Given that Joestradamus is always looking for a new angle, and given that everyone is going to ask the question any way, and given that Joestradamus has the ability to anticipate such questions, Joestradamus today is looking to see if we can figure out anything regarding the fact that we are having a very dry and very warm September.
First off we know right off the bat that it won’t be among the 10 driest Septembers in Central Park New York City because we are already above the 1.10 inches at number 10 in 1953 (1.19 as of today) even if that all fell in one day. So let us just say then that it is close enough like in horseshoes so we will look at all 10 years. Now as far as temps go it is going be either 1 or 2 so thats easy. Now if we look at both we findy 3 combinations where it is among the warmest and driest and that was September 1881, September 1895 and September 2005.
Now remember we are talking one point here and this is very very simplistic analysis but just for laughs let us now look at the winters that followed in terms of temperature and snowfall. I will be using the 145 year average snowfall for Central Park of 28.4 (yes i did go and add the years up and divided them by 145 winters).
1881-82 31.4″ +3.0″
1895-96 46.3″ +17.9″
2005-2006 40.0″ +12.6
There you have it folks..a data set of 3! All three above normal. It is a lock if there every was one! (Only kidding). Now a couple of things. First off 2011-12 was an el nino winter. September 2011 is number 6 on the list. 2011-12 produced very little snow. However I do bring that up because that is the el nino that has been brought up in discussions as a possible comparison to this El Nino. Now let’s expand the game a little bit. Let us look at the 10 warmest and 10 coldest winters and see if any of them house the 10 warmest and 10 driest Septembers.
2005-2006 is on the list as tied for the 8th warmest on record and yet it finished with snowfall 12 inches above normal! So there is a surprise. September 1885 shows up on the list as the 3rd driest on record and the winter that followed was the 9th coldest on record. However 1885 does not show up among the top 10 warmest.
Now I want to take the el nino winters discussed most often in conversation and you can read my el nino piece on this that Joestradamus wrote a few weeks ago as background. 2011-12, 1997-98, 1982-83, and 1957-58 and we see none of these el nino years came up on either the 10 warmest or the 10 driest.
Conclusions: Well if you wish to make a forecast from a data set of 3 go right a head and let me know if you are giving odd because I may just make a bet against. One take away that we should get from this is that yes i probably could keep going deeper and deeper into numbers trying to make something out of all this. But it does really put out there the notion of trying to figure out a long range forecast based on past performance might be a bit of a wasted exercise. First off this is an extremely simplistic look. Secondly I am only looking at one specific speck on the earth here and trying to use those numbers to make the broadest of forecasts. Thirdly September is 1 month. What of September/October combinations. What of August/September combinations. Or what if we take the weather averages for any 90 day period from start to finish prior to the beginning of winter and try to come to some sort of conclusion. You see my point here. It is really all sort of meaningless at least when it comes to looking at climate numbers because, frankly, we can probably make the result come out any way we want it to if we look long and hard enough.
Now here is something that is worth the read and Dave Tolleris makes some awesome observations so we can at least chew through the apocalyptic media bull that is out regarding this El Nino. It is really worth the read if you have not done so yet.
And before the Winter gets here (shameless self promotion) by all means download my weather app and subscribe to my forecasts. The app is free and the subscription is just 99 cents a month. It is free from web ads and there are no security or tracking issues.