The first I want to show you is the outlook from NOAA. If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you know how much I don't like using them. They really are not forecasts. I don't know the best way to describe them other than "guidance". They are broken down into 3 categories: below average, above average, and equal chances. Those are then given a percentage to indicate a degree in confidence in what will happen.
This along with other forecasts may not capture the full story. What if a forecast calls for temperatures to be -1° departure from average. That may not seem brutal, but what if extreme cold hits for 2-3 weeks while the rest of winter is a bit above average? For example, December 2012 temperatures were +5.5°. That's off the charts warm! However, we all have a perception the month was horrible when a blizzard hit the state late Christmas Day knocking power out to 250 thousand people. That was then followed by extreme cold for several days following. But the first 24 days of the month were incredibly mild! So please keep that in mind when looking at these forecasts.
It's important to remember these winter forecasts are based upon meteorological winter (December 1 through February 28th).
Little Rock 30 year averages.
Average winter high temperature: 52.6°
Average winter low temperature: 33.1°
Average winter seasonal temperature: 42.8°
What about snowfall from Joe and Weatherbell? He has much of our region with below average snowfall, but since we only average 3.1'' per season, he will even admit the forecast for below average snowfall can be wrong. We can go to sleep one night and get 3.1'' by the time you wake up in the morning, then it's melted by noon. We know how that can happen around here.
One other worry I personally have is ice. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but this is the type of winter it can happen in. Also, while northeast Arkansas had a devastating ice storm in January 2009, the rest of us have not had one since the 1-2 punch in December 2000. The law of averages are not on our side. I don't like ice and I know many of you do not as well. I would much rather have snow! Once again, I'm not saying we will have an ice storm, but it's something worthy of keeping in mind.
Also, as we go into November and December, be aware of severe weather as we transition from warm to cold. There are times our secondary severe weather season can be more active than our primary one in spring.