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Where’ s the Snow?

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If you live in the Northeast of the United States, you may have noticed that in recent years there has been less snow than there once was. Last winter, Philadelphia became part of the five warmest winters in Pennsylvania. So will this year break the pattern and be a white Christmas? According to forecasters, Philadelphia can expect about 75 times more snow than the winter of 2022-23! However, what caused this warm winter, and how has it been broken?

With just 0.3 inches of snow in total and not even a single snow “watch” many people living in and around Philly may have felt like winter skipped right by. But it wasn’t just Philadelphia that experienced a warm winter with average temperatures several degrees above normal. Every New England state had the warmest January in 129 years in counting. The weird part is that the West experienced 30 days of below-normal temperatures and the extreme precipitation even knocked California out of a drought. So what’s changed between this year and last and why will we be getting so much more snow?

Meteorologists look to several factors that may have caused a divide in temperatures in the nation. First, an overall upper-air pressure pattern has been moving all the cold air to the north of the Eastern U.S. leaving the East Coast basically storm-proof all winter. But meteorologists mainly look to La Niña cooling waters in the Pacific. When the La Niña interacted with overlying air, it had an effect on winds delivering colder weather to North America. This means that the West received the winter that the East usually had.

Looking into the future of this winter, here’s what we can expect with snow this year. According to FOX 29 Weather Authority, we can expect around 26 inches of snow this year in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, they also predict that there is only a 25% chance that Philadelphia may have a white Christmas and snow will fall on Christmas day. Out of 13 days of snow on the ground, they predict that 4 will be under 3 inches and another 4 will be over 3 inches. The coldest month of the 2023-24 winter will be January.

So if you were thinking that it’s been a while since there was an actual snow day, it’s not just in your head. The last time it snowed over an inch in Philadelphia was January 29, 2022. On November 22, 2023, Philly surpassed its previous record of 661 days without an inch of snow which happened between 1972 and 1973. But this year you can dust off the snow boots because if the forecasts are right, we may get a snow day!

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About the Contributor
Brynn Gillin, Staff Writer
Brynn Gillin is currently a freshman at Quakertown Community High School. This is her firstyear as a writer for Paw Prints Newspaper. Brynn loves all things sports including soccer andtrack and she is on the Quakertown High School girls soccer team. Brynn also loves art andbeing creative in her free time. She is super excited to be working on Paw Prints and everythingelse this school year has to give!

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