South Jersey May outlook: Former AccuWeather forecaster continues chant for colder times

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The former Accuweather chief long-term weather forecaster who predicted this past winter’s extreme cold and heavy snow has another chilling forecast in place. But its for this summer./Weatherbell Analytics, www.weatherbell.com The former Accuweather chief long-term weather forecaster who predicted this past winter’s extreme cold and heavy snow has another chilling forecast in place. But its for this summer./Weatherbell Analytics, www.weatherbell.com A former Accuweather chief long-term weather forecaster who predicted this past winter’s extreme cold and heavy snow has another chilling forecast in place.

But it's for this summer.

Joe Bastardi worked for AccuWeather two years ago when much of the nation basked in unseasonable warmth during the winter of 2011-2012.

While others golfed, Bastardi, a Somers Point native, saw things differently.

Bastardi saw a pattern that he forecast would result in a one of the coldest and snowiest winters in decades happening in 2013-2014.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center suggests greater odds for colder-than-normal temperatures to start off May across the northern portion of the United States./NWS The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center suggests greater odds for colder-than-normal temperatures to start off May across the northern portion of the United States./NWS Bastardi, who isn’t afraid to mince words, remained outspoken about a pattern he saw. While others expressed increased concerns about global warming, he talked about evidence that pointed to a cool-down.

Well, Bastardi and Accuweather parted ways. Bastardi went on to become chief forecaster for Weatherbell Analytics, which provides long-term forecasts, weather models and specialty forecasts for its paying clients.

His new surroundings haven’t stopped Bastardi from voicing his views and sharing his concerns about mainstream forecasts he says are misleading.

Recently he expressed concern about forecasts from a leading national weather forecaster.

The forecaster called for a huge warmup that would finally shake the cold from the eastern third of the United States.

Since December, the Upper Midwest, Middle Atlantic States, OhioValley and New EnglandStates have been in a colder-than-normal funk. Temperatures have ranged 5-10 degrees colder than normal.

Bastardi thinks the colder-than-normal trend will continue.

Posting April 19 on his weekly weather blog, he continued to forecast a colder-than-normal spring, with cold that could last into summer.

His reasoning is that last winter’s excessive ice cover over the Great Lakes has cast a chill over the area that won’t go away soon. While temperatures will moderate, they will lag behind normal levels, he said.

As of mid-April, 37 percent of the Great Lakes still had ice cover, he said.

The colder-than-normal Great Lakes area will create a much shorter growing season, delay the time that leaves appear and flowers bloom, he said.

Worse yet, the Great Lakes will continue to hold onto a cold dome for at least another month or longer, he said.

So what does it all mean?

The most recent run from the NCEP Climate Forecast System confirms Bastardi’s forecast.

An area of colder-than-normal temperatures will remain of the Great Lakes, Upper Midwest, New England and Middle Atlantic States in May 2014.

Temperatures in South Jersey, for example, could range about 2 degrees colder than normal.

The National Weather Service appears to agree, with its 6- to 10-day forecast that calls for greater odds of colder-than-normal weather over the upper one-third of the United States.

The GFS hints that the temperatures for May, June and July could average about normal, which would finally provide some good news.

Sooner or later, temperatures should return to normal.

For now, however, Bastardi thinks it will be later. 

 


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