Franklin Fact Archive
Back to Franklin Facts homepage.
Back to TV12
THURSDAY DECEMBER 7 - KEYS TO WINTER WEATHER FORECASTING
One of the toughest forecasts to make around here is deciding between rain, ice and
snow. Ultimately, it's the temperature of the various layers of air from the ground
up into the clouds that determines what kind of precipitation we get. And to a large
extent, those temperatures depend on the direction of the wind. Air coming in off the
ocean during winter can lead to warming, tipping the scales away from snow and ice.
Before an approaching storm, winds here can blow from a number of directions. A
wind will block any ocean influence, and keep cold air locked in. A
northeast wind might
allow some warming right near the coast, while an east wind will bring warmer air well
inland. A strong
east or southeast wind can cause changeovers to
rain well west and even
north of Wilmington and Philadelphia.
So when winter storms threaten in the coming months, pay close attention to the wind
direction. You'll soon discover that as the wind goes, so often goes the weather.