Above average temperatures causing later snow fall

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

(WFRV) – Green Bay has experienced brown Christmases the last three years and the above average temperatures play a big factor.

This month marks the 13th warmest December, so far, Green Bay has seen in the last 135 years. 2019 marked the 33rd warmest month of December meanwhile 2018 was the 15th warmest.

In a normal season, from October to December, Green Bay would normally see 16.1 inches of snow but in 2020 that total so far is just 7.9 inches, which is 8.2 inches below normal.

“I think that attributes to those above average temperatures. Over the last three Decembers all of those temps were above average. Compared to normal. So I think that’s a reason we’re seeing a big push in late snow”, Storm Team 5 Meteorologist Ryan Morse says.

While December is typically the snowiest month of year, Morse points out that Wisconsin so far has lucked out this winter in snow fall. Just one state over to the West in Minnesota, Minneapolis sees about 20.7 inches of snow, on average, from October to December. So far, they’ve seen above average snow fall amounts as they’ve accumulated 28 inches of snow already.

“We still have a long way to go before we start saying ‘oh we didn’t see much snow fall this year’ and we are seeing that this week”, says Morse.

As average temperatures slightly increase year by year, Morse suggests it might become less and less likely for our area to see white Christmases 70% of the time like we have seen in the past.

The jet stream and upper levels of the atmosphere is what steers the snow storms. The set-up of where the jet stream will sit for most of the winter is caused by La Nina and El Nino, which is an ocean current in the Pacific Ocean. Wisconsin is in a La Nina phase which, in years past, equals above average snowfall for our area.

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