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Nov 10, 2015 2:02 PM

Joe Knows: This warm November could mean less snow this winter for NH

NH1 Chief Meteorologist - NH1.com

CONCORD - Every season has it's own personality and own story to tell.

When forecasting for an upcoming winter we look for subtle clues which are happening in the air, oceans, and land which can help shed light towards how our weather will be affected in the coming months.

So far this November has been very mild. Everyday has averaged above normal for the month so far - 8.4 degrees above normal for the month! Incredible.

When you look back upon climate history, mild Novembers can be our friend if you do not like a snowy winter. In fact, the top 5 warmest Novembers in Concord have all ended up having a winter with snowfall averaging below normal!

Does that mean we can expect less snow this winter? Quite possibly. But there is more to the story which we need to consider.

This year we have a historic El Nino making the Pacific Ocean very warm. This will be a huge player in driving the winter weather. It is important to note that just because there is an El Nino does not automatically guarantee a mild winter. There are a variety of other factors which go into affecting the winter season. The El Nino will likely make for a very active subtropical jetstream supplying ample moisture into the pattern with very active storm track. Warm sea surface temperatures off the Northeast coast could make for explosive storm development if any storm tracks over the open water. This could mean more nor'easters for us.

A developing early season snowpack in Siberia helps to promote more cold air in the higher latitudes. The heavy dense cold air at the surface can help to strengthen the Polar Vortex higher up in the Troposphere. When any cold is driven down into the United States, it will clash with the warmth from the mild Pacific air, and you have the potential for more storm development. Moral of the story, the cards and players are all on the table. This winter will come with it's share of challenges just like any other - though eclipsing the record breaking snowfall of last winter is unlikely.

The first snowfall of winter for Concord usually arrives in November, although some years, we see no snow until December.

Snow can land in October, but that is even less common. The season's last snowfall typically happens in March or April.

The earliest it has ever snowed is Oct. 7 and the latest we have ever gone before it snowed is Jan. 13th.

Concord Averages about 60.8" of snow in a typical year. I think we will be around that number this winter. It's a 50/50 push in my opinion. Warm November and El Nino Warmth lean towards a less snowy winter. Deep Siberian snow pack, warm sea surface temperatures off the Northeast and active storm track from Subtropical Jetstream has me concerned that winter comes on strong in the second half.

Winter is 4 quarters. Do Your Job!


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