Monty67 wrote:Michael1 wrote:Monty67 wrote:What were your expectations heading into this winter?
A fair question, which i will endeavor to answer.
Firstly, I will discuss last winter. It has been widely regarded as "one of the best". that is open to interpretation however. While it is true that many places received higher snowfall amounts, others didn't. for example, except for February's snow, here at sea level, it was difficult to get higher accumulations. Although we did get some precip associated with outflow, most of the colder air here did not come from the interior, as a normal arctic outbreak would, but down the coast. This made temperatures during snow events, marginal at best ( -.05 to +1). Overall, the average temperatures for highs were cooler to be sure.
My expectations for this winter, looking at some other years, especially the nineties, were for a stormier fall. Looking at 1990 for example, when the enso was very slightly positive and the PDO was still in a warm phase, we received record amounts of rainfall, so much rain in fact, that the storm sewer covers on Cook street in Victoria, were blown off. Each storm we endured always was followed by much cooler air, until finally a true arctic outbreak occurred on Dec. 18.
1992 Had strong positive enso numbers until June- but never entered weak la nina territory in the months following, yet the east Island had its usual run of pacific storms and had some very cold events, Again with a warm PDO.
So what were my expectations for this winter? 1) a more active storm track, given the mildly negative PDO and the continual falling enso ssts; more below freezing night temps (not necessarily consecutively) and a less persistent el nino pattern, given that it shouldn't even be a consideration. As for arctic out breaks, I would have thought 2-3 events of 7- 10 days of duration wouldn't have been out of place, given how this season was looking (as someone put it, at least on paper) . But this intransigent pattern we've had before- then it was blamed on an anomalous pool of warmer water that existed from Alaska down the coast. Maybe my eyes are cheated, but it is now being presented as cooler than normal. I won't get into solar activity, since there is some debate as to its effect ( funny that). Anyways, my expectations weren't for anything impossible, but for what should have been. Our weather data has been rendered practically useless by a rapidly changing climate. 30 year averages, probability and analogs , in my opinion, are of limited use.
Seems reasonable, although 3 events of 7-10 days during one winter would be pretty upper end stuff. I’d give it some time still. Winter hasn’t started yet and you wrote this as if it’s already over. Maybe my views are slightly blinded due to my location. Long term snowfall trends have not been altered that much at Shawnigan Lake. Less arctic air certainly, but snowfall hasn’t declined as much.
Well, even when I was growing up in Victoria, the sooke hills and the malahat always had snow during the winter, at least most winters.As far as this winter is concerned, usually mechanisms are already in place , but this year, the only mechanism is a persistent ridge of death. I would welcome being 100% wrong , but I sadly don't believe I am. We will constantly be looking 14 days out, trying to glean some changes. It seems we've done this before, in other failed winters.