Good Monday evening to everyone,
Tonight we release our 2021-22 Winter Outlook for the Western North Carolina Foothills and Western Piedmont. This a more text-friendly version of the Outlook for those who didn’t watch the premiere on Facebook and Youtube.
With La Nina still firmly in place globally, the pieces are still there for an overall mild winter across the Carolinas but there are some factors that may work to offset the conditions generally seen during a La Nina. We have seen wild shifts in the jet stream this fall season and that could very well continue as well going into the winter…
The primary jet stream configuration expected this winter will be zonal flow (west to east) with airmass origins coming from the Pacific. This will be a fast moving, dry and mild pattern for the Carolinas. Cold air needed for significant winter weather will be bottled up under this configuration.
As much as zonal flow will dominate the weather headlines, we do see a secondary pattern that could be more conducive to colder and more active weather events. Cold air in the Northern Latitudes will be tapped into occasionally as Pacific-North American Ridging tries to set in. This will force the jet stream to amplify at times. Meanwhile some energy will also take the southern route away from the main jet.
This setup has the potential to produce more dynamic weather at times. We have seen a couple split-flow setups so far this fall. One caused a significant upper low to meander through the southeast US bringing significant rainfall.
We think this may happen again at some point in the winter. The exact location in which cold air invades and storm systems evolve is up for grabs. Knowing climatology if the pieces fit just right, we can get winter weather across the Carolinas.
With all the factors at play, here is a look at our Winter Forecast for Temperature, Precipitation and Snowfall…
- We expect a generally mild winter across the Carolinas. It does not mean we won’t see any cold blasts, but those that do form could be short-lived in nature due to the progressive flow.
2, Precipitation should be relatively close to normal. The secondary jet pattern should allow us opportunities to get precip into the region.
3. Snow will be below normal across the Foothills and Western Piedmont. Yes, unfortunately we feel that way at this time. However, it only takes one good synoptic setup to receive a season’s worth of snowfall.
That’s a look at the Winter Preview for 2021-22, when any storm threats appear check in with us at Foothills Action Network for the latest Before, During and After the Storm!