This year everyone witnessed something historic weather and climate wise. We experienced the strongest el-Nino on record. There was only one other time that an el-nino was similar in strength. This winter shows why you just cannot go with the status quo’ of “Oh its an el-nino year that means cold and snow”. Rather it supported the argument that you have to consider all factors involved. While it was definitely wetter than average especially in the eastern half of the Nation that did not always translate into snow. Something that we mentioned in our winter outlook this year is that there would be more rain than snow.
People probably look at that and say “Ah ha! but what about the blizzard of 2016” well yes that did happen . . . ONCE. The rest of the winter you saw most in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast experiencing slop storms, or rain all together. So without further or do, let us review this past winter.
December: Is winter coming or did it Just get replaced by spring?
December in the eastern half of the United states seemed more like an extended fall or a mid-spring, as temperatures were well above average for the majority of the month. Actually that was an understatement temperatures were in record territory through most of the eastern half of the united states. In fact several cities in the eastern half of the nation did not even record any snow. (Cities that usually have had 6″+ by that point in time) However it was much wetter than average. That part did not waiver at all, especially in the eastern half of the nation. Where 19 states were well above average, 32 were at least above average and 2 were in record territory in the eastern half of the nation. Once again it feed the mantra of strong el nino’s they are typically warm and wet, not cold and white.
January: Winter comes With a Bang, But then disappears…
Let me clarify this statement by saying, by no stretch of the imagination was January bitter cold, or extremely wet. However this month winter showed up more than it would for the remainder of the winter. Temperatures as you can see bellow were slightly bellow average in the southeast and in the west to the mid-west there were above average temperatures. While no where close to what we saw in December temperature wise it was still was not cold by January standards. Precipitation wise it was not all the wet either except of the normal el-nino areas (the pacific southwest and in Florida). More-so than anything else this month will be remembered by the historic blizzard of 2016.
See the pattern?
February: Winter comes but its more slop…
Here is where we see winter really take more of a flip flop temperature wise the warm air that was dominant in the east in December has really shifted to the pacific northwest. There are average temperatures for the most part in the east and southeast. However the precipitation really shifted into high gear, slop storms were a usual early and often. However as the month wore on the storm track shifted west with weaker storms along the way. As a result there was more rain than snow. Something that we mentioned in our winter outlook. Our temperature outlook was wrong. However our snowfall outlook was right, that there will be more rain than snow for the most part. however that it will be wetter than average in the east.