(WJHL)- Winter officially arrives on December 21st but Chief Meteorologist Mark Reynolds is giving us a sneak peek of his 2019-2020 winter outlook forecast.
Last winter, Chief Meteorologist Mark Reynolds forecasted 14-16 inches of snow for the Tri-Cities. The total snowfall at the Tri-Cities Airport was 13.7 inches.
Mark: Making a winter forecast is not easy. Storm Team 11 must look at such things as sea surface temperatures which includes terms such as El Nino and La Nina. This year we are in a neutral phase when it comes to the warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures.
During a neutral phase, this is generally what the weather pattern looks like across the country. We have a strong polar jet which brings cold arctic air into the upper Midwest, the Great Lakes and the northeast.
That part of the country is also where we will see below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall.
Mark: I think we will see a warming trend as we head into early December. The pattern will continue to be very active with above-normal precipitation into December. Don’t be surprised to see a brief cool down with a chance of snow before the Christmas Holiday.
I see a pattern change from early January through early March with a few rounds of extreme cold; however, the worst of the cold will stay to our north.
This pattern will be similar to what we have already seen this fall with temperatures a bit colder.
We could also see that phasing of the jet stream which could bring accumulating snow with the cold air to our area in January or February.
I am forecasting above-normal temperatures into early January with below normal temperatures from the middle of January into February.
Given the jet stream configuration this upcoming winter, don’t be surprised to see a few rounds of severe storms especially across the deep south in December and again in late January and into early March.
I think we will stay wet through early March; however, I am predicting ten to twelve inches of snow for the Tri-Cities with higher amounts across part of southwest Virginia northward into West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
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