31 December 2016


An Arctic front is planning to drop in to visit for New Years Eve!

The traditional lowland-snow setup is in place, with high pressure far off the coast and cold lows sliding down the eastern side. Models have been showing it for some time, but few have forecast much on the ground; Arctic fronts are cold but pretty dry unless they can pull moisture from the Pacific at just the right moment. Too much marine air makes for an ugly slush-fall, too little brings just flurries and quick clearing. I recall watching one from my office window about 20 years ago, with rain showers and west wind; next time I looked the flags were limp, and soon howling from the north with a quick hour of very dry flakes. A great demo of how Arctic fronts behave!

Today the Weather Service accepted that conditions are 'better' than expected, so perhaps two inches will await us at the dawn of 2017. It should be snowing at midnight, so we can probably swap a snowy toast as the Age of Reason is replaced by the emerging (and hopefully brief) Twitter Age. We may not make it to midnight as we were up quite late last night, but a few fireworks will need lighting once darkness descends. Hm, fireworks and snowflakes - I suspect I've never seen that combination before!

Impressively cold air is supposed to stick around for most of the week, with highs around 30° and lows below 20°. That means a fine chilly setup for when the next moisture arrives, when the weather will once again become "interesting"!

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