(WYMT) - Multiple cold blasts have already brought a taste of winter to Eastern Kentucky. Most locations in the mountains have seen snowflakes or even a light dusting throughout November. As we head into the winter months, it's time to prepare for another winter. The WYMT Weather team has gathered data and looked at some of the latest trends for months. Before diving into the data, it's important to remember that anything beyond seven days out becomes less accurate.
We faced a mild winter last year. Our temperatures were a little warmer than normal and the snowfall was below average. Our forecast last year seemed to match up really well with what we actually saw. In last years outlook, we mentioned "It is important to note that above average precipitation does not mean a lot of snow for Eastern Kentucky. In fact, above average temperatures will probably mean below average snowfall."
Average Temperature Last Winter: 48°
Snowfall Total Last Winter: 10.4" (Jackson, Kentucky)
As mentioned on air, the pattern this year looks to be opposite of what we experienced last year. If you are a snow lover fan, you have to love the sound of that. While a typical El Niño year would feature more moisture and colder temperatures to the south, I think this year will be slightly different.
Warm ocean waters off the coast of Washington, Canada, Alaska and Oregon should enhance the trough and jet stream towards the end of winter. In return, multiple cold blasts of air are looking more likely for the end of winter. The key to all of this is: When does that happen?
The start of winter actually looks to be on the mild side. I think some smaller rounds of colder air with a low-pressure (storm track) to our north/northwest looks more favorable for the early part of winter.
As mentioned above, a more active pattern looks likely as we head into the months of January and February.
December: We expect above average temperatures and below average precipitation for the first month of winter.
January: We expect below average temperatures and an average amount of precipitation in the mountains for the second month.
February: We expect below average temperatures and an above average amount of precipitation to end winter.
When you look at the snow totals by county, remember that it is from first flake to last flake. That means it already started with the snow we received in November. It will continue until our last snow this season. We think that could easily be March or even April!
As shown in our accumulation map, the higher elevations will likely receive higher snow totals than the rest of the region.
Be sure to stay updated with the latest weather information this winter by downloading the WYMT Weather App on any Android or iOS device.