If you recall, an El Nino Winter was supposed to bring more rain to the west & south along with cooler temperatures while the northern states would be warmer with less rain/snow fall. Part of that prediction has proven true as the western states have been slammed with storms bringing ski areas an abundance of the white stuff. A year ago the Sierras were almost snowless, but not this year. Much of Wine Country is no longer in drought and the heart of the rainy season is still to come. What remains surprising is the lack of snow in cities that typically don’t see the ground for 3-4 months during Winter. Buffalo is still snowless and Syracuse almost hit 70 today! Is this the “January thaw” in December? Remember, the warm CYCLE has now reached 4 months over the eastern states. My gut tells me January thru March will bring back the East coast trough with the Arctic air masses coming down even to the Gulf coast. Since our Mardi Gras is early (Feb. 6th) next year, that could make parade watching/riding difficult.
In the short term, Tuesday looks terrific with lots of sunshine and temps in the mid 70s, some 10+ degrees above the long term average/normal. Our next front will arrive late Wednesday into early Thursday with some showers, but with limited low level moisture available, I am not expecting any heavy rain totals. Behnid this front will be air that is colder than this last front. You’ll need the outer weather gear once again after nearly 2 weeks of above normal temps. If you’re dressed for it, this weekend looks terrific. Stay tuned!