The winter forecast

Good Wednesday, everyone. The long holiday weekend is now off and running with nice weather. That all changes with a lot of rain moving in from Friday into next week.

Since things are rather quiet Wednesday, it’s a good time to offer the winter forecast. Buckle up and let’s roll.

The past two winters here in Kentucky have been about as harsh as they come. From historic cold to historic snowstorms, we had it all. Can we make it three years in a row with brutal winters? That hasn’t happened here since the late 1970s, but it has an outside chance of happening with this winter.

Let me be upfront and clear about something: At this time, I don’t think this winter will be as bad as the past two winters. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but I see several factors working against that.

The two main players I’m watching this winter are both in the Pacific Ocean. The first is a raging El Niño:

WinterTo my eyes, this El Niño is in a class all its own, and that makes for a difficult forecast, because I don’t have years to look back on for guidance.

The warm pool of water off the West Coast has been there since fall 2013:

Winter 2That has been the driving force to our back-to-back harsh winters, but El Nino might mute some of the impact this winter. Might is the key word.

Here’s my month-by-month breakdown:

Winter 4Winter 5Winter 6As you can clearly see, I’m expecting another winter that’s backloaded with the most likely chance for snow and cold:

Winter 8The first half of winter from December into early January is likely to be dominated by a lot of back and forth with the temperatures. Some very mild days and some very cold days will try to balance one another out during this time. Snowfall should be about normal.

Mid January through early March is likely to see the coldest weather relative to normal and the most snow.

One thing to watch for this winter is an increased chance of a wind-driven winter storm.

So what does all this mean for snowfall? The numbers are likely to be much lower than last winter, but they should be normal to a little above normal:

Winter 9All it takes is for one storm to bust those numbers.

Here’s hoping you get all the cold and snow that your little heart desires!

Have a great day and take care.

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