Worthington's winter a tad warmer than normal thus farWORTHINGTON — Despite the chilly temperatures of the past few days, this winter is proving to be slightly warmer than average, according to the National Weather Service.
By: Brianna Darling, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Despite the chilly temperatures of the past few days, this winter is proving to be slightly warmer than average, according to the National Weather Service.
“Right now we’re running just a little bit above normal,” said Kyle Weisser, a meteorologist out of the Sioux Falls, S.D., National Weather Service office. “It has been cold lately, but overall, it’s been slightly above normal.”
Since 1949, the average snowfall for July through the end of December has been around 13 inches. Worthington received 13.4 inches of snow by the end of December for this year.
“Looking back at 2009, which was a fairly snowy winter, we had 33.8 inches already,” Weisser said. “By the end of 2000, we’d had 37.5 inches of snow, which is the most Worthington has had since 1949.”
For this winter, the Old Farmers Almanac predicted that the eastern half of the country “will see plenty of cold and snow,” while the western half would experience “relatively warm and dry conditions.” For our area, “an average amount of winter precipitation” was forecast.
The Old Farmers Almanac predicted that winter temperatures would be “above normal on average, with the coldest periods being in late December and in early to mid February. It also writes that “the snowiest periods will occur in mid-December, early January and late March.”
So far, these predictions have proven to be fairly accurate. However, last year’s predictions turned out dead wrong.
For the 2011-2012 winter, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted “cold to very cold” temperatures and “much heavier-than-normal precipitation.” At this time last year, Worthington had a mere 2.3 inches of snow total — more than 10 inches below average.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), last year’s winter was the fourth warmest ever recorded in the United States, the complete opposite of what the Farmer’s Almanac predicted. In other words, the almanacs don’t appear to be any more reliable than the meteorologists on the television screen.
According to Weisser, forecasting the rest of this winter is virtually impossible.
“Right now there are no really good signals out there,” Weisser said. “The outlook for the next two to three months are equal chances of above normal or below normal precipitation.”
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store.