Seasonal Outlook Discussion

Many forecasters either have, or will be posting their ideas about the upcoming 2019/20 Winter. We won’t be delivering one for you this season but we thought it would be a good idea to decipher what has been issued already.

Some Available Forecasts:

AccuWeather, Weather Bell Analytics (private content), Brad Panovich (WCNC), and Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post) to name a few, have already shared their outlooks.

One common theme appears to be a milder and wetter winter with comparisons to the 2014 season. So we did some digging and wanted to show you how 2014 panned out for North Carolina. The Winter season (Meteorological Winter) are the months of December, January, and February.


December was really on the warm side with many reporting stations 2-3 degrees above normal for the month. Then in January, we were introduced to a new term “Polar Vortex”. The morning of January 7, the bottom fell out with wide spread single digits and at least 6 record low temperatures being set.

January stayed near normal in temperature, but it seemed every week a shot of precipitation would arrive just as the cold did. on the 15th, 21st, and 28th, snow was reported.

February brought the ice. Central North Carolina had a significant winter storm February 11 – 14. Remember the Valentine’s Day storm? Snow fell along the Coastal Plain with 8-10 inches reported along with areas of 1/4 ice accumulation. Remember that 1/4 inch of ice accumulation is all it takes to bring limbs down and power outages to occur. Ice in the Triad and Triangle areas were hit especially hard with 1/4 inch or more producing widespread power outages.

Keeping with the trend of every week, March produced one of the most significant ice storms since the 2002. Large areas in central NC had more than 1/2 inch ice accumulation. Trees weakened by the previous storm came down in mass. Some folks were without power for weeks!


Again, many of the outlooks coming out now are highlighting a mild and wet winter. Model conditions are in fact very similar to 2014 as we have previously highlighted. The terms “Above/Below Average” are difficult to convey, but when you say it was like 2014, memories flood back. Will this season turn out like 2014? We shall see. Too many heavy hitters are comparing the upcoming season with 2014 for it to not be mentioned. We just wanted you to see how that year performed for North Carolina.


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