Would you like to get the most bang for your buck? Don't listen to NOAA!
(Our snow expert has agreed to drop in from time to time and share secrets of the meteorological trade!)
Snow in the age of global warming is an increasingly intricate waltz. Where will it fall? Where won’t it fall? I’ve spent the better part of my life studying snow and trying to help my friends and colleagues get to it. My good friend Judah Cohen wrote a piece in today’s USA Today that explains the importance of Siberia to our global ecosystem and I would like to share that with you as it directly relates to where snow will fall this winter in the United States. His research goes against what the National Weather Service suggests which makes this a valuable read:
If you want to know just how cold and snowy our winter will be, look no further than far away Siberia, the “refrigerator for the Northern Hemisphere,” meteorologist Judah Cohen says.
The amount of October snow cover across that vast Russia province thousands of miles away is the key to the winter forecasts Cohen puts out for the U.S. each year through Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a Verisk Analytics company.
An unusually snowy fall this year in the already perpetually frosty region means those in the central and eastern U.S. can expect a cold, snowy winter, Cohen says.
Here’s how: Snow reflects about 70% to 80% of the sun’s warmth back into space, while a bare ground reflects only 20%. October is when Siberia and the entire Eurasian region sees its greatest expansion of snow cover, sometimes increasing as much as six million square miles, larger than the total land area of the U.S., including Alaska.
Just how snow-covered Siberia gets in fall helps Cohen formulate his forecast because that icy cold air over the region will slowly slosh into Europe and eventually into North America by mid-winter. Essentially, more snow in Siberia equates to colder air and the potential for more snow than normal in the U.S.
The cycle also affects climate patterns, with more snow cover often resulting in the infamous polar vortex more frequently spilling frigid air down into the eastern U.S., or dipping temperatures even lower in a single cold spell. It also tends to turn the Arctic Oscillation climate pattern negative, another sign of a colder winter in the East.
While the central and eastern U.S. may shiver this winter as a result of the Siberian snow cover, the western U.S. should see a warmer-than-average winter partly because of the La Niña climate pattern, Cohen said.
Cohen, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation, said he found the link between Siberia’s snow cover and U.S. weather by accident. As a postdoctoral fellow, he ran global climate modeling experiments to determine the influence of unusual North American snow cover over other large-scale climate patterns.
Instead, he found the strong relationship that now forms the basis of his predictions, which he says have been 75% accurate since he began including Siberian snow cover as a factor in winter forecasts in 1999.
Cohen’s predictions are at odds this year with the prediction center’s forecast released last week that calls for a mild, dry winter for the southern U.S., and gives the East equal chances of a colder, snowier winter or a warmer, drier one.
And so, to sum up, if you want proper, deep, quality snow you should go to Stratton or Stowe or Jackson or the SLS Las Vegas.