Bigger winter storms could make their way to Valley
SUNBURY – It’s been an unusually warm winter in the Valley, with very little frozen precipitation, but that could all change in the next few weeks.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel provided that update to WKOK this week, “We could see the set up for a few small events during the first couple of weeks of February, then maybe, a chance for some larger storms later in the month into March. Some of the worst winter weather may not have happened yet, so we can certainly be under the gun for winter conditions into March. Some of the biggest snow storms have occurred in March.”
But since the beginning of winter, the Valley has seen temperatures four degrees above average, including a warm six degrees above normal for the month of January. The Valley has also seen only about six inches of snow so far, when normally about 16 inches have fallen by this time of year.
Samuhel says the issue is a strong polar vortex has been stuck in the arctic, “There haven’t been any pulses of warm air. You need a big pulse of warm air out of the tropics to bump that polar vortex and knock it off its perch. That’s how it starts to come down and can swing through with some very cold air that we’ve seen in recent years.”
When asked if climate change is playing a factor, Samuhel says it’s hard to say, but there are some signs to keep an eye on, “The Atlantic’s above average, the Pacific’s above average, so most of the world’s oceans are above normal. That plays a role, but obviously, climate is a much longer duration, its decades, where as weather occurs in days, so it’s hard to say whether something is definitely attributed to climate change, but it’s something to keep an eye on going forward.”
No significant winter weather is expected at least through next week. You hear Samuhel’s full comments at WKOK.com and check out the latest AccuWeather forecast.