There’s been a lot of talk in the Internet about this year’s coming winter with some sites warning it could be the coldest in 50 years, or extremely too warm. Predictions, predictably, have been all across the board.
Last week German weather site donnerwetter.de here jumped into the fray and presented its 2015/16 winter outlook for Germany: likely colder than normal. The site writes.
At first glance the El Niño weather phenomenon has no influence on winter weather in Germany. The weather data on this are just too ambiguous.
With one up-close study of the various climate conditions during an El Niño, two patterns appear, which however are indeed connected to the conditions in Europe.
According to Professor Jin-Yi Yu of the Department of Earth System Science of the University of California at Irvine, under a central El Niño we have to expect colder weather conditions due to blocking highs in Europe during the winter. The probability of westerly-wind-dominated winters tends to be minimal. There is a 78% probability of a normal or colder than normal winter. This was the case in the years 1995/1996 and 2009/2010.”
Here Professor Jin-Yi Yu is referring to one of two types of El Ninos, which he describes here.
It has to be pointed out that conditions this year are different than during past El Niños. Foremost the Northeast Pacific now has uncharacteristically high sea surface temperatures and no one here is sure what impact this will have. Joe Bastardi often points out that such warm regions of water lead to the formation of troughs and ridges in other areas which play a powerful role in setting up seasonal weather patterns. Also ther North Atlantic is very cold.
Donnerwetter also presents its forecast for the winter for each 10-day period in the form of a chart. Here I have very serious doubts that temperature and precipitation can be predicted down to such an accuracy. For example in the middle third of February, Donnerwetter forecasts temperatures to be 2°C colder than normal. Though the site provides good 7-day forecasts, I certainly wouldn’t use their winter forecast chart as any guidance for anything.