From an extremely rare white Christmas to an immobilizing snowstorm in January to one of the coldest Decembers on record, last winter was extreme for Atlanta, to say the least.
This winter, the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team does expect some similarities to last winter for Atlanta with a chilly start to the season along with the possibility for a couple of snow or ice events.
The good news, however, is that this winter is not expected to be nearly as extreme in terms of cold.
"This winter in Atlanta, it may be chilly to start, but nothing extraordinary," said AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck. "There will be cold shots in the early part of the season, but they won't be as nasty or long-lasting as they were last year."
After the bitterly cold start to winter last year, the season turned out milder for Atlanta by February. A shift to milder weather later in the season is predicted again for this winter, only it will be even more noticeable.
The problem that may arise later in the season, however, is severe weather events. A significant threat for severe weather is expected to develop in February from Mississippi into Alabama and Tennessee. Atlanta could be right on the outer fringe of the core of this activity.
As for snow, Smerbeck warned that a couple of snow or ice events are not out of the question. "They can get some snow this year, but the main zone of stormy weather will be just off to their northwest."
Atlanta averages about 2 to 3 inches of snow per year. AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity pointed out, "If Atlanta does get a couple of snow or ice events, they could easily have near- or even above-normal snowfall this year."
A storm that brings several inches to the city may not seem like a big deal for people across the northern U.S., but Atlanta, as well as other cities across the South, is not equipped to handle much snow.
Last winter, a major storm system delivered 4 to 5 inches of snow to Atlanta, bringing the city to a virtual standstill.
That storm forced the city to increase its snow removal operation from 10 to more than 115 pieces of equipment, according to the AJC.
The odds of another snowstorm like this affecting Atlanta this year are small. Chances of Atlanta having another white Christmas are close to zero. Last year, 1.2 inches of snow fell on Christmas Day in Atlanta, making it the first time in 128 years that measurable snow whitened the city on Dec. 25.
Following a dip in temperature during the middle of the week, summerlike warmth will rebound across much of the Northeast by this weekend.
An outbreak of severe weather is targeting areas from Texas to Nebraska Wednesday evening.
Daily episodes of severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours will impact the Plains this week, possibly lingering into the weekend.
While a few showers will pass east of the Bay Area, seasonable weather and sunshine will hold in place through the weekend.
The central and southern Plains will continue to be pummeled by strong storms for the next several days, but the most potent severe weather threat is likely to be during the Mother's Day weekend.
Wind, seas and surf will build in advance of what is likely to become the first tropical system of 2015 along the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States late this week.
Natchez, MS (1840)
Great Natchez tornado: most deadly and destructive in all pre-U.S. Weather Bureau history. City in ruins; 340 killed, mostly by drowning in the river.
White Mountain 2, CA (1964)
-15 degrees; U.S. record for May (lower 48 states).
A few tornadoes touched down in Kansas and Iowa, killing two people. Thunderstorms in eastern Kansas produced baseball-sized hail at Scranton and golf ball-sized hail at Silverdale.