December was clearly colder and snowier than anyone had predicted, including me. And it now seems clear that all our expectations of a rather mild winter are going out the window.
None of us were expecting heavy snow from the Christmas weekend storm. A December blizzard? A very cold month overall? Didn’t see that coming. But clearly, history is NOT repeating itself.
The La Nina was supposed to help make it a relatively mild winter compared to last winter -- the abnormally cold waters in the tropical pacific known as La Nina.
La Ninas -- especially a strong one like what’s happening currently -- typically lead to a storm track that moves up near the Canadian border, allowing warmer air to cover much of the country.
But not this year -- it’s instead a pattern not seen for more than 100 years.
First, the blocking patterns in the North Atlantic and Arctic returned, leading to both the cold and snow. It looks like the pattern could become even more extreme this month, with Arctic blocking leading to an upper airflow coming from Siberia.
It’s called the Siberian express. Bitter cold air easily comes into the U.S., and the pattern could keep the warm air away for weeks or more.
The predicted temperature map for the country for January 11-17 has the WHOLE country with below normal temps, with the worst in the middle of the country.
So, I have to update the winter forecast. Expect a much snowier season than average -- 30 to 40 inches -- still far behind last winter’s 78-plus inches of snow.
For the rest of winter:
|Month||Temp From Average||Snow Amounts|
|Jan.||minus-5 degree||12 inches|
|Feb.||minus-3 degrees||10 inches|
|March||plus-2 degrees||2 inches|
Remember, December was about 5 degrees below normal. Look, captains at sea have to go down with the ship but meteorologists don’t. I figured you’d like to hear about these changes. I have a much more detailed explanation of the changes in the vlog posted on this page.
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