Long Term Winter Weather Forecast, 2012/13

pgde(Tucson Zone 9)November 28, 2012

This may be of interest -- good news for those of us who are tired of putting up frost cloth in the Desert (but our water bills might be higher) :-)

From the NWS:

The December, January, February (DJF) 2012-13 temperature outlook indicates enhanced chances for above normal temperatures for much of the western continental U.S. stretching across the south central great plains to the western gulf coast. Below normal temperatures are favored for parts of the northern Great Plains and western great lakes and the Florida peninsula. For Alaska, there are elevated odds for above-normal temperatures along the North Slope and below normal temperatures for the southeast and Alaska panhandle.

The DJF 2012-13 precipitation outlook favors above-average precipitation for an area in the Tennessee valley and below-average precipitation for parts of California, Nevada, Southeast Alaska and the Alaska panhandle.

In locations where the likelihoods of seasonal mean temperatures and seasonal precipitation amounts are similar to the climatological probabilities, equal chances (ec) of below, near, and above-average temperature and precipitation are indicated.

Any questions, just ask.

Happy Holidays!


Here is a link that might be useful: DJF Graphics

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krismast(6 S.E. PA)

I don't know about other areas but it seems to me that in my area the opposite always happens of the extended forecasts haha. Although I hope it's correct this year. They're calling for good amounts of snow in the Northeast. I like snow but we don't need a repeat of '09-'10 and '10-'11, that got to be pretty terrible! Unfortunately, when it comes to weather, not everyone can be pleased at the same time!

Here's to good citrus weather for you!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:34PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, for us here in S. Calif, we'd rather see a stronger El Nino for the precipitation. And, they're predicting a scorcher of a summer next year, too. So, looks to me like we're inching our way back to some drought years, sigh.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Now, I don't know who to believe .

Look at this long range weather forecast from the weather channel. It says the West will be much colder than the East!


Thanks P. for your post:-)

Nite all

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Most of these long range forecasters can't even accurately predict the past! You would do better looking out the window; it could be pouring rain and they would tell you it is a 30 percent chance of rain today.
Go figger...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 11:32PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Well here in Tucson we had a all time record high for Thanksgiving, and are still up to about 80 in the day, high 40's low 50's at night.

I love the idea of a warm winter! Gonna go plant some greens today! :-)


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:36AM
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James AKA lumpy_j

It has been scientifically proven that when I move my plants outside it gets colder, when I move them inside it gets warmer.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:55AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

we need rain bad so I hope for that. Our temps have been pretty nice, heck it was like mid 70's on thanksgiving day. We arent supposed to have another freeze till next saturday.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:58AM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Hey Mike:

The forecast on the Weather Channel site was from October when it was believed that an El Nino event would occur. However, it did not. The NWS states that the ocean is in an ENSO neutral condition now which means the water temperature is neither warmer (El Nino) nor colder (La Nina) than average. One forecasting factor that I did not include in the original post is the following statement: "A significant wildcard in the upcoming winter outlook is the uncertainty associated with the phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) which the majority of the current literature indicates loses predictability quite rapidly beyond a few weeks." Without getting into a technical description of the AO, if you remember several years ago when we had the freezes here, it was the AO that pulled a significant amount of cold air from Canada into the US due to a change in the location of the Jetstream. Below is a link to a good, relatively non-technical definition and discussion. The broken forecasts of several years ago had significantly understated the impact of the AO on the winter weather. At that time, the AO was "negative" (see graphic below).

Anyway, the temperatures and precipitation patterns here in Tucson certainly support the revised NWS forecast. We are between 10-15 degrees above average with very, very little rain. One question to the folks here in Tucson is how much are you watering your trees now?



Here is a link that might be useful: Arctic Oscillation

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Last year here in Maryland we did not have even a drop of snow and the winter was very mild. This year so far it is warm and get plenty of sun during the day. I am praying that our winter will be warm and mild. My area is usually few degrees warmer because we are enclaved by body of ocean water namely the Chesapeak bay. I get disappointed when my trees suffer damage from freezing weather.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:01PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Abe, I lived in Maryland for 3 years (Columbia), and my oldest daughter is still there. She's saying the same thing - so far, it's been a very, very mild fall and early winter. Last year was very warm. I didn't realize it was zone 7B. You are right on the edge for in-ground citrus, and you should be able to grow a few of the more cold tolerant varieties with some protection during some cold snaps. Do you have your citrus in the ground, or in containers?

Pgde, help me to better understand the arctic oscillation. In the diagram, it looks like the circulation goes the same direction, but just faster or slower for the negative or positive phases, respectively? Looks like the negative phase is what is responsible for the "Arctic Express" weather we would see sometimes in Indiana, especially in later winter/early spring, when we would get this blast of intensely cold air coming down from Canada. Our temps could drop to the -20's. It was just breathtakingly cold. I remember getting frost bite on the edges of my ears one day, just from walking from the house down to the barn (no hat, that was dumb).

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:20PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

News in Tucson, just said were about 7* above our normal. Mid to high 70's. Lovin it. :-)


    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 11:20PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

Hi Patti:

Sorry for the confusing graphic. The AO is driven by pressure differences, not rotation as implied by that graphic. I think this one show better what it is and the relationship to the jetstream. The degree to which Arctic air penetrates into middle latitudes is related to the AO index, which is defined by surface atmospheric pressure patterns. When the AO index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes.

This year it appears the AO is positive, thus locking the cold air in the arctic.

Hope this clarifies things....Let me know if not.


This post was edited by pgde on Sat, Dec 1, 12 at 0:31

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Hi Patty
In my zone I don't have the luxury to grow most trees in the ground except Apricots, peaches and Apples. All my other trees are in pots example Figs, Citrus and southern Blueberry. I put holes in the bottom part of the pots and plant them in the garden soil in summer so the roots get some freedom to travel, as you know the roots has mind of their own I don't want them to get crumbled in the pots. When it gets cold I dig the pots out, kick my cars out of the garage and the trees live the winter there. It is not an easy job for me but this is my enjoyable hubby.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:01PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Got it, pgde. My family is Canadian, and my mom grew up in Edmonton. While still living in Indiana, I was complaining about our "Arctic Express" one day to my dad. He just laughed and told me that was consider a good day for Edmonton, lol! They are zone 3 I think. Can't imagine trying to garden in that zone, it must be a real challenge. Abe, there are lots of good fig varieties hardy in your zone, one being Ronde de Bordeaux, one of the most after fig varieties. No need to keep that one in a pot. I do admire those in colder zones, it is a lot more work to grow certain things, especially citrus and other sub-tropicals/tropicals.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:08PM
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