Tuesday, January 5, 2016

El Niño Roars On -- Record Winter Warmth

I know you felt it, and I don't think anyone was complaining...nearly all time record warmth this past December.  The month was the second warmest December on record with an amazing 30/31 days at or above average!  Equally as impressive, the month ended with no measurable snow (Trace).  No measurable snow has only happened 3 other times in recorded history.  Ironically, the last time was December of 2014.  That makes back to back months of December with no measurable snow!  
December of 2015
The El Niño warmth lit a torch to an exceptionally warm start to winter, still without any measurable snow in sight until next week.  El Niño marches on, and by many measures is the strongest El Niño on record.  Overall mild winter conditions will persist much of the winter. However -- as with any winter -- bouts of cold and possibly snow will happen. 

El Niño 1997-1998 to 2015-2016 comparison
Next week will be one such week.  A blast of Arctic air will arrive, potentially bring what could be the coldest week winter has to offer this year.  It's January after all!

~Meteorologist Chris Vickers