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FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Chief Meteorologist Ron Hearst shares winter weather predictions for the Ozarks

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 10:24 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In forecasting what type of winter we will have, it is optimal to see what the water temperatures are in the Pacific Ocean.

Right now we are in a phase called La Nina, which means we have cold water off the coast of Peru. During La Nina winters, it is typical for the southern United States to be warmer and drier which is what the National Weather forecast is.

Here is how this impacts the Ozarks. Since 1950, there have been seventeen such periods. If you take all of the temperatures during that period for December, January, February and March and average them for the Ozarks we are one-tenth of a degree above average. Snowfall during these years averages 17.5 inches.

Since we have had trouble getting snow the last few years, KY3 Chief Meteorologist Ron Hears tempered things back a touch, so his official winter forecast is for average or slightly above average temperatures and about 12 inches of snow. Keep in mind though the data also suggests a high-degree of probability that a four-to-six week period mostly likely in December or January will be colder than average and in some cases much colder. February and March tend to be warmer than average. Ten of the 17 years also have very large snowfall, so it is likely we will see at least one good snow this year.

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