Winter 2013 Outlook

| October 21, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

Vera Sue posted a question to the Weather Xtreme Video below about what this winter might bring for us in Central Alabama. I do not put much faith in the long term outlooks simply because they are covering a large period, a period often fraught with great variability. I’m sure, like all forecasting in general, even the long range predictions are getting better. But here in Central Alabama we often see cold spells followed by mild or warm spells followed by more cooler periods, so I really do not know what a 90-day or 3-month forecast means.

The current NWS outlook for December-January-February as well as the one for January-February-March gives Central Alabama equal chances of being above or below climatological values for both precipitation and temperature. I interpret that as we’ll have some cold spells with some warmer spells and perhaps 2 to 8 threats of snow or ice. In other words, a fairly typical winter season for us.

Using NWS climate data based on 30-year averages, the average temperatures by month for the winter months look like this:

Month  High   Low    Rainfall
Dec.   56.0   35.2    4.47"
Jan.   52.8   32.3    5.45"
Feb.   58.3   35.4    4.21"
Mar.   66.5   42.4    6.10"

We also see an average of about 4 inches of snow each year, but we all know some years have none and one year had 13 inches of the white stuff!


Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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