Last night’s first frost of the season got me to thinking about cold weather.
Two years ago we had one of the hardest, longest, coldest winters on record. Last year we had one of the easiest, shortest, warmest winters. So what will this winter bring to all those school children praying for snow days this year?
Of course, it’s difficult to make predictions with any accuracy more than a day or two in advance, but that doesn’t stop meteorologists from trying or us from reporting. Come back to this article next spring and let us know how accurate we were:
AccuWeather is predicting a below-normal number of snow days this year for residents of Kansas and Missouri.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting much colder weather for our area and enough snowfall and other precipitation that it could end our drought.
And Scientific American is really hedging its bets with the following forecast: “Winter weather is more likely to be seriously cold or strangely warm, and less likely than ever to be ‘normal’.” Actually, they are not waffling but offering a scientific explanation about how increased melting in the Arctic is fundamentally changing the jet stream. As a consequence, they predict that change will lead to more extreme winters in the Northern Hemisphere, either locking us in an Arctic deep freeze or bringing tropical temperatures our way.
In other words, this winter could be very warm or very cold but probably will not be whatever we used to think of as normal.
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