Winter so far, and a peak ahead 

Posted: 11:41 am Thursday, February 1st, 2018

By Kirk Mellish

Below normal temperatures and drier than normal have been the main trends of the first two months of winter, in fact that basically holds for the past 3 months or more.


Despite below normal precipitation snowfall is normal or above-average in many areas, since it always come down to perfect timing, which is usually rare in these parts, but not this season.


Drier than normal is a typical La Nina feature in the Southeast November through January:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 11.04.18 AM

However, in a typical La Nina winter temperatures average out near-normal:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 11.06.29 AM

But this year extra jet stream amplifications from the low solar cycle, a negative QBO and a robust West Pacific MJO have allowed for more polar plunges than the La Nina mean would produce.

Much of the country continues to be dry, the highest coverage of at least abnormally dry since 2/13 at 68%:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.55.17 AM

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.55.51 AM

In Georgia drought classification falls on almost 5 million residents:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 10.56.32 AM

Needed rainfall is expected the next 10 days, while 10-day temperatures will continue to see-saw:


Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 11.42.23 AM

The European model output suggest drier conditions on average the next 6 weeks, with cooler than normal on average (not every day or every week):


No snow or ice is expected in the Atlanta area for at least the next 10 days. Beyond that though the all clear from old man winter definitely can not be given until next month if then, especially given a variety of signals from both model and non-model techniques.

For historical perspective:

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 4.01.17 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 4.01.36 PM

Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.