Monday, January 23, 2012

Lack of snow

This has definitely been a snowless winter for many parts of Kansas. We had the big snowstorm before Christmas in western Kansas, but since that storm, there hasn't been any significant snow events for our area. Storms that move up from the desert Southwest are usually notorious for producing widespread snows, and we've had several come through the southwest, but the lack of cold air has allowed the precipitation type to be predominately rain.

If the recent trends continue and winter ended now, this would be the least snowiest winter on record for Wichita. Our annual snowfall is around 15-16 inches. We'll make it into the top 10 least snowiest winters if we have less than 3.9" for the season. So far, we are stuck at .4".

I'm not a huge fan of snow, but I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 good winter systems to track before we head into spring. And when I think back to how hot it was last summer, it makes me want snow just a little bit more. Whew, we should hope next summer is not as extreme as the last.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lack of Snow

This winter has been "snowless" for many areas across the United States. Places like Chicago where normally they would have about 10-12 inches of snow already for the season, have only 2 inches. Milwaukee, WI averages about 15 inches of snow by this point in the season, but have only recorded 1.7" Check out the picture I've attached here. The top picture is the current winter, and the bottom picture is from two years ago when "El Nino" was influencing our winter pattern. It is a striking difference the two winters. The lack of snow in the northern Plains is allowing air masses that move out of Canada to warm up as they move south.

Why the lack of snow? Some people want to contribute it to the very hot summer we had, but you can't connect the two. Remember, several people thought we would have a very bad winter because of the extreme heat, but that hasn't happened. What is contributing to the lack of snow is the La Nina phenomenon that sets up in the Pacific Ocean and forces the storm track further north.

I still expect the 2nd half of January to be colder with increasing chances for moisture. There will be better chances for snow, now that we are in January, but we'll figure out precipitation type as the storms get closer.

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