November 2019 500mb height anomaly reanalysis up to 12th vs November 2002 & 1995 reanalysed (two similar QBO years to 2019). Some big similarities including Aleutian High stretching down to the western United States and trough over Canada. There is evidence of some above average heights close to or over Greenland in both charts but obviously the signal was way stronger in Novembers 2002 and 1995.
Trough in Novembers 2002 and 1995 was centred further westwards allowing a milder push of southwest to southerly winds. This meant that whilst both were very wet much like November 2019 so far, they were also quite significantly milder.
The November 2019 pattern is actually what I had in mind for this winter.
For clarity, both winters 2002/03 and 1995/96 featured easterly episodes at one point or another but 1995/96 was far colder than 2002/03 with the latter being a near miss winter for Ireland although eastern Europe had a bitterly cold and snowy season. 1995/96 was an on and off cold winter with wintry episodes each month from December to April and even May had well below average temperatures. First three weeks of January were notably mild and damp though.
The stratosphere remains a very confusing but intriguing picture with a weakening initially coming out of this record breaking strong Polar Vortex but what happens thereafter? GFS operational run is keen on a strengthening again and is a huge outlier in its ensemble even as soon as days 3 or 4. GEFS meanwhile show the SPV just further weakening. Remember that the GFS operational run was the one that forecast this strong SPV event first before anything else. ECM has backed away from its strengthening after the initial weakening too going by the latest available update at the University of Berlin and keeps it at a fairly stable weak level throughout the rest of its run.
Keep up to date with the latest stratospheric news in the stratosphere watch thread here
as well as read my first post if you want to know how the stratosphere influences the weather.