfall will prove crucial for drought recovery. Drought is expected to improve in California’s southern and northwestern regions, but improvement is not expected until December or January.

“Complete drought recovery in California this winter is highly unlikely. While we’re predicting at least a 2 in 3 chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout the state, with such widespread, extreme deficits, recovery will be slow,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “This outlook gives the public valuable information, allowing them to make informed decisions and plans for the season. It’s an important tool as we build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

NOAA_winter_outlook-14-15_temp NOAA_winter_outlook-14-15_precip

El Niño, an ocean-atmospheric phenomenon in the Tropical Pacific that affects global weather patterns, may still develop this winter. Climate Prediction Center forecasters announced on Oct. 9 that the ocean and atmospheric coupling necessary to declare an El Niño has not yet happened, so they continued the El Niño Watch with a 67 percent chance of development by the end of the year. While strong El Niño episodes often pull more moisture into California over the winter months, this El Niño is expected to be weak, offering little help.

The Precipitation Outlook favors above-average precipitation across the southern tier, from the southern half of California, across the Southwest, South-central, and Gulf Coast states, Florida, and along the eastern seaboard to Maine. Above-average precipitation also is favored in southern Alaska and the Alaskan panhandle. Below-average precipitation is favored in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest.

Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the United States, east of the Rockies. A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.

In addition, the Temperature Outlook favors warmer-than-average temperatures in the Western U.S., extending from the west coast through most of the inter-mountain west and across the U.S.-Canadian border through New York and New England, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal for these areas to make a prediction, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, updated today and valid through January, predicts drought removal or improvement in portions of California, the Central and Southern Plains, the desert Southwest, and portions of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Drought is likely to persist or intensify in portions of California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state. New drought development is likely in northeast Oregon, eastern Washington state, and small portions of Idaho and western Montana.

This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

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October 16, 2014 9:20 am

Unless the exact opposite happens.

tom s
Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 16, 2014 9:54 am

HAH! Never been a fan of seasonal outlooks myself not to mention seasonal hurricane outlooks. I mean, really…look at the track records of these things. Not good.

Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 16, 2014 12:35 pm

The exact something else will happen.

Jimmy Finley
Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 16, 2014 3:45 pm

Or something in between! It’s Climate Weirding nowadays: a major promotion for Weather, which was clumping around in its Grandmother’s clothes.

Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 16, 2014 7:18 pm

Regardless of the govt temp and precip claimed record NOTthel driest record. M

Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 17, 2014 3:14 am

I’m reminded of a Met Office winter prediction of a few years back. They guessed probabilities at 30% colder, 30% normal, and 40% warmer that average.
Turned out to the the coldest in 50 years. When asked why they had predicted warmer, they said they didn’t – in fact, they gave a 60% probability of it not being warmer!

Reply to  steveta_uk
October 17, 2014 7:45 am

Probability ‘forecasts’ are not forecasts at all, in effect they are inept guesses based on computer models, dumbed down so no matter what happens they can say….see 40% warmer meant 60% colder chance or some deluded crap…allows them to look back and claim whatever happened was within the realm of what they did or didn’t probably say. Then quickly point over there and say look look look…sigh

AJ Virgo
Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 17, 2014 5:29 am

We have the AGW wishlist here.
The polar vortex will not return, drought will not break even if Cali has normal rainfall and drought will develop in many places. Above average temperatures in Alaska, ElNino may still happen yet just wait but if it does this time it will not pull in rain over Cali like it normally does !
Above-average precipitation also is favored in southern Alaska and the Alaskan panhandle which they know by now has a warming effect.

October 16, 2014 9:23 am

Did NOAA make a prediction for the last winter? It would be interesting to see how accurate it was.

Reply to  JimS
October 16, 2014 4:34 pm

It’s here:
They didn’t predict much of anything last year except for more of the California drought. (It is always a safe bet that a drought is more likely to continue than to end — as with anything that lasts multiple years and will officially end in only a single year.) They said, reasonably enough, that winters are hard to predict without some El Nino/Nina action going on to point a direction. They did not predict the severe circumpolar winter that happened, but in fairness, they did warn that such circumpolar action is hard to predict.
So, they swung and missed last year, but were more honest about how likely they were to fail.
This year they seem to be betting the farm on an El Nino that may well let them down.

Reply to  Bill Adams (@writesbynight)
October 17, 2014 12:31 am

A small gem of information that might be useful to the forecasters is that it always rains after a drought.

October 16, 2014 9:29 am

Now, Jim, what difference does it make if they screwed up last winter’s forecast?

Reply to  Roy Spencer
October 16, 2014 9:34 am

Well I found it. Google is a miracle is it not?
Last winter prediction by NOAA:
Notable section:
The Temperature Outlook favors:
•Below-average temperatures in the Northern Plains and the Alaskan Panhandle.
•Above-average temperatures in the Southwest, the South-Central U.S., parts of the Southeast, New England and western Alaska.

Reply to  JimS
October 16, 2014 11:21 am

So was that correct?

Reply to  JimS
October 16, 2014 11:34 am

Well Jim Cooley, “above-average temperatures” in the south east and New England? – remember the “polar vortex” of last winter? It was so cold and snowy last winter that the US economy suffered very badly for the weather.

Reply to  JimS
October 16, 2014 11:44 am

Jim, I’m in England.

October 16, 2014 9:33 am

I thought we were pretty much at coin flipping level of accuracy for predicting weather out anything more than 15 days – how does this prediction work? What is it’s historical accuracy?

October 16, 2014 9:36 am

I vote with the squirrels weather predictions at my old mom’s house and the ants at mine.
My 85 year old mom has again noted, as she did last year, that there is not an acorn remaining on the ground. She has a lot of trees that drop them. Usually, by this time of year near Chicago, there are plenty of excess acorns ramining when she rakes up the leaves. In thirty years, last year was the only year since 1967 that she had so much cold and snow for so long.
Me, I have lived in Las Vegas the past few years. We have been invaded by small ants in August and they are still coming. Ants everywhere, even if there is not a spottable food souce that I can see. It happened last year, but never like this in previous years. It was unusually cool last year in Vegas, with 19 degrees at night in January and all of my plants got severe frost damage. Severe plant damage all over the valley, especially Oleander plants.
I don’t know too much about the Farmers Alamanc and how they predict…but I think these creatures know this is gonna be another cold year…because there are no acorns remaining, and the ants are stocking up. It seems to me we are back in the cycle we were when I grew up in Chicago, where we had “snow days” because it was 14 below zero and our hands stuck to the car door handles, day after day.

Reply to  Mike
October 16, 2014 11:52 am

Mike – I don’t know which Las Vegas you lived in last year, but our winter was exceptionally mild, excepting for a few weeks around Thanksgiving. I can find no record of your January of 2014 being that cold. The previous year 2013 might have been – that was when pools froze over, but last winter in Vegas was wonderful. So perhaps you’re jumping back too far.

Reply to  Scarlett
October 16, 2014 12:42 pm

Don’t read too much in to how many excess acorns you or your mother see. That probably has more to do with how many acorns the trees produced in the first place, and it varies considerably in a cyclic manner.

Reply to  Scarlett
October 16, 2014 12:46 pm

I live in Summerlin at 3000 ft. The bottom of the valley is 5-8 degrees warmer. I had ice on my pool this year and last year…had to keep the pump running all night.

Reply to  Mike
October 16, 2014 1:18 pm

Mike, don’t place any prediction on the acorns predicting a cold (or mild) winter. Heavy and extended rain during a critical time of blooming, pollination, or some other cause will cause an acorn failure. You may live in an area with frequent storm front \passing through at that critical biological moment (a week or so maybe) and end up with a mast failure where you are but a break in the front (rain) may leave a heavy crop in an area only a few miles away. In the mountains you have a better chance of an acorn crop somewhere (possibly less overall per geographic area) due to the seasonal difference in elevation. In the mid Atlantic just hope for little rain in May. By the way, a mast failure one year can lead to very few squirrels the next in heavily forested areas without adequate clearcut operations that produce alternate mast.

Reply to  eyesonu
October 16, 2014 10:56 pm

Very technical eyesore but if your point is that animals don’t have a better idea of likely weather than we do you need to get closer to nature.

Randy in Ridgecrest
Reply to  Mike
October 16, 2014 8:01 pm

I don’t think you can count on ants as an indicator – it could be they are simply increasing no matter what the upcoming winter is going to be like. Making a run for it – they see an opportunity and they go for it.
I conduct war on ants on a regular basis. Once my plot is well and truly infested I systematically take out their queens with Amdro till my 2.5 acres are clear of colonies. But I have to stop at the fence line, and they are always there … waiting lurking milling around. Activity dies down somewhat in the cold months but then there is that relentless advance.

Reply to  Randy in Ridgecrest
October 21, 2014 11:28 am

Ants are a trailing indicator — if it gets really cold it kills them.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Mike
October 16, 2014 8:21 pm
October 16, 2014 9:38 am

The Farmers Almanacs, both of them, give rather different predictions from NOAA – at least in the area near where I live. Although, that “equal chance” qualification reminds me of the ironic predictions of the Delphi Oracle.

October 16, 2014 9:48 am

My fire bushes started turning red in late July, located in Seattle. Leaves also started dropping early in my yard. My SWAG it is going to be a cold winter here… (Scientific wild-a$$ed guess).

Robert of Ottawa
October 16, 2014 9:48 am

Forget these jokers. Get the Farmer’s Almanac forecast.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
October 16, 2014 5:43 pm

Being in New Hampshire, I have to recommend the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
They’re the one that printed a long article by Joe D’Aleo predicting we’re entering a period of cooling.

Two Labs
October 16, 2014 9:51 am

Aren’t these the same folks who predicted dire hurricane seasons the past 7 years?

Reply to  Two Labs
October 16, 2014 10:25 am

Actually in 2013 they did predict a well above average season and even held that prediction with their final update. Quite embarrassing IF it were possible to embarrass those hacks. But for 2014 they actually predicted a “near normal” or “below normal” Atlantic hurricane season and it appears they are well within hand grenade range this time.

Two Labs
October 16, 2014 9:51 am

Aren’t these the same folks who predicted dire hurricane seasons the past 7 years?

October 16, 2014 9:54 am

This is too funny, made me spit out my coffee!

October 16, 2014 10:07 am

NOAA getting their forecasts from Weatherbell???

Ethan Brand
October 16, 2014 10:07 am

I’m looking at the winter forecasts from Weather Bell, Accuweather, Old Farmers Almanac and this new NOAA:
Very (very) generally the forecasts:
West Midwest New England/Northeast South (west mostly)
WB Dry Mild Dry, average/cold Wet average/cold Wet Cold
Accu Dry Mild Dry, cold Wet average/cold Wet Cold
OLD FA Dry Mild Dry cold Wet cold Wet Cold
NOAA Dry Mild Dry average average warm Wet Cold
Everybody lines up for the West and south west, in general, NOAA is different for the new england area.
Sure would like to see a nice analysis on how each of the “major (popular) seasonal forecasts do over many years. I like Weather Bell the most mostly because they go to great lengths to explain what/how they are developing the forecast, and how it compares to others. On the other hand, I also like any forecast that forecasts cold and snow! (I’m in the midwest).

Tom O
Reply to  Ethan Brand
October 16, 2014 11:19 am

Interesting. The Saturday updates by Joe Bastardi on Weatherbell have indicated that they expect a repeat of last year or worse for the Midwest, or at least, that’s what I “thought” I heard. you’re saying they are calling for a mild winter in the midwest?

Reply to  Tom O
October 16, 2014 11:52 am

That’s what I heard too. maybe Joe Bastardi will clear that up this Saturday.

Ethan Brand
October 16, 2014 10:08 am

Oh well, my nice attempt to format a table didn’t translate!

Reply to  Ethan Brand
October 16, 2014 10:10 am

Don’t fret, it looks “homogenized”…

Ethan Brand
Reply to  Paul
October 16, 2014 10:15 am

Oh great, I can become an expert in temperature analysis!

October 16, 2014 10:08 am

I wonder what it is going to be like in MN this year. Sketchy fall so far.

Reply to  JessWoo
October 16, 2014 1:23 pm

MN? I’m betting cold. For this Texian, below 50f is defined as cold, below 40f is bitter cold so I’ve got great odds.

Reply to  kenw
October 16, 2014 1:28 pm

Ha! In MN 30 and 40 is t shirt weather!!!

October 16, 2014 10:18 am

I don’t know about the rest of the forecast, but the temperature and precip forecasts for the Northeast don’t seem to take into account the temperature of the great lakes. Starting off colder than normal, that’s likely to keep nearby and downwind areas colder than normal, and if the lake surface freezes over faster, then the downwind areas will also be drier than normal.

October 16, 2014 10:21 am

Why don’t they simply open this year’s Farmer’s Almanac? It’s at least as accurate in predicting the weather as watching bird flocks or raising your wet finger over your head, which is pretty much what these forecasts are. Does anyone ever review these forecasts at the end of the winter and score them? Didn’t think so.

Gunga Din
October 16, 2014 10:35 am

I can’t predict the weather for this winter but I do predict that, rather than forecast, we’ll only hear about the worst of it on The Weather Channel.
“Calamitous climate change has produced Winter Flurry ‘Al’ over Atalanta….”

Doug Proctor
October 16, 2014 10:44 am

When you say 40% chance of “warmer”, do you also mean 60% chance of “colder”? Or is that 40% chance of “no change” and 20% chance of “colder”?
The BS meter is pegging right.

Reply to  Doug Proctor
October 16, 2014 11:01 am

It’s the increased probability over equal chance.

October 16, 2014 10:54 am

Another warm winter? Like last winter?

Robert W Turner
October 16, 2014 11:03 am

“This outlook gives the public valuable information, allowing them to make informed decisions and plans for the season. It’s an important tool as we build a Weather-Ready Nation.”
ROFLMAO!!! So despite the fact that your predictions are wrong most of the time this is still considered valuable information? Chicken Little gave some valuable information too didn’t he?

October 16, 2014 11:09 am

I don’t get it. NOAA is predicting the weather 2-5 months in advance and so they’re calling this thing the Climate Prediction Center? But an 18-year pause in global warming, that’s not climate?
Hmm. Maybe there is more funding for a climate prediction than a weather prediction, you think?

October 16, 2014 11:24 am

Various AGW climate predictions have stated it will be warmer, cooler, or no change in termperature, along with wetter, dryer or the same precipitation. And look at the maps, NOAA agrees exactly; hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, no change.
AGW enthusisasts will just have to trot this out as proof of the uncanny accuracy of AGW climate predictions.

Joe Bastardi
October 16, 2014 11:31 am

Very different from our idea. Is anyone going to ask them what has happened to the past 5 winters, 3 major cold, one late starting but made up for it 2cnd half ( 12-13), and yes one warm? I refuse to criticize NOAA or anyones FORECAST but wonder why no one has questioned them on last year. I know after the winter of 11-12, which I had a normal winte forecast r and said I was not at all sure about it, I was taken to the woodshed when it was warm
Keep in mind PROBABILITIES ARE NOT A FORECAST. They are guidance. A forecast, as we display has the deviation from average in temperature and the snowfall amounts. a probability is not a weather metric, but TOOL to arrive at the answer. As for it being guidance, that is fine, but call it that
In any case, their idea looks like the blend of ALL enso events, and as followers OF JOE D and I know enso events vary depending on strength, position of warmest water, and may other surrounding factors. We have honed in on our forecasts.. clients are seeing it now, it will be on premium soon, but we certainly did not back off on the main message.. a snowier/colder than normal winter for much of the US rockies east.. and midway between what we consider the warmest option…a normal winter, and the coldest option, which would be similar to a blend of the 3 worst winters in the late 70s. Will be on the premium site in several days
Their idea certainly is a test of the N Hem snowfall idea as it is threatening to break the 1976 October record and is above last year

Reply to  Joe Bastardi
October 16, 2014 11:39 am

Probabilities are a probabilistic forecast, as opposed to a deterministic (or “best estimate”) one. Both give information, or guidance, and can be complementary. At the very least, they should be consistent.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Joe Bastardi
October 16, 2014 11:48 am

I don’t want another Blizzard of ’78!
As an aside, I hope you are documenting their forecast versus yours. After the fact it could be a valid selling point.
PS Any advise on what would be a good snow blower? 😎

Reply to  Gunga Din
October 16, 2014 2:34 pm

I use a 42 inch wide 21 inch intake height 23 HP kohler with deestone super lugs for tires 🙂

Reply to  Gunga Din
October 19, 2014 10:51 am

I use the teenager down the street….

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Joe Bastardi
October 16, 2014 12:46 pm

Agree that NOAA is putting the most weight on ENSO. Their forecast mirrors probabilities for a typical moderate El Nino event.
There are some natural cycles that influenced our Winters in the warm direction in the 80’s/90’s that turned around a decade ago and are having the opposite influence now(which should continue for another 2 decades or so).
The Winters of 2009/10 and 2013/14 were the two coldest since the 1970’s I think. We will see a few more very cold Winters ahead……….with Winters, on average, much colder than those of the 890’s/90/s for the next 2 decades…………but mild Winters, like the one of 2011/12 will happen and be impossible to pin point.
Snow in the Northern hem./Euroasia may be piling up early this year but this only intensifies cold outbreaks, especially early in the Winter farther south with meridional flow. If the source region of the air masses isn’t coming from the Arctic/high latitudes, it can be colder than a Witches T up there, while zonal flow dominates and keeps up mild.
The other thing that can happen in the Arctic with this early snow scenario, is that unlike last Winter, when air masses were steered by the “Siberian Express” jet stream, with a deep(Polar) vortex becoming entrenched downstream at times, thus flushing out cold in Siberia/the Arctic before it can brew/grow from continual heat loss under complete darkness… that cold air masses can be allowed to intensify long enough(undisturbed and not moderated by less cold air replacing the departing cold) to become quite formidable when they do become dislodged, moving southward.
N.Pacific Ocean temps have been anomalously warm(favorable for upper ridging and downstream troughing, aimed at the Eastern US) but anomalies have weakened during the last month.
Last Winter at this time(mid October) weather models(going out 2 weeks) had no clue that the pattern would turn to sharply colder. I t was the European model in early November that suddenly caught on to the pattern before the other models.
Natural gas prices collapsed the last 2 weeks in October 2013, with market expectations of a mild November, spiking to a bottom very early on the morning of Nov 5th. That’s when the European model led the pack of models picking up the new pattern………a huge ridge in the Northeast Pacific/Siberia with downstream troughing and air masses traveling via the jet stream/steering currents linking them.

October 16, 2014 11:31 am

funny, last year in my part of #Failifornia was one of the coolest summers i’ve ever lived through here… this summer has only been a little warmer.
not sure what body part they got the “warmest ever” from, but i can guess.

October 16, 2014 11:52 am

Worlds top scientists and they are so dopey they don’t know not to use use red lettering on a green background. Obviously none of them play golf.

October 16, 2014 11:53 am

“This outlook gives the public valuable information, allowing them to make informed decisions and plans for the season. It’s an important tool as we build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

We’ve already been given a National Right to Affordable Cellphone Service, even if the government has to pay for it, so anyone with reception should be able to call for help in a weather emergency, even the extra-powerful climate change-caused disasters.
But to really be a Weather-Ready Nation, shouldn’t we have a National Right for umbrellas? For area-suitable weather-resistant warm jackets and coats? Think of the children! If it can save the life of even one child, then it is worth it.
Meanwhile, what informed decisions should be made? NOAA said in your area there’s a greater than 50% chance it’ll be warmer. Does that mean the odds favor taking a chunk of that money you’ve been saving for winter heating bills and buying lottery tickets instead, because the odds are you won’t need it anyway?

October 16, 2014 11:53 am

As I understand it, these are not forecasts of what the weather will be like, but the chances of that weather event. So NOAA is saying that the western US has a greater than 50% chance of being warm, not that it will be warmer than normal. Where NOAA says equal chances, it means “we aren’t sure if it will be colder than normal or warmer than normal or just plain normal”.
I do believe that the 40% chance of drier Great Lakes region is spot on. Colder Great Lakes means less lake-effect snow. I also believe that 33% chance of a wetter eastern US is also spot on. The western Atlantic is very warm. Cold air going over warm ocean water helps nor’easters to form.
All-in-all, it looks like NOAA is expecting an El Nino to form since the temperature and precipitation looks like it was taken from this diagram, also found on the El Nino page.

October 16, 2014 11:57 am

Better yet, just make it an equal chance map for 95 percent of the lower 48 state area except for a few heat islands around major cities. That would mitigate exposure to critique from all sides except professional conscience.

October 16, 2014 12:04 pm

Uh Huh, we’ll see.

October 16, 2014 12:19 pm

I wonder how this correlates with Al Gore’s travel schedule for the next couple of months.

October 16, 2014 12:34 pm

A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.

Based on what exactly? Nearly-always-wrong models?
You would think with the poor model record, they would know better than to use them for forecasts that close enough in the future to bite them. Of course, like flipping a coin, they could be right. Even if only right in one area, it will be enough to save face.

Gunga Din
October 16, 2014 12:35 pm

It might be interesting to compare NOAA forecast versus reality for election years in the last 10 or 20 years.

October 16, 2014 12:36 pm

Just for giggles, here’s what NOAA said last winter would be like:
Not even REMOTELY close…

Thomas Englert
October 16, 2014 12:47 pm

Although the California drought is definitely bad, record-setting is an exaggeration if proxy studies are believable.

October 16, 2014 12:50 pm

When things are see-sawing like they have been this decade, it’s a SWAG. What happens after the see-saw stops is the big Q.

October 16, 2014 12:54 pm

What does the farmer’s almanac say:

Reply to  trafamadore
October 16, 2014 1:09 pm

Ice cream sandwiches

October 16, 2014 12:59 pm

I don’ agree with this probability forecast. The central US will likely have again a cold winter like last year with the exception of the west. The middle of the nation would again be unprepared if it followed this forecast in my opinion with fuel shortages ,salt shortages and lack of snow clearing infrastructure . The trend of winter temperatures anomalies shows declining winter temperatures for 17 years at -1.79 F /DECADE. since 1998.. Yes , not every year will be cold but the odds are better for cold than warm. These cold cycles last for years at least . Snow has already shown up in Colorado, and parts of Canada . Remember the 2010 cold winter which was an EL Nino winter

Elliott M. Althouse
October 16, 2014 1:10 pm

As Joe Bastardi says, “This is not a forecast”. It is a modeled probability chart. A forecast predicts actual departure from normal as he posts all the time on Weatherbell. His forecast last winter was uncannily good.

Reply to  Elliott M. Althouse
October 16, 2014 7:33 pm

It’s why he’s the only forecaster I really trust. Back in 2010 when the UK Met O claimed it would be a blah winter here, Joe predicted nearly a month before their seasonal forecast how cold it was going to get. Joe was correct on the weather absolutely nosediving to within a few days.
The MetO winter (or jut insert any season) forecasts have become nothing more than a three way 33% split on warmer winter/regular crappy winter/ colder winter simply so they can claim any level of accuracy to defer criticism and to maintain funding.

Reply to  DDP
October 17, 2014 8:03 am

Keep in mind they are trying to forecast something inherently unpredictable. I respect the way they do it over there at WB and then stick to the forecast instead of flip flopping like most of the ‘experts’. imo of course

October 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Since 1998 in UNITED STATES all major temperature regions used by NCDC/NOAA show winter cooling trend for the 17 years.
SOUTH -1.6
WEST 0.1(flat)
US winters show a cooling trend in every climate region with the exception of the WEST where the winter temperatures are flat
. US Winter temperature anomalies show a cooling trend of -1.79 F/decade since 1998(17 years)

October 16, 2014 1:38 pm

Now why don’t we get a post on this same topic from Joe Bastardi on the coming winter so we can compare.
I follow Joe’s Saturday summaries and as far as I can tell he blows the socks off of NOAA…

Kenneth Simmons
October 16, 2014 1:46 pm

Thanks for adding your insight Joe B. NOAA meteorologists are not allowed to forecast out-of-the-box. They have to adhere to the models, graphs, atmospheric factors listed in the guidelines set forth by the agency. It must be frustrating as a forecaster to give probabilities and ignore environmental factors affecting the weather.

Charles Nelson
October 16, 2014 2:45 pm

One of the things that it’s very hard for the ordinary person to grasp; is the speed at which big events can take place in nature. Here in Australia the drought was ‘permanent’, the Murray Darling River was ‘finished’ and Perth was about to become a ‘Ghost Metropolis’ because of water shortages.
Within ONE month the entire edifice of certainty that the Australian Warmist Authorities had carefully built over a 5 or 6 year period….was swept away.

October 16, 2014 3:02 pm

Dr. Tim Ball has shown us here on WUWT that Environment Canada issues reports on how well their predictions turned out. Doesn’t the U.S. agencies do this?

October 16, 2014 3:40 pm

I was told by an old Cherokee chief that it would be a much colder winter than normal When asked why , he replied that he had observed an exceptional number of palefaces gathering more firewood than normal.

Reply to  jim Steele
October 16, 2014 4:22 pm

Palefaces! That’s my recommendation for the new name for the Washington Redskins.
Ohh … I can hear it now …. persons of color are being left out of the naming process.

Reply to  jim Steele
October 16, 2014 5:52 pm

And the palefaces were gathering wood because the chief had told the tribe to prepare for a cold winter.
The canonical form from

Gathering Firewood for Winter
As winter approached, the chief of an Indian tribe instructed his braves to go out and gather firewood. When the braves returned, wondering if they had enough wood, the chief contacted the local weather service to ask if they were expecting a severe winter. The representative from the weather service told him that indeed they were expecting a very cold winter.
Hearing this, the chief sent out his braves again on another search for firewood. When the Indians returned with additional firewood, the chief called the weather service again to confirm their weather forecast. Again, the chief was told that the weather service was expecting a VERY severe winter, so he sent the Indians out again to gather even MORE firewood.
When the braves returned from their third firewood search, the chief decided to call the weather service one more time. Again he was told that they were indeed expecting one of the most severe winters in many, many years.
Consumed with curiosity, the chief finally asked, “How do you at the weather service know that we are in for such a severe winter?”
Weather service reply: “Because all the Indians are out gathering firewood!”

John L.
October 16, 2014 4:52 pm

I’ll stick with the “Farmer’s Almanac” thank you.

Mike Wryley
October 16, 2014 8:33 pm

Numerous squirrels here in western Iowa have worked overtime to gather every walnut and acorn available whereas last year they were left laying on the ground, in fact I think some of them may have been undocumented aliens since there are red ones in addition to the usual black squirrels. I am sure this means we are in for a nasty cold winter with lots of snow. Or maybe it means the little bastards are making a comeback since the passing of my German Shorthairs, who pretty much ran them out of Dodge.

Pamela Gray
October 16, 2014 9:17 pm

Our Oregon state agriculture forecaster says early winter deep freeze followed by possible mild late winter. Because crop producers depend on this forecast, and his job depends on being right about agriculture forecasts, I tend to believe this guy over NOAA stuff.

October 16, 2014 10:00 pm

Let’s see the current jet stream.,61.25,555
You can see a strong cooling northeastern Pacific and the North Atlantic.

Reply to  ren
October 17, 2014 6:21 am
Lars P.
October 17, 2014 3:33 am

Huh, I understand from the comments above that NOAA is putting their prediction on ENSO, however when I looked at the oceans temperature I was struck by the wave of cold displayed here, a bit unusual picture:
I know it is not the ENSO area, but I would guess this must be influencing the weather in the Northern Hemisphere?
It really looks like a lot of heat left the system to me? Is it due to low solar activity & clouds or is there cold surface water covering the warmer? Just wondering…

Reply to  Lars P.
October 17, 2014 6:10 am
Pamela Gray
Reply to  ren
October 17, 2014 5:43 pm

We do indeed see a dropping pressure metric for the JFM graph, that rose since 1950 to around 1990 and then began a slide back down which continues now. When this metric is in negative territory we tend to see a loopy edge to the semi-permanent Arctic pressure system (which the jet stream, riding on this edge, mimics as well) with low pressure warm incursions into the upper Arctic latitudes and high pressure incursions of Arctic air into the lower latitudes.
Some evidence exists that this is due to decades long drifting of warmed ocean water from the equatorial band towards the poles, collecting there and helping to set up this stormy loopy edge via teleconnections between warmer ocean temperatures and colder atmospheric responses. Meanwhile, back at the equator, when that warmed water eventually exits the equatorial area, the equatorial band sets up the beginnings of the next up slope IE the positive phase of the JanFebMar AO. Note however, the evidence is slim in terms of observations, as we only have what appears to be a single cycle on record.

johann wundersamer
October 17, 2014 3:55 am

why not just plain ask some from winter road services.
not the folks in the bureaus. but the ones ON the road.
plenty of hard learned.
less academic. more aqquainted.

October 17, 2014 4:17 am

SWAG. I love it. It is all indeed SWAG. I’m running slow this year, haven’t checked the persimmons, but friends on Facebook have assured my they’re coming up spoons again this year (just like last year). We had a rough winter here in the Ozarks, considering our placement on the globe. We had a very mild summer, but it persisted into the fall. A mild autumn, but that’s normal for us. I can understand some of the “climate change” hysteria, but that is all it is. Hysteria. Still, the weather for me and mine has been well within norms. We had a very “lucky” storm season with very few damaging tornadoes. We avoided drought and flooding rains. BUT! My plot of earth is yet a very small part of the world. We shall see, shant we? We will see…

October 17, 2014 5:39 am

Pamela Gray
I agree with your local weather forecaster. An interesting observation is that the temperatures seem to be getting colder as the year progresses from fall through the winter. We will just have to see what develops this winter. Here are the anomalies from 1998 to 2014 . As you can see the trend of the temperatures from September to February . is to cool more as the months progress through the fall and winter
SEPT –o.24 F(declining)
OCT -0.61 F (declining)
NOV -0.76 F (declining)
DEC -1.22 F/decade (declining)
JAN -1.52 F (declining)
FEB -2.77 F (declining)

October 17, 2014 7:53 am

I live in northern California and have detailed records for the last 10 years. One thing I’ve noticed is that the yearly average temperature is largely influenced by how many storms we get in the rainy season, roughly late October through April. High pressure systems bring warmer temperatures and lower pressure systems bring cooler temperatures. It’s no surprise that with dominance of high pressure this past winter that it was warmer than average.
I like to look at the summer average high temperature, a period largely not influenced by storms. Over the last 10 years my average summer high is 88.9 F. The summer of 2014 was 88.7 F. This was a very ho-hum summer temperature-wise. The only thing noteworthy about this summer was the large number of thunderstorm days in the Sierra Nevada in the first half.

October 17, 2014 8:35 am
October 17, 2014 10:35 am

I’m betting on as bad or worse than last years winter, if the AO continues it’s downward trend.

Martin 457
October 17, 2014 11:32 am

Here in Nebraska, my ash tree dropped it’s leaves already, the maple is just starting to change color. = below normal.
Acorns and walnuts are not all gathered up yet. = normal.
Persimmon seeds are spoons.= Going to make sure the snow-blower is in good shape.
Not like any of these things are good indicators, there are some things in nature that can let you “predict” what might happen. I’m going to prepare for a brutal, long, snowy winter and hope it don’t happen.

October 17, 2014 11:58 am

I guarantee my winter will be warmer this year than last. Of course, i moved from central PA to south Florida.

October 17, 2014 2:08 pm

A winter-like jetstream pattern has occurred off & on all yr in the mid-Atlantic states. 45F in mid-August & other very cool summer temps.
Expect that to continue & if so, it means a cold winter.

Mark Luhman
October 17, 2014 11:57 pm

I am a day late but I just flew over Colorado and there is already snow in the rockies. It seems a little early this year!

October 18, 2014 7:16 am

Other meteorologists are predicting another polar vortex:
‘It’s coming back’: Meteorologists warn ANOTHER Polar Vortex will strike the U.S. this winter.
PUBLISHED: 21:47 EST, 15 October 2014 | UPDATED: 07:28 EST, 16 October 2014
Bob Clark

October 18, 2014 8:01 pm

But since it’s such a weak El Nino this year, it may a well be neutral. Anyone one wanna bet on half (La Nina), and half (El Nino)?

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