2012-13 winter as mild as 2011-12 so far - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

2012-13 winter as mild as 2011-12 so far

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While winter isn't officially half over, Meteorological winter is entering the second half. Meteorological winter starts December 1st and ends on February 28th. This is the period when most of the winter weather strikes northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Normally by the middle of January, 16" of snow has already fallen on average. So far this year only 7" has fallen at the Toledo airport or 44% of the average. The results were almost identical last season when 6.4" had fallen up to this point or just 40% of the average. Temperatures have been a staggering 5.3 degrees above normal since December 1st. Strangely enough temperatures were also 5.3 degrees above normal from December 1st 2011 to January 15th 2012. While this winter is on pace to end as very mild with little snowfall, the long range forecasts suggests otherwise.

Up to this point if you were to grade Old Man Winter, we would probably give him a D. While we did have a few days of snow and cold, most of the winter season, Old Man Winter has been a no show. However act 2 is starting off with a potent arctic front not to far away. The shift in the weather pattern will drive temperatures to their coldest level in at least 2 years by the weekend. While this cold will be reinforced by another arctic front next Monday and Tuesday. The cold air won't have much time to retreat before another surge of cold air returns by late month. At this point their are not any big snowstorms in the forecast. However, cold air is a key ingredient to snow and that has been missing for parts of this winter. A lot of the big snowstorms that do occur in the Midwest and Northeast occur after an arctic blast tries to slowly retreat. This will be occurring by late next week and a lot of February looks cold with at least average precipitation at this point. All of this adds up to a rough second half of winter that will likely bring below normal temperatures and above normal snowfall. At the end of the winter, the temperatures, precipitation, and snowfall may be near normal...but to get to that point we will have to go through some harsh winter weather.

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