The Richmond Register

Local News

December 7, 2009

State forecaster sees cooler, drier winter


In past interviews, Foster has called Kentucky a weather battleground.

Kentucky’s fall, as well as its winter and summer, also was unusual this year, said Dr. Greg Goodrich of the climate center.

October ranked among the wettest in the state’s history, he said. The month was followed by a November that ranked among the driest. Most of the state received less than one inch of precipitation in November.

Paducah received more than 10 inches of rain in October, a record. In November, a little more than half an inch of rain fell in the western Kentucky city, another record.

Jackson, where the National Weather Service maintains a radar station, also had its driest November on record.

For most of the state, November was three to four degrees warmer than normal.

Historically, it is very rare for a wet October to be followed by a dry November, Goodrich said.

Most private forecasting firms, such as nationally published almanacs, use El Nino averages, Goodrich said, but they also include things like the weather patterns over the previous summer and the strength of the previous hurricane seasons in their outlooks.

Since summer 2009 was below average in temperatures with above average precipitation, the private firms believe that this pattern will continue through winter and lead to above average snowfall, he said.

The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a “very cold and snowy” winter for the southern Ohio Valley.

Most meteorologists discount the almanacs’ predictions, Goodrich said, because they tend to predict more extreme weather,

“As far as ice storms are concerned, there really is no way to predict the frequency of heavy ice,” he said. “But, an El Nino pattern can lead to the type of conditions associated with ice storms. However, the likelihood of having another historic ice storm this winter is rare.”

Bill Robinson can be reached at or 624-6622.

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