ROANOKE, VA (WDBJ7) - A little under a month ago we received record snowfall totals prompting many into expecting a long winter ahead. Well, as Mother Nature has it, we’ve gotten off to very mild start to winter and that looks to continue through at least the next week.
Amazingly since the snow melted in Roanoke, temperatures have been above average for all but a couple of days in December. The calendar has now turned to January so it’s a fair question to ask where the cold air is. After all, last year at this point we had record setting cold temps!
The reason our weather has been so mild has a lot to do with where the jet streams have been located. A stubborn southern jet stream has remained fairly idle over recent weeks which has not only brought us warmer southerly winds, but also plenty of rain. Meanwhile, the polar jet stream has remained to the north trapping the colder Arctic air primarily north of the border along the east coast.
You may be wondering if this all changes our outlook on the winter forecast which was fairly optimistic on an above average snow season.
Long-term models have signaled colder air returning to the eastern US by the second half of this month. This gives us confidence that given the active weather pattern, we’ll be getting plenty more opportunities for snow. Remember it’s only the beginning of January!
Given the lack of cold air, the next week looks to be fairly mild. Something to be excited about is a mostly dry forecast for once. In fact, we could see our first dry week since last July! Enjoy this weather while it lasts!