Thursday, September 28, 2017

Winter Forecast Reminder

I know many of you saw the winter forecast on the 10PM news a couple weeks ago. I also know that forecast probably disappointed many of you snow lovers. I want to thank meteorologist Joe Bastardi with for providing me their seasonal forecast. Remember, we specialize in forecasts 7-10 days out, but there are private sector meteorologists who work tirelessly forecasting months and months down the road. Much of this work is rooted in ocean temperatures and patterns it produced in the past. The forecast from WeatherBell showed temperatures at or slightly above average for the 3 month period of December, January, and February. In terms of snowfall, they are calling for something close to average. Remember, this does not include ice amounts, just snow.
With all that said, don't get bogged down in the overall picture for that 3 month period. I randomly pulled 2 months of data to illustrate my point. Temperatures could end up being well above average over the course of a month, but have wild temperature swings AND snow. I'm not saying this is going to happen this winter, but it's something to keep in mind when you see these forecasts.
This is December 2012. The month was 5.2 degrees ABOVE average! There were periods of very cold temperatures and periods of very mild temperatures. Even with temperatures well above average , we all remember the blizzard/winter storm on Christmas Day and the following day. 10-15 inches of snow on top of ice knocked power out to more than 250K. If you ask someone about their perception of that month, they would likely say it was quite cold and snowy. While you could argue it was quite snowy, the cold part of it would not be completely true.
Look at December 2004. Temperatures were .3° above average. However, that does not tell the whole story. Look at the period between the 19th and the 27th. That was darn cold! Also, there was 3.3'' of snow that month which is close to average. My point once again is simple, don't look at a forecast for "average" or even slightly "above average " temperatures and think it will be a non winter. That's just simply wrong.

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