So much for winter this year, but do we still have a chance to see it?
Most people are loving the warm temperatures this week. Especially the outdoor lovers and the golfers, that is unless you like winter sports. It does have it's advantages and disadvantages. Many people are saving on their heating bills and getting outside more. But some industries are suffering with the lack of cold.
So where is the cold? Well Alaska hasn't been spared this year, they are currently seeing above average snowfall, and in some places we are talking 10 FEET above average! Europe is also currently sitting in a deep freeze while much of the US including Virginia, is enjoying temperatures 20+ degrees above normal.
We've talked before about La Nina, and it's strong influence over the US this year. Looking at the latest outlook on La Nina the Climate Prediction center is still expecting the strong La Nina conditions at least through March before it starts weakening though mid spring. Looking at the 3-month temperature outlook we also fall into the above average sector.
However, it's the Arctic Oscillation which we've briefly mentioned which could be to blame for the warmth. It's another weather pattern but the Arctic Osc (we'll call it) in a positive phase, keeps the bitter cold temps well, in the Arctic. Giving plenty of warmth to the US. And in the negative phase it's the opposite, allowing those colder temps to flow southward.
The Arctic Osc has been positive December through mid-Jan but has recently gone negative. However that cold has spilled into Europe and has yet to make itself present in the US.
Looking at some long range models, it looks like some Canadian high pressure returns next week bringing some colder temperatures. Let's remember the Valley has also seen some pretty predominant snow storms not just in February but in March also. So don't think it's over just yet.
Today was also Groundhog day, and he did see his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter!