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After a Long, Hot Summer, Are You Ready for Another 'Snowmageddon?'

Once schools are back in, summer is pretty much over. Are you ready for a change in the season?

With most students back in school, or in the final stages of preparation to return, summer is pretty much over. Before we know it, little ghosts and goblins will have invaded our neighborhoods, the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving will have been thrown out and we’ll be in full preparation for Christmas.

And along with that comes the big question, “Are we going to see any snow this year?”

According to Accuweather.com, our chances are good — at least better than they were last year. The weather website reports that last winter, at least nine of the country's snowiest cities had less than 60 percent of their average snowfall. Accuweather.com also reports that is not as likely to be the case this year. The presence, and strength, of El Niño or La Niña is used as an indicator of how active a winter it is going to be. Long-range meteorologists with the weather website are projecting a weak to moderate El Nino by late summer —reportedly an indicator of an active snow season. So as students return to classes, there is at least a better chance than last winter that they could get a couple of breaks because of snow days.

There really wasn’t much of a winter at all in 2011-12, but we all still remember the winter before. So after this long, hot summer, are you ready for another “Snowmageddon?”  

Vanzetta Evans (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 03:02 PM
During that looooooong stretch of 100+ days, I was wishing for some snow! I hope we see a few flakes this year!
North Georgia Weather August 09, 2012 at 04:27 PM
More on this later...
Mitch August 09, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Let me get this straight. We are going to have a snowmageddon during a taxmageddon just after the mayan armageddon? I need a drink...
Kristi Reed (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Look on the bright side Mitch - the Mayan armageddon date is well before when we normally get snow, so maybe we'll just have to deal with two out of the three.
North Georgia Weather August 09, 2012 at 06:10 PM
While it looks like we'll be under the control of an El Nino, what is equally important is the blocking mechanisms that must be in place to force the cold air this way. Many different thoughts on how this winter is going to play out, but generally when we have an El Nino winter, we are colder. That doesn't necessarily translate to more snow though.... although some snow is much better than the no snow we had last year. By the way... who was that meteorologist that posted on the Patch about above average tornadoes this year? I believe he said he had a lot of well trained mets to back him up. Of course I had to disagree and guess what? Below average tornadoes!
Sharon Swanepoel August 09, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Steve, couldn't you arrange just a little snow? Come on - I'm sure you have contacts. :)
David August 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
You want snow? Take a vacation to Buffalo. But keep it out of my neighborhood!
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Um... Not THAT much snow David! I went to school in Upstate NY and lived there another 5 years. I just like a little dusting so it covers the grass a little.
Mitch August 09, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Are you assuming the Mayans will be wrong? Of course I agree, but if Obamageddon actually happens on Nov. 6th I may actually hope the Mayans are correct with their Dec. 21st doomsday. That way Obama would only have 45 days to destroy the planet first. He may be quite the competitor, but that is a tall order even for him. Disclaimer: The above comment contains overreacting emotional content for the sole purpose of comedic intent. No real Mayans or presidents were harmed in the thought process of said comments. If you are a Mayan calendar supporter or an Obamabot and are offended, please let me know and I will be sure to post a very sincere apology at a later time.
Kristi Reed (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 08:34 PM
LOL! Mitch! Either way you are talking about -- as the Twitter folks say -- #TEOTWAWKI.
Mitch August 09, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Yep, since I am the wierdo non Facebook/Twitter user I had to google that. You could have put #REM-SONG and I might have gotten it.
North Georgia Weather August 09, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Personally, I'd love a good 20"+ snowfall, 10º, and 25 mph winds. Hmmm, sounds a lot like a blizzard! I'm all for 6-8 good snowfalls a year! I'm like a little kid wrapped up in a grownup body when it snows!
North Georgia Weather August 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I have an Aztec calendar, does that count?
Mitch August 09, 2012 at 09:17 PM
NGW - As long as the center of your Aztec calender stone (the Mexica god of sun, Tonatiuh) is not replaced with Obama's head you are good.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I went to school in Upstate NY Then you KNOW a good 20"+ snowfall, 10º, and 25 mph winds IS a “little” dusting … I’m all for a few TOO!! The bread bakers and dairy farms here NEED the stimulus package, not to mention the local body shops …
David Binder August 09, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I so hope they're wrong. I'd enjoy another mild winter like last year. Makes getting to
North Georgia Weather August 09, 2012 at 10:49 PM
:-)) I hate to cut you off like that David... :-)) We didn't HAVE a winter last year. Officially known (by me) as the Winter of No Winter. ;-)
North Georgia Weather August 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM
According to one meteorologist I follow: "On one hand you have the very hot summer and drought conditions over the central US, which only naturally lead to a bent towards a warmer forecast, whether accurate or not. On the other hand you have the last El Nino winter which was frigid in 09-10 and also the frequent blocking which if it continues, (obviously not guarantee, but with a strong -QBO locked in for at least a few months) would lead to a cool risk for the fall early winter. In the past, El Nino winters have frequently gotten colder as the winter progresses, but if the blocking tendency lingers into early winter then the whole winter could be cold ala 09-10. But of course 09 did not have the catastrophic drought across the Plains/MIdwest."
North Georgia Weather August 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I got this today from Robert Gamble, a meteorologist friend that I follow, he had this to say about this winter: "I haven't put all my thoughts together for Winter yet, but one thing I'm very positive of, is that if we get blocking in southern Greenland like we've done many times this Spring, then the TN valley and northern Gulf States to western Carolinas are in for the worst Winter in ages. It would probably surpass 2010 and 2011 overall, and some local spots be record setting in terms of number of snow events and cumulative snow totals. Again, I'm not forecasting that, but the blocking is a huge piece of the puzzle, and a couple years ago I put out my thoughts on the long term cycle of NAO. Now with -PDO shift, it certainly adds credence that the long term looks fascinating in the Southeast with regards to Winters."
Dave Ballard August 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Blocking is exactly why Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are laughing at all this talk about a "winter without a winter." Wanna know where our winter went? Ask Vancouver, Seattle and Anchorage - they can tell you EXACTLY where it was! =D
North Georgia Weather August 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Exactly. And Alaska had one of their worst winters ever. I'm thinking this is going to be an exciting winter. In another month or two we'll have a very god idea about what will happen.
North Georgia Weather August 14, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Kirk Mellish gives his thoughts on winter, here's an excerpt which also follows my thoughts as well as several others that I've quoted here: "For now the analogs predict winter in Georgia will be cooler than normal, with above-average precipitation and above normal odds of snow or ice. It also looks like winter will linger through March. Many computer climate models are showing the same thing as the analogs. We shall see if this holds going forward." His entire article is here:http://www.wsbradio.com/weblogs/kirk-mellishs-weather-commentary/2012/aug/13/early-peak-autumn-and-winter-weather/
North Georgia Weather August 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM
And then this today from another meteorologist I follow who hasn't been wrong in a while: "As one can see, there are disagreements between the teleconnection analogs and GFS ensembles. Additional differences can be found in the NAEFS and CFSv2 weekly forecasts. Such disagreements likely suggest that a large-scale pattern change may be evolving. It is likely that the recent warming of ENSO Region 3.4 to anomalies of +0.80°C is beginning to have an impact. In other words, the emergent El Niño has arrived and is beginning to influence the pattern."
Sharon Swanepoel August 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Steve, over on the other side of the world (where it's winter now) they are having a record winter. In South Africa they are seeing snow in places that haven't seen it in decades. Is that in any way a forerunner of what to expect here or is there no connection whatsoever?
North Georgia Weather August 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
They're hopping on the bandwagon now! Here's another one! Using this summer’s weather as a template, Pastelok looked for what happened in the winter in other years when a weak to moderate El Nino formed. He found a similar pattern in 2002/2003 and 1953/1954. In those years, storms early in the season drenched the Southeast and then headed out to sea. But, then later in the winter, the snows came. However, Mr. Pastelok predicts the battles won’t start until January and then will extend into February. “November in the Northeast could be above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation, and December could be a transition month,” he says. “By January and February it’s going to get pretty cold.” Pastelok thinks the Southeast could actually get the worst of it this winter. He can envision flooding in the late fall followed by snow and ice this winter all the way down to the Gulf Coast . “Tallahassee could have some snow and ice issues this winter,” he forecasts.

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