Issued 25 Aug 2015
The Winter 2015-2016 forecast is available as a PDF download. Click here to download the forecast.
The Long Range Forecast for Winter 2015-2016 is good news for Missourians. Strong El Nino conditions are expected to persist into the spring according to the dynamic Models and statistical models. This woud mean a classical strong E. Pacific El Nino. These seasons are typically associated with drier and warmer winters in our region. CPC is not too far off as they project near normal temperatures and drier conditions in our region as well. Their forecast is a "classical' one. We are on board for a warmer and drier winter.
The long range forecast for this Summer 2015 ended up just fine in temperature. We were in the right direction with precipitation, just not bullish enough. All in All another good summer forecast this year.
Our forecast for the winter of 2014 was just great. The El Nino was weak, but we had the "blob" out in the Gulf of Alaska region which set up for a "blocking" winter. It was cold early, but December was above normal as was January. But February was brutally cold into March. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. We got a lot of snow! Columbia Airport really does not represent Columbia proper with snow.
Here are the numbers for the Winter 2015-2016 forecast for Columbia Missouri and the surrounding region. The standard deviation (+/-) represents what we call the typical range for that value, and 70% of years should lie within this range. These are generally reliable for most of mid-Missouri from the Ozarks to the Iowa border and Eastern MO. Also, this year I've included verification statistics, see Lupo et al. 2008. Forecast scoring can also be found there, 2 points for a perfect forecast, and 0 for a bust.
Winter 2015-2016 Forecast
Columbia summer Norms: Temp 32.2 F +/- 3.4 F
Columbia summer Norms: Precip 5.85 inches +/- 2.00 inches
Our winter forecast is for temperatures to be 0.5 - 1.0 standard deviations warmer than normal and precipitation to be about 0.0 - 0.5 standard deviations below the normal. We'll expect about 10-15 inches of snow, well below normal.
Forecast Period: Dec 15 – Feb 16
Forecast Temperatures: Warmer than normal, by about 1.0 sigma. CPC tending warm.
Forecast Precipitation: Drier than normal by 0.5- 1.0 sigma. CPC tending dry.
Primary Reasoning(s): This is a typical east pacific El Nino signature! We’re pretty confident.
Forecast Verification (0-2 points): Warmer +4.6 F 2 · Wetter +2.06 0 · CPC 1/0 · Climo 0/0