This Time Last Year

December 26th, 2011 at 7:40 am by under Weather

Remember last year’s weather?  What a difference a year makes.  At this time a year ago we were quickly stacking up the snow.  It was snowing about 2+ inches per hour in some parts of the area.   We ended up with snow up to 15″ in several cities.  I found some of my old blogs from around that time.  I’ve linked them here for your viewing pleasure.  Notice how the forecast changed dramatically in a short period of time:

2 days before

Christmas Day Blog

Middle Of The Storm

In hindsight I should have used a higher ratio of snow to water.  Computer forecast models spit out the liquid equivalent of the snow that falls which is basically the amount of water you would get if that snow on the ground melted.  I usually use a 10-1 ratio.  So if the model spits out an inch, then you can expect about 10 inches of snow.  This usually serves me well in this area, but I think there was so much energy and moisture in the 2010 system that I should have used a 13-1 ratio.  The National Weather Service has a good summary of the storm with some cool radar shots: NWS report

It was one of the top 5 snows of all time in Norfolk.  In 2004 the same thing was happening, and we had a foot of snow inland.  We also had the tsunami of 2004 occur that morning.  I was also working that day.

This year is totally different.  Only about 30% of the country had snow on the ground on Christmas morning.  In fact most of the country will be very warm today.

Forecast High Temps

That temperature forecast is from the GFS model.  I predict we’ll be a little closer to 50 today in Hampton Roads.  We have a large area of high pressure in control of the weather.  So we’ll see plenty of sunshine.  However, we’ll also have a breezy northwest wind which will hold the temps down.  Winds will gust up to 25mph.  Small craft advisories are up for boaters today.

Today's Forecast

Tonight the winds will turn out of the south.  Temperatures will drop to the 30s, and then will probably rise a bit.  Tomorrow, we’ll pull in some warmth and moisture.  So highs will be in the low 60s with a good chance for rain in the afternoon.  After that we’ll stay dry through the new year. 

Happy Boxing Day everybody.  Have a good one.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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