Everyone loves to SHARE a winter forecast that shows lots of snow and very cold air. So, this forecast won't get the "shares" that others have seen over the past few weeks because I don't think this winter will be abnormally bad for Region 8. I typically wait until the first part of November to really nail down my winter forecast. I've had some pretty good success of long-term winter forecasting for Region 8, with one year being a total flop. So, this forecast will be a little different than some you have read over the past few weeks because I'm not going to tell you that it will snow all winter.
As I've mentioned in the past, I like to look at the current pattern and compare it to winter seasons of the past. I typically look at December, January, and February... but this year I also took a closer look at March. Most of the forecast is very general, but I like to get specific on a few things, just for fun!
To start, here's our average snowfall each winter since 1980. This will be our baseline when talking about below or above average snowfall:
- There was not a lot of wintry weather.
- One 1" snowfall and 3-4 little wintry events with just a trace of mix.
- I also glanced at November of 1958 and it had some light mix near the end of the month that did not accumulate. (Note: We have light wintry mix in the forecast next week)
- Big swings in temperatures.
- In December, our warmest day was 68°, but our coldest morning was 10°!
- In January, we went as warm as 69°, but was 4° just 8 days prior.
- In February, 10 days were above 60°, but 4 days started in the teens.
If you map out what the Winter of 1958-1959 looked like, you can see that Region 8 was below average on snowfall, but the above average snowfall wasn't too far away:
When you map the temperatures, the highs were about average and the lows were below average. Keep in mind... those big swings in temperatures averaged each other out:
Now, let's look at the 2006-2007 Winter. Below you will find the climate logs from December 2006, January 2007, and February 2007. Click each on to enlarge. Here are a few things I noticed:
- Still not much wintry weather.
- Really only had one winter storm at the start of February that produced about 3" of snow.
- We had a couple of decent rain events.
- Big swings in temperatures, but overall there were some very cold streaks.
- Look at February 6th-7th. We started the 6th at 19°, but went to 60° on February 7th!
If you look at this data in map form. Lows and highs averaged out to average. Keep in mind that it is an average of very warm days and very cold days. This goes back to the notation about big swings in temperatures. Snowfall was well below average:
Lastly, I briefly looked at the 2014-2015 Winter as my 3rd analog for the upcoming winter and noted a big event in March! During that winter, we went December-February with almost no snow or ice. BUT, in March... there was a 7" snowfall. There's a little hope for you snow lovers:
So, here it is! Here's my 2018-2019 Winter Forecast:
- Big swings in temperatures.
- 3-4 Small winter weather events (dustings, light glaze on exposed surfaces, etc)
- 1 "good" winter storm: 2-5" of snowfall.
- Overall, an "average" snowfall year.
- No big ice storms, like 2009.
- Very cold streaks. Meaning a couple of periods where we go 3-4 days without going above freezing and lows in the teens.
And here's my bonus stuff, just for fun:
- Some flurries or light sleet within the next month.
- Mild Christmas with rain possible.
- An average of 3 snow days from school.
- 1-2 severe weather events with tornado watches.
- Some light wintry mix in places next week!
Now, we sit back and wait! These forecasts are just for fun. Don't make critical decisions on this forecast or financial decisions. This is just a fun, annual tradition.
Have a great winter!