I think the title illustrates it best. Yes the Winter Solstice, when the sun is located over the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere, marks the start of winter on December 21st at 11:47am. Around here, once the calendar turns to October or even November, the chances of snow enter the forecast. December is certainly the month when the big snowfalls and frigid air usually starts to pour in. This year is no exception to that. Nevertheless, autumn was certainly a roller coaster ride in temperature and precipitation. Here's a break down of those average temps:
Note that the December Average is up through 12/14/09.
Some other highlights from Fall 2009 included the driest September on record with only .23" of rain, October being the 8th coldest and November went down as the 3rd warmest. December still has a way to go, but so far the weather has been pretty typical of what you would expect.
Will we have a white Christmas? Mostly likely, yes. Barring some unforeseen warm up, temperature trends leading up to the 25th right now appear to keep the mercury below freezing, so what snow is on the ground really should not melt much between now and then. For those that would like to have the snow flakes flying on Christmas Eve or Day, there are some chances of flurries this coming weekend, and perhaps another storm rolling through the mid-section of the country the week of Christmas. Only time will tell if that storm does materialize and if we see measurable snow in North Central Wisconsin from one.
Overall, the northern branch of the jet stream will be aligned from the northwest to southeast from the northern Rockies into the central Plains...with Wisconsin on the chilly side of the scale. More so, this set up doesn't really allow for moisture laden storms to reach our neck of the woods, but those Alberta Clippers can be sneaky and sometimes pack a bit of a punch. Nevertheless, that potential storm system next week could adjust things a bit. Stay tuned.
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