The winter forecast

Good Sunday to one and all. With our first taste of winter weather pushing across the state this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about the winter ahead of us. My annual winter forecast is here and calls for another active winter across the bluegrass state.

We are coming off another snowier than normal winter across central and eastern Kentucky. That was mostly because of the monster snowstorm that hit the region in January. That gave us our third straight much above normal snowfall winter in our part of the world.

Last year, the overall weather pattern was dominated by the third strongest El Nino on record. That overpowered the pattern across North America, leading to much above normal temperatures.

This year, it’s a weak La Nina taking shape in the equatorial waters of the Pacific:

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Those slightly cooler than normal waters have much less of an overall impact on the actual weather conditions across the lower 48. That setup is similar to what we saw during the winters of 1995/ and 1983/84. Both of those winters La Ninas were coming off El Nino winters the year before, with the 82/83 El Nino similar to the powerful one we had last winter.

I’m also seeing warm water setting up again along the west coast into the Gulf of Alaska, with a huge blocking high developing in eastern Canada:

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Those two are good signals for colder than normal temperatures across a large chunk of the country, including Kentucky:

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So, here’s what I’m forecasting across central and eastern Kentucky for the winter ahead:

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In looking at the current pattern, I’m afraid my 1 to 2 degrees colder than normal isn’t quite cold enough. There is some indication that the first half of winter can be substantially colder than my original thinking.

With such a warm fall, the Great Lakes water temperatures are MUCH warmer than normal. With such cold shots of air flowing across the warm lake waters, a lot of moisture may be transported southeastward into our region:

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Lake Enhanced snowfall is a good bet all the way into the southern Appalachian Mountains this winter.

My thoughts on snowfall for the winter ahead:

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Those numbers are normal to slightly above normal, as I expect several light to moderate events. That said, it just takes one big snow to severely alter those totals.

Here’s a month by month breakdown:

winter-7 winter-8 winter-9

3 years ago, I issued my first Bold Prediction during my winter forecast.¬† I got that one right, and have managed to call 3 in a row. Here’s proof from my winter forecast promotion from last week on WKYT:

Can I make it 4 in a row? I certainly hope not because I’m seeing a signal for a decent ice event this winter:

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As always, I appreciate the time and effort you give to read my daily thoughts here on Kentucky.com .

I will focus on the Thanksgiving week weather with my next update. Have a great Sunday and take care.

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