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Livestock Wx for Jan. 10, 2019: Has this been a severe winter?
As we approach the middle of winter, we thought it might be interesting to see how it stacks up against previous winters. Thankfully, an interesting tool was recently creating that lets you do just that called the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index, or AWSSI (pronounced Aussie?).
The AWSSI assesses thresholds of temperature, snowfall, and snow depth and assigns them points that accumulate through the winter season. The image below shows the AWSSI for select cities across the country for the 2018-2019 winter.
As you can see, it has been a mostly mild winter (red dots). The same goes for Texas and Oklahoma. Just out of curiosity, though, we took a closer look at Amarillo and Oklahoma City, which are seeing a supposed average winter, yet recently experienced some decent winter weather. Despite record snowfall in OKC and a fairly cold November, it turns out it wasn’t enough to pull these two cities into the severe category. The AWSSI probably won’t help anyone make a decision but it is an interesting benchmark to understand how any given winter relates to the entire winter record. The cities that are displayed on the map were chosen because they have long weather records, many of which go well into the 1800s.
February & March Outlooks
So, what’s in store for the rest of winter? If we look at the North American Multi-Modal Ensemble (NMME) we might think not much. In fact, the outlooks are indicating neutral or normal conditions for temperature and not much of a forecast for precipitation. I think what we are going to see over the next two months are seasonal averages for both temperature and precipitation.
We’ll be back next week, though, and will take a closer look at the rest of winter once NOAA updates its temperature and precipitation outlooks on Jan. 17). Until then, enjoy your “mild” AWSSI winter…..