My 2018 / 2019 Winter Outlook

Thread starter #1


GON Winter Weatherman
Dear Woodites,

As many of you know I have been posting to a blog site and some on Facebook. I have not forgotten to dance with the one that brought me. That is Woody's and GON. That said, I am going to put some thoughts here that you will not find anywhere else. My blog posting that is copied and pasted will be below this.

First and foremost, I get excited for every winter, but this one has me really watching weather models and trends. I been reading a lot more postings from folks who are light years ahead of me in the weather department. You have heard me talk about always wanting the players to be on the field to have a good winter. This winter is shaping up to have the players on the field for the entire winter season. If there was a winter in the last 10 years where I felt like people south of Macon will see snow or ice... this is it. If nothing else.... I believe the cold will dive deep into the state down into Florida like it did last year, I just think the shots will be more numerous and more potent. Obviously time will tell, but these are my gut feelings.

Below is my blog copied and pasted:

So it is November 15th, 2018 and I am just now sitting down to write out my 2018 / 2019 winter weather outlook. I will give you some personal notes about my previous year, some thoughts on the weather world we live in, weather enthusiast and then a look down the road into the winter weather world.
On January 15th of this year my father in-law passed away. 2 days later we had snow and ice in our neck of the woods. For that reason, we were not able to bury him at Georgia National Cemetery on January 17th. We had to wait almost a week for the weather and GA National’s schedule to cooperate. I did not post a lot about weather during that time or after that time. My wife, kids and Mother In-law needed my time and my strength. It sorta took the wind out of my sails for weather so I apologize for not having more postings about winter weather after that time.

I want to write for a second about something that I see trending around the weather world and make some observations / comments. First, there seems to be this need or desire to say “I called this storm, FIRST” or “I have been THE ONE on top of this storm” or “I was first one to see this coming.” It has become almost feverish between TV mets both nationally, locally and down to social media “cowboys” (Like myself). I can honestly say, I used to be in the camp of “Look what I did FIRST or I am right and you are were wrong.” I wanted to be the one who everyone said, “I heard it from you first or you nailed it.” Let me be perfectly clear, if a MET “nails it” on the storm today, good chance they miss it on the next big system. No one wants to admit it or face it because for some reason now, the public and “followers” expect perfection and METS and weather enthusiast feel the need to claim “victory”.

To me and maybe only me, it has become an invisible competition, that if you somehow lose (even though no one is keeping score) you are “less” of a weather guru. As one of my very close friends tells me all the time, “How can (they or you) with today’s technology, not be more accurate?” Very simple answer: Because the earth’s atmosphere is complex and more complex than a computer algorithm or the smartest human brain or Watson running TWC’s app. (rolling my eyes here)
You cannot always get it right. You cannot always be the one “calling it”. In the past year I have witnessed professional METS calling each other out for “getting it wrong” or “wishcasting” even when they have the data right there to back up their thinking or logic. Not only that, METs taking to social media to lay out a more detailed forecast or more detailed outlook on things like youtube, Facebook Live or a podcast, just to have other METs call them out for hyping a system only for the same MET to get on TV and be hyping storms into things they are not. The weather world has gotten a little nutty. I won’t even mention the “pros” going after internet weather enthusiast, to basically sit down and be quiet while they speak to the masses. LOL

I guess the age we live in, people expect perfection and the competition to be always right, among meteorologist has gotten crazy. I started following winter weather events when I was in high school. The Blizzard of 1993 set a fire inside of me. I guess it’s like a drug. I hit that high in 1993 and have been chasing it ever since. I am 41 now. The internet gave a guy who didn’t go to school for meteorology a gateway to do and follow something he loves. Then GON Magazine had a message board (Woody’s Campfire) and I started throwing up my weather thoughts and maps there. I got a few systems and storms right and it morphed into a message board following, then a blog, then Twitter and now Facebook. I take this blog and copy it or link it now to my Twitter and my mutual Facebook page I have with Hugh Reece. I’ve had my stuff plagiarized and posted on other Facebook sites and I’ve had METs who were smarter than me tell me I was wrong to think “X” about a system or some model data, just to have them eat crow and likewise, I have eaten my share of crow when I’ve been wrong. We are all human. The weather will make you look silly and make model data look silly at times. So, I say all that to say to anyone reading this, give the METs, give me and folks like me a break. Also, to my pro-METs, give each other a break. You are all giving it your best shot based on your education, data and experience. Take a step back from the urge to be right and take a step towards educating the public and giving them all possible scenarios. Severe Wx or Winter Wx, shoot straight and have integrity. Maybe you don’t go in depth about an upcoming system on the 6 O’clock news, but take to Facebook and lay out the model data. Matthew East and Ella Dorsey are 2 pro METS that I love to listen to on their YouTube or Facebook pages because it’s so much more depth and scenarios and “gut feelings”. Dare to be wrong and authentic. That’s all I ask. (OK… getting off my soap box)

If you have been following in the weather world or out looking for a winter forecast, you don’t have to look far to find that most METs in the business are talking about this winter being a “hard winter”. All data that people can put their hands on points to a cold and wet winter. I personally will focus on the South East because that is where I live and most of my followers live.
I want to focus on “Cold and Wet”. Most of the time you would immediately think, well, winter will bring snow and cold. Not so fast. Typical climate for Atlanta in December is high temps in the low 50’s and low temps in the mid 30’s. That means any precip that falls, on average is cold rain and if you have lived in Georgia the last 4 days from this blog, there you go. Picture perfect for SE Winter. 40° – 46° and raining. Sometimes heavy and sometimes a mist. But just plain nasty.
The cold and wet forecast is just that. You should expect the temps to be on the low side of the average and the precip to be on the high side. Now that I have laid that ground work, you say, “I want SNOW!”. Ok, well, let’s look at what this winter has to offer those of us that are snow lovers.

First and foremost, El Nino is in effect. I am not going to go into what El Nino is here in this post, but google is your friend. Per some other postings from METs such as Joe *******i WxBell and Robert Gramble from WxSouth, this year’s El Nino rivals that of 2002/2003 and 2009/2010. So sea temps along with a split flow (A northern jet stream bringing shots of cold air and a southern tropical jet bringing the moisture), blocking in the North Atlantic and Northern Pacific… All of this things add up to a very good formula for winter weather events to take place. The typical winter pattern will be for the “cold and wet”, however the frigid cold pockets of air will ride down the northern jet, Low Pressure forms out of the gulf because of energy riding the southern jet and… boom goes the dynamite. NOW THAT IS WISHCASTING! I’m guilty. However, that is how we could end up with a really good snow and not only snow, but what I believe will be multiple shots at snow / ice.

Looking back to 2009/2010 if you recall, we had a VERY active January – March of 2010. We had measureable snow/ice on January 7th, February 5-6, February 12th and March 2nd. There were other events that affected the mountains of N. GA and parts of NW GA. The pattern was very active and even when we did not have snow / ice we had many days that saw temps down into the single digits. As weather enthusiast and METS, we can only look at past patterns, setups and trends to try and get a glimpse at what December – March will look like. What I foresee is a lot of updates from me and storms to follow this winter. I think we will see 2-3 real shots at measurable snow and 2-3 good CAD / Freezing Rain events.

Plenty of firewood would be my order of business right now. You need to start thinking now about your heating bills if you have electric or gas. I can see the next 4 months really pushing the heat pumps and furnaces in the deep south meaning more $$ out of your pockets.

I have written enough for now. I will update as the weather deems necessary or as new model comes in.