Weekend Winter Wonderland Not Putting a Dent in W. Pocahontas Co. Snow Drought

Western Pocahontas County, WV: Despite today’s beautiful snow in the higher elevations, this winter has been under par for the course.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill went to Pocahontas County to check out the winter wonderland early this weekend:

Just about three inches of new snowfall accumulation fell in western Pocahontas County, above 4000 feet. The nearest observation point to the Highland Scenic Highway (Snowshoe) accumulated 65 to 70 inches of snow so far this season. If you look back at the five least snowiest winters on record for this particular elevation of our region, there is a big correlation there between the snowfall amount and a La Nina pattern.

In reviewing the five snowiest winters on record, they typically happen in a neutral winter or weak El Nino pattern. We have been in a strong El Nino pattern; the sea surface temperature anomalies in the eastern Pacific, were anywhere from 2 to 2.1 degrees Celsius above average. So, that very strong signal helped to generate a lot of energy and a lot of moisture into this region, but just not that much snow so far this winter.

Even though it’s a winter wonderland here on this final weekend in February, the winter has been nothing like what it should be, which historically includes 120 to 160 inches of snow.

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