Welcome to the Winter page. Local and National data on snowfall amounts and temperatures will be posted here along with useful data for analyzing all that winter can bring. I hope you find the site helpful and interesting.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

MikJournal Monday 01/22/2017...Sunday Edition and Stats

I was walking my dog and wearing shorts Saturday evening. That is how mild it was in my neighborhood. Not too bad for the 3rd week of January.

In my forecast for January, I did highlight the 3rd week of January as being the 'thaw' period. But you know what? We have been in thaw mode for the past several days now.

After being confined to several days of below normal readings, including Arctic chill, earlier this month, we have bounced back in a large way. Temperatures for central Kentucky are now averaging between 6 and 9 degrees above normal for the month of January. That's impressive, considering that this normally is the peak period for the coldest temperatures of the winter.

Am I ready to say this could be a top ten warmest January for some of us?

Not yet. But, we still have today through Wednesday when temperatures will be averaging nearly 10 degrees above normal. That will keep most us in top ten warmest mode. How will the rest of the month fare?

For the most part, below normal temperatures will dominate the latter part of the month. However, it does not appear to be much below normal.

But here are the top ten warmest January's with the minimum entry required versus where we stand today.

Louisville....41.0 (41.0 as of today)
Lexington...40.7 (40.4 as of today)
Bowling Green 42.8 (44.3 as of today)

Is this just a regional fluke? Check out more temperature averages...

St Louis, MO (recent ice storm) 3.6 degrees above normal
Springfield, MO  5.7 degrees above normal
Chicago, IL 3.0 degrees above normal (includes a couple of zero degree mornings)
Milwaukee, WI 3.7 degrees above normal
Minneapolis, MN 1.5 degrees above normal (includes 7 mornings below zero)
Sault Ste Marie, MI  7.7 degrees above normal (and 20.7" snowfall this month so far)
Kansas City, MO  1.2 degrees above normal (includes 2 mornings at 0 or below)
Wichita, KS  2.0 degrees above normal (includes major ice storm)
Oklahoma City, OK  0.4 degrees above normal (yes, I know it doesn't sound like worth mentioning, but a morning low of -3 offset by a high of 79 just a few days later was indicative of how many swings in temperatures they received)
Little Rock, AR  4.4 degrees above normal
Huntsville, AL  11.1 degrees above normal
Chattanooga, TN  10.0 degrees above normal
Asheville, NC  7.6 degrees above normal
Harrisburg, PA 4.2 degrees above normal

I think you get the picture. Yes, we had winter in many of these places this month but was offset by a prolonged warm spell that has won out thus far.

I continue to blame the Arctic Oscillation, which has stayed neutral to positive since December. Long range forecasts keep the AO in positive territory through the first part of February.

Even though winter will make a comeback, Arctic temperatures do not look likely for the next 10-12 days. Snowfall for our region does not look promising, except the little nuisance snows that may provide some excitement based on what snows we have seen so far this winter. Believe me, it won't take much to get a back loaded winter after what we have experienced through the first half.

MS


Friday, January 20, 2017

This is January, Right?

It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck. It feels like March, acts like March, so it must be...what, January? Huh?

Monthly temperatures are now averaging between 5 and 7 degrees above normal. And this includes that brutal stretch of cold we experienced earlier this month.

Rainfall amounts are well above average for the month too. That would be expected since the bulk of our measurable precipitation for January should be in the form of something frozen.

I want you to keep in mind that Alaska and Kentucky are interconnected more than you think, and I don't mean sharing statehood in these United States of America.

The other day on the 18th, Fairbanks recorded a high temperature of -41 degrees after bottoming out at -51. The low temperature was not even a record, since -61 was the record.

Still, the average temperature of -46 (add the high and low, then divide by two), was some 37 degrees below normal.

Transporter...beam me to somewhere in Kentucky. Our high temperatures have been averaging 10-20 degrees above normal recently, offsetting the Arctic chill earlier.

The connection? Typically, not always, when parts of Alaska are experiencing much below normal temperatures, our temperatures will be averaging above normal plus or minus a couple of days.

Now watch what happens over the next week or two. Eventually, Alaska will be recording above average readings, and guess where that should lead us? At the very least, to conditions that resemble winter, perhaps below normal for a time.

And the month of February may be able to exceed snow totals from January. However, we still have to get through the rest of January, since the end of the month could throw some surprises our way, yet.

MS

Monday, January 16, 2017

MikJournal Monday 01/16/2017...Mid-Month Projection

Good Monday morning. Possibly you have the day off and good for you. Temperatures will be on the rise; although, for some, the highest temperatures for the day may not come until closer to midnight. Still, above normal.

Well, it has rained 6 consecutive days. During that time period, though, rainfall amounts have generally been tame. Remember last Monday in my MikJournal, I saw forecasts for 2.5 - 4.5" for the week. So, how did we do?

I took a sampling of several Mesonet sites and official observations. Generally we received 1.5 - 2.0" for the week. So, the ground was not overly saturated, and rivers and lakes were not overly high.

Our region came close to a major ice storm just west and northwest of us. The only ice accumulation I could find for the region was in far western Kentucky. Sturgis, in Union County, received about 0.1" and Carrsville, in Livingston County, received 0.05".

The latest amounts from the hard-hit areas include Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas, where 0.50" amounts were common across those states. Some of the leading energy providers have reported some outages, though this is not a widespread problem. This does not compare to anything our region experienced in February 2009, when many Kentucky residents did not have power for at least 4 or 5 days, some up to 2 weeks.

The forecast rainfall amounts for the week ending next Monday morning from the Weather Prediction Center is a widespread 2-3" statewide, with locally heavier amounts, especially south.

No snow or ice is expected.

Temperatures will be above average for the week. And I do mean way above average. My January prediction for below normal temperatures this month looks to be in jeopardy, thanks largely in part to the Arctic Oscillation, which stubbornly refuses to dip below the negative line. Typically, a negative AO will favor a colder climate pattern for our region. We just have not had that.

The middle of the month storm that got me excited ended up being the ice storm that hit just west of us. And the January thaw..., well, after the first stretch of brutal cold, we have been in thaw and blowtorch mode ever since.

At this time, I am projecting our region will have widespread above average temperatures for the second consecutive month of this meteorological winter. Snow chances may make a comeback by the last of the month, but right now, I am just not that impressed with the setup for colder air and snow opportunities.

The last Euro model run does show temperatures coming back down to normal or slightly below normal by the 24th. After the 26th, colder air and snow chances will be moving in. But, remember, that is still 10 days out. So far, forecasts are just not panning out. They have all trended warmer.

The AO needs to go negative. The NAO and EPO, two leading indicators are not quite aligning themselves to support snow chances for our region by the 26th.

By this time next week, I should be able to say with some certainty whether or not snow chances could be realized after the 26th. But right now, I would not expect anything more than a few flurries before then.

I am not thinking about February yet. Until I see a change in the overall pattern, a few days of cold will continue to be offset by warmer episodes. Go AO, think negative.

Have a good week.

MS

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ice Storm in Progress

Sunday, 01/14/2017
Ice storm still in progress across central and southern plains. Most reports have come in much less than expected. Still, a lot of traffic issues and some power outages. I would say this storm system for the region was not as crippling as advertised. Generally, I have read reports of 0.1 - 0.3" ice accumulation. Once you reach 0.25", isolated power outages start to occur. However, areas that have prolonged ice accretion, I would expect the weight to negatively impact and overcome some weaker trees, which still yet may lead to additional outages. Temperatures near the freezing mark are making for less slippery travel on main area roadways. Still, elevated surfaces like overpasses and ramps may be subjected to icy conditions.

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From St Louis University...Clock tower
https://www.slu.edu/webcam/clocktower-view.php

More to be added later from Tulsa OK, Wichita KS, and others...some are expecting up to an inch of ice. How sad.

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MS