Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Pattern IS Different than Last Year. What Will it Mean Next Week?

Facebook and twitter ave been flooded with many "snow skeptics" as I like to call them. Over the last 2+ weeks, I've been harping on this pattern being very different than last year's pattern. Yet the "snow skeptics" come out of the woodwork and quickly squash any talk of snow saying that "they will believe it when they see it."  The ever popular recency effect comes into play yet again.  That is, whatever is most recent in our minds is held in higher regard than more distant memories. 

Remember those winters of 2002 to 2010? Most of these winter feature above normal snowfall. We were groomed psychologically to expect another repeat last year. That didn't happen. Now we are groomed to think "snowless winter" for this year even though most of our recent winters have featured decent snow.

So how is this year's pattern different than last winter in early December?  Look at the upper level pattern from last December. The ridge deepened in the east keeping the trough and colder air out west.

Now look at the pattern on the 10th. The trough is deeper and further east and stronger.

The outlook for December 21st starts to show the colder and potentially snowier signs we've been hinting at. Remember that each red area is a potential storm system. Look at how flat the upper level flow becomes shortly before Christmas.

This isn't a guarantee that this pattern will continue. But the pattern has been VERY consistent. If this verifies, the chances of snow before Christmas will be very good. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where is the Snow? Is this Unusual? A Look Back Gives Us the Answer

This is the biggest asked over the last week or so on Facebook and Twitter. Christmas is 2 weeks away and most people want a bit of snow. Yet we still remember last winter where hardly any snow fell in November and December (2.1") Is this all that unusual?

Here are the snow totals for each winter since 1990 through December 15th.  There are 8 winters with less than 2 inches of snow through the 15th and 9 winters more than a foot of snow since 1990.

The average since 1990 has been 7.1 inches through December 15th...All-time average through the 15th is 9.6 inches...

So we are definitely BELOW THE AVERAGE.  Yet there are many years where the snow totals through mid December have been fairly small.

Why do I continually "strongly hint" at a white Christmas? Two projections have been painting a bulls eye over the northern half of the US the week leading up until Christmas for more than a week now.

No snow this week...

Three separate "run throughs" of this model suggest several inches for Ohio!