Thursday, January 26, 2012

Where Is All The Snow ?

Good morning, happy Thursday! It’s Katy… and recently I’ve been getting the same question here in the newsroom and out in public. Where is all the snow?! Hard to believe we’re now at the end of January, and we’ve gotten by with a pretty mild winter (*Shh! Don’t tell Mother Nature!) As much as I am enjoying the mild weather, I have to admit.. I do miss the snow. It may be that most people yern for what they don’t have. If you remember last year, we had quite a bit of snow! In fact, this time last year, we had already logged 28.6 inches of snow! Compare that to the 2.0 inches that we’ve seen this year! (On average, we should have seen about 10 inches of snow by now… which puts us 8 inches behind for the year).

So… why so little snow this year? You remember the Storm Team talking about the La Nina winter that’s set up for us this winter. For our region, that typically brings a slightly mild, wetter winter. Take a look at the outlook that NOAA put out back in October, which basically follows what a typical La Nina would bring to the United States. Our region is under the “average “ temperature, seeing temperatures right around 40 degrees, with wet conditions. The reason why? The Jet Stream. The Jet Stream hasn’t been able to pull in the arctic air we need to produce snow. Instead, many southern systems have formed, pulling in warmer air from the south, with shallow cold layers in the upper levels. The result is more rain than snow.

But we still have the rest of January, February and early March to get through. Will we see a big snow at all this year? According to Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer, it may not happen. The pattern this winter has been pretty steady, with a west to east jet flow, keeping us around average with rainy conditions all winter. I’ll have to agree with Steve. The chances are dwindling for a cold, deep snow to form. But, being in the business of meteorology… I won’t completely rule it out. I’ve been in the line of work long enough to know that Mother Nature can and DOES surprise you. We’ll just have to wait and see!

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