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VERIFICATION - WINTER OUTLOOK

Meteorological spring starts today, so it is time to verify my winter outlook. Obviously snow can still occur across most of the U.S. during this time of the year, but my forecast was for December through February. Last November, I typed up this summary:
San Diego - Last winter was cooler and wetter than average. This December-February should have below average temperatures and slightly above average precipitation. The southern stream will be weak, so we might not see any major rain events (exceeding 2"). Instead, I expect occasional moderate events through the winter. This could eat away at snow totals in the mountains, but colder air in the upper atmosphere could compensate a little.
Richmond - Last winter was cooler than average (cool Dec-Jan, warm in Feb) and drier than average (Dec was wet, Jan-Feb dry). Snow last year was *just* below average with a total of 10.7". I expect December-February temperatures to stay slightly above average and precipitation to hover near or slightly below average. There should be two to three cold blasts, though I don't think there will be any prolonged cold weather (over two weeks). After watching the storm track over the past couple months, I wouldn't be surprised if there will be a couple threats for a significant snow storm. Regardless, snow totals should stay near or below average at roughly 6 to 12".
Here were my forecast maps:





Here is what actually happened:







Although I'm generally happy with my temperature forecast in San Diego and California, I had a significant miss on the precip outlook. In retrospect, I should have known better considering the lack of a strong southern stream.

I'm very happy about my Richmond outlook (I've had more practice with Mid-Atlantic weather). 

I had a major bust with temperatures in the Northern Plains and New England. The handwriting was on the wall, in fact, I even talked about it during my discussion on the Arctic Oscillation and NAO. 

Lastly, I wish I would have extended my heavy precip area down into Texas. I drew my precip outlook two or three times. Each time I seriously considered putting Texas into the "above average" category. Instead, I stuck with persistence. Anyway, I'm glad I was wrong...Texas needed that moisture!

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