RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s time for my 39ththousand the annual Winter Outlook for Central Virginia.
Secretly hidden for a few days – had to remember where I hid it from everyone – it’s time to reveal how I predict the winter will develop for us.
We’ll stay away from the huge technical talk you see everywhere on the internet and focus on the factors that matter to you.
First, it’s ours the thirdis correct the third a consistent winter with a cool La Niña ocean current off the west coast of Peru. A World War I-era adage held that “three to a match” meant bad luck — and that’s likely to be the case this year for snow lovers.
In a year like this — and like the past two — the Jet Stream has dipped significantly into the middle of the country. This does not bode well for snow in the area, in fact, ice could loom as a problem what we saw in 2021.
When the time is right, we will indeed have snow. It’s just that the chances will be limited.
Unlike the last two years, when November and December saw a “long fall” and significant warmth, this year we’ve seen an early cold snap. It’s reminiscent of 1988 and 1989, when the winter was intense and pretty much over by New Year’s. Our friends in Buffalo had a lot of this cold last weekend with 80 inches of snow!
If you look at weather patterns, they often form a 6-10 week cycle. If that’s true, we’re in for a reversal sometime early next year. That would turn on nature’s furnace for us. On the other hand, it could lead to a quick start to spring in March.
Now I warn you there is a wildcard in all of this. So massive a volcanic eruption in Tonga earlier this year? Well, it dumped moisture into the stratosphere – some of which ended up in the Northern Hemisphere. This moisture is mine potential to make things a little wild out there, which in turn could make things unpredictable – maybe even causing a polar vortex like eight years ago.
Well, the essence of it all looks like this:
- The average temperature will be 0.4°F above normal — and yes, it will be cold at times.
- Snow will range from 7.5 inches to 9 inches, but we need at least one decent storm!
- Since December can be cool for a while, we have about a 13% chance of a “White Christmas.”
- I am concerned about the severe weather outbreaks starting in February.
We just have to wait and see how it goes.