No. Winter is definitely not over. Let me be very clear about that. Having said that there are some very encouraging elements to the forecast as we look forward through the next few weeks.
First of all, the short term models all indicate this warming trend will carry us through this week. The normal highs for this period are about 45 degrees and we're calling for highs in the 50s and 60s all week - well above normal. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temperatures are likely for our area through February 25. The normal high for the end of February is 48 to 49 degrees. So above normal expectations are a good thing. That takes us almost to March.
If you've lived in this area for any length of time you know that March can be cold and snowy at times. In my mind if we can just make it to March we're pretty much at the end of the worst of Winter. We can still get some cold snaps and heavy, wet snows but the temperatures usually rebound rather quickly.
Just how bad has this Winter been? So far we've had 28.2 inches of snow officially at Lambert. That's the 18 highest snowfall on record and we could see more. Of course some of you have already seen more than that in parts of the viewing area.
By my calculations 47 of 73 days this Winter (about 64%) have had below normal temperatures. We've had 7 nights dip into the single digits with the lowest temperature reached so far 0 degrees on January 21.
Hang in there...we're gettin' there.