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Your winter forecast with guest appearance by ‘The Blob’

BC Evening Weather Forecast: Oct 18
WATCH: BC Evening Weather Forecast: Oct 18

It’s that time of year when everyone gets curious about the winter forecast. So here is an early season outlook.

First of all, the Blob is back!

The Blob, the name of an area of water where the sea surface temperature is about two degrees Celsius above normal.
The Blob, the name of an area of water where the sea surface temperature is about two degrees Celsius above normal. Earth.Nullschool.Net

The Blob is a large area of water where the sea surface temperature has warmed to about two degrees above normal. This can have a huge impact on our weather across the West Coast.

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We’ve seen this two times before. One time, briefly, in 2016 and the other a longer period from late 2014 through much of 2015.

Scientists from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center are saying we a 70-75 per cent chance of having an El Nino year.
Scientists from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center are saying we a 70-75 per cent chance of having an El Nino year. Gregory W. Shirah, NASA/GSFC/Scientific Visualization Studio/NG Maps

Second, we are on El Nino watch. Scientists from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center just released their latest prediction, saying there is a 70-75 per cent chance we are going to experience an El Nino year.

Weather conditions during the 2014-15 winter likely due to “The Blob” and a strong El Nino.
Weather conditions during the 2014-15 winter likely due to “The Blob” and a strong El Nino.

During the winter of 2014-15 was saw both of these features, “The Blob” and a strong El Nino and the winter turned out to be very mild. We saw almost no snow over lower elevations and a very low mountain snowpack.

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Now, while this is great news for drivers, (although I urge you to put on snow tires anyway) it’s terrible news for skiers and snowboarders.

But don’t cancel your ski trips! This is an early season outlook and scientist are predicting a weak El Nino year this year versus the strong one we saw back in 2014-15.

Jet stream shape on Thursday, Oct. 18th 2018.
Jet stream shape on Thursday, Oct. 18th 2018. Global BC

Also, “The Blob” is a result of our recent big upper level ridge in the jet stream.

Forecast jet stream shape for Tuesday, Oct. 23rd 2018.
Forecast jet stream shape for Tuesday, Oct. 23rd 2018. Global BC

This ridge is going to break down on Tuesday, Oct. 23 and we are going to see a series of stormy days. There is a chance “The Blob” may not survive this stormy period in which case the effects of a weak El Nino may not be all that dramatic on our winter season. Stay tuned.

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