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Monday, December 22, 2014

We need snow in December

Back in 2011 I did a little research into snowless Decembers.  Using POU as they usually have 6 inches in Dec and rarely didn't, I discovered when it doesn't snow in December, it doesn't usually snow close to normal.
As of right now, there is no snow in the long range models for the rest of the month. Using Poughkepsie stats with average being 35-40 inches, here are some other years without snow in December and how they turned out:
2006 - Jan('07) 1.5"; Feb 17.5"; Mar 3.2"
1994 - Jan ('95) 0"; Feb 4"; Mar 0"

And years with under 1.5 inches of snow in Dec:
2004 - Jan(05) 22"; Feb 11"; Mar 16"
1999 - Jan(00) 6.4"; Feb 2.1"; Mar 0"
1998 - Jan (99) 15.9"; Feb 1.5"; Mar 1.9"
1997 - Jan (98) 0"; Feb 13"; Mar 1.6"

Now I only went back to 1993 since that was the most the AccuProsite let me. But with the exception of 2004, if we didn't get snow in December, we ended way below normal snowfall for the year.

The results for 2011-12 winter were by month in POU
Dec: .4
Jan 3.4
Feb  5.5
Mar 0

So that analog held, though there was a positive NAO from 11-16 to 1-12, which is unusual.  The NAO is more typical this year moving in cycles.

The only year out of the 7 years with under 1.5" of snow which was above normal was 2004.  POU had 1.4" of snow that December.  Currently at POU its 1.4"  of snow and +2 for temp.  Three storms after the Christmas Eve storm, all seem to be rain right now.  I'm a little nervous about the calls for a snowier and colder than normal winter. 

After reposting on AW forums, Noreaster, another poster who was following this line of thought did some more research.  Most recently,  "Since records began in 1880, 35 yrs in Pittsburgh had less than 3" of snow in December. Only 3 of those 35 years ended the season with above normal snowfall.  AND  "25 of 65 years, at the CT coast, December had less than 3.5” of snow. Not including this year.. yet. This year we have 0.7". Of those 25 years, 23 of them ended the season at or below normal. Only 1 well above normal (1993-94)Going further, of the 21 that ended up below normal, They all stayed under 2 feet of snow."

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