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By: Ryan Fannock
Buckle up! Winter is coming...
Well, it's that time of year again. The time everyone is itching to know what kind of Winter we are going to have. While it's impossible to know exact details, there's a few things which can give anyone predicting the weather some ideas on what is to come. So sit back, relax and take a few minutes to read some of my research...
I'll start off by saying it's going to be ENSO Neutral. What does that mean? Neither an El Nino or La Nina is going to affect our weather pattern. This is a year where we need to follow the AO (Arctic Oscillation), NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) and PNA to name a few. I'm sure I've already bored you with big words, so I'll break it down for you, the average person, to understand.
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I've been researching past ENSO Neutral Winters; one stands out to me. This would be the Winter of 2013-2014! Do you remember? If not, here's some details of what happened across the country that season:
- The first blizzard occurred in October 2013
- Polar Vortex entered the country in November 2013
- Record cold in December in the East
- Coldest temps in 20 years to kick off January in the East
- Stormy late December through March
With that said, some of these events have already happened in 2019! Blizzard conditions occurred in the West, in October, which is just like 2013. Even though the West normally kicks off Winter early, they saw HEAVY snow totals (uncommon) and well below normal temps (uncommon).
Also, it's been quite a cold November in in our backyards! 20 of the past 21 November days were BELOW NORMAL regarding temperatures. We even had single digit lows already this season! Good ol' polar vortex entered the region early; just like 2013.
While December isn't quite here yet, I do expect below normal temperatures to occur. Of course we'll see some days above average. You never know when a freak 60 degree day is going to occur. However, as an AVERAGE, temps will wind up BELOW NORMAL for December.
I expect things to kick into high gear regarding SNOW towards the end of December. We are going to have a hard time picking up large snowstorms early in the month. With the change from Fall to Winter, mixing events are going to be an issue. A lot of times we'll see below average temps for a sustained period of time, warm up for 1 day, see plain rain, then have temps go back below normal. This will be common from now through at least mid-December. Beyond that, we should enter a stormy and snowy pattern. If it doesn't kick off by late month, expect January to DEFINITELY bring you snow storm action.
Speaking of January, I expect things to be WELL BELOW NORMAL temperature wise. Frequent cold blasts and multiple snow events. We should have a snow pack on the ground for much of the month.
As we head into February, the stormy ride continues. This is typically a month where we can see the "Big Daddy" type of snowstorms. I have no doubt in my mind that we'll have one to remember this coming 2020! Cold weather, active pattern...perfect time for a Nor'easter to take shape! February will be another month where we hold onto that snow pack. Due to snow cover, temps will easily stay below normal.
Ah, March! Spring arrives! Well, only on the calendar. I do expect the stormy pattern to continue into March as well. We'll start seeing more mix events again. However, another "Big Daddy" can't be ruled out this month. March is another month where, if the ingredients are right, we can get whopper snows! I do believe we'll close out the Winter season with a memorable snowfall in March.
With that said, I'm sure you know what I'm going to say. ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL IS LIKELY THIS WINTER!! Average in Schuylkill County is about 38-42" of snow. Well, odds are favoring us to surpass that 42" mark. Take advantage of snow blower sales now! You may kick yourself for not buying one once we get to February.
Thanks for reading,
Stay tuned to my Facebook Group, Weather Talk: Schuylkill Edition, throughout the upcoming Winter Season!!