Friday, January 16, 2015

State Of The Winter Address

Is it ever going to snow?  I think I get asked that at least a dozen times a day, and that's just from my kids!  We are now at the half way point through meteorological winter which runs from December to the end of February.  However, we all know big snows are possible even into March.

Snow lovers around the state are looking far and wide for a few flakes, but have been very disappointed.  It's very important to remember our snowiest months are January and February.  The past couple years have really spoiled us with big snow and ice events in December.

Early last fall, I used the company, Weatherbell, for a long range winter forecast.  They predicted below average temperatures and that has worked out well so far.  They also predicted snowfall around the state to be 100 to 133% of average.  For central Arkansas, average is only 3 inches. By their prediction, we should be around 3-5 inches this winter and there's plenty of time for that to verify.  That's much less than the previous 2 winters!

I keep hearing people ask where the harsh winter is?  I don't know where those predictions came from?  Was it the Farmer's Almanac or somebody on Facebook making a bold forecast just for the "shares"?  I really don't know.  It could turn out to be harsh, but it hasn't been so far.

As I posted here on the blog more than a week ago, the January Thaw is here, but should only last 4-5 days.  I expect well above average temperatures through Tuesday, then it will turn cooler.  Not cold, but cooler.  The very end of the month could feature well below average temperatures!

Don't give up snow lovers.  It only takes 1 storm to satisfy the kid in us.  We can get 3-5 inches in just a few short hours.  We'll see.

From Weatherbell, look at the average temperature for the first half of January,  Much of the central and eastern United States has been well below average. Remember, this is in degrees Celsius.  In Little Rock, it has been 7 degrees Fahrenheit below average as of the 15th.  THAT'S COLD!!!!!!!!  That rivals the first half of last January which everyone remembers the "Polar Vortex" hype from the national media.
Meteorological winter (December 1 through now) has been below average, but only by 1-2 degrees Celsius. That's taking into account the 7 degrees F below average in January and the 2.2 degrees F above average in December.
From midnight on the 24th to midnight on February 1st, the newest GFS ensemble indicates temperatures will be 1-3 degrees below average.  Remember, this is in degrees Celsius.  I think this 8-16 day outlook will trend a little colder too.  So this January thaw will gradually end by the middle to end of next week.  Enjoy the 60s while you can.


Anonymous said...

I think that is where the "harsh winter" stuff came kept talking about it and that Bastardi guy's predictions for more snow than normal and all that. Not just you but others as well. So while you explained what he predicted is only a couple of inches more than normal, don't be surprised that people are asking where all the snow is...check your blog posts from a few months ago. Just goes to show you how many people actually do read your blog and take it to heart. That's a good thing.

Jared Betnar said...

Lots of the old timers thought snow would be heavy because of the "spoon" in the persimmon seeds.

NOAA Winter Guidance