Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Lack of Cold & Snow...

As we head into middle December, only the Great Lakes are seeing real Winter snow & cold.  Most of the Rockies have seen very little snow with the major ski areas having to use their snow making equipment to open some slopes.   Resorts (Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Telluride) that normally have plenty of snow have little, if any.  The current pattern of western ridge & eastern trough makes the West dry & milder with the East colder.  This pattern also favors a northern storm track that brings fast moving ‘clippers” with little snow coming out of Canada to the Great Lakes.   The really big snow storms form when the Arctic air meets an active southern storm track.   We had a brief taste of that across the South last week, but the next 7-10 days have no indications of a repeat.  However, Christmas week hints that there could be another snowstorm moving out from the Rockies heading towards the Ohio Valley.  That would keep us on the warmer side with only rain here.   It’s gonna take a major pattern flip to change the current set up.   For me, this is as cold as I like it.   I can handle 30s & 40s at night with 50s & 60s during the day.  


Back in my early broadcasting days in Tampa, I remember how cold the Winter temperatures coming out of western Canada were.  30-40 below zero were common behind strong cold fronts with wind chills making it deadly to be outside. Big Piney, WY was one of the coldest locations until that site was curtailed during budget cuts.    No such cold is around this year with the exception of northern & eastern Canada where it’s 20-30 below tonight.  Even Alaska has stay away from the below zero cold.   My experience tells me when Alaska gets the super cold, watch out lower 48 as that air has to go somewhere sometimes all the way down through Texas into northern Mexico.  With the super cold restricted to eastern Canada, it’s less likely we’ll see any Arctic outbreak here UNLESS a deep POLAR VORTEX develops over the Great Lakes & Southeast.   Not complaining here, just watching to see if this Winter will kick into high gear as we head into the new year.  Stay tuned!

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