Winter 2021/2022 forecast for North America: A peak of winter with extreme Arctic blasts and blizzards in February 2022




Winter 2021/2022 is coming and we are bringing continental updates of predicted patterns for Europe, North America, Asia, Africa (Winter + Summer 2021/2022), Australia (Summer 2021/2022), and South America (Summer 2021/2022).

In the last article we looked at forecasted Winter 2021/2022 conditions in Europe /https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-2022-forecast-for-europe-early-extreme-arctic-and-siberian-blasts-and-blizzards-late-dry-and-very-warm-conditions//. Now, we should look at predicted patterns and conditions in regions of North America.

Such as we detailed analyzed in the last Winter 2021/2022 forecast for the Northern hemisphere / https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-2022-forecast-extreme-frosts-in-eurasia-in-december-in-north-america-in-february-early-canadian-stratospheric-warming-ne-pacific-blob-la-nina-qbo-and-shift-from-nao-to-nao-such-le/ /, and Mkweather Winter 2021/2022 forecast for Europe /link above/, 8 main circulation patterns and important parameters will be affecting conditions during an upcoming winter:

  1. Still low solar activity: We are still after a solar minimum, at the beginning of a 25. solar cycle, with a weaker predicted solar cycle. Weaker solar cycles were in the last centuries associated mainly with El-nino phases, but El-nino, maybe with a Godzilla character, is currently forecasted only for Autumn 2022 and years 2023, 2024 and maybe 2025 /https://mkweather.com/2022-2023-forecast-chances-for-el-nino//. An usual configuration of La nina conditions (Little Ice Age = low solar activity = El nino = NAO- and AO- and for high solar activity /stronger sun cycles/, La nina and NAO+ and AO+ more usual) will be set in January and February, with NAO+/AO+ conditions, with a strengthening of winter conditions across the continent until the end of winter.
  2. Re-strengthening La Nina pattern: La nina in previous winter, Winter 2020/2021 was bringing anomalously cold conditions in Alaska, western Canada, up to Upper Midwest. It appears, that Winter 2021/2022 should be in North America even colder, with a spreading of cold anomaly across almost all Canada and gradually into northern parts of the USA, Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes area, with shorter, but significant peeriods with extreme blasts up to southern USA and northern Mexico. A reason of colder conditions Eastern Canada and Great Lakes region should be mainly a tendency of strong NAO+/AO+ phases forecasted for January and February 2022.
  3. Switch from NAO- / AO- to NAO+ / AO+ during Winter 2021/2022: New outputs of geopotential from CFS are still expecting warmer airflow mainly above eastern half and partially central parts of Northern America in December (or early January), strongly associated with NAO- / AO- phase (Eurasia and North Africa should reversely experience with anomalously cold and snowy conditions). During January and in February 2022 we will very probably switch into a NAO+ / AO+ very cold and very snowy condotions in northeastern parts of the continent, but with a temporary shift of stormtracks into southern regions (blizzards should temporarily hit regions in Southeast and South, the USA, too – shifts between NAO phases namely product many Nor´easters). It´s generally known, that NAO- phases are in eastern Canada and northeasternmost USA milder, while very deep Icelandic low /maps of geopotential anomalies below/ during NAO+ phases are bringing on their backsides extremely cold Arctic blasts and snowstorms in the region. Near conditions like these, extremely cold conditions in western Canada and NW USA should intensify more, yet.
  4. Early Canadian Stratospheric Warming – Legendary December frosts not excluded: Around November, the Early Canadian Stratospheric Warming pattern is expected. This anomaly was in the past often associated with a subsequent NAO- / AO- around December. Extremely high geopotential with anomalously warm masses should mean for eastern and northern Canada anomalously start of Winter 2021/2022, mainly warm December 2021, but gradually, near a possible Major SSW, a situation should dramatically change.
  5. NE Pacific Warm Blob Anomaly – NAO+ regime for the second half of winter?: This anomaly above Northern Pacific correlates with NAO+ conditions. Both regimes are forecasted to persist in January and this circulation should be peaking around February 2022, with extremely cold conditions in Canada, partially northern and central parts of the USA. However, southernmost states should stay very warm during many weeks, with only shorter, but significant coldwaves. Stronger NE Pacific Warm Blob therefore means an intensyfying of winter conditions across the continent.
  6. QBO in Easterly phase: Although QBO is forecasted to stay in a colder phase until the end of Winter 2021/2022, other teleconnections will have probably a stronger impact on weather in Northern Hemisphere. This teleconnection however should contribute to relatively good character of winter in many regions.
  7. Dry MJO above the Atlantic, wet MJO above Southeastern Asia in November: A forecasted weaker end of hurricane season agrees with predicted Indian-summer-like conditions before the winter and NAO+ / AO+ conditions in November 2021. Calmer Atlantic means less probability of late hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions in the USA and Canada until the start of winter and therefore contributes to Easly Canadian Stratospheric Warming anomaly. Some late tropical depressions then should appear during NAO-/AO- in December, when will be chances for wet MJO higher.
  8. Major SSW (Major Sudden Stratospheric Warming) already in the first half of Winter 2021/2022: The last, very important factor is, if there are chances for so-called “destabilization of polar vortex”, strongly associated with AO- / NAO- phases across Northern Hemisphere and severe cold blasts in mid-latitudes. Yes! A probability of SSW will be here just during the first half of Winter 2021/2022. Firstly, warm air from Canada should shift above the Arctic, where sometimes around December 2021, the collapse of polar vortex should become, with subsequent severe frosts firstly in European, Asian and North-African sectors. A response to a potantial collapse of polar vortex in North America should be delayed mainly thanks to Early Canadian Stratospheric Warming associated with a transition from warmer NAO-/AO- phase to colder NAO+/AO+ phase in eastern half of North America.

Now, we should look at a forecasted map for Winter 2021/2022 for Europe and 6 main sectors, with similar regimes of weather:

A) ALASKA, WESTERN, AND CENTRAL CANADA, NORTHERN USA: During Winter 2021/2022 thanks to a combination of mentioned circulation patterns and parameters above, mainly La Nina, AO, and NAO configurations, Early Canadian Stratospheric Warming, and NE Pacific Warm Blob. Mainly La Nina is associated with cold conditions in these parts of the continent, but significantly will contribute mainly during the peak of winter NE Pacific Warm Blob, with anomalously high geopotential above the Pacific coast. Cold air will be flowing above the continent on the front side of this system and with a strengthening of the anomaly and transition from NAO-/AO- to NAO+/AO+, extreme winter conditions should spread from Alaska and Pacific Canada above Central Canada and the northern USA, gradually. It means potential for early frosts in Canada and Alaska up to -45°C / -50°F and late-season frosts up to -55°C / -65°F in the coldest parts. Severe frosts in the northern USA should during the peak in February bring temperatures below -40°C / -40°F.

B) EASTERN CANADA, NORTHEAST, CENTRAL USA (MUCH OF MIDWEST), AND GREENLAND: Thanks to a switch from NAO-/AO- to NAO+/AO+ phase during the winter, these parts will be very warm and dry firstly, but gradually, severe Arctic blasts from the north and northwest and Nor´easters (blizzards with SW-NE stormtracks across Eastern USA, are predicted to come, with a peak around February 2022. High temperatures above +20°C / 68°F, rarely in the south +25°C / 77°F should surprise in early December, while in eastern Canada and even Nunavut and Greenland should Early Canadian Stratospheric Warming bring temperatures above 0°C/ 32°F in many cold parts. In late winter, -35°C / -30°F frosts should surprise the coldest parts of Northeast and Midwest and -55°C / -65°F frosts Eastern Canada and Greenland. Great Lakes should freeze significantly mainly at the end of winter and in March 2022, when coldwaves should be continuing, yet.

C) SOUTHEAST: Very warm conditions in early and in the south mid-Winter 2021/2022 should replace late-season Arctic blasts and blizzards, however, with limited power and duration. A reason will be associated mainly with the NE Pacific Warm blob in combination with La Nina and NAO+. Key should be a development above the continent until late winterNAO+ means mainly close stocks of the cold air above Great Lakes region, which during neutral or shorter NAO- phases should shift just above this region relatively quickly and without bigger problems and collide here with tropical air masses thanks to so-called Nor´easters-like pressure lows. While early winter should bring summer temperatures above +25°C / 77°F, while during late winter, frosts from -10°C / 15°F to -20°C / -5°F should appear from the south to the north.

D) SOUTHWEST: Thanks to NAO-/AO-, early touches of frosts are possible in the Southwest, including frosts and blizzards. Relatively quickly however should this pattern shift into hot and dry, even with rare wildfires. Temperatures below 0°C / 32°C will be possible in warmer metropolitan cities in early winter, while late winter should bring summer or tropical days above +25 /77°F, rarely +30°C / 86°F. NE Pacific Warm blob in January and February will affect mainly northern parts of the region.

E) MEXICO, GULF COAST, FLORIDA, CUBA: Persisting hot and dry weather is forecasted for Mexico, Gulf Coast, Florida, and Cuba, far away from Polar and Arctic fronts, with a relatively higher possibility of early short cold blasts in early winter and extremely hot conditions in late winter, in Mexico around +35°C / 95°F. Wildfires in Mexico should appear prematurely and NAO+/AO+ should strengthen drought and hot weather before an arrival of Spring 2022.

F) SOUTH-CENTRAL AMERICA, PARTS OF THE CARIBBEAN: Mostly neutral or warm temperatures, with stormy potential and summer and tropical temperatures (+25/+35°C / 77°C/95°F) are forecasted for south-Central America and parts of the Caribbean, with rare tropical depression or tropical storms and very rare cold blasts during a possible peak of destabilization of the polar vortex in the first half of winter.

Before a cold December 2021 and early January 2022 period a long period of Indian summer in November 2021 in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, is predicted /https://mkweather.com/november-should-start-with-summer-weather-record-temperatures-25c-in-continental-europe-are-possible/; http://mkweather.com/20c-in-northern-25c-in-southern-mid-latitudes-in-november-2021-untraditionally-late-indian-summer-for-northern-hemisphere-is-confirming//.

The last updates of the Winter 2021/2022 forecast we published here – and it really appears, that the upcoming winter will be probably peaking in Europe, Asia, and North Africa around December 2021 and early January 2022 and in North America around February 2022 (forecasts are still confirming): https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-2022-forecast-extreme-frosts-in-eurasia-in-december-in-north-america-in-february-early-canadian-stratospheric-warming-ne-pacific-blob-la-nina-qbo-and-shift-from-nao-to-nao-such-le/; https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-2022-forecast-a-peak-near-nao-already-in-december-ne-pacific-warm-blob-nao-and-early-spring-in-february-north-america-oppositely-warm-start-cold-end-of-winter/https://mkweather.com/mkweather-special-forecast-for-the-next-3-seasons-cold-autumn-2021-warmer-winter-2021-2022-cold-spring-2021-for-europe-a-peak-of-winter-in-its-colder-first-half-north-america-with-extreme-cold-2021-20/https://mkweather.com/winter-2021-2022-forecast-the-first-reliable-estimates-extreme-cold-blasts-from-canada-and-western-siberia-snow-in-western-europe-and-eastern-asia-la-nina-qbo-to-qbo-shift-sufficient-nao-ao/ and we published ENSO outlook, too /https://mkweather.com/2022-2023-forecast-chances-for-el-nino//. It is also worth mentioning the Russian forecast for Siberia for Winter 2021/2022 (agree with our forecasts) /https://mkweather.com/russian-meteorologists-expect-extreme-winter-around-december-january-2021-22//.

Continental forecasts for Autumn (in Southern Hemisphere Spring) 2021 we published here: https://mkweather.com/autumn-2021-forecast-for-europe-mostly-dry-and-frosty-autumn-be-prepared-for-early-severe-frosts/https://mkweather.com/autumn-2021-forecast-for-north-america-long-indian-summer-and-weaker-hurricane-season-such-as-expected/https://mkweather.com/autumn-2021-forecast-for-asia-strong-monsoon-for-s-se-e-asia-hot-and-dry-in-the-middle-east-late-siberian-cold-blasts-in-w-siberia-and-snow-calamities-in-e-siberia/https://mkweather.com/spring-autumn-forecast-for-africa-mostly-hot-and-dry-parts-of-sahel-equatorial-africa-stormy-and-south-africa-stormy-and-cold/https://mkweather.com/spring-2021-forecast-for-australia-and-oceania-under-la-nina-rules-cold-and-stormy-australia-warm-new-zealand-and-various-patterns-in-oceania/https://mkweather.com/spring-2021-forecast-for-south-america-floods-and-drought-in-many-regions/.

Mkweather until 30. November will be updating Winter 2021/2022 forecasts for Northern Hemisphere, yet, approximately 3-5 times, therefore stay watch weather with us and be prepared for possible early attacks of the winter.

Source: https://simonleewx.com/cfsv2_monthly-anomalies/

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/?facets=%7B%22Product%20type%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22Range%22%3A%5B%22Long%20%28Months%29%22%5D%2C%22Parameters%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22Type%22%3A%5B%22Forecasts%22%5D%7D

Source: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CFSv2/CFSv2_body.html

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/products/seasonal_system5_nino_annual_plumes?base_time=202108010000&nino_area=NINO3-4
Source: https://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

Source: https://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

Source: https://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

Source: https://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/

Source: https://acd-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/Data_services/met/qbo/qbo.html

Source: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wd52qz/mjo/chi/cfs.gif

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/products/seasonal_system5_climagrams_teleconnection?base_time=202110010000&index_type=NAE

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/products/seasonal_system5_tstorm_density_standard?base_time=202110010000

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/products/seasonal_system5_climagrams_precipitation?base_time=202110010000&index_type=North%20east%20USA

Source: https://apps.ecmwf.int/webapps/opencharts/products/seasonal_system5_standard_ssto?area=GLOB&base_time=202110010000&stats=tsum&valid_time=202112020000
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Author: marekkucera
Writer about weather since 2007. The goal of this project is to inform a wide audience about extremes of weather, atmospheric circulation, and climate change around the world. If you like our work, you can support us on Patreon or donate.