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Monday, December 4, 2023
Dec. 4, 2023

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Weather Eye: White Christmas unlikely, and other winter predictions

By , Columbian freelance columnist

When will the north wind blow? When will we have snow? When will you tell me what I want to know? So right now, my friends, here we go. My prediction for this winter is for the three-month period of December, January and February.

The average mean temperature will be above normal by 2 or 3 degrees. However, it will be tempered by colder-than-average weather in December. December will be the coldest month with a couple modified arctic air outbreaks possible. The month will offer low snow levels, and this will be our best chance for lowland snow of the winter months.

Precipitation amounts for the three-month period will continue our yearlong trend of below-average precipitation. The month of November got off to a great start, yes, but rainfall amounts have dried up with each passing storm. What looked like a wet month is now expected to end up about average with 5.5 inches of rain. We are at 4.11 inches currently. We generally receive lower precipitation amounts in an El Nino winter, as we are in now.

Dec. 1-15 will be rather gray and cool/cold with only light precipitation of rain or snow and periods of fog. Things will pick up Dec. 16-31 with occasional storminess, snow in the mountains, and some low snow levels between Dec. 17 and 21. There will be no white Christmas this year locally, but a couple cold waves will threaten us by midmonth and beyond.

January will have above-average temperatures and less rainfall than normal. Expect days of inversions with stagnant skies, fog and some cool daytime temperatures. February will continue the trend and be mostly uneventful. I think we will see a pattern of only occasional storminess followed by periods of quiet weather. Will this all pan out? Only time will tell.

One last note, according to the federal government, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows Clark County in an abnormally dry status bordering on a moderate drought in areas around us.

I know we had a couple of atmospheric rivers and heavy rain. However, according to officials, they take into account depth of soil dryness, humidities, the extended period of below-average rainfall, evaporation rates and the continued warm weather.

Check it out at https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap.aspx.

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Columbian freelance columnist