Last year was really the winter that wasn't. How can we forget, our largest snowfall didn't even occur in the winter months, but right before Halloween.
What made last winter so historic, was the lack of snowfall. In December we had no measurable snowfall. January saw only 2.25" and February, a measly half an inch. In total, the City of Winchester received 2.75", which is only 15 percent of our average seasonal snowfall of 18.7". Which made it the third driest winter on record.
Last year, we had a classic La-Nina set up. Our jet stream, which steers these storms was positioned to the north, essentially closing off the Gulf of Mexico for moisture and trapping the cold air in the upper Midwest. Storms were coming across the U.S. both moisture starved and too warm, which is why we ended up seeing only a few light, mixed precipitation storm events.
This year, the atmospheric set-up is changing. We are transitioning into a weak El-Nino phase. The jet-stream is dipping farther south. Meaning the Gulf will become more available for storms to pick up moisture, and cooler air from Canada will be allowed to dive further south. The bottom line, this winter we have a better chance of seeing significant snowfall compared to last year.
So how much snow are we expecting? For the entire season in the Northern Valley, we are expecting 18" to 24", which would be 25 percent above average. So get the snow blowers ready and shovels out of the basement. It looks like we've got a rather white season ahead.
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