Sunday Story: Weather patterns to foretell the winter weather

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Today is looking really good! Be sure and get outside! In fact, this whole week isn’t looking half bad, especially considering what we can have this time of year! Our best chance of rain will hold off until the end of the week.

And now for your Sunday Story! This week we’re looking at weather patterns of the past for clues to our winter forecast. I hope you enjoy!

Do patterns of the past offer a clue to the future?

Sometimes weather folklore lets us down. Woolly worms, hornet’s nest, and acorn crops have likely led you to prepare for harsh winters. In the end, you would have been well served to have prepared for a benign winter. 

Paying attention to weather patterns could offer more clues than folklore.

 For instance, a jet stream that dips and rises causes some to be cold and others to be warm. The jet stream helps bring down cold air from Canada. A dip in the jetstream over the eastern US often means there is a rise in the jetstream over the western US. When it’s cold in the east, it’s warm in the west. 

 Pacific storms sweeping across the ocean are often what kick pattern changes into gear. For instance, if it’s cold out west and warm in the east, you can bet that a big Pacific storm will be enough to reverse the pattern. 

 After many of us saw snow flurries on Halloween, I decided to go back and see what this pattern might hold in store for us this winter. There have been at least two other times when we’ve seen snowflakes on Halloween, once in 1993 and the other in 2014. 

 Interestingly, both the 2014 and 1993 Halloween snows were followed by very rough Februarys. In fact, one of the worst ice storms the plateau has ever seen occurred in February of 2015. February of 1994 brought an ice storm that was one of the worst Middle Tennessee has ever seen.

 Now, I’m not saying that February will be terrible, but it will be interesting to see what happens this winter season with this pattern. We’ve now seen three winters in a row without a winter storm on the plateau. Perhaps this is the winter that streak comes to an end.


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