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KHQ Weather Authority - Where is the snow?

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SPOKANE, Wash. - One might wonder, where is the snow? 

Meteorological Winter started December 1st, but we are still two weeks away from the official start of winter, winter solstice and the shortest day of the year. However, Spokane hasn't seen its first significant snowfall yet. We've flirted with mother nature, just like a high school student and their homecoming date, for the last month and a half, but snow lovers are still waiting. Now as we head into the second week of December it looks like it could be a while before see another chance of snow in the inland Northwest. 

The CPC or Climate Prediction Center, released its 8-14 day forecast outlook for temperatures and precipitation yesterday and while skiers and snowboards are wanting white, the map is filled with red. Above average temperatures are expected through the rest of this week with rain. Sadly this looks to include the mountains. Snow levels as we head into Friday will be above 5,000ft in most locations across the Pacific Northwest, keeping the mountains just wet, and skiers thinking of trading their skies in for a canoe. 

Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Granted these are only predictions but confidence is high that the warm start to meteorological winter will continue into the next 14 days. It seems that the Polar Vortex has been long forgotten and we have gone back to boot wearing, umbrella using weather. But since it is the second week of December, we started asking, where is the snow? People asking recently, "How unusual is it for us to see this little snow, for this time of year?" The answer might surprise you, its not that uncommon. 

Last December, in 2013, Spokane saw only 3.7 inches of snow, with 3.2" of that coming on December 20th (still 11 days away)and the other measurable days, being the 12th (0.2") and the 29th (0.3"). Things were a little different the previous year,December of 2012, where Spokane saw just over 18 inches of snowfall on the month. 

Through December 7th, Spokane averages 9.6" of snow and this year we have only seen 0.9" putting us a little behind our average. But even that 0.9" isn't a record. The record for least amount of snow through December 7th is 0.3" set back in 1954. With that said, things could be worse. 

So yes, we are behind as far as snowfall goes, and while right now trading in your skies for a canoe might seem like a great idea, we still have a lot of winter left to go. The one statistic worth keeping an eye on is, when will Spokane see their first full inch of snow. The average first inch of snow in Spokane normally falls on November 19th and since we've blown past that so far, and the latest CPC releases offering us little hope, we could make a run at the record, for latest 1 inch of snowfall, set December 23rd 1976. Maybe next time you tune in to KHQ you might see me doing a snow dance! Think snow! 

~ Ryan 

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