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Well, we made it through another year and we are looking toward a brand new one. What a wild one 2011 was! Many records were smashed with the weather we saw nationwide last year. Here's hoping that 2012 treats you well, and will be a good year of improvement for our nation.
I really don't have many changes to make to the winter forecast I put out back in late November. Things are still working out pretty well. I expected it to stay somewhat mild through most of December with little snow (we ended up with only a trace), and then get colder as we got into the Christmas and beyond timeframe. The cold air showed up about a week later than I expected...but it did show up. As we head into January now it will finally feel like winter. Sub-freezing air will be more common now in the new few weeks and along with that maybe we can finally put some snow on the ground. Keep your fingers crossed. Last year we had already seen more than 10 inches of snow and brutal cold!
I still think we could see a mild spell in February, and beyond that is anyone's guess. If I had to take a stab at it though, I would not be surprised to see March turn into a wild month with possible cold snaps and snow. As you have heard, 2011 finished up as our wettest year ever recorded! I recorded over 71 inches of rainfall here in Lawrenceburg, and that data is missing a couple of weeks in August following a lightning strike that took out my weather station. It was also somewhat mild for most of the year. I am a firm believer that nature keeps a balance and I just can't imagine that the overall mild pattern will continue for much longer. At some point we're going to see some cold months to even things out and I think that January is clearly pointing toward more cold than we've seen so far. March has brought some of our big snowstorms of the past, so we can't call winter over with if we see some warm days in February as I'm expecting. Keep that in mind... winter here isn't gone until April! A lot of the climatological teleconnections that we look at to try and forecast seasonal weather are pointing toward a flop in the pattern we've been stuck in recently as well.
In the near term, there is a shot at some flurries or possibly light snow showers mostly along and east of I-75 on Monday and maybe into Tuesday. No accumulation should occur here, but eastern Kentucky could see an inch or two. After that we see temperatures modify by next weekend and it should be nice here Friday and Saturday. Another cold snap should move in toward the middle of the month. I can already see another trough trying to dig in on the upper air charts from the GFS model. No snow storms are on the radar, but a few chances at light snow will occur in the next two weeks. Winter is being slow to arrive but at least it's getting there.
If the prospects of cold and snow increasing doesn't make you happy...here is something that might; every day from now until June will feature more hours of daylight! Doesn't that make you happy?