It’s finally fall and Campbell County and surrounding Eastern Tennessee and Southern Kentucky have been experiencing well above normal heat for September. The rainy weather of the last week has provided a soggy, if much needed break. As we head into leaf peeking, haunted house seeking and general October fun, many begin to wonder about the upcoming winter. This effects our daily lives, plans for how to get to work, our heating bills, and of course, the eternal wintertime question, is there going to be school?
The folks at WeatherBell Analytics are always looking ahead. Energy demand forecasting is a large part of their job but they offer many other services to those with weather needs. They employ some of the nations finest meteorologists in order to bring the most accurate forecasts they possibly can to people. This year their winter forecast calls for a marked change from winter 2017-18 in the area. As many will remember, December started out very warm in 2017 before turning quite cold late month. That frigid weather lasted for most of January 2018 but East Tennessee was in a drought. Systems dumped snow well south of the region, into Georgia and South Carolina. We were cold and dry.
The script flipped in February and March, as the temperatures were generally warm and we experienced wet conditions. Then winter returned and didn’t seem to want spring to arrive, as snow fell at times well into late March and April. Over all, in spite of the very cold January, snowfall across Campbell County was well below normal. Snowfall totals vary widely due to elevation differences across the area but most non-mountain elevations should see 12-16 inches of snow in a given year on average. The higher elevations of the county, of course, see 2 to 3 times that on average.
We experienced two very mild winters in a row before last year, and we experienced 2 very snowy and cold winters in a row the years before those two. This 2 year mild/2 year cold pattern has repeated quite a number of times over the past 40 years when one looks back at the winter record books.
For 2018-19 this is what the meteorologists at WeatherBell Analytics came up with for temperatures and snowfall. If this forecast holds true, expect a few happy days for school kids this upcoming year!
December-February Temperature Forecast.
December-February Snowfall Forecast.