2017's active tropical season and what that COULD mean this winter
You may remember us writing about how activity in the tropics plays a role on winter snow.
Now, we're following up on that post by talking about how this season specifically might play out. Let's give you a brief refresher!
We're using a parameter called 'Accumulated Cyclone Energy' or ACE. This measures the strength and duration of each named storm during a tropical season. As you can imagine, that number is pretty high this time around.
That number isn't just 'pretty high,' but it's a record high - at least for the month of September. With Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee and Maria all forming in September - the total ACE came out to be 175. The average ACE for an entire season is 111.
So, why is it that we're using something like this to imply what's coming down the road?
The atmosphere tries to stay in balance. So, maybe if there's more tropical cyclone energy - the atmosphere won't have to drop down too many winter storms in the eastern US?
As is usually the case, we're working with a limited amount of data. In the 16 years that had above average ACE, 14 of the following winters had below average snowfall.
Based off of that and that alone, that would imply a better chance of below average snowfall this winter. We have a few other things to look at before we go issuing an official winter forecast, but this is a pretty big piece for us to consider moving forward.
Tropical season is far from over, though. Be sure to stay tuned for the latest updates, regarding Tropical Storm Nate, here.