Chris Bailey's 2016-17 Winter Forecast

Published: Nov. 18, 2016 at 5:18 PM EST
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It’s a little hard to believe, but it is time to start talking about winter and wintry weather. Hard to even think about winter with temperatures staying so warm for so long this fall. Seasons do ultimately change and we will see the change come together very soon.

Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey’s daily routine includes tracking change. Whether it is seeing the record highs we have experienced or a 40 degree temperature swing. He is always looking towards the future!

Bailey has been putting together seasonal forecasts for 15 years and he has learned a lot since 2002. “When I started doing this it was just like anything else, a learning process. During that time I have learned that history can and often does repeat itself.” That is known as climatology. It is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.

Climate will only get you so far. Current global circulation in the atmosphere can paint a picture of where the pattern is headed. The global circulation can be described as the world-wide system of winds by which the necessary transport of heat from tropical to polar latitudes is accomplished. The transfer of energy constantly happens around the globe. It is how the atmosphere balances out the major differences in temperatures around the world.

“Temperatures will be much colder this winter when compared to last winter, which wasn’t very cold at all,” Bailey said. “I expect temperatures to be a degree or two colder than normal, with the coldest coming during the first half of winter. I expect much milder temperatures to arrive by February.”

Chris thinks Snow

“Snowfall should be normal to slightly above normal for most of Kentucky. Similar to temperatures, much of that should come during the first half of the winter (from December to January),” Bailey said. “The second half of winter should feature much lower snow chances as I expect temperatures to become much milder later in the season.”

The BOLD prediction

“The more I look at how this pattern resembles some of winters past; I can’t escape the sinking feeling that we have a significant freezing rain/ice event.” Bailey knows how most feel when the mention of a major ice event is entered into the forecast. “Folks around here know what a major ice event can bring and that’s why I am mentioning it. Some of the years I have looked at had very similar set-ups right before a major ice event occurred.”

When push came to shove and we were running out of time to get this forecast posted (remember in TV we deal with strict deadlines) Chris had to choose between two different bold predictions, “My gut is also telling me that we could see a major snow and cold event during the first part of winter. Don’t be surprised if we don’t have a big event between the mid to latter parts of December.”

One positive, Bailey thinks winter breaks a little earlier than normal.