Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Centre Daily Times as an installment of the paper’s Focus on Research column. Focus on Research highlights research projects and topics being explored across all disciplines at Penn State. Each column features the work of a different researcher.
As a winter-lover, I consider myself lucky to be a meteorologist. I do not need to wait until the third week of December to kick off winter. Meteorological winter is a three-month period that begins on Dec. 1 and runs until the end of February. Once December begins, central Pennsylvanians are set to get strapped into the 90-day weather roller coaster that lies ahead. On a theme park roller coaster, after the thrilling ups and downs, eventually you need to end up back where you started. The winter weather roller coaster doesn’t always work that way. This winter is a very good example of us not making it back to the starting position we call “average.”