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The All New 16/17 Weather Outlook Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead

http://youtube.com/v/3ND4P-gy1PM

And we're back...

The longest day is now a vague memory and we're racing non-stop no holds barred towards winter. Albeit with most of summer still to come. But that's not the point.

To make things a little easier this year I thought I would put this at the top of page one so it is easy for people to find.

I wouldn't take a forecast beyond 7 days that seriously.

Computer models are good at giving you an idea of what the forecast is likely to be three to five days out (which is actually pretty amazing given the chaotic nature of weather). That said they can still be caught by surprise and accurately predicting precipitation in particular is very difficult. Although sometimes people ask what "locals" think the weather will be like, most (farmers, police, guides) will use the same sort of forecasting tools every else does. Locals don't have a sixth sense that can allow them to know what the weather will be like that others don't have. What they do have built on hard experience is a much better feel for how the weather will affect the local area and how that will change the conditions.

Here's something I scribbled down on forecasting at the end of the 2011 season. I think it still makes broad sense now.

nozawaonsen wrote:


"Looking at shorter term models like GFS etc. Beyond seven days any model is very subject to change. I wouldn't take it that seriously. You might get a trend. GFS provides a longer range, public set of ensembles than other models and these are easier to tie to location than others, but the ease of use does not mean GFS is necessarily a better model than others. To have any confidence in that trend you would want to see it picked up run after run and also joined by other models.

- Closer in GFS and other synoptic models start to be less useful in the 2 to 3 day range. Local variation will start to undermine them beyond the general trend.
- Mesoscale models like WRF may be more useful in the 2-3 day range.
- Right close in, on the day or day before for example, if I needed a good forecast I would almost always choose the local avalanche forecast for accuracy.

- Don't take it that seriously."

To which I'd add that beyond seven days you can't really talk about a forecast, what you have is a range of probabilities, as shown by the different coloured ensembles, which is almost always simply too great a spread to really call a forecast. You can't really make sense of these as a single snapshot. So you need to see how they evolve from run to run to give you a sense of whether certain options are looking more or less likley.


And to repeat forecasting accurate precipitation is very difficult (so be wary of any forecast that appears to say you will get 23.5cm of snow next Friday). Measuring how much has fallen afterwards is almost as difficult if not more so (so be wary of any snow report which claims 23.5cm of snow fell last Friday).

And finally for anyone wanting facts about the future. There aren't any there are only forecasts (and sensible ones tend to have caveats).

Good that hopefully should have cleared things up a bit.

What about ENSO? Well after last year's powerful El Nino it looks like we are heading towards La Nina conditions this winter...

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Great stuff, nozawaonsen, but within just a few posts your sensible comments will all be forgotten, and the usual stuff about "What is the weather going to be like in Ardamurchan on February 15th 2017?" and "Have you noticed how the snow forecast is always wrong?" will appear just as they always have done. Some of them probably from me. rolling eyes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A mixed picture in the Southern Hemisphere today.

Chile and Argentina digging out.

Australia about to get some fresho this week.

New Zealand warm and in bad shape...

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And here is a link to the mid summer skiing pics at Glencoe snowHead

https://www.flickr.com/photos/51417247@N06/sets/72157669023758830/show
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nozawaonsen wrote:
Although sometimes people ask what "locals" think the weather will be like, most (farmers, police, guides) will use the same sort of forecasting tools every else does. Locals don't have a sixth sense that can allow them to know what the weather will be like that others don't have.
A group of Indians came to their chief and asked "Will it be a bad winter?" The chief, who was young, had not paid attention to the elders and did not know the signs. He told them to go start cutting firewood and he would tell them when they returned. He then snuck off and consulted the National Weather Service. He asked them, "Will it be a bad winter?"
"Probably," was the answer.

When the men returned the chief told them it would be a bad winter and to go cut more firewood. Just to be sure, the chief called the Weather Service again and asked, "Are you sure it's going to be a bad winter?"
"It does look like it," was the reply.

So when the woodcutters returned he again sent them out to cut more wood. Once more he called the Weather Service and asked, "Are you really sure it's going to be a bad winter?"
"Yes. A very bad winter," they said.
"How do you know?" asked the chief.
"Because the Indians are cutting wood like crazy!"
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@nozawaonsen, Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

@admin, Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Lets cut to the chase and stop equivocating, great winter Yes or No?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@admin, @T Bar, Very Happy Very Happy
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T Bar wrote:
Lets cut to the chase and stop equivocating, great winter Yes or No?

And which resort will have the best snow? wink
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It took me most of the winter to get my head round El Nino, now I've got La Niña to contend with!!!! Puzzled
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A longer term forecast to mull over, it is after all summer. wink

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2083481-why-the-north-pole-is-now-slowly-moving-towards-london/

Stockpiling winter tyres might be a good idea. wink

A couple of nice links I picked up from here that are worth looking at while we while away the time til winter.

http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_daily.php?ui_year=2016&ui_day=174&ui_set=0

https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-2.53,47.79,3000/loc=-11.390,46.165
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Well, summer has arrived in the northern French Alps. 24 degrees at 1600m today, a light breeze and bright sun. Recent cold means flowers are a couple of weeks behind and I'll have to go a lot lower to pick wild strawberries.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I feel that winter will come early to the French Alps this year. Good coverage above 2300 metres by 1st week December.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@nozawaonsen, welcome back. Very Happy
Quote:

Recent cold means flowers are a couple of weeks behind and I'll have to go a lot lower to pick wild strawberries.

excellent news, there'll still be some for us.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just spent a while trawling through Noza's 2010/2011 weather topic in the hope I might find some genius bit of info relating to La Niña.
Guess what... there was snow in various places at various times...
Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pink snow in the Arctic this week.

A sign of global warming (it is blooming algae):

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chamcham wrote:
T Bar wrote:
Lets cut to the chase and stop equivocating, great winter Yes or No?

And which resort will have the best snow? wink


The one you don't visit (like EVERY year!) Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
10/11 had me under snow (well on the ground) for three months and had to dig the car out every couple of days. The heap of cleared snow in Sainsbury carpark was still there in April...........NYM
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@nozawaonsen, just a heads up.

We're head to the US - west coast 17 December.... I have the Mountain Collective Pass to do ski safari - plus I have week planned at Snowbird.

Is it too early to ask for the snow forecast?? rolling eyes rolling eyes

Early predictions are El Nino is headed their way.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
BOM's ENSO update.

"A La Niña WATCH means there is a 50% likelihood of La Niña developing during the second half of 2016. If La Niña does develop, climate models suggest it is unlikely to reach levels seen in the most recent event of 2010–12, which was one of the strongest La Niña events on record."

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
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May and early June saw some very heavy rainfall across parts of Europe. The article below explores how the low pressure system that caused the rainfall got boxed in by high pressure to the north and suggests that we may see more such events in a warming climate.

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/atmospheric-%E2%80%98groundhog-day%E2%80%99-behind-flooding-france-and-germany
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Some thoughts on the coming winter already starting to appear. Theweatheroutlook "UK Summary: Early indications suggest the coming winter may be significantly different to the last one. The combination of lower solar activity, a weak La Nina and an easterly QBO phase may favour a less cyclonic pattern and perhaps increase the risk of colder outbreaks.

http://www.theweatheroutlook.com/twoother/twocontent.aspx?type=hpnews&id=3300&title=Winter+2016/17
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Some more background on ENSO and the likelihhod of La Niña this winter.

Synopsis: ENSO-neutral conditions are present and La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

What does that mean? Here's something from the 2013/14 thread...

nozawaonsen wrote:

Not a huge amount is the short answer, especially for Europe.

From 2012/13 thread.

"Here's a good article from offpistemag.com by Leigh Jones and Wendy Wagner on the impact or not of ENSO in the US.

Demystifying ENSO

"In the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and the Intermountain North, an El Niño winter has a greater chance to be
drier and warmer than average, and vice versa for a La Niña winter. For California and the Southwest, El Niño winters have a greater chance to be wetter than average, and vice versa for La Niña. Furthermore, the stronger the El Niño or La Niña, the greater the chance of seeing an out- of-the-norm winter. But don’t kid yourself – it’s way more complicated than just that.

The dirty little secret that gets drowned out in the hype is that any one climate signal doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your snow season is going to be a boom or a bust. Some regions in the West experience La Niña more strongly than El Niño (the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia). For some regions, the opposite is true. Some regions won’t typically see impacts from El Niño or La Niña when the signal is weak, but only when it is moderate-to-strong (the Sierra Nevada). Some regions may experience large variability within a season, where the early or late season may be more heavily weighted (Colorado). And if you ski Utah’s Wasatch, the surprising truth is that there’s just no reliable correlation between ENSO and the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”


But as they say... it's more complicated than that..."


nozawaonsen wrote:
... There are many factors that play a part ENSO is just one and it's impacts are more widely felt away from Europe (PNW for example).

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/gpc-outlooks/el-nino-la-nina/ENSO-impacts

2009/10 was indeed the last significant El Niño event, though in that case the winter turned out to be very cold in much of Europe, particularly the UK.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2010/winter.html

This however was more to do with the strongly -NAO/AO rather than ENSO.




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Tad wet in Tirol today...


http://youtube.com/v/FoKe-sM8Bog
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A lot of snow off the piste in Australia at the moment...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3672118/Police-crack-drugs-NSW-snow-fields.html
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June in Austria was wet and warm.

https://www.zamg.ac.at/cms/de/klima/news/juni-2016-warm-und-nass

- +1.1C above average. Making it amongst the 20th warmest Junes on record.
- Warmest temperature recorded was 35,4 °C at Inssbruck University.
- Across the country it was +34% wetter than average.
- In Vorarlberg and North Tirol it was the wettest June since records began with +67% more rain than usual.
- May was also very wet and taking the two months together rain in Tirol and Vorarlberg was +60% above usual making it the wettest May/June on record.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Good article on how global warming is changing the glacier borders between Italy and Austria:

http://www.vice.com/read/melting-borders-v23n4
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
New Zealand finally improving:

http://www.worldsnowboardguide.com/news/story/queenstownsnow.cfm
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Looking at the CFSv2 model in the first post the potential strength of any La Niña event seems to be weakening (though with the caveat that it is still far too far out to have any great confidence in the result either way).

BOM comments in its latest update that they judge the likelihood of a La Niña event to be 50% and:

"If La Niña does develop, climate models suggest it is unlikely to reach levels seen in the most recent event of 2010–12—one of the strongest La Niña events on record."
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Boo Hiss............
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New Zealand got good, then bad, then even badder.

Third warmest June in recorded history in NZ.

European Alps had a poor 2016 Winter. NZ 2016 also off to a bad start. Some stations currently running on 100% fake snow.

Artifical snow is becoming the new normal...

http://www.planetski.eu/news/8063

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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fresh snow in Alps today.

http://www.wetter.de/cms/schnee-in-den-alpen-mitten-im-hochsommer-2991262.html
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Flying over the Italian alps on Sunday, there was certainly a lot of snow about. Not sure if that's normal or not - never flown over those mountains in summer before - but it was a cheery sight.
Done my summer holiday now - roll on December.
(stupidly forgot UK sun can be quite strong - thought i was "immune" after Italy - but managed to get myself red-all-over yesterday pottering about in the garden rolling eyes )
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@Jonpim, it's not normal, but then again it's not particularly unusual to see short spells of cold weather with snow in the mountains during summer.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Did I read somewhere that the current sun spot cycle is very low.

ah yes:




I recall the UK Winter on in 2010 was excellent an it seems we may be heading in the same direction. Causation or Correlation?
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@AndAnotherThing.., solar activity is certainly very low at present. You've raised this before a few times and as I think we've discussed there is certainly some good research to suggest that low solar activity is linked to an increased likelihood of high level blocking and a -NAO. That of course doesn't translate into being able to say low solar activity now means a cold winter to come as it's not that simple. Nevertheless it is interesting.

This is from a few years ago.

nozawaonsen wrote:


Also thought it worth linking to the IOP's news release on Lockwood et al's paper on solar activity and winter:

Decreasing solar activity means colder winters for the UK

""Considering all possibilities for how the sun will evolve, the overall likelihood of colder winters in the UK is set to rise by 15%.”

But Lockwood stresses that recent press reports that we are heading for a “little ice age” are completely inconsistent with his research..."


And here's a good piece on the subject from New Scientist from a few years back.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627640-800-whats-wrong-with-the-sun/

Worth also keeping in mind that a - NAO and very cold temperatures is not always best for snow in the Alps.
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@nozawaonsen, Cheers, your memory is better than mine ! Looks like the articles are from 2010/2011. I wondered if the science has moved on at all, but a quick search suggests not really?

My real interest here is snowy Winters for the UK rather than the Alps, unless I manage another season.
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Record temperatures in northern Alaska and around the southern Arctic Ocean in the past few days.

Soared to 29c / 85f...

http://www.ecowatch.com/alaska-heat-wave-shatters-records-deadhorse-1924247040.html

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Back to the Alps and the recent High pressure is now breaking down and charts are showing Atlantic air driven across mainland France.

That fresh Atlantic air when it tracks into the hot air is what will cause the problems and the most violent period for storms will be Friday and on into Saturday, transfer day (again)......though not much fun in a camp site, especially if by a river!

As ever will be a lottery and not with standing the "climatique barriers" some places will see severe flash floods as water pours off the mountain side into the gulleys and streams that feed the valley rivers.

It's these flash floods that can be pretty intense as they cause slow moving landslides - and by rivers and torrrents there are always signs warning people of the dangers of raging flash floods pouring down ravines.

Few weeks ago when the last spell of warm weather broke torrential rain in the valley behind us and dry here, in fact similar to what happens in the winter, local effects rolling eyes

Over the years there have been massive flash floods causing substantial damage. This is but one report
http://www.mgm.fr/PUB/Mappemonde/M298/Lahousse.pdf

Basically not too clever to be out on the mountains when the weather is like this - or take gear and be aware of where shelter can be had. We were caught out a few years ago as a huge storm hit and Mrs wanted to ditch the walking poles and try and sit it out, whilst I just wanted to get down off the mountain asap to a refuge.
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http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/global-warming-army-s-new-foe/269523.html

More snow, but not quite as cold over the last three or 4 years on the Indian Pakistan boarder. Interesting that the Troops are wearing ABS type 'belt' devices?
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