What Happened to our "Warm" Winter?

What happened to our “Mild” winter?
Wed 17 January / 9:45 pm

The official NOAA forecast for this winter, which most meteorologists including me agreed with, was for fairly “warm and dry” across the southern U.S., while the Great Lakes and the Northeast would be cold and snowy. What happened?

In truth, nothing drastic; the pattern just amplified more than expected. So, while the Great Lakes and New York State have been snowy and cold as predicted, the stronger north-south circulation pushed the colder air masses deeper into the Gulf...hence the difference.

That’s why Houston was paralyzed by ice on the morning of January 17 and why ice and snow plagued the south on New Year’s. But, it’s also been cold and snowy for weeks in Grand Rapids, Buffalo, and lots of other northern cities as expected.

And, the western U.S. has been quite mild, also as expected. California’s rainy season always occurs in Jan-Feb, so we can’t really pin that on any kind of forecast success or failure.

Here’s a heads up, though: we’re not done with winter yet. We’re moving into a milder pattern in the days ahead, but if you’re hoping for snow there’s still a respectable chance we may see some before spring arrives…especially with the pattern a bit more “turbo-charged” than expected.

Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist
News 12 / KXII-TV