This is my “mea culpa”. Not that Winter 2017 is completely over, but from the standpoint of weather predictions this one is all over the place. It’s shattered in a gazillion places. There were several factors that even though I thought we were going to have a long, cold, snowy Winter these factors literally broke the back of Winter of 2017. Those factors were:
- A stronger Polar Vortex (PV). This kept the cold locked up in Canada. We have had transient cold shots, but not sustained cold that would have helped turn some of these harmless overrun storms into potential blockbuster storms. The warming over the Arctic wasn’t strong enough to change the dynamics of a strong PV. We had pieces fall south, but not enough to keep the cold sustainable.
- Very strong western winds from the Equator. There is an index called the QBO. If I were to go into it you might fall asleep. Take my word for it. It was hugely positive in January +14. Anything over +8 is super strong. The winds are way above in the atmosphere. They go in different directions every year. These winds kept the Pacific Jet extremely progressive and zonal from west to east. It was just strong enough to keep the Pacific Jet from phasing with the northern stream. There was very little trough in the East. Plus, we had no real long progressed cold air settle in the East. This combination led to warm air being poured in that raised the temperatures in the area. This led to drought relieving rain. Yet, a snow famine. No forecaster worth their salt could have predicted this. This one was the learning experience for me.
- Finally, the La Nina. I had my doubts that this was going to be a “weak” La Nina pattern. EVERY, forecast had this not impacting anything our weather at all this Winter. Guess what? It did. Although, still by statistics, it was weak. It was just strong enough to throw the pattern into it’s usual dry, wet pattern in the East. By the graphic, it shows you that the systems coming across the country zoom past us to the north. And unless we get a phased storm with a trough in the East, then we get rain instead of snow. The mean trough was in the west all Winter long. C’est la vie!
- Winter isn’t over from a reality standpoint, but the outlook doesn’t look good. So, instead of hoping, praying, whatever it’s time to MOVE ON and finish out the rest of the season. Then enjoy a glorious Spring!
- I thank all of you. Your tremendous! And let’s have our continued fun following this crazy weather we have in Delaware .