The negative Western Pacific Oscillation index (WPO) is depicted by a warm, strong block to the NW of Alaska well into November. The strong negative phase of the QBO (stratospheric winds, some 25-50 miles in the stratosphere) could result in this block remaining well into November. Its implications will be important for energy and natural gas traders, but only paid clients will get a heads up with respect to these markets. A week ago we began discussing a possible warm start to winter and natural gas prices have taken it on the chin as U.S. production is increasing, but will this continue?

WPO, heights, forecast


Early Snow for Ski Areas

I have been doing ski forecasting for Snowbird, Utah for over 15 years and used to forecast for more than 25 ski areas nationwide, particularly in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The combination of a -WPO coupled with a developing La Nina suggest a very snowy November with feet of snow from the Cascades to the Sierras and Utah. The map  below shows the relationship of moisture in November in years when we have this strong block (-WPO) as shown above—very snowy with feet of snow.  Usually it is El Nino not La Nina that results in the best ski seasons out west, but there are exceptions. For more information please visit


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