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What if dreams of a “White Christmas” had come true?

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It’s rarely this warm on Easter when we want it to be that way, but this kind of rainy, unseasonably warm, humid weather around Christmas is just plain wrong.

snow_globe
When I was little, I hoped against hope that the guy on TV was dead wrong; the forecast of 55ºF and sunshine would somehow “bust” and we’d have snow by Christmas morning.  (That never happened, by the way.)

Back in 1992, my Mom had enough of the disappointing look in my eyes and made sure I got a white Christmas – even it if was a snow globe that played “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

What if my childhood wish of a busted forecast had happened this year?

The “normal” liquid-to-snow equivalent ratio for the Tennessee Valley is about 8:1 based on climatology. It can be much higher (like last winter when it was so cold), but for simplicity, we’ll use that.

This is how much rain fell between Christmas Eve and Monday, December 28th (unofficial totals):

rainfall_totals_christmas_eve

…and using that 8:1 ratio, we multiply the inches of rainfall by eight and get several decades’ worth of snowfall for the Tennessee Valley.  Huntsville and Muscle Shoals average roughly 2″ of snow per year.  Valley Head averages around 4 inches.

what_if_it_had_snowed

Aren’t you glad it didn’t happen?

gefs_z500a_noram_59

So will it snow in 2016 following the warmest (by a long shot) December on record? I don’t know yet, but I can say it’s looking a whole lot colder later this week and especially after January 10th.

A weather pattern like the one pictured here is much like the winters of ’14 and ’15.  It can send some brutally cold air south, and since we still have the typical storminess of an El Niño winter, well, anything is possible.

Speaking of which, remember the wooly worms? Here’s one that got saved from the flood, and he may be trying to tell us something. The more black, the colder the winter is supposed to be:

We’ll see what happens over the next 30-45 days, but one thing’s for sure – I’m glad it’s finally going to be quiet for a little while.

-Jason
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