Winter Outlook 2016

November 4th, 2016: It’s that time of year again. We are getting into the last month of fall, so a big question on a lot of your minds may be “what’s winter going to bring?”.

Last year, we had an intense El Niño set up in the Pacific, bringing the 4th warmest winter on record to the area. It will be hard to top that, especially when conditions may do the opposite.

Instead of a very strong El Niño, a weak La Niña looks to form in the Pacific Ocean. This means cooler waters near South America (the opposite of El Niño), giving us a slightly harsher winter (especially compared to last year!).

A typical La Niña winter for us usually means cold and/or wet. Because this La Niña may be weak or almost nonexistent, the impacts may not be as harsh, but we’ll see some influences.

For temperatures, the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook shows colder than average weather to our north and northwest, with near average temperatures for us. So far, so good!

Click on the image to zoom in.

Click on the image to zoom in.

As for snowfall, we may be seeing more than we usually get. In this setup, the polar jet stream is more active over us, bringing in more chances for snow, but it does keep the colder weather away.

Click on the image to zoom in.

Click on the image to zoom in.

What’s average for us during the winter? The temperature average over the whole winter is around 29°, which amounts to highs in the 30’s and lows in the teens, on average. The season total for snowfall is usually 29″.

Click on the image to zoom in.

Click on the image to zoom in.

All in all, the going forecast means 30’s for highs, teens for lows, and more than 30″ of snow. Remember, this may still change! We have to see just how strong that La Niña ends up being, as it’s struggling to get going. Stay tuned!

-Alex

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 4, 2016

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