The initial Winter Outlook was issued during the first week of November and concluded that this winter (2020/21) would be much different than a year ago. Last winter (2019/20) was the warmest and least disruptive winter in modern times when averaged out across the heavily populated mid-latitudes (U.S., Europe, and Asia).
That initial assessment is going as planned. While the start of winter was warmer than normal with a low frequency of winter storm disruptions, major changes began to occur around the first of the year. A major weakening of the Polar Vortex (PV) allowed Arctic air, which was locked up near the North Pole early this winter, to begin flowing south into the mid-latitudes. Arctic air and disruptive winter storms first impacted East Asia and then most recently Europe; this never occurred a year ago.
Once the PV dramatically weakens, it stays weak for an extended period of time. As a result, we expect the second half of winter to feature periodic bouts of Arctic air moving into the population zone of the mid-latitudes along with a higher frequency of winter storms. This will increase the amount of winter storm disruptions in the supply chain and increase the need for protection from extreme cold (Protect From Freeze – PFF) of temperature-sensitive products.
All in all, the second half of winter looks colder and more disruptive (winter storms) than the first half of winter.
Get in front of what’s ahead. Discover how to prepare your supply chain for the volatile weather to come, read the full Mid-Jan Winter Weather Outlook Update Report.
Download the report now!