Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow ... it was a long time coming

Heavy snow was falling Friday afternoon in the typical lake-effect areas, where northwest and west winds were delivering a steady flow of cold, unstable air.

That included North Carolina's mountains, where Beech Mountain picked up 3 to 5 inches since around daybreak. At midday, there were numerous reports of 1 to 3 inches on the ground in the high country, and that's certainly good news to the ski resort operators.

It's also enough to bring a smile to those who were looking for a White Christmas in the mountains.

It also was snowing hard in the places where northwest flow typically does its thing -- near Buffalo; east of Cleveland, on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan; in the Pennsylvania and West Virginia mountains; and, of course, in upstate New York south of Lake Ontario.

That comes on the heels of the heavy snow that fell late Wednesday and Thursday across Iowa, Wisconsin and parts of northwest Illinois.

I saw some amazing numbers, that tell a lot more about last winter than this season.

Last winter, of course, was among the mildest on record in much of the eastern United States. Charlotte's total snowfall was a trace, and it all fell in a one-hour period -- in the form of sleet -- on a Sunday evening in February.

It was the same story in the Great Lakes, the Midwest, and on the East Coast.  And the early part of this year has continued the trend.  It was colder than average in November, but little or no snow fell.

So when snow finally came down Thursday in Chicago, it marked the time in 290 days that the white stuff fell in the Windy City. Cleveland got snow Friday -- also the first time in 290 days.

Those are among the longest periods in history without snow.

Long-range trends point toward colder-than-average temperatures in January, so I think we can expect that snowfall will come with much more frequency now.


Anonymous said...

Had some flurries up in Greensboro today. Looked out my office window and noticed a few flakes blowing around in the breeze :)

Anonymous said...

Several of us went out for a holiday brunch today in Cornelius and saw flakes flying in the wind on the way back!

Anonymous said...

We saw flurries in Northwest Charlotte a little while ago.