No big storm…yet. Cold and some snow look likely, and drought has expanded.

Last weekend computer model output was publicized for a late week snowstorm this week. The model spit out this solution:

Now that we are just a couple days away from this snowstorm, here are the watches and warnings heralding this snowstorm:

The observant among you may note that there are no watches and warnings. This is because there is no snowstorm. Ah, the dangers of posting those early model fantasies, something I try not to do. But I digress.

The models are showing generally cold weather over the next 2 weeks or more. There will also be an active weather pattern with several signals for snow systems. Details are sketchy but we could get more than one snow, or several smaller snows, as we head into February. Maybe. A general pattern does not always produce. The first potential for snow is this weekend in the Ohio valley, with another by the middle of next week. Nothing as fantastic as the map above, as far as we can tell, but these systems are worth paying attention to. Occasionally one overachieves.

The maps below show trends into the middle of February. Cold, with some snow east of the Rockies. California stays very warm and very dry.


8 to 14 Day Outlook - Temperature Probability


8 to 14 Day Outlook - Precipitation Probability

Another thing which has crept into the picture is drought. Much of the southern half of the country is in moderate to extreme drought, with the worst drought in Oklahoma, north Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.The Dakotas are very dry as well.

Sample of U.S. Drought Monitor

We are entering the last month of meteorological winter. Meteorological spring starts in one month. The ground hog may extend that by a couple weeks. We will see.

2 Snow Chances This Week, And Then There Were None (More Or Less)

I don’t like posting what computer models are saying a week out, especially in winter. Too little data goes into these early models so you end up with garbage in, garbage out. It leads to a lot of false hope and the impression that the weatherman doesn’t know what he is talking about. Actually, the weatherman does know what he is talking about and that is why responsible weathermen neither post early model projections without a lot of explanation nor jump on them as gospel.

Case in point is the projection from a few days ago for a late week snowstorm. Models were pretty bullish, and they generally agreed. Several young and foolish weather guys even posted this early map of model projections.

I am posting this map here not because it is the forecast, it isn’t, but because it was an early projection by a computer and it was put out there on some weather sites. Not this one. It illustrates my point.

Newer model data for late week shows this isn’t going to happen. In fact, very little may happen. This map wasn’t a forecast. It never was. It was an early model projection drawn from insufficient data input. While forecasters did add a good chance of snow to forecasts due to model agreement, they didn’t fully bite on this. Certainly not the amounts. As new data has come in, it is apparent very little will likely happen. I can’t rule out something, but it doesn’t look real likely right now.

Another weak system was projected to bring Cincinnati a little snow today. That one looks like a dud too although a dusting can’t be ruled out.

So, two potential snows. Now, very little if any. Another chance looms for late next weekend. I’m sure if a computer model can be found projecting 20 inches some gullible teenager who is desperate for website clicks will post it. For now, just be aware we may see snow on super bowl Sunday. Maybe. Very little chance it will be 20 inches. Stay tuned.

Hurricanes Getting Stronger, Or Are They?

The in collaboration with NHC has updated the listing of the costliest tropical cyclones to strike the U.S. with a new methodology through the 2017 season. For more details see: &

At first glance, it certainly appears that hurricanes are getting more destructive and costly in recent years. However, things are not always as they seem. Let’s look at it.

50 years ago, a hurricane making landfall had a pretty good shot at coming ashore on pretty undeveloped land. As the years have progressed, explosive development has occurred on our shorelines, and cities near the coasts have also blossomed and grown into huge metropolises. Therefore, the same hurricane, hitting the same desolate coastline 50 years ago, may very well be hitting a densely populated area today. It stands to reason that damage would be much higher today, and more costly with inflation.

Additionally, many poor decisions have been made by planners. Large areas of Houston which were always meant to flood in heavy rain were opened up to development. Not all of Houston flooded during this summer’s Harvey, but those developed flood areas sure did. The same goes for New Orleans. It is below sea level, and the dysfunctional government in that city did not take care of the infrastructure. The Weather Channel broadcast a what-if scenario several years before Katrina which pretty well simulated what happened.

None of this is to say that hurricanes absolutely are not getting stronger. They may be. They may not be. It is complicated. The only thing for sure is that those who claim it is settled science cannot be trusted.