Winter is well on its way, but it has not really felt like it. Yes we have had cold bursts from time to time. I went digging through our weather records because I was curious as to how many days we have either been at freezing or below for a daytime high.
Back in December 2017, we had 4 days either at freezing or below for a daytime high. That increased to 5 days in January 2018 through the 21st. Using December and January the following year, 2018-2019, we only had a total of 6 days. In 2019 to 2020, that dropped to 3. This brings us to this winter season. We have only had 1 day where the temps has been below freezing.
This winter we have been under the influence of La Nina, or the cooling of the ocean waters off the coast of Peru. This has enabled us to have to mild days rather than being stuck in the wintry chill.
Right now, we have a weather pattern change taking place. A low pressure system is digging into the California Coast. This will set off a chain reaction with the jet stream, or the fast movement of air higher up in the atmosphere that steers storms.
Unfortunately, we are not in the position for these storms to gel over our region which is only making our drought worse. I saw a comparison the other day showing similarities between this winter and the winter going into the summer of 2012 which we know as being bone dry. Corn crops suffered that year I remember from my days in Kansas City.
Spring rains can make up for our losses over winter. Let’s hope the weather pattern changes in our favor. That said, La Nina years have been known to liven up tornadic weather. And La Nina is expected to continue.
–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman