WSAZ | West Virginia, Kentucky, & Ohio | Weather

Friday Storm Looks Wet Not White

Don’t Give Up the Snow Ship

This e-mail comes from a disgruntled snow lover.

Just wanted to let you know that I have decided to declare the winter of 2007/2008 dead,it may linger a few more days and produce a passing flurry or even a moisture starved clipper with one of those massive inch or less snow's, but this winter's days are numbered big time. It never was a healthy winter, sickly from the beginning. Overall it's temps didn't seem to be too much above normal as opposed to some of our recent winters. But where this winter was especially weak and sick was the snowfall department. It simply followed the same pattern of it's 10 predecessors. It seems to me that long suffering tri-state snow lovers must realize. That climate change has altered our area's weather. Snowfalls of over 4 inches at one time from one storm will be EXTREMELY RARE, possibly even non-existent. As eveidenced by the past 12 years. Please don't take offense to this mail, I am not blaming the messenger. I know you are an optimist when it comes to snow. But there comes a time when you must face the facts and reality of the situation. On earth things come and go, the dinosaurs and......snowstorms in the tri-state, one already extinct.....the other one nearing extinction..............Take care and have a good day..........DrJ

Now for my response

I am working on a story for Friday First at Five at how stormy the weather is across the Northern Hemisphere. From record breaking snowstorms in China, to brutal cold in Russia to a rare snow in Jerusalem and along the Dead Sea, January has been wild in Eurasia.

In addition, the storm pattern across the USA has been nothing short of wild. In a year when the weather in Southern California is supposed to revert to drought (LA NINA), January brought severe flooding with mud and rockslides in Hollywood and even San Diego. The western snow pack is the best in years thanks to a barrage of blinding storms.

In the Midwest, the December ice storms are long gone, but snowstorms have made travel difficult several times from Kansas City to Chicago. Talk to folks in the Twin Cities and you will hear tales of the great winters of yesteryear when comparing this winter’s action.

In our region, our snowfalls have been quite efficient is producing snow days. I have shoveled 8” in Barboursville where kids have enjoyed 3 snow days already. Not too shabby!

The next storm warming up in the bullpen will bury the region from St Louis to Indy to Mo-Town (yes Chicago too) with 6”-10” of snow by noon Friday. On our turf, a soaking rain with gusty winds is in the cards with an hour of melting sleet possible at the onset.

The reason for the latest “snow miss” is the path of the storm center. When a storm tracks to our west, we stay on the “warmer” side and moist Gulf air is drawn into Appalachia. This promotes a spike in temperature which assures rain not snow.

By here’s the punch line. Across the hemisphere, I rate the storm pattern as an 8 on a 1 to 10 scale. That means there is an unusual amount of energy in the jet stream (high altitude wind currents at jet airplane level) which will likely translate to several big storms in the next month here at home.

So a rise to near flood stage on the Ohio, an ice storm and yes a deep snowstorm (6”-10”) would be my long range forecast before the vernal equinox.

As mortally wounded Captain James Lawrence of the U.S.S. Chesapeake implored his sailors in June of 1813 during a battle with the British frigate H.M.S. Shannon, “tell the men to fire faster and don’t give up the SNOW ship”. I know I haven’t !


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