NEWwbztv-small wbz-am-small 985-small mytv38web2

Local

Searching For Snow: Historic Lack Of Snowfall So Far This Winter

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer
View Comments
(credit: Kim Tunnicliffe)

(credit: Kim Tunnicliffe)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

BOSTON (CBS) – The lack of snow this season hasn’t just been unusual, it has been historic. Here we are, just past the midway point in January and Boston has officially received 1.5” of snow.

Check: Current Conditions | Weather Map Center | Interactive Radar

This is more than 15″ below what we should have by this date and nearly 40″ less than what we had last year by this time.

So far this January, Boston has a whopping 0.5” of snow (which came early on January 10th). This ranks tied for the third least snowy January on record, a record which goes back well over 100 years.

The least snowy January’s on record:

  • January 1913 (0.3”)
  • January 1992, 1980 (0.4”)
  • January 1967, 2012 (0.5)

When you look back at the least snowy winters through January, those stats are even more dramatic. Boston’s 1.5” as of Monday ranks as the #1 least snowy winter on record.

Below are the 5 least snowy winters on record, through January and the final snowfall totals for those seasons…you will notice we do get at least a foot of snow every time, but not much more than that…

Year Snow Thru Jan… Final Snow Total
1 ) 2006-2007… 1.8″ 17.1″
2 ) 1979-1980… 2.6″ 12.7″
3 ) 1985-1986… 5.1″ 18.1″
4 ) 1988-1989… 5.2″ 15.5″
5 ) 1943-1944… 5.4″ 27.7″

Now of course, there is still plenty of time left this January and in this season, and it only takes one big storm to get us back on track. So, how do things look in the short and long term?

This Week:

There are several opportunities for snow this week, albeit very light, and close between rain and snow.

1) Tuesday morning: Most of the snow and mix will happen well north and west of Boston and I-495, very little chance of snow accumulation in and around the city.
2) Thursday Night/Friday morning: A weak “Clipper” out of Canada will likely bring some light snow to the entire area. There could be an inch or two on average, but there is a lack of moisture with this system, and there is certainly no guaranteed snow accumulation yet.
3) Saturday Afternoon/Night: A system out of the Northwestern U.S. will likely pick up some moisture from the Gulf and make a close call to New England. The track of this storm is still very much in question, but this would have the biggest potential as far as a light to moderate snow accumulation goes.

Next 7-14 Days:

After Saturday, it appears we may be headed for another mild stretch to finish the month. The storm track appears as though it will be well to the west of New England, meaning any storms would likely be in the form of rain, drawing in milder air from the south. Take a look at the Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 day temperature forecast: Very, very warm.

Rest of the winter:

Again, there is plenty of time remaining in the winter and as we discussed above, even the leanest of winters in Boston’s history have produced a foot or two of snow. The biggest factors in the atmosphere remain La Nina (which is still forecast to hang around through the Spring) and something we call the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation). When the NAO is negative, there is blocking in Northern Latitudes which shoves colder air into our region and can mean a stormy period as well (this was the main factor for last winter’s snow blitz). The latest NAO forecast is positive through the end of the month, but there are some signs that this could take a negative turn before winter is over.

So if you are a snow lover, hang in there, winter is not over yet by a long shot. If you are a snow hater, you are living through one of the least snowiest winters in Boston’s history. Don’t get greedy!

You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,989 other followers