Friday, December 11, 2015

Two Questions You Might Have
1. How much longer will these epic weather conditions last?  
2. When will we see the first snowfall?

6:00 AM 12/11 - First, for summer weather fans, the next 3 days may be the nicest of the whole month: Highs in the 60s today through Sunday! 
If there was some outdoor activity or project you wanted to push through before the holidays -- we say go for it.

Second, for snow-parched Powderhounds, we want to make one point:

WE ARE NOT PREDICTING A BELOW-AVERAGE SNOWFALL THIS WINTER IN THE MID-ATLANTIC. Why? Because there's a 50% chance of very little snow now to mid February-- and a 50% chance factors come together for a blockbuster event like Feb 11-12, 1983.

That storm was the only snow game in town for the '82-'83 winter in the Mid-Atlantic, during a moderate to strong El Niño. Though on an average day the winter was boring and lackluster, thanks to that one storm, snowfall was definitely not below average (albeit occurring in just one 24-hour period!) For this year, the good folks at the Climate Prediction Center have an excellent report on the status of the current El Nino thus far. 

Most importantly, they discuss how evaluation of this ocean-atmospheric connnection has only just started, for impacts of El Nino are on a seasonal time scale, not a specific point in time.  The report's last sentence drives home this point: 
  • "The main impacts season is December–March, so we’re just at the very beginning of finding out what this El Niño event will bring to the U.S. There’s no doubt that El Niño 2015-2016, which has already shown its power around the world, will have a significant effect on the U.S. winter." 

Though we don't expect much of anything white or frozen to fall the next 2 weeks, as Yoda might say, one warm spell in December "write off the winter, it certainly does not."
Our Winter Stormcast Team will be issuing their first  special report this weekend on how we see the first half of winter playing out now to Feb 1. We'll let you know how to access it on this website or by email.
Until then, try to talk a walk or just spend some time outside if you are able. Winter will exact it's revenge, but for now we might as well use the nice conditions while we can!

-Mr. Foot and the Winter Stormcast Team

Sunrise at the Havre De Grace, MD Lighthouse
by reader Jeff Perkins

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another Fabled Fifth...but where's the snow?

9:00 AM 12/5 - Long-time Powderhounds and readers to our sites recall today was known for several years to be a magically re-occurring date of first snow in Maryland.
This quasi-tradition got it's start in Baltimore on December 4-5, 2002 when 7.4 inches was recorded at BWI, with more across the region. The snowfall sequels in the Mid-Atlantic  continued intermittently in 2003, 2005 and 2007. 
Then, in 2009 it reawakened with force on the famous December 5. 

As noted by the Capital Weather Gang at the Washington post, that date was "... the fifth time in eight years that Washington had a snowstorm on December 5."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A December Winter couldn't remember?
  • Confounding climate variables to make December a difficult month for Mid-Atlantic industries relying on snow, and a boon to those who prefer none.
  • Influence of El Nino and a lack of snow cover among other factors, are pointing to above-normal temperatures in the weeks ahead, limiting winter weather potential.
  • Hope for the holidays?  A pattern change and resurgence of cold expected by late December, bringing "wintry outdoor decoration" to interior areas before January.
Stay in the know before the snow...consider our services this season

Searching for snow in Tahoe. Photo credit: Press Democrat
In 2015, the East is suffering scenes like this one.
5:00 AM EST 12/1 - How many times can you remember having such a mild Thanksgiving weekend in the East, while the midwest and Rockies were ice-bound and shivering?

These are days where, at the onset of meteorological winter, titans of natural northern snow like Jay Peak, Vermont and Sunday River, Maine are barely able to keep just a precious few runs open. If that's how they are fairing, it will be too painful for Powderhounds to bear the truth of southern Mid-Atlantic resorts. Here's a look at what we said about the long range pattern during "Back To The Future Week" in October 2015.