Monday, January 3, 2005

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When I told my grandmother this over the weekend, she aptly replied: "What's there to thaw?" How true. I have to break the bad news to you early, so you don't waste any time hinging from day to day on if there might be another surprise Norfolk Noreaster, 'cause there won't be one any day soon.

1) As you can see from the Accumulated Snowcover Map above (snowfall stats from the NWS Global Forecast System, map from Accuweather)...measurable snow for will stay north and west of Maryland for the foreseeable future. In fact, you could say this has been the winter of snow in places that usually don't get south Texas, New Orleans, SE Virginia, and now...Seattle, WA! Recent southward arctic surges hit the plains first, and moderate before reaching east coast. Interaction between strong Atlantic high pressure ridge keeps sending Lows up through Ohio Valley, which is reason for the warm spell on east coast of late.

2) For the I-95 corridor from Atlanta to New York City, January will be a disappointing month for snow. In fact, I believe those yearning for a snow day may have to wait until FEBRUARY to see serious accumulation enough to close school. The rain and warm temperatures will overall rule the roost this month.

3) I am scaling back my snowday forecast for all areas covered by this site. The original call was for a general 6 days off this winter. I believe it is more realistic to say that 3 days is what you'll get by the middle of March. Like the Solstice Snowstorm in the Ohio Valley... I think most metropolitan areas of the Northeast will get almost all their seasonal snowfall in one or two big storms.


I know some of you are wondering, even crying aloud "why....wwhhhyy?" It is frustrating to see no snow on the horizon for weeks into winter. You've been preyed upon by a series of unfortunate events, including a continuing influence of Florida's hurricanes on the Gulf Stream water temperatures, differences in water temperatures off the U.S. Pacific Coast / U.S. East Coast, and the early push of Arctic air which upset the balance of heat and cold during the transition time between seasons. All these factors are what's responsible for a less-than-snowy winter thus far along the I-95 corridor.

The good news is that this warm air is allowing Canada to get recharged with super cold air again. It will not be a winter without snow altogether, but it may come all in just ONE or TWO big storms (12"+) for the east coast cities and their surrounding suburbs. I believe that's the menu for February, and it'll be a tasty time for those who like snow.