Winter Weather Outlook for 2017 / 2018

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GON Winter Weatherman
Alright, the much awaited and anticipated SWAG at what old man winter will blow down from Canada this year is here. It will give some hope and it will cause others to just say... oh well...

So here goes.

There is a lot to consider with this upcoming winter. Just to try and keep it brief, things like high amount of Hurricanes / Tropical Systems, La Nina, Long Range models and climatology.

From November through early March temps should be slightly above average but the shots of cold will come. Prolonged periods of cold are not expected this winter. Yes, we will have 3-5 days of cold but temperatures will rebound quickly. On Monday you will be wearing a coat and on Sunday you will be wearing shorts. More shorts than coats.

One year that I think lines up well is Winter of 1995 / 1996. The 1995 Tropical season was very active just like our previous season was. Taking that winter into consideration, it lines up well with what we are seeing right now.

We had a really good ice storm here in 1996 that I remember well. I was in college at ABAC in Tifton. My dad had to drive me to a friend's house and we rode together to college. We followed his dad down to I-675 where the ice wore off enough for us to travel the roads ok by ourselves. I expect a good ice storm will be in order this winter for the CAD prone areas and possibly down into Atlanta Metro.

With how it looks for the potential set up, I believe the North West part of the state stands the best chance along with the N GA mountains at seeing any measurable snow. If you made me guess I would say this would occur from the last week of December through the end of January.

I believe the potential for Ice in the CAD prone areas would be January through the middle of February. I foresee one of the lobes of cold arctic air (High Pressure) sliding off the East Coast of Virginia and pushing that air down the back side of the Appalachian Mountains and pushing dry cold air into the wedge / CAD areas. With the warm flow out of the Gulf of Mexico and warm air riding north, we end up with a rough ice storm. We are due by the way.

I also believe this winter will be a story of extremes. 70 one day, 35 the next. The spring, summer and hurricane season has been a story of extremes and I believe the winter will be no different. I expect some rough Nor'easter's up the NE Coast. I also expect a strong and heavy snow year in the upper part of the country. Wisconsin, Michigan and Lake affect areas of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The way the cold air will ride East it should provide those areas along with the NE part of the country with many shots at winter weather.

The SE will be above average on temps and moisture will be spread out. When the cold does dive south, the jet stream dips south and allows cold air to spill south, it will be shots of extreme that will push any moisture East and leave cold dry air in it's wake. 2-3 days of serious cold and we rebound. This is what I expect our winter to mainly be filled with. Some CAD events will be sprinkled in and I believe one or two of those will give us a real chance at measurable, nuisance ice.

The two pictures below are some snap shots from this week that depict what I believe give a small snapshot of what our winter will look like in the South East.

The second picture is what I have in my mind of what our ICE event will shape up wise with just deeper cold than what is modeled in that picture. It's just to give everyone an idea of what I am thinking winter will look like.

I do not have high expectations this winter of having a big snow anywhere in metro Atlanta. I believe the snow will be confined to extreme NW GA and the NE GA Mountains.

I cannot stress enough the extremes but high and low. 70's in January? I think that could happen within days of having highs in the 40's. One thing I have left out, is that with warmer than normal temps and strong cold fronts bringing cold arctic air, the potential for severe weather will be in the table as well. We have had some potent severe weather outbreaks in Georgia in the past in the winter months and this winter we could see a higher number of those. Just something to keep in mind.

I hope I am wrong, as I am a winter weather extremist lover and I look for every possible hope of winter weather to happen in my back yard and yours, however this winter just does not give me that warm and fuzzy feeling.

This is just a guess on my part. I am not a professional. Yes, I have followed winter weather in Georgia as a hobby for going on over 20+ years. I have gotten a few things right and been wrong a lot. A warm nose here, convection robbing moisture up stream or dry air squeezing out moisture from the atmosphere to give a surprise 2" of snow in Atlanta or NE GA burbs has made me look silly over the years. Don't take what I put here as gospel. It's just a guess.

Weather is a fluid situation. Last year's potential snow was a perfect example of that. Models had us lined up for a decent snow fall by Georgia standards, but a warm nose aloft cut off many on the East side of the state and it was just a cold rain. Be patient with our local TV mets between trying to warn the public, be accurate and make sense to a wide viewing area, it is tough to convey a weather message sometimes.

Lastly, free advice to everyone reading this. There are a lot of Facebook pages out there that hype up weather events especially in the winter just to gain followers and pump up egos. I encourage you to listen to or follow Ryan Maue, James Spann, Robert Gamble who is only on Facebook now at WxSouth, Allan Huffman out of North Carolina, Ella Dorsey out of Atlanta, Brad Nitz in Atlanta and Matthew East who covers the Carolina's and usually includes Georgia in his forecasting thoughts when a weather threat is inbound. Also, if you can't separate from Facebook, subscribe to North Georgia Weather for some good weather discussion there.

Most of those "weather groups" especially the "private groups" are only there for the benefit of the person who started the group and their massive ego. I personally am not involved nor do I participate with any weather page on Facebook. I caution everyone when you are eating your French Toast in the morning not to bank on any of the weather hyping that occurs on those pages. All those type of people do is cause a head ache for the professionals, as their followers take screen shots of the nonsense they spew and the TV METS spend hours and air time putting out the forest fire some ego maniac started. I watched last winter as meteorologist had to try and dispel things that were being posted on Facebook. I even got dragged into it as people that know me personally would email or message me with a picture of 1 snowfall clown map and some title next to it that says, 12" of snow for Atlanta!

Typically those same people never do their own research or homework they just copy and paste thoughts, pictures and opinions from others who actually know what they are talking about. If you are a member of a private Facebook page that supposedly has "member only exclusive forecast" do yourself a favor and leave the group. It's of no benefit to anyone and professional METS everywhere will thank you. :rofl:

I will update this page as winter weather patterns start to take shape.

To join the weather conversation at GON if you are not a member sign up and join us in discussing the weather. Miguel is a weather nut like myself and keeps things moving when I am not around but with Winter on our door step I will be in the Weather Discussion threads more often especially when threats are on the horizon.

The link to that forum is here:

Just look for **** General Weather Discussion***** in the topics. The met shack is more for us to post things like this and keep it easier for everyone to read for up to date information and not have to fish back through the discussion pages.


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Good stuff.
Ice Ice Baby...

I would add to your closing remarks regarding Wx Imposters on FB; Send us a PM if you find one over there. We have a way of helping the Professional Mets vet them out and shut them down. ;)