I’m an optimist by nature. And to “Call” the winter, when were barely over a week into it, that would just be plain crazy and irresponsible. However, as many good signs as there are out there for snow lovers, there are about the same number of signs for those of us who wouldn’t mind seeing winters around here be short on snow and cold. I’ve been looking into this for the past few days, and it’s one thing to not have ANY measurable snow as of this time/date, but to see the Sahara desert in northern Africa have a dusting of snow for the first time in 37 years is saying a TON of things about our current climate in the atmosphere.
The set up for the first two weeks of January look very favorable for cold, and snow lovers. However, around here (Mid-Atlantic region) we have as our major enemy the oceans. The oceans air moves around towards the coast with warm air. We get it from the Atlantic, Delaware Bay, and the Chesapeake to our west. So, it has to be super cold for an extended period to set up storms to bring us snow. We have no issues with precipitation. However, when the precipitation gets here it’s always a question of temperatures in the winter. The famous “I-95” snow and ice line. Are you north, south, west, etc.. of 95? Typical. We hear it all of the time.
The graphic reflects about 1 to 1.5 degrees ABOVE normal for this time of year for this coming January. If you want lots of snow, that’s not a good picture I have up. Where is the cold? Canada, the western plains, the Rocky Mountains, etc… That means the jet stream is taking storms further north above the lakes. And, if you’ve seen any weather model, the pattern SINCE November has been to take storms up and over us. Look how dry we were in the Fall? We went approximately a month without rain and were going to end the year in below average precipitation for the year by two inches. That’s significant.
So, if 43-44 degrees is our normal, were looking at 45-46 degrees as the “NEW NORMAL” and that means if you want snow we need a considerable cold snap to come in and do some damage to the atmosphere. We can still and will continue to have snow in our winters, but the “NEW NORMAL” may be a lot less snow and just plain rain or freezing rain events. My theory is that the climate change that has taken place in the last 15 years has dramatically altered not extreme weather events, but the overall pattern of systems that shape our weather in the entire world. It’s not a reason for the climate change, but a symptom of a much larger problem we have in our environment. Let me know your thoughts!