Monday, November 20, 2017

Winter Weather Forecast 2017-18

Many of you have been asking my thoughts on the upcoming winter season, and while I've been reluctant to say too much early on, I think we have a better idea now.

If you missed the story that aired Monday night, here are some of the highlights:

Wichita - A big storm dumped 8.7" of snow on the city back on February 4, 2014. The city had another 4.2 on February 10th. Since then, our snow events have been pretty small.

Dodge City - The last big storm for Dodge (other than the ice storm from last year) came on December 13, 2015. The official snow amount came in just under 8".

Driving forces in this years setup:
Arctic Oscillation (AO): For the last nearly two months, it has been consistently positive. Even though in recent days it has dropped into negative territory, I still believe most of this winter we will have a positive AO. When it's positive, Arctic cold tends to get trapped well north of Kansas.
This is what the AO has been doing lately

When it goes negative, there is a much stronger likelihood for Arctic cold to dive south and blanket much of the US. That should happen at least a few times during the winter.

La Nina - This is probably the one you've heard the most about, whether its been in your Facebook feed or just on the news. Most winter forecasts that have been released so far are only looking at this feature. But there are other things going on besides just La Nina.
La Nina is the colder than normal water in the Pacific (near the Equator). There's no clear answer as to what La Nina means for our winter in Kansas, but we've seen some very cold winters when they do setup. The last La Nina winters we had were back in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Winter 2010-11: 17.3" of snow fell in Wichita
Winter 2011-12: 3" of snow fell

So one of the weather patterns I think we will often this winter should look like this:

This is a setup that will deliver several waves of very cold air to the East and the upper Midwest. This is also going to be a very dry pattern for Kansas.

Another pattern will look like this:
Stormy weather should move into the west, come across the Rockies, and give Kansas a chance for some precipitation. Will it be rain or snow? That's what we will figure out as we get closer, but I would expect a few of these storms could be decent snow producers for parts of Kansas.

Snow Forecast:

Normal snowfall in western Kansas is roughly 25-35 inches. This winter, I expect below normal snow and even the rainfall will likely be somewhat scarce. Farther east, average snowfall drops off with Wichita averaging about 14.7" and Salina closer to 15-16". I look for below normal snows in central and eastern Kansas too, with better chances our moisture will be in the liquid form.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving week looks...

Uneventful!  And that is great news considering how busy the week will be as we travel around and get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. The only possible travel headaches might be in the Pacific Northwest where the weather will continue to very active. Several waves of some rain or snow could impact the area.

Here's a snapshot of the Future Track leading up to the holiday:




Don't forget, our Winter Forecast will be on the air Monday night at 10 p.m. We are also planning a Facebook Live session to take some of your questions. Should be fun, even though some of you aren't going to like what I have to say about the upcoming winter. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Big pattern shift - early look to Thanksgiving travel

Goodbye to the Seattle type of weather and welcome back sunshine. We are about to see some of the warmest weather we've had since before Halloween. What is going on?

The Pacific Northwest is about to get blasted with another big storm with heavy winds, rain, and snow. Wind gusts over 55-60 mph look likely. 

Our wind will be increasing because of that big storm in the Pacific Northwest. It will be a south wind, which is why we are forecasting such warm weather for the end of this week. There will be a lot of 70s by Friday afternoon. Some records could be tied or broken. 

Great news for travelers next week:
The weather looks good for most of the country. These snapshots of the weather are for Tuesday-early Wednesday. Some light snow or flurries coming through the Rockies, with a batch of rain showers passing across the South. The eastern third of the country looks quite chilly, but nothing that's unusual.


Blog History