Above average temperatures probable this winter


File photo

Soon we’ll all be jumping into winter

Dec. 1 was the official start of meteorological winter – astronomical winter begins in about 3 weeks.

Meteorological Fall 2021 is in the books and what was the verdict? It was warmer than normal and just about average in terms of precipitation during the autumn season in New Hampshire.

The warmer temperatures were predicted by the climate models. The precipitation was leaning a little on the wetter side but it appears November ultimately tipped the scales back to just below average. September was above average (by about 0.50 inches) and October was just about average and November was below average.

The average temperature in November was 1.5 degrees above average (thanks to a few days where we basked in the 70’s!) while precipitation was almost 2 inches below average.

Most of this deficit in precipitation was due to a lack of snowfall. Concord only saw 0.4 inches compared to the average of 2.5 inches that is normally expected during this month. Concord is where the climate records are measured and kept for the entire state.

So will this warm and dry trend persist over the next month? The entire winter? Well I have gazed into my crystal ball and it’s a tale that will be a relief for some and a tragedy for others.

December 2021 actually looks like it may resemble a normal December! Or at least the first half of it…. with average/slightly below average temperatures and increased precipitation chances.

Next Wednesday/Thursday, Dec. 8/9, looks like maybe our first state-wide snow event! Time will tell if this actually materializes but the possibility is certainly there right now…

But then a shift in the pattern – a warming shift I’m sorry to say. Here’s the true outlook for Winter 2022.

National Weather Service

It’s almost a carbon copy of Fall 2021. New Hampshire looks to experience a 50-60% chance of above average temperatures (likely above average). That’s a pretty high probability.

And “equal chances” of precipitation where there may be periods of increased moisture and periods of extended dry conditions – just like during the fall season.

Now, will there be snow storms? Absolutely. Will there be times when the temperatures are frigid and bitingly cold? Yes. It just doesn’t appear that these conditions (at this time) will be the widespread normal conditions.

There are quite a few atmospheric circulation features (the jet stream, large-scale pressure system and La Nina) that are responsible for this pattern we are in. It looks like some major shifts would be needed to get us back to a normal winter.

National Weather Service

It could happen but now that winter is upon us and the models are locking in on this warmer, dryer pattern…this warm/dry winter pattern is becoming more of a reality than just a mere prediction at this point.

I know this flies in the face of the winter forecast of the Farmer’s Almanac and that is why I lovely referred to it as a prophetic book of lies.

The Almanac appears to have put all its chips in on a pattern change that looks unlikely to occur. That is a risky move in a highly variable field of science.

That is also the hazard of making a weather forecast months in advance.