Get Ready for a Weather War!Last Edited:
As someone who is clearly a fan of Winter weather I’m pleased to be writing this blog after not ONE, but TWO light snow events before Christmas. Neither one of these systems was strong but it definitely helps solidify the holiday spirit, I’m sure most of you would agree! Looking at the past 5 Decembers, we find that it has only snowed before Christmas once before this year… throwback to 2013. When you compare where we are this year versus the past 2, I think he are doing well and moving in a more favorable direction for more snow events throughout the Winter season.
Looking at this graph you’ll also note that outside of last year, we’ve done pretty well with snow over the past 5 winter seasons as a whole. Our average is 16”, we’ve surpassed that significantly 2x in 5 years and only really feel way shy last year. I think this year will be closer to 2013-14 but we should wrap things up a little whiter with perhaps a total of 18-20”.
So now that we’ve had days in the 30s, some snow and bitterly cold wind chills, it means that Old Man Winter is here to stay… right? Well… no, not quite. You see this winter was never forecasted to be extremely cold, in fact, I think we actually end things in March slight above average, perhaps ½ to 1 degree above. While the pattern has been very favorable in December, I just don’t see us getting cold and staying cold for weeks on end. There WILL be periods where our temperatures rise to above average, perhaps in some cases, well above average.
Some of you may say “Ba humbug!” but I say it’s weather. Yes, it’s true, I AM forecasting About 15% more snow this year due to the overall La Nina pattern, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be frigidly cold to happen.
We are going to see an all-out weather WAR going into Christmas week. MUCH of the nation has the opportunity to see a white Christmas, I just think our chances here in South Jersey are slim, as is usually the case. We will likely be cool and WET. Mid 40s with some rain?
Here’s a look at 5k foot temperatures for different periods of time…
- Week 1 which includes from now into early next week
2. Week 2 shows where things go for Christmas week. Notice that warmth poking into the southeast due to high pressure? That will allow our temperatures to come up AND storms with cold air to track WELL to our northwest. This means most precip chances for OUR region will likely be rain.
3. Week 3 shows the cold coming back in after Christmas and leading into New Year’s.
A couple big things to look at when forecasting are teleconnections. These are values that we look at that basically indicate where atmospheric pressures are high and low. The one that has been building the ridge in the west and is absolutely needed for cold air in the east, the PNA, is forecast to head into NEGATIVE territory for a while which means the ridge breaks down.
Winter isn’t even here yet, officially… I don’t want to hear “Oh it’s going to be a bust” etc. We will get plenty of cold, but will also see days where things get really warm. Snow lovers: You’ll be happy by the end of the season.