The Winter 2016-2017 Stats
Spring began Monday. And, as we do each and every year, we take a look back at the local Winter stats and compare it to our annual Winter Outlook.
(IMAGE GALLERY ABOVE: #1. FINAL WINTER STATS FOR 2016-2017........#2. THE WINTER OUTLOOK FROM NOVEMBER.......#3. THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE LATE TUESDAY)
ANOTHER WARM ONE
You really don't need me to tell you this. It was the second warm Winter in a row for the Tennessee Valley. The average temperature was 48.2 degrees which was 5.7 degrees ABOVE average. Compared to my Winter Outlook in November my projection was for temperatures near average. Well, that did not work out very well at all. The more persistent ridge of high pressure anchored off the Southeast coast kept us and most of the Southeast much warmer than average, Some colder periods did appear in early January and again in March. But, most of the season was dominated by the warm air.
Over the past 5 Winters, three have been above average (2013, 2016 & 2017). While 2 Winters were below average (2014 & 2015). So, we had two back to back cold Winters followed by two back to back warm Winters. Kind of a balance of the past 4 Winters.
RAINFALL BACK ON TRACK
After exceptionally dry weather last Summer and Fall, rainfall was back on track this past Winter. We still ended up about an inch below average, but it was closer to "normal" than we had been since last Winter. The total for December through February at Lovell Field was 13.58". Our Winter Outlook for November projected rainfall that was closer to normal. And, this is the only category that worked well in the Winter Outlook.
This was the second straight Winter with much below average snowfall. This was well below our Winter Outlook projecting a near normal snowfall season. Now, we only average a very low 3.9" anyway. But, with that said, our snowfall the past two Winters has been extremely light and not too problematic. The snowiest period was late in the first week of January with just under 1/2" at Lovell Field. Some other spots around Cleveland for example received over an 1" during the light snowfall. And, in mid March that was the only other "snowy" period with some light snowfalls.
Even though snow has been very, very light the past 2 Winters, the 5 year average is still close to normal. How? Well take a look. The total snowfall for the past 5 Winters was 19". We had much above normal snowfall during the back to back Winters of 2014 & 2015. So, that 19" total over the past 5 Winters equals to an average total of 3.9". And, that total is exactly our yearly average.
So, while the rainfall category worked well, the other categories not good at all. But, I'll do this again next November. Each season is a challenge and I will not shy away from that. I enjoy the research and am very hopeful that next Winter's forecast could be even better!
SOME SPRING STORMS TUESDAY
Spring means not only warm temperatures, but thunderstorms as well. There remains a "Slight Risk" of severe storms locally for later Tuesday and Tuesday Evening. This means that while the overall risk of severe storms remains low, a few storms could have some strong wind gusts and hail, especially during the evening.
As always, you can depend on the StormTrack 9 Team to keep you updated as showers and storms move in ahead of a cold front. Much cooler air returns for Wednesday and Thursday with 60s for highs Wednesday and only upper 50s for highs Thursday. Again, it's still March, so the up and down pattern of temperatures should continue.