Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021

So how did last season’s winter outlook verify?

I know it’s late as we usually do this in April, but as you recall, we did have a rather stormy spring so the Winter Weather Summary got set aside.

So how did we do? With only two Snowfall events to speak of (January 6 and January 29), we had a relatively quiet snow season…but what did fall, hit us all at once!

For our outlook, we present six data points on a map of the State, which is representative of geographic regions (Mountains, Foothills, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Coast). Based on climate normal, we broadly sweep the state to show how much above or below normal is, and what that percentage represents in inches.

This is the Outlook we presented in October 2016.

2016 Winter Outlook presented last October

According to the State Climate Office, North Carolina experienced two significant snowfall events during Meteorological Winter (December 1 – February 29).

The most significant of the two events was the January 6-7 winter storm which blanketed much of the state with snow and a wintry mix.

Keeping in mind that the second event added an additional 4-5 inches of snow to the mountain valleys (Asheville) and an additional foot of snow to the higher elevations, the season totals for Western North Carolina fall in line nicely with the NC Weather Happens, LLC Winter Outlook.

In fact, the only area of our outlook that busted was along the southern coastal plain (I-95 corridor).

So how did we do?

Perhaps a category too high in the Piedmont (Greensboro and Raleigh) but still snow totals were much above normal. Complete bust down on the coast (Wilmington) but areas west of I-85 were spot on! We were more impressed with the contours showing specifically where snow would likely occur (but that’s another post).

Comparison of Forecast to Observed Snowfall

The Bottom Line:

Not a bad forecast considering we were coming out of a strong El Nino but we’ll let you decide. This will be an equally challenging season and we are beginning to take note of some early indicators in preparation of the 2017/18 Winter Weather Outlook so stay tuned…


PS: Our blog has been down since March thanks to hackers but we are back in business and will resume normal blog posts.

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