By Steven Norris
Special to the Chronicle
The most active and exciting six months of weather during the year, December to May, is here, and I wanted to lay out some things I am seeing.
While long-range forecasting has a long way to go before we can forecast with certainty what is coming, upper air patterns that are developing often give us a good idea on weather trends for the upcoming season.
The jet stream is in a long-wave pattern, which means it has a tendency to go way up north, which is why we have had very mild conditions lately. When it gets something to give it a nudge southward, it tends to drop way down south and open up the U.S. to very cold air.
I am seeing indicators that around mid to late December, we will turn toward a wintry weather pattern with the period from New Year's Eve to Valentine's Day looking the worst. I would expect several big winter storms across the midwest. The question is, will it be this far south?
I suspect the answer is, "yes," to one or two of these. With the jet stream going so far south, ice would be more likely. One forecast model calls it a nightmare scenario of winter storms, if these things line up like it looks possible. So far, those wishing we will see our share of ice and snow may get their wish. I will update you as we get more data. I think I will be doing my share of all-nighters on 105.7 FM to keep you informed.
Our data indicates a high forming near Cuba about mid-February, and that would bring an early spring with much above normal temperatures into March. We normally see a nice warming after Valentine's Day. This could be warmer than usual.
An early spring would mean a worse tornado season, and they have been hitting the southeast pretty hard the past few years.
The bottom line is: This looks to be a wild ride in the months ahead.