The winter of 1976-1977 has been coming up in weather analogs over the past several months. An analog is something forecasters look for, comparing current and projected weather factors to align with a similar set up with the past. Looking at how past years acted given the same atmospheric set ups and phenomena are a key, key tool for forecasters and meteorologists when making forward predictions.
The winter of 1976-1977 was a brutal winter for much of the eastern two-thirds of the United States. It’s one of the coldest winters on record in the Ohio Valley as well as in the Southeast.
This item, from the Wilmington, OH National Weather Service, recalls that winter.
“While this winter has been a far cry from a typical winter in the Ohio Valley, a look back at mid-January through mid-February of 1977 makes us realize how lucky we’ve been with the warm temperatures and infrequent snowfalls.
The period of January 10th through February 8th 1977 represents the coldest 30-day period ever recorded in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton when considering the average daily temperature (average of high and low over a 30-day period). This brutal stretch of weather has been the measuring stick for any Arctic outbreak since, and so far only a similar brutal stretch in January 1978 comes close to matching the bitterly cold temperatures for such a long duration of time.”
|City||Coldest 30-Day Avg Temperature Ever (F)||Period||Coldest Minimum Temp During Period|
|Columbus||10.4||Jan 10th – Feb 8th 1977||-19|
|Cincinnati||11.4||Jan 10th – Feb 8th 1977||-25|
|Dayton||10.6||Jan 10th – Feb 8th 1977||-21|
The -25F for a morning low temperature at Cincinnati referenced above occurred on January 18th, 1977, and represents the coldest morning low temperature in official records. In fact, the previous morning (January 17th 1977), Cincinnati dropped to -24F, tied for the second coldest low temperature in official records for the Queen City.
Below are more interesting stats from this frigid 30-day stretch..
|City||# of Morning Lows < 0 (F)||Avg. Snowdepth||Snowfall During Period|
Take a look at this map from the winter of 1976-1977 of what actually happened:
Notice the ridge of high pressure (yellows) on the West coast…near identical to what we saw last year and what many are saying will also be in place this year. Now, take a look at this map, which is a recent projection of the next 45 days:
CFSV2 from 12z.. 45 days, well into December, cold. If true the slow start missive out there in trouble pic.twitter.com/gZ0RFlK2h6
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) November 5, 2014
I keep saying this; the closer we get to the winter, the more validity these projections have…and this upcoming historic blast of cold weather that is on tap for next week is most likely a kickoff to another eventful and cold winter for the eastern half of the United States
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