The weather staff at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are predicting a wild ride with this winter weather season.
The average snow fall in the Miami Valley is 24.2 inches. This winter season could bring snowfall in total amounts as high as 32 inches, according to Jim Lane, senior operational meteorologist at Wright-Patt.
“Due to a developing moderate to strong La Nina presence, Ohio should expect winter to get off to a slow start and arrive late this year.”
La Nina, and the more common El Nino, are weather patterns that describe the cooling and warming of central and eastern tropical pacific respectively. Both can have large-scale impacts on weather patterns in the United States.
“All three jet patterns will have an influence on our weather, both temps and snow,” said Lane. “The artic front jet, the polar front jet and the subtropical jet could eventually lead to the return of the roller coaster ride [varying high and low severe temperatures] we experienced several years ago.
“If the subtropical jet becomes the dominate feature, it could be the key to a few very big snowstorms this winter,” Lane said.
He added that he expected the vast majority of the area’s snowfall could come from a few major coastal storms and the merger of these jet streams. He predicts frequent fast-moving Alberta Clipper systems will move in and drop 1 to 2 inches of snowfall and freezing temperatures.
“Overall temperature expectations for the winter should be slightly cooler than normal,” Lane said. “We can expect varying extremes, and they will be more prominent in late January, February and then through March, making the winter season a little longer next year.”
The Interstate 70, I-71 corridors could, once again, be the dividing line, and temperature profiles with slight changes as little as 1 degree could have significant impact.
Lane urges the base community to be especially careful when around the snow plows and base equipment.
“I’ve been predicting winter weather in the Miami valley for 14 years and believe this winter could be a continuation of the overall weather volatility we’ve seen across the U.S. over the past year,” Lane said. “From record rains out west, to an active and destructive hurricane season and even local impacts across the Miami Valley,” Lane said. “Winter could be the continuation of a very active weather season.”
Decisions regarding delayed arrival or base closure will be communicated through the WPAFB Emergency Mass Notification System, website announcements, radio and television. The most accurate weather delay information will be located on the Wright-Patterson website and snowline 656-7669 (SNOW).