BLOG: Mid Winter Review, A Look Ahead

Meteorological Winter (the 3 coldest months of the year) is now half over. So far, not bad right?? Sure January has been colder than average but it has not been particularly snowy. Overall this season has been much less severe than last year. So, how about some stats to back this up??

As always, all statistics are from the Youngstown-Warren Airport in Vienna.

Here’s the overall picture: 1sthalfNotice the temperature is about 1/2 a degree above average. This is thanks to the mild December. January has actually been quite a bit colder than average so far. Snow totals are below average for December-January, but our SEASONAL total of 27.5″ is near average. Remember November was cold and snowy.

How do the numbers stack up compared to recent years?

Temperature wise, December 2014 and the 1st half of January 2014 have been milder than the previous winter but much colder than 2012-2013 and 2011-2012: 1995-1996 was the coldest 1st half of winter in recent memory.

avetemps

 

Snowfall has been about 1/2 of last December 1-January 15. It’s been our driest opening to winter since 2006-2007:

 

 

totalsnow

 

Taking a look at the lower 48 states so far this season, the cold has been most prominent in the Plains states: wintertodate

But January has been quite cold in much of the country: jantodate

The recent cold has increased the ice coverage on the Great Lakes dramatically, especially on Lake Erie: lakesiceNotice the only open water left is in this patch in the eastern end, where the water is quite deep: erie

As extreme as last January was at times, it’s interesting that the snow cover nationwide is quite a bit more extensive compared to one year ago today.

2015: currentdepth2014: depthlastyear

 

So, what lies ahead?? Over the next week, a pretty “ho-hum” weather pattern for us. But, the jet stream will undergo amplification for the last week of January. This will result in more consistent cold for our region.

The jet stream now: jetnowAnd 9-10 days from now: jetjan26Notice the building ridge south of Alaska. If that migrates east, it will force arctic air into much of the country east of the Rockies. The models have been advertising that for a while now. Temperature anomalies for the last week of the month on the GFS ensemble model: 1015day

 

Will the cold be accompanied by snow storms? Much too early to say in regards to the last week of the month. Again, the next week or so looks pretty quiet snow wise.

Thanks for reading!

Eric

 

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