Unusually Cold December

Just one day this month has seen temperatures above-normal, a rarity in any month, but especially so in this early stage of what has been widely predicted to be a relatively mild winter.  Of course, winter’s really just begun, so the postmortem on this season is far from being written.

Let’s talk about the cold. A huge and persistent trough, or plunge southward in the jet stream has delivered a relentless stream of arctic air masses over the Midwest and East for the past several weeks.  Your home heating bills will validate the assertion that this has not been a typical blast of cold air.  It has been repeatedly replaced, and more will carry us through the final days of December.

We’ve seen snow as well within this pattern, with more expected Christmas weekend.

However, this polar-like chill doesn’t necessarily foretell a cold January or February. In fact, we often see flips of sorts in these kind of patterns, that can lead to remarkable reversals in the weather. I would not be surprised to see some a change ahead. It probably won’t happen within the next couple of weeks (through first week of January), but after that we’ll see.

by Jim Duncan

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123 Responses to Unusually Cold December

  1. shortpumpsnow says:

    The chances of a snowstorm next Friday into Saturday are looking better and better. As the low tracks just southeast of us, we could be looking at a decent snow. But as we all know, DON’T expect ANYTHING until two days or less before the storm.

  2. snowplayer says:

    COME ON!!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO NBC12!!! I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I AM GOING TO SAY THIS BUT UPDATE YOUR FREAKIN BLOG OR ELSE (I DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT THEOR ELSE IS)!!!!

  3. snowplayer says:

    PLEASE UPDATE YOUR FREAKIN BLOG!!! IT’S NOT DECEMBER!!!

    snowplayer

  4. sandstonjeff says:

    Richmond finished -10″ for precip at the airport last year and we’re off to the same kind of starth this year. There really does seem to be a ‘bubble’ over Richmond that repels snow and rain dtorms. So many times we se squalls head for us, break up, and then re-form on the other side of the city. I have never heard a good meteorological explanation for it.

  5. snowplayer says:

    My steps and porch are still covered with ice but the roads arn’t. Schools here in hanover are two hour delay.

    snowplayer

  6. snowplayer says:

    Schools should be closed down in hanover. Little Pellots of ice are coming down.

  7. snowplayer says:

    Snow is coming down but sticking to roads faster? I really did not know this could happen. totals are still 1-2″. but it will strenghten a whole lot leaving places up to 15″ of snow up north. How is that fair?

    snowplayer

    • phhh6460 says:

      Could it possibly stall out and ? dump more snow/sleet here? Before it goes North? 🙂

      • phhh6460 says:

        Northern Neck
        Tappahannock
        Sleeting here now. Thin layer of Ice on steps and car. Not worth endangering youngin to return a vidio…
        😦 Drive ONLY if you must 😦

  8. snowplayer says:

    hey guys totals totals are at 1-2″. really upsetting

    • phhh6460 says:

      Whatta bust:( Guess the rental and chocolate chip cookies will have to wait till after work. Oh well on to the next possibility…

  9. snowplayer says:

    Come on guys this needs update! I made my own website and promised to update more often then this! website:
    http://theweatherman.WebStarts.com/index.html

  10. snowplayer says:

    I have made a free website on weather. you can comment on blogs and you can talk to other people on the website. on the home page there will be a guestbook, you can put comments on it. click sign guestbook and then see what happens. You do not need a membership to comment! heres the link:
    http://theweatherman.WebStarts.com/index.html

  11. snowplayer says:

    snow is still expected still but when warmer air aloft works into the area we will see more sleet and freezing rain. Totals will range around 1-4″. If the sniow will be able to hold for a while it will range to 2-4″ of snow.

    snowplayer

  12. shortpumpsnow says:

    New computer guidance shows storm bombing out further south. City and points south and east – 2-4 without mix, 1-3 with mix. Western henrico/shortpump – 4-6 without mix, 2-5 with some mix.

  13. snowplayer says:

    Great. Now totals are at 1-4″. Very upseting.

    snowplayer

  14. snowplayer says:

    I still see a total of 3-6″ but it will be more of freezing rain or\and sleet but I am sure that it is still possible to change the forecast.

    snowplayer

  15. shortpumpsnow says:

    The next run of the NAM comes out in approximately one hour. This will be a critical run. Check it out. http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/.

    • phhh6460 says:

      Good, then you can explain it. Please include Essex Co. Tappahannock area. We are usually on the line where weather is involved. Thanks 🙂

  16. shortpumpsnow says:

    Hey guys, for how much we change our minds on this whole snow thing and how much professional meteorologists change their minds on this whole snow thing, we all just need to realize the weather is going to do what it is going to do when the the time comes. As I’m sure you have heard, it was looking like the 850 mb temp line (5,000 feet up in the atmosphere) was going to rise north of us, giving us a prolonged period of sleet and/or freezing rain. Also, the amount of moisture appeared very limited. Well, NOW, according to the latest run of the NAM model, the most reliable short-range weather forecasting tool, there will be little mixing in Richmond AND significantly more moisture to deal with. Now with all of the flip-flopping of the forecasts lately I really don’t know what to make of this, but for how quickly NBC12 and other stations are to change their forecasts when something changes in a BAD way for us snow lovers, they should be as equally eager to change the forecast in a GOOD way when the models reflect this. Amen.

    • phhh6460 says:

      Antisipation(sp) is half the thrill. We will continue to look for snow weather (ha) it comes or not. It is the kid in us that looks forward to it but we must not act like kids when it doesn’t come.
      Tommorrow after all is another day and another chance for snow.

    • snowmanshortpump says:

      Wow! Still no update on this “so called” weather blog.

      • snowplayer says:

        Come on guys! December is over. We need another blog guys. This is freakin january! You guys can’t just update a weather blog?! It only takes 5 stinkin minutes to write a new blog!! I am really loseing intrest to check this blog everyday because you can’t update a blog. THIS MAKES YOUR FANS OF THE WEATHER BLOG WANT TO FORGET ABOUT IT! Please think about updating it once in a while. You only made ONE blog this December!

        snowplayer

  17. snowplayer says:

    The wxrisk.com guy said that there is 3-6″. But they also said that it may be 5-8″ (Guess which one i would chose. Hahaha).

    here is the link to the map that says totals: http://www.keyweb3.com/windsong/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/mid1g.jpg

  18. snowplayer says:

    Forecast for snow is still 3-6″ but it looks like totals will rise in 24-48 hours. Many of us are looking foward to this.

    snowplayer

    • snowmanshortpump says:

      This weather blog sucks! What the hell happened NBC12? IT’S JANUARY!

      • snowplayer says:

        Ez up dude! They probobly all got sucked in to twitter and now they don’t update this blog. I do agree though, I mean it is january, there is a huge snowstorm on the way and none of you guys will not update the blog. PLEAS UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        snowplayer

  19. shortpumpsnow says:

    As the storm is coming on the west coast, the next several model runs should provide critical information. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear NBC12 raise snow total predictions to 24-48 hours.

  20. snowplayer says:

    This blog needs updating guys. We can’t just talk about december. It isn’t even December anymore.

    snowplayer

  21. snowplayer says:

    Chances for snow is looking much better for tuesday! with a range of 3-6″ possible, we may see some accumalations here in central Virginia are 1\2-1″ of some flurries and some snow showers Tonight! But the main thing here is the Monday-Tuesday snowstorm. Places west will probobly see more totals.

    snowplayer

  22. snowplayer says:

    It doesn’t look good. Snow chances are less likely with just some snow showers. Tommorow (friday) we will see a few A.M. snow showers for central virginia.

    snowplayer

    • shortpumpsnow says:

      What are you looking at? It looks great for NEXT week

      • phhh6460 says:

        ooooooooooh whadya think? Snow lovers want to know… CH 12 does not really blog anymore they ?tweet? So Anyone that can read a weather map I am all ears.

    • phhh6460 says:

      Concentrate on the event Next Week. Any little flurry we might get tommorrow is just getting ready for next week. Like a little snow flake test run.
      Wishing in Tappahannock…:)

  23. shortpumpsnow says:

    It appears there are a few possibilities with the storm next week. One model is showing a setup farther west, which would mean freezing rain, sleet, then snow as the storm moves eastward, pulling with it colder air aloft. Two other models are showing a storm setting up along the coast or even farther off the coast, leading to a snow-only storm. Nevertheless, the amount of moisture with this scenario is in question. The storm may take a middle track, in between these two scenarios.

  24. snowplayer says:

    We are seeing some mix on tuesday now with some snow. We may see rain… i hate rain.

    • phhh6460 says:

      We are not finished with winter. We have more chances of snow. Also maps can change as you know and the forcast.
      Hoping too NN

  25. snowplayer says:

    Nbc12, please believe that your blog is real and that you need to uptade it about mabye once or twice a week. thank you.

    • phhh6460 says:

      I agree. You do not have to tell us “It Will SNOW Jan 11th or 12th.” Just that there IS the Possibility so we can prepare “just incase”. It also gives us snow lovers somthing to hope for…:)
      Northern Neck

  26. shortpumpsnow says:

    I do agree with snowmanshortpump NBC12 team, this blog’s activity would skyrocket and draw more attention to NBC12 in general if you guys updated the posts more often. This month has the potential for some major storms and it is interesting for us non-professionals to discuss the possibilities with the guidance of you professionals. On a different note, the 18z run of the GFS today shows a coastal storm blowing up around Wednesday of next week. Something to keep our eyes on.

  27. snowmanshortpump says:

    NBC12, this blog is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike! Why do you not bother to update anything? It takes 5 minutes to start new blogs. I’m losing faith in you guys!

  28. snowplayer says:

    I was looking at nbc12.com and it said this: Beyond January 10th, things turn more interesting, as a progressively colder pattern could be accompanied by increasing snow chances. Something to watch as we work our way from early to mid-January. any stories of that snowmanshortpump?

    snowplayer

  29. shortpumpsnow says:

    The pattern looks cold but dry for the next couple weeks. In order for us to get a decent snow, we will need the surge of arctic air to loosen it’s grip slightly to prevent it from blocking storms coming up the coast.

  30. snowplayer says:

    Well it looks dry on thursday-saturday. but soon (around 6:15, 6:30, 6:45) we will see some rain. As i said in the previous post that january will begin being cold again and percipatation Frequence and chance will increase therfore it will snow much more so the thursday-saturday “what used to be” storm seems to not make me very dissappointing.

    snowplayer
    1\1\2011 6:07 P.M.

  31. snowplayer says:

    Hey guys! Not this week but the next it will get colder and precipitation chances will increase therfore it will snow much more! We all are looking foward to that!

    snowplayer
    1\1\2011 12:59

  32. snowplayer says:

    The 6th and 7th are looking dry with most of it on the 8th and looks cold enough for a wintery mix and mabye snow so that is something to look foward to. But the totals here are only about 1-3″. But it is too far out to tell the totals yet so stay tuned for more soon.

    snowplayer
    12/31/10 5:37 P.M.

  33. snowplayer says:

    What is your story about january 6-8th snowmanshortpump? Do you think it will snow?

    snowplayer.

  34. snowplayer says:

    Man i am dissoppointed in christmas weather. I was really thinking about 12-20 inches but only 5″. I wish we could rewind to last year. It was a dream for me. we got like an average of like 12″ of snow per storm. Come on this is really dissoppointing. Anyone agree?

    snowplayer.

  35. snowplayer says:

    How much snow did you get snowmanshortpump? Up north are going to get blizzard conditions with over 20″ of snow! Oh, by the way, Goergia had a better chance of a white christmas than New York!

    snowplayer.

    • phhh6460 says:

      Hearing a little gossip about Jan 6th8th? I know it is too far out but, any hope there for more snow/or ice?
      Tapp.

      • snowplayer says:

        phhh6460, I think maybe some snow if it is cold enough but I hear that it will be 45 degrees on the 6th. But I don’t know about the 7th or 8th. Maybe forecast will change. I hope. This new years it is going to get to 61 and the next day, 62. A nice warm up. I will keep updated on 6-8th!

        snowplayer.

  36. snowplayer says:

    Snow totals at my house are around 5″ (i didn’t measure yet). What was your totals? You can click reply under this comment and post your snow totals!!!

    snowplayer

  37. snowplayer says:

    Snow totals are 4 1\2 of snow and still snowing!!! Stay tuned for more later. Phhh6460, what is your snow totals?

    snowplayuer

    • phhh6460 says:

      The wind has blown the snow into mini drifts. I should have taken a measurement before the winds started howling. Ruler was at 3.5 initially mid day 12/26, fine snow throughout the day accumulating perhaps another 2″. Unscientific guestimate of 6″? Nice though:)

  38. snowplayer says:

    Sorry. totals for central VA was less than expected. Totals at my house are 4″ but it is still snowing… but not very heavy. Stay tuned for more soon.

    snowplayer

  39. snowplayer says:

    Snow is coming down here in central VA with 9-10″ of snow. You better get those shovels out! Heaviest snow will be at 9A.M.-3P.M. East will see much more!
    12-16″ to be exact. and phhh6460 you are included in the 12-16″ but you may see 10-14″ because of where you are.

    • phhh6460 says:

      Oh Happy Happy Joy Joy! I got what I wanted for Christmas! It was soooo beautifull it looked like white sparkles layering the ground. It felt good outside and I watched it for the longest time…
      HH

  40. snowplayer says:

    CHURCHES CLOSED:
    BEREAN BIBLE FELLOWSHIP: TIMBERBLUFF PARKWAY; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    BLESSED HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH: PRINCE GEORGE; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    BONNIE BRAE CHURCH OF CHRIST: STAPLES MILL RD.; ALL SERVICES & SUNDAY SCHOOL CANCELED
    BRANCHES RUN BAPTIST CHURCH: AMELIA; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    CARSON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: CARSON; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    CORNERSTONE ASSEMBLY OF GOD: CHALKLEY RD, RICHMOND; 11AM SERVICE ONLY
    DERBYSHIRE BAPTIST CHURCH: RICHMOND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    ELAM BAPTIST CHURCH: RUTHVILLE; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    EMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH: RICHMOND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    EVERGREEN COMMUNITY CHURCH: POWHATAN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH: PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: MANAKIN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    GAYTON CHURCH: HENRICO; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    IGLESIA BAUTISTA MISIONERA: CHESTERFIELD; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    JERUSALEM CHRISTIAN CHURCH: KING WILLIAM; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    LIFE CHURCH: COLONIAL HEIGHTS; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    MARMORA BAPTIST CHURCH: CHURCH ROAD; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    MOUNT LEVEL BAPTIST CHURCH: ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    MT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH: MIDDLESEX ; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: SKIPWITH; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: SUSSEX COUNTY; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    PINE STREET BAPTIST CHURCH: RICHMOND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    RAGLAND MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH: SANDY HOOK; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH SOUTHSIDE: RICHMOND; 8AM SERVICE CANCELED
    SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH: CARSON; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SKIPWITH BAPTIST CHURCH: HENRICO; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SOUTHSIDE NAZARENE CHURCH: 11AM SERVICE ONLY AT COURTHOUSE RD CAMPUS; ENON CAMPUS MEET AT BRUCE HOME 11AM
    SPRING HILL BAPTIST CHURCH: BLACKSTONE; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SWIFT CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH: MIDLOTHIAN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    TRINITY CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE: ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST COMMUNITY CHURCH: GLEN ALLEN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    VARINA BAPTIST CHURCH: ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    WESTOVER BAPTIST CHURCH: RICHMOND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED

    BETHEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: ALBERTA; ALL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES CANCELED
    BETHLEHEM BAPTIST CHURCH: MIDLOTHIAN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    BON AIR BAPTIST CHURCH: CHESTERFIELD; ALL CAMPUSES CLOSED EXCEPT BUFORD ROAD
    CHESTERFIELD COUNTY SCHOOLS: ALL SERVICES HELD AT SCHOOL BUILDING CANCELED
    EASTGATE BAPTIST CHURCH: RICHMOND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    FIRST UNION BAPTIST CHURCH – CROZIER: GOOCHLAND; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    GREATER DIMENSIONS EVANGELISTIC CHURCH: CHESTER; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    KROZIER SALIAM BAPTIST CHURCH: GOOCHLAND; 10 A.M. SERVICE ONLY
    MACEDONIA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: BLACKSTONE; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    MT. GILEAD CHURCH: COLUMBIA, VA.; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    NEW HIGHLAND BAPTIST CHURCH: MECHANICSVILLE; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    OAK GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH: BEULAH ROAD, CHESTERFIELD; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    PIEDMONT BAPTIST CHURCH: AMELIA; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    ROCKY MT BAPTIST CHURCH: MCKENNEY; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    ROSE SHARON APOSTOLIC CHURCH: WAVERLY; ALL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES CANCELED
    SAMARIA BAPTIST CHURCH: CHARLES CITY; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SECOND ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH: POWHATAN; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    SPRING RUN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: CHESTERFIELD; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    VICTORIA BAPTIST CHURCH: VICTORIA, VA; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    VICTORIA CHRISTIAN LIVING MINISTRIES: HOPEWELL; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    WAVERLY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: WAVERLY, VA; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    WESTHAMPTON BAPTIST CHURCH: THREE CHOPT ROAD; ALL SERVICES CANCELED
    WIN’S BAPTIST CHURCH: GLEN ALLEN; 11 A.M. SERVICE ONLY

  41. snowplayer says:

    Snow on Christmas!!!! not quite sicking to roads. Totals at 3-5″ but i think total are 5+

    snowplayer

  42. snowplayer says:

    snow tomorrow is heavy with a total of 2-7″!!!

    snowplayer

  43. snowplayer says:

    Watches
    winter storm
    Caroline, VA, Charles City, Chesterfield, VA, Dinwiddie, VA, Hanover, VA, Henrico, VA, King And Queen, VA, King William, VA, New Kent, VA, Prince George, VA, Sussex, VA.

  44. snowplayer says:

    Merry Christmas!!! Totals of snow accumulations are 4+ of snow with heavy snow possible on through tommorow. 5+ inches through the whole storm. Looks like a better chance for snow after all. 80% chance today with light snow and 90% chance sunday with heavy snow! I am sooooo excited!!!

    snowplayer

  45. shortpumpsnow says:

    The 18Z GFS run shows a progressively stronger storm closer to the coast. If some of the other models begin to show the same pattern, we could have a dramatic change in the forecast for central Virginia.

  46. snowplayer says:

    The weather channel said that the high tommorow is 40. i dont watch it because they are always wrong. Merry Christmas!

    snowplayer

  47. snowplayer says:

    Snowmanshortpump what is your models saying? how much snow for central VA? Merry Christmas

    keep on dreaming,snowplayer

  48. snowplayer says:

    There is a 50% chance for snow saturday and 40% chance sunday! A higher chance for snow christmas (tommorow!!!) after all! Stay here for more soon! Happy holidays!!!

    keep on wishing, snowplayer

  49. snowplayer says:

    Snow forecast: nbc12 said that the most part will be during sunday with up to 2+”. I just wish we saw what used to be the best snowstorm ever. Chances for snow here in central VA is 40% christmas (tommorow!!!) and 60% sunday. There is a better chance for sunday snow. not trying to be mean or anything but only flurries and snow showers in the afternoon are likely.

    snowplayer

  50. shortpumpsnow says:

    If the 18Z run of the GFS illustrates some congruence with the previous runs, there is an increased chance for the coastal storm we are looking for.

  51. snowplayer says:

    Hi. I am a new comment poster. I really hope we get a lot of snow but doesnt look to promising. Snowmanshortpump what does your models tell you? How much snow for central VA?

  52. sandstonjeff says:

    The winter storm of the century is turning into a dud. Not much to talk about wiht this one.

  53. snowmanshortpump says:

    Wow, this blog is boring this winter! Here we are with a possible winter storm of the century and nobody here.

    • phhh6460 says:

      One of the local channels gave 3 senerios
      Had to laugh….
      1. no snow
      2. snow south of us
      3. a lot of snow possible
      Perhaps that is why no one wants to go out with a prediction more precise than that.
      Surely we should know the direction by tommorrow right?
      Northern Neck

    • vader1013 says:

      fyi- everyone is over on the wxrisk site and the WXRISK facebook page discussing things. at least he updates his forecasts and blogs, and joins in the discussions regularly. the nbc12 site might as well be dead for as little as it’s updated.

      • phhh6460 says:

        Yep, He is willing to go out on a limb and tell you what all the maps are showing. It is possible that this is the storm of the century. It should be close enough to the event to be able to tell.

        If I knew how to interperate the maps I would be blogging here.

        Hoping for snow in the Northern Neck

    • snowplayer says:

      I agree snowmanshortpump. I remember last year when there was a new blog almost every day. It is so much more boring this winter. If it gets milder after december than i will be extremely mad.

      snowplayer

  54. phhh6460 says:

    C’mon snowman what do your maps tell you? Some snow on Christmas? The possibility of a Big one Sun/Mon?
    Northern neck fan of SNOW:)

    • snowmanshortpump says:

      My recent model runs are showing 12-24″ of snow for central va. Also worth noting are the high winds that may also accompany this storm. That would cause some serious drifting and white out conditions.

  55. snowmanshortpump says:

    Did you say maybe some snow for Christmas Jim?

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