Let's do another recap comparing last winter to this winter so far up to December 29th.
Winter 2013- 2014
Season snowfall: 15.9"
Days below freezing: 22
Days of snow cover: 24
Coldest reading: 11.3 degrees
Season snowfall: 11.6"
Days below freezing: 11
Days of snow cover: 13
Coldest reading: 13.7 degrees
While last year we were similar in the snow department, it's clear that we aren't seeing the cold temperatures that we saw last year. This year we had our cold come even earlier than last year and November brought over 10" across the area. This time last year there was no snow on the ground and the cold really got cranking in January.
Last January about 16" of snow fell, which is about the normal snowfall for the area. However in February nearly 40" fell which I believe will our snowiest month this year once the -QBO begins to weaken and allows the strong Pacific jet to weaken as well.
It was clear to me that this year wouldn't be as cold as last year, and that could even be found in my winter forecast (http://meteomaddness.blogspot.com/2014/11/winter-forecast-2014-2015.html). I also mentioned about an elevated risk of major snowstorms, which I still believe is a strong possibility. Last season we had a lot of events that added up to 72" for a season total, but this year the events could be cut in half but provide more precipitation and still give us a snowier than normal winter.
The pattern seems to be changing a bit and with cold air moving in the snow isn't to far behind. I see potential for storms in January but I want to give it a few more model runs before I open the flood gates of hype.