The weather has been unseasonably warm this year in late summer and early fall. Corey Davis, Applied Climatologist with the NC State Climate Office explains why:
“In some ways we may be seeing our La Nina pattern settling in for the winter. Usually during La Nina winters we tend to have more ridging across the southeast, and then the storm tracks tend to up over the Tennessee and Ohio valleys so most of the precipitation stays to our north.
“Really, that’s what we’ve seen. We’ve had high pressure generally to our south, and to our south and east that’s kept us pretty warm. We haven’t seen a whole lot of precipitation, which is evident when you look at the drought conditions. We are seeing more moderate drought now across the Piedmont, with abnormally dry conditions across a good chunk of the Coastal Plain, as well.”
With all this set up as it is, does that mean that we’ll have less frozen precipitation this winter?
“That’s a good question, we’ve been looking closely at what potential winter conditions could be here. This looks like it could be a weak La Nina year, here, Even though this is a weak La Nina year, we still tend to expect to those La Nina impacts, mainly dryer and warmer conditions. But, that doesn’t mean that we’ll see dry, warm weather the whole winter. In fact, some of the past years that are fairly similar to this one had some fairly decent cold snow events during the winter, but we expect those wont’ be quite as common as we’ve seen in other years, recently. We expect to have some chances at that, but most of the past years that have been in weak La Nina events, haven’t been snowier than normal, in general we’ve had more light event. That’s sort of what we’re expecting again, we don’t necessarily expect to see any major events. The events we see will generally be light.”
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