Snow Cover Builds in the Northern Hemisphere

Bill's Blog

The top map shows snow on the ground…not a lot in the U.S., but look at Canada – looks like about 90% of Canada has snow on the ground. Air coming down from Canada into the Great Lakes will be coming off the snow and should be on the chilly side.

Snow and Ice Cover

Here’s a polar view…showing a solid snow cover across Russia and an expanding ice cover in the Arctic. Pretty much all of Alaska has snow on the ground and ice is just starting to form in Hudson Bay.

Snow cover in thousands of square kilometers at the end of October

The table above is from the Rutgers Univ. Snow Lab and shows snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of October. Notice the rank is 28th highest out of 54 years – which is in the middle. The greatest snow extent in those 54 years was in 1976 – which turned out to the be the coldest winter ever in G.R. and the least snow on the ground was in 1988, following a hot and dry summer for much of North America.

I like to look at data like this. It’s not always right, but seems to have some predictive value with greater snow extent foretelling a colder winter.

8-14 day Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

This map is updated every day. It’s the 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. We still have a pattern of cooler than average weather east of the Mississippi River and warmer than average to the west, with the pattern slightly progressive (shifting to the east).

  • In the meantime – watch for snow showers today into tonight and a chance of slick spots on the roads tonight (Thu. night) into Friday AM. Rain showers develop on Sunday and change to snow as colder air moves in. Slick spots are possible Sunday night through Tuesday of next week and there is a chance of accumulating lake-effect snow Monday – perhaps several inches in places – by Tuesday morning. It’ll stay on the chilly side much of next week.

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