Joe Bastardi Hints that “Winter’s Back May be Broken”! Others say not so fast…maybe!

On Sunday I posted an update that alluded to Joe Bastardi’s forecast that once we get through this week, "winter’s back will be broken". I never got around to posting that video link after getting permission to do so from the Accuweather folks. I went to pull it in this morning and it went missing from Accuweather’s website. The Accuweather version did have a bit of dead silence at the beginning of it and a glitch at the end that cut off part of his "fade out". I don’t know why Accuweather pulled it unless it was perhaps that they caught some heck from the ski and snowboarding enthusiasts around the region…however, luckily I had saved it to my hard drive. We cleaned up the beginning and end and have posted it on the Weather link.

See the video by clicking here> Joe Bastardi’s Forecast for February and March 2011

Just FYI, we had not heard from Meteorologist Brad Panovich however evidently there was some sort of email snafu, and we have that resolved and hopefully we’ll be able to get Brad’s take on Joe Bastardi’s forecast for the rest of the season later today. Once we do, we’ll bump Bastardi over to the video links pages and return Brad to his rightful spot as the official weather guru for


His comments…

What made this La Nina produce weather unlike any La Nina since the winter of 1917-1918? In my opinion, there are several reasons why it has turned out so much colder than previous La Ninas. First, there is the fact that with respect to sunspot activity, the sun is quieter right now than it has been in 200 years. A correlation has been identified by researchers between a quiet sun and a high latitude blocking pattern. Indeed, a blocking pattern over northeastern Canada and the north Atlantic persisted through December and almost all of January, and that sort of pattern supports the positioning of an upper level trough over the eastern U.S. The trough in turn, acts as a receptacle for cold air shots from Canada, and it also supports storm formation along the eastern seaboard. Over the past two months, we have seen plenty of cold and plenty of eastern storminess. Also supportive of the eastern trough is the eruption of 3 high latitude volcanos in the past 24 months. Those volcanos ejected sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which for reasons not fully understood, also correlates well with a blocking pattern. Lastly, the global sea surface temperatures have been cooling rather dramatically for the past several months, as have air temperatures around the globe, so the overall backdrop against which this pattern has evolved has been a cold one. The blocking pattern of an upper level ridge over northeastern Canada and the north Atlantic tends to suppress the storm track along the eastern seaboard, which helps to explain the above normal snowfall in the central and southern Appalachians at a time where we might expect mild temps and loose granular snow.

Can it last? Well, the short term answer is yes, as I expect the colder than normal regime to remain in place through the middle of the month. However, the trough over the East has started to retrogress toward the middle of the country, and by the latter stages of this month, I believe it will take up residence over the Pacific Northwest. If you are planning on a trip to the central or northern Rockies in late February/ early March, your timing looks good, as there should be plenty of fresh snow on a regular basis in that part of the country.

Meanwhile, the prototypical La Nina southeastern ridge will finally develop by mid month, and that will turn temperatures milder than normal from the Mason Dixon line southward to the Gulf of Mexico. Snow will be much harder to come by later this month, but thankfully, base depths that were built up by a combination of snowmaking and natural snow should be able to sustain the season into March without too much trouble. One last point about La Ninas…typical ones, that is…the relative warmth of later this month will be a "false spring", with colder air and snow returning to the mountains in early March, which should help get this meteorologically anomalous winter to the finish line.

So if I’m reading this correctly, Herb Stevens is saying that after this week, things will turn pretty mild for the rest of the month but we’ll see some more winter-like weather the first of March.

We’ll see, I guess!



First, I have to admit that I have never in my many years heard of a "quiet sun" so I would have never known that our sun has never been quieter than it is right now. Shhhhh. Can you hear it? Me neither. All kidding aside, supposedly sun spot activity is at an alltime low right now…which somehow is having an effect on our winter.

Isn’t it sometime in 2012 that global gloom and doomers are predicting that we’ll all be burned up and the world will come to an end? MAN I HOPE THIS ISN’T THE LULL BEFORE THAT PARTICULAR STORM?!?!


According to Herb Stevens’ latest blog…"…the global sea surface temperatures have been cooling rather dramatically for the past several months, as have air temperatures around the globe, so the overall backdrop against which this pattern has evolved has been a cold one."


According to Joe Bastardi I may get a LOT of use out of those snowmobiles I bought this past weekend! In his latest blog he posted the following, "This winter is on track to become the coldest for the nation as a whole since the 1980s or possibly even the late 1970s. According to Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi, three or four out of the next five winters could be just as cold, if not colder.

He is worried that next winter, for example, will be colder than this one."


That’s as much damage as I can do for today. Be sure to check the video pages for more news from around the region.

Drop me an email with your comments, questions, gripes, photos, videos…you name it! Email me at [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.