(WOWK). — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released the annual winter outlook for the months of December through the end of February on Thursday.
La Nina is once again the driving factor in the overall winter outlook.
The big takeaways for the WOWK-TV viewing area are that there aren’t any massive shifts or noted major risks involved in the outlook for this region.
The precipitation outlook shows the Ohio River Valley area with a 33 to 40 % chance of above normal precipitation. Note, that does not speak to the amount or type of precipitation. There could simply be more rain at times than snow.
However, this pattern has already shown up even in recent days with areas of low pressure across the upper Great Lakes, spinning light precipitation (rain and snow) from the northwest into the viewing area.
The StormTracker 13 meteorologists believe Nature has already “tipped its hand” with this current pattern. There can still be big temperature shifts like the one to come at the end of this week when things warm up, but the bubbles of cold air and low pressure will likely continue to set up and linger over those areas, sending cold waves into this region every so often.
The temperature outlook doesn’t look very extreme in the region either. There are equal chances of being warmer or cooler than normal over the area with a slight lean toward a higher chance of above normal temperatures in the eastern parts of West Virginia.
So what is the normal snowfall in the WOWK-TV area?
- Huntington mean snowfall 1999-2000 through today: 17.6 inches
- Charleston mean snowfall 1999-2000 through today: 25.4 inches
- Huntington’s largest amount of snow since 1999-2000 on record: 40″ in 2009-2010
- Charleston’s largest amount of snow since 1999-2000 on record: 61.3″ in 2009-2010
- Huntington’s lowest amount of snow since 1999-2000 on record: 3.7″ in 2006-2007
- Charleston’s lowest amount of snow since 1999-2000 on record: 7.5″ in 2016-2017
For snow lovers, if the Ohio River Valley does see a bit more precipitation than normal, there is a chance some of that could be in the form of snow and there is a chance it will be higher than normal. People generally east of Huntington could see about the normal amount of snow just by applying the normals and adjusting based on the projection maps. Of course this is just a general idea based mainly on models.
Interestingly, just because the higher terrain of West Virginia shows up with a better chance of higher than normal temperatures does not mean the area won’t see snow. In fact, due to the fact the area sits higher in cooler air to begin with, there is always the chance that “warmer temperatures” can produce more snow in mountainous regions based on the right conditions for the formation of larger snow flakes.
Each winter storm should be taken on a case-by-case basis in terms of preparation. One way to be ahead of the storms is to get the StormTracker 13 weather app. It’s free and you can download it by clicking on the link provided directly below.