After a wet start to the fall season, we are now experiencing a serious dry spell. The last significant moisture we received was around a half inch on October 10. Since then, we recorded a quarter of inch of rain a couple of times but have gone more than two months without any beneficial moisture. Our snow totals haven’t been much better since we have only recorded a tenth of an inch in the month of December.
For some perspective on our lack of snow, the NWS office in Omaha tweeted out this information: “We are in the midst of the 6th longest stretch on record without 3" or more of snow in Omaha and the 3rd longest in Lincoln? Both 679 days, back to 2/2/2016 (the Groundhog Day blizzard).”
During the month of December our average snowfall is around 6 inches. The highest amount that we ever recorded in December occurred in 2009 when we collected 24.6 inches during the month. The least amount of snow that we have seen in recent years was a trace back in 2004.
Here’s a look at some of the totals that we’ve seen in the month of December over the past five years, and the amounts have been pretty low.
And here’s another interesting stat from the NWS in Omaha. If we look at snow totals for a calendar year, the total of 8.3" in 2017 would tie the lowest year on record (set in 1954), assuming we don’t receive additional measurable snow this month.
The big question everyone has been asking me lately is whether we will have a white Christmas? If we continue on our current path, the chance looks pretty low. However, some of the latest model data for the next 8-14 days is bumping our chance for precipitation to slightly above average through the holidays. An arctic air mass is on track to arrive by next Thursday, and it would be cold enough for it to snow. However, it is still too far out to say if there will be enough moisture to produce snow. We will keep providing updates as we get closer to the holidays, so keep checking back.