We kicked off meteorological winter on December 1st and in my child like brain, it's time to see some snow! I suppose if I lived up north it might get old, but I don't, I love to see falling snow. Some of my best childhood memories involve playing in the snow. We use to block off a road (much to the chagrin of the mailman) with a big snow wall and use it as our sled course. We'd be out for hours and hours, never getting cold and not wanting to stop even if we did. My beagle would be totally covered in snow balls and ice and even he would keep going despite the extra 10 pounds of weight attached to his body.
So yes... I guess I live in the wrong place. I'd be better off in the mountains of NC/TN I suppose, or at least someplace that is more conducive to snowfall. But since that isn't happening anytime soon, I'll have to live my winter life through those that do have snow.
All of this kind of leads to my reason for writing this blog post. No, it's going going to snow any time soon here but there are some changes that appear to be coming that may bring enough cold air to at least place us in a position for the possibility of winter precipitation.
My buddy Robert Gamble at WXSouth.com has this to say about the upcoming pattern change:
"The GFS model brings the westerlies south around week 2 in December but it goes more into a more hardcore Winter mode with strong blocking in the northern Latitudes and strong ridging where there is currently the Alaskan Vortex, beginning in as little as a week. I think this is overdoing things, as far as super strong PNA ridging out west, especially later on, but if it’s right, then Winter will come ushering in quickly just past 10 days for a big chunk of the country. One other thing that could happen as far as the Southeast is concerned, some members of GFS (many in fact) have a Southeast ridge and strong positive tilt trough, which basically is just southwest flow aloft over the Southeast and a strong baroclinic boundary. This would be great news to deliver rain fall, but would keep the coldest air away from the Southeast for a while. But at the same time, extrapolating from GFS still leads me to believe that things at the top of the continent will cause a collapse, in tandem with negative NAO, so we won’t escape a cold pattern much longer, even if it’s delayed thanks to a positive tilt trough. It’s going to be a headache forecasting things beyond 7 days until we actually get into the new pattern".
Right now, the GFS is showing some serious rainfall over the southeast in two weeks, and even though 4-5" might be overdone, it also may be correct. Needless to say, changes are in the works for our weather as we approach the Winter Solstice, which this year occurs on Friday, December 21st at 6:12 am.
And if you're wondering where the cold air is, here are a few temps from yesterday morning from Alaska:
Chicken Co-op: -52F
Tok CWOP: -50F
Dawson, YT: -46F
Eagle Co-op: -44F
Coal Creek RAWS: -42F
The low of -30F through 9am at the Fairbanks Airport is the lowest of the season thus far. Again, I have a page with about 8 different weather stations from Canada and Alaska. 7 of these stations also have a webcam, so you can virtually travel to some of the coldest places in the northern hemisphere from the warm comfort of your living room. And while you're traveling to these remote places, please visit the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire. It's actually a pretty balmy 27ºF right now, but in a few days it will all change. I've added images from 4 of their webcams so you can see what it's like (although the snow and clouds make it difficult to see much of anything right now).
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