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Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather Center has officially laid to rest the long term forecast he made in November that called for this winter to be warmer and drier than normal.
Here’s the message he posted on his facebook page:
This winter, moderate La Nina conditions exist in the Pacific as expected. That normally leads to a milder/drier winter in the Southeast. The culprit in our bitterly cold December and January has been in the Atlantic a stubbornly negative N…orth Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A negative NAO is an idicator of “blocking” in the north Atlantic; upstream that typically translates into a trough in the Eastern US allowing cold air to drive deep into the Southeast. Even thought the storms have had relatively little moisture this year (remember how heavy those snows were last year; they were heavier because they contained more liquid), the extreme cold has made for very “efficient” snow storms.
What do we see going forward… Call us stubborn, but we still think the second half of winter will be milder than the first part has been. However, it’s going to take a while to dig out of this “cold hole”, and even if the second half is milder, there’s no way to overcome the depth of cold we have had thus far.