First Look At The JMA: Another Cold Outlook For US & UK…

It’s safe to say that I am hesitant at committing yet to the upcoming winter following the bust of last year. I feel much more confident about a cold winter ahead for the Central and Eastern United States but not so much for Western Europe.

I know where I went wrong last year and also know why I should sway more towards colder this year. However, while there’s more pointing towards cold, there’s also a couple of things niggling at me, stopping me from calling the cold card once again. I don’t want to be know for ALWAYS calling for cold, especially when that cold doesn’t materialise. The last 2 summers have been very accurate but last two winter’s following highly accurate COLD WINTER’S back in 09-10, 10-11 have been disappointing.

I don’t want to shout cold again and it not happen but undoubtedly, the consensus with the long range models and pattern both in ocean and atmosphere point towards cold. Then again I showed plenty of examples before last winter why winter here in Western Europe should be cold but because I failed to look at the solar cycle maximum that was occurring and the westerly QBO, I busted big time.

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This year, the solar is heading down but the question is does it take enough of a dip to have significant impact on our polar stratosphere. The QBO is heading easterly. A more favourable upper air wind pattern for northern/Greenland blocking and easterly flow into Western Europe but is that enough?

In today’s post I want to show you an excellent long range model which hasn’t appeared on here yet. That is the JMA or Japanese model which in recent years has done a great job.

Joe Bastardi of WeatherBELL looks at this regularly and greatly respects it, showing many examples as to why it’s worth a close watch. He rightfully states, given it’s recent track record including getting spot on, the cold US/warm UK winter last year, it’s on par with the ECMWF for long range.

I have really wanted to show you the JMA for quite some time but didn’t have the link up until this week.

Here’s the JMA 500mb mean for upcoming 28 days which agrees with my thinking and CFSv2.

Credit: JMA

Credit: JMA

Winter 2014-15

The graphic is turned upside down so that North America and Europe are the right way round for you to see more clearly.

Notice the blocking over the arctic and down over Greenland which sends the 500mb and 850mb cold troughs and below normal temps down over both eastern North America and Western Europe.

1st set of charts are 500mb anomalies, 2nd is 850mb anomalies. It has a cold December through February period for the eastern United States and Western Europe. Very like 2009-10.

Credit: JMA

Credit: JMA


Credit: JMA

Credit: JMA

Credit: JMA

Credit: JMA

On a side note, if the constantly stirring Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland happened to blow proper over the next month or so then I would say this could have a significant influence on a colder winter ahead.

Keep in mind, because we live on an island on the downwind side of the prevailing westerlies, it takes MANY variables to come together perfectly, in order for us to have a cold, snowy continental style winter. Like warm and cold periods. It’s cyclical. Even in the midst of cold periods like the 60s and 70s, we had warm winter’s in between. Whether we will have another 09-10 winter or warm and wet like last year.. Only time will tell.

For those wondering when the official winter forecast is coming out. Hope to have it posted early November. Traditionally I try to have it up on Halloween.

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