Cold winter ahead?
Just what we need, right? Electric rates are high and headed higher, and now the Old Farmer's Almanac - and amateur climate prognosticator Jim Hughes - are both talking about a really, really cold winter coming up.
The Old Farmer is forecasting a cold winter for much of the U.S., as much as 8 degrees below normal, and snowy in the Upper Midwest and Northwest. Hughes is looking at something here approaching the Winter of 1976-77 - one of the coldest on record in Baltimore. Snow fell in Miami that January.
And here's email I received from Jim Hughes back in June. He bases his forecasts on observable cycles in space weather phenomena and what he sees as their influence on global weather patterns. You'll notice that he accurately forecast reduced hurricane activity in the Atlantic this season. We'll see how he does with his winter forecast. I expect he'll update it in a few weeks.
"Coldest Winter in 30 years ahead?
"I have been doing some research lately in regards to the space weather effect upon weather / climate patterns. Especially in regards to global warming and how this might all fit together. I have been looking at things from all directions and not just from the troposphere/atmosphere.
"I believe things happen for a reason, like our current warmth cycle. So I am trying to find out why all of this is happening and what's the possible triggering mechanism. (Besides the contribution of the CO2 rise) More later about GW .
"Some of this research also revolved around the recent increase in tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin during the past decade. So I am hoping that I can get together a seasonal outlook for the upcoming hurricane season in the upcoming days.
"( This summer's space weather will be less conducive for major hurricanes to develop so I feel very comfortable in saying that we will be seeing less major hurricanes this season and the overall strength of the season will be considerably lower. But this does not mean that the season will be quiet due to the positive effect of the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation). The positive AMO still favors an overall increase in the total number of storms compared to average. )
"My main reason for this e-mail discussion is about this upcoming winter.
"I wanted to go on record now about this upcoming winter for the Northeast. I am going to be talking about some possible relationships in some weather forums during the upcoming weeks and these forums are visited by numerous meteorologists on both the national and local level.
"Now I have no idea when their own winter outlooks will be coming out. So I did not want anyone to think that I was jumping on a bandwagon here. I actually expect the exact opposite to occur within good time.
"There is a very good chance that a good deal of the USA , especially the Northeast , is going to experience one of its coldest winters in quite some time. My current research and space weather methodology keeps pointing me towards the winter of 1976-77.
"Some of you might recall that the winter of 1976-77 was one very cold winter and you have to go back to 1963 to find a colder one for the Washington DC area. And many other places for that matter.
"I believe only a major volcanic eruption can keep this winter from being considerably below average. Indonesia's Mt. Merapi has been making the news lately about its sizable eruptions. Some of these have been fairly large but none of them have been extremely large. Only an eruption like Pinatubo(1991) or El Chichon (1982) can play a role here.
"So I feel extremely confident that the upcoming winter will be very cold if a major volcanic eruption does not occur between now and then ... - Jim Hughes"
For the record, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction are forecasting winter temperatures above the long-term averages for most of the continental U.S., with equal chances for above- or below-normal temperatures along the East Coast. As for precipitation, the feds say we have equal chances for above- or below-normal rain and snow this winter. The Southeast will likely be dry.