It’s been many years since we have witnessed a truly big winter in Oklahoma, I think that will end starting early and lasting at least into the middle of January. I’ve poured over A LOT of data over the past month to month and a half and I have every reason to believe we see multiple winter systems in late 2018 going into 2019. Disclaimer Notice: This could be in the form of Snow AND OR ICE as it’s hard to forecast precipitation types until the event is almost on top of you due to the upper level temperature profile. One thing I find interesting is looking at our solar sunspots and it’s cycle this past summer that number was 1.6, the fewest since the last downward cycle in the Summer of 2009. The fewer the sunspots the less energy output of the sun so there is a good case to be made that fewer sunspots mean a colder winter.
NOW Lets talk El Niño It usually has a hand in our winter one way or another! El Niño means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish. El Niño was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600s, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the time of year (around December) during which these warm waters events tended to occur. The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the upcoming winter season. Those include warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest. The presence of El Niño can significantly influence weather patterns, ocean conditions, and marine fisheries across large portions of the globe for an extended period of time. In Oklahoma El Niño impacts can differ depending upon the strength and other factors that come into play. This year previous data had been showing a WEAKER El Niño which can sometimes mean dry and normal to slightly below normal precip. I wasn’t buying that which is why I actually delayed this Outlook for a bit. Sept data is out and it shows the probability there of a “Moderate” El Niño which is more likely to bring an unsettled active winter across the Southern Plains including Oklahoma.
So to sum it all up I expect BELOW Normal Temperatures from Mid to late October through Mid January for most of the state with ABOVE Normal precipitation during that time especially from Central Oklahoma southward down into Southern/SE OK and on into portions of Northern Texas. I’ll have more in the coming weeks as this all starts to take shape but get Ready for an ACTIVE Winter across the Region! Have a Great Monday -Todd
See just a couple graphics below that support my current thinking on this upcoming winter my next updated Winter Outlook will be issued on Nov 1st by 5 pm
It appears we start turning colder about next Monday 10-8-18 ahead of a push of below average temperatures. WE could even see SNOW in the eastern part of Colorado early next week! Out ahead of the front this coming weekend into Monday we could see Heavy Flooding Rainfall as well as Strong to possibly Severe Thunderstorms. (More on this as we go through the week)