December looking snowier than last, and maybe soon too…

Columbus (WCMH) – We close the books on November with just a trace of snow officially, and start a new, and typically snowier month.   In fact, the first weekend of December will be colder and may feature some flurries mixed with cold showers, and the 2nd weekend looks even colder.


What is the chance that this December is snowier than last (2015) December?

It is around 100% 🙂   Yes, I am that sure this December will be snowier than last.   Last December tied for the 2nd lowest amount of December snow on record with just a trace.

We had 3 days with a flurries last December (3, 18, 31st).  But that was it for snowfall last December.   Last December was also our warmest on record.


What can we expect this December?

At this point, it appears we could end up with cooler than normal temperatures, and normal snowfall numbers for December.


Above was the forecast I made earlier in the season.   I had 32″ of snowfall for the entire season, with 0″ (trace) through November, the forecast is still on track.

At 0″ as of tonight, we are technically below average already for the season on snowfall, (1.1″ is normal, Oct = 0.2″, Nov = 0.9″).


When can we expect our first measurable snowfall of the season?

It appears that this could occur late next week, either Thursday (Dec 8) or Friday (Dec 9).  This weekend we could end up seeing a few flurries mixed in with cold rain showers, but I am not anticipating accumulations.

However, the storm that will be pushing into our area late next week could bring our first measurable snowfall of the season and since April 9th (0.3″)


Lets start with temps:

The Climate Prediction Center at NOAA showing the 8-14 day outlook for temps being below normal for the 2nd week of December (8-14th).


Given that we are going to be below normal at least 4 of the first 7 days of the month, this would yield below normal temps for the first half of December, quite a change from last December.

Also, long range forecast models are hinting at a cold blast next weekend!


Below is the GFS (American Model) on Thursday (Dec 8th) in the late afternoon.


This would depict cold rain showers changing over snowfall late in the day Thursday into Thursday evening of next week.  One interesting thing to note is that this model have shifted back and forth between runs with the 18z runs being less snowy than the 12z and the 0z runs each day.

One thing that has been consistent is the cold air pouring in behind this system and the possibility of wrap around snow showers coming off the lakes on the backside for next weekend.


Below is the European forecast model for the same time period next Thursday:


This is a bit slower with the low, but has it in about the same location as the GFS, but about 18 hours later.  However, it is important to note the pool of cold air that will be dipping into our area for the 2nd weekend of the month.


The image below is from the Japan Meteorological Agency forecast model:


This model is the fastest of the models, but again, as the low in the same area during the morning on next Thursday.


Finally, here is a look at two frames from the Canadian forecast model 


This model actually has a more dramatic shift from the southwest to the southeast.   This would bring more rainfall and warmer temps on Thursday, and a mix of rain to snow overnight Thursday into Friday.  Unlike how the other models agree more of the low tracking across the upper Great Lakes, then shifting northeast into Canada, this one brings up a bit warmer air with it.


Just like the other models however, this one brings windy conditions late next Friday, and into next weekend, and much colder air spilling south into our region.


Bottom line forecast:

I still do not like to get too excited about long range forecasts, especially as we head into Winter.  A lot can change, and even small changes can make huge differences in snowfall totals.

At this time, more than a week away, I think we will see a rainmaker late next week.   I also think we will see it changing to snowfall post-cold front.   Also, I think its a good bet that we will see much colder air moving in for next weekend.  In fact, we could have high temps in the 30s next weekend, with lows in the 20s.  Also, with breezy conditions next Friday/Saturday wrapped around that low, we will have a chance of scattered lake effect snow showers.

None of this is shocking, or uncommon, even in the record warm December of 2015, we had highs in the 30s as early as the first week of the month, with lows in the lower 20s.   It is December, a month where normal highs range from the mid 40s early to upper 30s late.  We also see on average about 5″ of snow during the month.


December snowfall since 2000:

  • 2015:  Trace
  • 2014:  Trace
  • 2013:  12.7″
  • 2012:  14.9″
  • 2011:  0.5″
  • 2010:  7.3″
  • 2009:  8.9″
  • 2008:  2.1″
  • 2007:  7.8″
  • 2006:  0.1″
  • 2005:  6.2″
  • 2004:  9.6″
  • 2003:  6.3″
  • 2002:  5.1″
  • 2001:  1.7″
  • 2000:  13.4″


If you have any questions about snowfall, cold temps, winter weather, or any other weather, send me an email:

-Dave provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s