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The cooling effect is expected to be strongest in Northern Europe, the UK and eastern parts of North America—particularly during winter

Colder and snowier winter predicted for eastern half of the United States


By —— Bio and Archives--November 16, 2018

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Colder and snowier winter predicted for eastern half of the United States
A number of researchers have predicted that a weak sun and El Nino events may create a colder and snowier than normal winter season in much of the eastern half of the US.

The early winter storm presently being experienced in much of eastern US might lead one might to believe these folks.

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Meteorologist Paul Dorian says, “Weather conditions and snowpack during the fall and winter seasons in cold air source regions such as Greenland and northeastern Canada can, in turn, have quite an impact on the conditions experienced in the eastern US. These particular regions of North America are where many cold air masses originate and the fact that Greenland, for example, has been particularly cold since late July is quite a bullish sign for the formation of deep, cold air masses.” 1

Dorian is not the only one making this type of prediction. Three big weather models ECMWF (Europe), GFS (USA), and GEM (Canada) have all been projecting that cold wintry weather is approaching in the days ahead. The weather models are all now pointing to wintry weather pushing into Europe after a year of near record warm temperatures.2

The stratospheric models from ECMWF and GFS also point to an early wintry weather pattern change, with a large trough extending over the entire Mediterranean and an extensive high over Scandinavia and Northern Russia.

In the long term, the sun is the main driver of all weather and climate and multi-decadal trends in solar activity can have major impacts on oceanic and atmospheric temperatures. In addition, empirical observations have shown that the sun can have important ramifications on weather and climate on shorter time scales including those associated with the average solar cycle of around 11 years.

In terms of solar activity, we are now at the very end of the weakest solar cycle (#24) in more than a century and are rapidly approaching the next solar minimum, usually the least active time in a given solar cycle. The last solar minimum that took place from 2007 to 2009 turned out to be the quietest period in at least a century and signs point to another deep solar minimum over the next couple of years.

Dorian adds, “The last time an inactive sun coincided with a moderate El Nino event—somewhat similar to expectations for this winter- was during the winter of 2009-2010 and the Mid-Atlantic region experienced quite a cold and snowy winter with, for example, Washington, DC experiencing their snowiest winter ever. Looking back to the preceding solar minimum which occurred in 1995-1996, there also was a ‘gangbuster’ winter season on the I-95 corridor which included one of the biggest snowstorms ever on January 6-9, 1996.” 1

Other related events:

  • Dr. Roy Spencer reports that globally, this was the coolest September in the last ten years. 3
  • Houston recently has the earliest snow ever recorded, and San Antonio broke a record low going back to 1916. 2

There’s more than just these recent events. Back in 2015, Britain’s Met Office’s Hadley Center, which looks at long term forecasts, said there was a 15-20 percent chance that temperatures could match those last seen in 1645-1715, sometimes called The Little Ice Age, when the River Thames froze over. The prediction was that this could take place at some point within the next 40 years, based on counting sun spots—dark patches on the sun—that are spots and signs of increased solar activity. The cooling effect is expected to be strongest in Northern Europe, the UK and eastern parts of North America—particularly during winter.4

Seems like one prediction that might be happening today.

References

  1. Paul Dorian, Weak sun and El Nino events may create a colder and snowier than normal winter season in much of the eastern half of the USA,” Oct. 22, 2018
  2. P. Gosselin, “Winter to arrive early across central Europe as solar activity remains quietest in 200 years,” Nov. 14, 2018
  3. Anthony Watts, “UAH: Globally, the coolest September in the last 10 years,”, Oct. 3, 2018
  4. Colin Fernandez, “Wrap up, a Mini Ice Age may be heading our way! Met Office issues warning that temperatures could plummet as Sun enters cooler phase,” June 23, 2015

 


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Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.


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