State of the Winter Address
Is that it? Will the above average temperatures continue for the remainder of the winter? Where is the cold? If you have been asking those questions, I'm here to help answer.
Let's first remember, we had a November to Remember! We had 3 or 4 snows across northern Arkansas. Then a noticeable pause took us all the way into late December, then the temperatures tanked. Little Rock dropped to only 2° and that was WITHOUT snow on the ground. Truly remarkable.
We've had quite a bit of winter, and in my opinion, it got too cold. I know! That's strange hearing that from me. I like cold, but that was way too cold!
If you follow me on Facebook, I often talked about the source region of our air masses. With a huge ridge going up into Alaska, the flow around that dislodges the cold air and sends it south. That's how we get cold. If there's a trough in the eastern Pacific, the flow of air is directly off the Pacific. It then downslopes off the Rocky Mountains. This will warm and dry the air out.
Birdseye view of the northern hemisphere right now according to the Euro initialization.
Above, you can clearly see the big trough in the eastern Pacific. This is NOT favorable for any cold air around here. However, the mountains of the western United States have been receiving a ton of snow. Small disturbances come out of that massive trough and that's why we get periodic rain and storm chances.
Now, let's look a couple weeks down the road.
The massive trough is replaces by ridging along the west coast up into Alaska. This is a favorable pattern for cold to return. All long range models I have looked at show the same pattern. When? Probably the last week of the month, but there's a small chance it gets here a little sooner than that. How cold? It's impossible to know the magnitude of it and where the core of the cold will end up.
For all those screaming winter is over, I'd hold off on that for a couple more months.