8:30 PM CDT | October 18, 2018
NOAA released their winter outlook today. They are calling for a mild but wet winter for the state. The way things are shaping up with this new weather pattern, though... I respectfully question the "mild" part of their forecast. The recurring cycle theory holds that a unique patterns begins setting up in early October. Once the pattern is set, it cycles again. The same features come into play, but the location and strength can vary depending on seasonal differences in the jet stream and such. I learned about the theory in 2010 and have loved watching ever since.
I have witnessed a cycle length anywhere from about 40 to 60 days with these previous weather patterns. As you probably remember, the last one had a mean cycle length of 47.5 days, give or take a couple days. The first system of the new pattern was the trough that dug into the Rockies on October 6-8th. The primary piece of energy ejected into the Plains on the 9th.
Based on previous cycles, we could see the October 9th system cycle back as early as November 18th (40 days) or as late as December 8th (60 days). If it is closer to 40 days, this part of our weather pattern will cycle three times through February. If it is closer to 60 days, it will only cycle twice. Once it cycles again, we will have a starting point of the cycle length. Let's say that it cycles again on November 18th, that would be 40 days. The next time it may cycle on New Year's Day (44 days). The mean cycle length would then be 42 days. The cycle length becomes more precise as times passes. Given a stronger jet stream during the winter, these systems usually (but not always) dig farther south. Could our region see a winter storm in cycle 2? Cycle 3?? This is just one part of our weather pattern that has my attention in the months ahead.
I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to share what I am seeing. I hope you all enjoy these weather discussions as much as I do writing them.
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