Thursday, December 18, 2014

Snow forecasts not looking good

Another tough winter for those long-range outlooks.

Snow forecasts not looking good

Five-year-old Alyssa Humphries catches snowflakes on her tongue during a Christmas snowfall in Anniston, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/The Star, Stephen Gross)
Five-year-old Alyssa Humphries catches snowflakes on her tongue during a Christmas snowfall in Anniston, Ala., Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/The Star, Stephen Gross)

The morning bird song is getting ever louder, the midday sun is toasting the insides of cars, and the light is becoming brighter by the day.

But the surest sign we’ve seen that the meteorological winter will end with a whimper this week is the relative quiet  we see on the American Weather Forums chat board.

For most of the region this has been a dud of a winter, but we can’t recall the last time we saw a week begin without so much as a storm rumor.

The models continue to show blocking that would suggest a chilly start to March that could persist well into the month. That doesn’t mean it’s going to snow, however.

Based on the forecasts for the next few days, the Dec. 1-Feb. 28 period – defined as the meteorological winter -- is going to end up about 3 degrees above normal.

That’s not among the elite for warmth, but certainly a s healthy departure from the long-term averages.

And it’s quite a significant departure from the long-range winter outlooks, which generally foresaw an active, snowy season.

Tom Thunstrom, who runs the excellent phillyweather.net site, has an archive of the winter outlooks, which you can find on his home page.

For snow, the most-conservative estimate on the list came from Fox 29, which estimated 18 to 24 inches. NBC 10 went with a bullish 30 to 35 inches, or 10 to 15 inches above normal.

The seasonal snow total stands at an even 7 inches, which leaves the two-season total still shy of a foot.

Heavy rains are in the picture for this week, but no heavy snow, and not even a rumor of one.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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