Well it's finally here the big release of the 2019-2020 Winter Outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration. The release came this morning on the heels of our first sign of flakes in the mountains of Maryland and West Virginia from last night's storm.
Yes we have seen snow for the first time in our mountains to the west but snow/ski lovers don't get your hopes up just yet.The recent outlook continues to forecast a slight chance for warmer than average temperatures and normal conditions when it comes to precipitation. With that said the the jet-stream looks to be fairly active putting us right in the storm track which can go either way precipitation wise especially if the temperatures line up.
Early indications show that we are currently in a neutral phase. It's neither El Nino nor La Nina influencing the winter storm tracks in the U.S this season. This can change though as this forecast is still early in the game. Take for instance the quick refresher on El Nino and La Nina below:
For snow lovers El Nino is usually the pattern you want. It's a product of warm ocean waters which means a ridge in the west and active storm track in the eastern U.s. La Nina is the totals opposite with cool ocean waters and a storm track less conducive for snow in the east.
These signals are not the only things that we base a winter forecast on. There is also Siberian snowpack which can influence the amount of cold air that can drain into the U.S to meet up with that active storm track.
So we have the Siberian snow-pack, El Nino, and La Nina but there is one other wild card factor. This factor is the overall energy budget from the tropical season. If the season is active the winter is lackluster but if the season is limited more wintry weather will occur.
These three factors along with many more will help the WMAR2News Weather Team put our own winter weather forecast together in the coming weeks ahead.For now we will use this outlook as a starting point for what looks to be another long winter weather season to come. NOAA will update this forecast once again November 21st so stay tuned!!