Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Little snow - more cold coming leading up to Christmas

There are so many mixed opinions about cold weather and snow. Seems like people either love it or hate it, but meteorological winter is here and we are likely in for a lot more cold weather through the rest of this month.

It's been awhile since we've had a true winter storm in Kansas. In fact, take a look at this map. For most of Kansas, it's been about a year since we've had a "winter storm warning" issued for several locations in our area. Winter storm warnings are usually issued when we expect 6 or more inches of snow. I don't see anything like that coming for awhile, even though the cold is going to be relentless.

We have several sets of model data that help us make the predictions that we do. Some models are good for 12 hour predictions and others are used strictly in longer range outlooks.

Looking out through the next few weeks, I still see a ton of cold, Arctic air hanging around the central and northern US. Even though we may see some days where temperatures climb into the 40s and perhaps low 50s, those days won't last long. Just take a look at one set of data that shows a temperature average from December 14-19th and another set from December 16-21st. Much of the central and northern US will continue to see well below normal temperatures.
Dec. 14-19th

Dec. 16-21st

We still don't know if there will be a white Christmas or not.
It's just too early to tell. But I will say this, I think we will have more than enough cold weather around to make some snow, but it takes just the right storm to make it happen. The right amount of moisture and track are also key, so we can't say just yet if snow will fall or be on the ground for Christmas morning.

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