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January weather trends

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The various numerical prediction models that simulate the atmosphere have not been reliable in recent weeks so even the short to medium range forecasts, let alone the long-range outlook are suspect and subject to more than the usual and normal revisions.

Here is at least a general outline going forward. Keep in mind this is being written and posted on Sunday Dec 30th while I am still on Christmas vacation, and things may change by the time I am back on-air and working. Also take note, that in this business it usually takes a week or two to get back "in the swing of things" as it takes a while to see how the atmosphere has been behaving in reality and how the models have been performing.

As of this writing here are the 30-day trends:

A somewhat stormy active weather pattern continues to provide storm systems and frontal passages with an active southern branch jet stream giving above-normal precipitation (more good news for continued drought relief and soil recharge-Lake levels) and up and down temperatures for the Southeast biased below-normal on temperatures for January. The coldest period is the opening week or so, followed by moderate cold after the 8th.

Then it looks like a temporary visit by the vaunted "January Thaw" of lore sometime after January 12th. This should be followed by another incursion of Polar if not Arctic air by the final week or two of the new year, or early February at the latest.

I was out of town but got reports of a dusting of snow around December 26th in north Cherokee County, I am not sure about elsewhere. I saw sleet then snow flurries in Kennesaw on the 29th and know many other areas saw the same thing. Old Man Winter doing a fly bye.

For snow lovers, there seems little hope between now and the 16th or so. Remember all of the dates and timing are ETA (estimates). Historically, January is the favored month if a snow of any substance is to occur in Atlanta. But there is hope through February. PRELIMINARY indications point to a warmer than normal March but that could change.

Despite the up and down the average for the month of January as a whole is for below-normal temperatures averaged over the 31 days with precipitation near-normal to above-normal. Possible analog years for January are: 1978, 1961, 2004, 2010, 1969, 1963, 1977, 1959, 1980, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 1954, 2011, 1982, 1952, 1982.

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