Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Really Began "One Year Ago Today"

One year ago today many awoke to a solid 6 to 8" of fresh snow on the ground after the first of what would be a relentless barrage of winter weather to come.  Despite the heavy snow in mid December, last year we did NOT have a true white Christmas.  By the following weekend highs had soared into the 50s and melted away all the snow and hopes of a white Christmas.  By December 15th of last year an astounding 53% of the United States had snow cover on the ground.

Snow Cover -- December 15th, 2013

This year is a very different scene with no snow cover in the lower Great Lakes.  Only 26.8% of the United States has snow cover on the ground, mainly in the Northeast and mountain West.  
Snow Cover -- December 15th, 2014
Our next chance of snow will come on Saturday, however the actual energy that will drive the evolution of this snow chance is still far off the Pacific West Coast.  As of now, it has the potential to bring a light snow accumulation.  Beyond that, an active Pacific Northwest flow will bring a series of storms into the United States next week likely resulting in an active week leading up to Christmas.

Upper Air -- 500 mb -- forecast map on this Friday morning. 
The map above shows the energy flowing through the atmosphere headed into this upcoming weekend.  The first piece is working to develop our snow chances on Saturday over the Texas panhandle.  Another wave of energy hitting the Pacific Northwest may have a shot at developing a storm over the eastern United States Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day.  Stay tuned for details!