A look back at the StormTrack 9 Winter Outlook

Winter 2017-2018 Stats

I do this every year whether the forecast was good or bad! Our annual look back at the StormTrack 9 Winter Outlook compared to what actually happened!

First, here is the original post on the StormTrack9 Blog from November with the StormTrack 9 Winter Outlook

As you can see in the pics above, here are the final stats for Winter 2017-2018 for Chattanooga: (The comparisons to the Winter Outlook and the previous Winter listed as well above)

Average Temperature: 44.4 (+1.9)....Above Average

Total Rainfall: 14.21" (-0.44").......Near Average to Slightly Below

Total Snowfall: 0.8" (-1.8").......Below Average

Compared to our Winter Outlook from November, I was quite pleased with the results. Here is an excerpt from that forecast on the temperature outlook for the season:

"....I think we are heading for a Winter that might still be slightly milder than average, but colder than last Winter. I think the average temperature through March might trend just above normal. This could be the result of back and forth swings in temperature through the season. Milder periods offset by much colder ones. And, those colder periods could be longer in duration and colder compared to last Winter..."

Temperatures were indeed slightly above average this past Winter, but also colder than the previous Winter. The average temperature of this past Winter was 44.4 degrees, much lower than the 48.2 degree average of Winter 2016-2017. We had a very cold start to 2018 with 3 of the first 4 days of January 2018 staying below freezing all day. The lowest temperature for the season was 8 degrees on the morning of January 17th. Most of the Winter was below average for temperatures. What bumped us above average was the very warm second half of February when we had 3 straight days of 80 degree temperatures!

But, overall, I was very pleased with the temperature results compared to the forecast!

As for the rainfall portion of the Winter Outlook, the overall expectation was for Near Normal rainfall. Here is an excerpt from that forecast on the rainfall outlook for the season:

..."Winter rainfall has the potential to be closer to normal. This is based on current model projections and also an average of past similar Winter seasons"...

The total rainfall was 14.21" which was just 0.44" below average. We had a very dry January offset by a very wet February. And, just a tad more compared to the previous Winter. Overall, again, pleased with the outcome compared to the forecast.

Snowfall was again below average for "Chattanooga" at only 0.8". However, folks in north Georgia from Ringgold to Dalton to Chatsworth to Ellijay to Murphy, NC had a whole seasons worth of snow in early December. Snowfall amounts ranged from 2"-6". The majority of the viewing area outside those parts of north Georgia & western North Carolina had another Winter of below average snowfall. Here is an excerpt from the forecast on the snowfall outlook for the season:

..."I’ll keep this year’s outlook at just below normal, but better chances than last year."...

We had some chances, but the folks in north Georgia & western North Carolina mentioned above had the highest amount. Overall, it was again below normal for snowfall. I love snow, so I am happy with the forecast comparison, but sad that we didn't see more.

In summary, I was overall very pleased with how the Winter Outlook compared to the final stats. I do a lot of research through the year preparing these outlooks. Some outlooks have worked out well like this one, but other seasons have not. So, the pressure is on each year! And, in 8 months we'll do this all over again!!!

As always, you can depend on the StormTrack 9 Team!

David Glenn

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