Second Australian Snow Season Outlook: Temperatures and Heights

Welcome back to this 2017 Australian Snow Season outlook. It’s the second outlook with a look at MSLP predictions and Air Temperature predictions for the June-July-August period. Last outlook, we looked at SSTs and Rainfall predictions. And next and final outlook, we will look at the climate drivers that cause these forecasts. IMO Looking at these climate drivers will help us understand the model forecasts and will give us a general prediction we can use. Of course, long term modelling often goes wrong, but we are looking at the best data available to us.

MSLP heights


CFSv2 MSLP model JJA.

CanSIPS MSLP model JJA. We reviewed four models, which are CanSIPS, CFSv2, ECMWF and POAMA seasonal prediction models. ECMWF Seasonal (arguably the best seasonal model, which you have to pay for access) shows positive MSLP anomalies for the Alps region. POAMA shows a slightly negative anomaly for the Alps region, with suggestion that the lows will peak over the Tasman (higher chance for ECLs and Tasman lows). CanSIPS shows the Alps in a positive MSLP anomaly (blocking high) and CFSv2 shows the Alps in slightly positive MSLP anomalies. Overall the consensus is slightly positive MSLP anomalies with ridging possibly more prevalent in the season, according to the model consensus. This means potentially less snow.

Air Temperature

POAMA Maximum Air Temperature anomaly JJA. (We used Maximum over Minimum Temperature anomaly, due to higher skill for the former)

APEC Climate Center 850hPa Temeperature Anomaly July.

NMME 2m Air Temperature Anomaly JJA. We reviewed six models for this prediction, NMME, CFSv2, CanSIPS, ECMWF, POAMA and APEC Seasonal Prediction models. NMME (a multi model ensemble including both CFSv2 and CanSIPS, correcting each other’s model biases) shows warmer than average temperatures with CFSv2 having a warmer anomaly than NMME and CanSIPS has a cooler anomaly than NMME. APCC (APEC Climate Center) predicts a warmer than average anomaly, which cools down over the snow season. POAMA predicts much warmer than average maximum temperatures, but only slightly warmer than average temperature anomalies for the minimum temperature anomalies. ECMWF has slightly warmer 2m temperature anomalies than normal. The model consensus is a warmer than normal snow season for the Alps. This is not good for snow at all.

Sorry, that I can only give you bad news about this season at the moment, but I certainly want to tell the accurate picture of the model outlooks, rather than sweetening it. But soon, I will explain the different climate drivers and make an ultimate prediction for the season based on these outlooks and the climate driver predictions. I will also try my luck at a prediction at the maximum Spencer’s Creek snow depth. Until then, enjoy the pre-season snow events!

Stay Cool

Snowy Hibbo

This outlook includes experimental forecasts from the POAMA model. These are not operational, use with caution!

CopyrightPOAMA forecasts and charts © Bureau of Meteorology APCC forecasts and charts © APEC Climate Center ECMWF seasonal forecasts © European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts NMME forecasts and charts © Levi Cowan, NOAA and CMC CFSv2 forecasts and charts © Levi Cowan and NOAA CanSIPS forecasts and charts © Levi Cowan and CMC

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