Connecticut will be getting an early taste of mid-winter weather in the next week or two. While a lot of snow is not imminent, it will certainly be cold enough for some early-season snow. Last December was “off the charts” warm, and this December should be at least 10° colder than 2015. With this cold weather arriving ,and a feel of winter in the air, I decided to browse the Internet and see what some of the “experts” are saying about winter 2016-17.
Related Content: See the current Storm Team 8 Forecast
NOAA Outlook – issued October 20, 2016.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S. Winter Outlook is somewhat vague for Connecticut. Forecasters expect a La Nina to develop early in the winter and influence the weather in the United States. The precipitation outlook has “equal chances” of wetter or drier than normal weather in New England. Essentially, there is not enough evidence to issue a forecast in either direction.
The nearest area of above normal precipitation is over the Great Lakes. The temperature outlook has “equal chances” of warmer or colder than normal weather in Connecticut. It shows warm weather across the Southern US and in Maine.
If I read between the lines of this outlook, I see that NOAA is favoring a storm track up the Appalachians that brings snow and cold to the Great Lakes. If that’s the case, we’ll see lots of mixed precipitation events in Connecticut.
The Farmers’ Almanac, not to be confused with The Old Farmer’s Almanac, is bullish on a big ol’ fashioned New England winter. The gist of their forecast is for “Ice Cold & Snow Filled” weather in the Northeastern United States.
For what it’s worth, I looked back at their forecasts for the past few winters. Last year their forecast for New England was “Snowy & Bitter Cold”. That’s a big LOL after one of the warmest winters on record, and there was not much snow, either! Their headline for New England in the winter of 2014-15 was crisp and very stormy. That was the year where we had one of the snowiest stretches on record, and a frigid February that set records. That’s a notch colder than “crisp”.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac
If you want The Old Farmer’s Almanac seasonal or year-long forecast, you’ll have to pay for it, but, they offer a two-month sampler for free. While I think there is some actual science behind the previously mentioned “Farmers’ Almanac” forecast, I have no idea how The Old Farmer’s Almanac comes up with these mini-forecasts for 4-6 day periods two months in advance! For instance, the forecast for Dec 15-21 in our area is “Showers north, sunny south; turning warm”. File that away, and let me know if it verifies. I doubt it! The end of next week looks very cold, and possibly stormy. This two month preview calls for a very warm and very dry December followed by a mild and dry January. Based on what I’m seeing, I doubt December will be 6° warmer than normal.
A Few Others
Accuweather calls for a colder winter than last year (not saying much) with frequent storms in New England. The Weather Company forecast is pretty vague and similar to the NOAA temperature outlook. On this preview, they do not offer a precipitation outlook. The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, a respected group of meteorologists, issues a forecast for Washington DC. Their forecaster mentions the storm track near the Appalachians that would lead to mixed evens in our neck of the woods.
At News8, we spend most of our time focused on the details of the 8-Day forecast and how the weather will impact your life. However, I keep an eye on seasonal trends and patterns that may influence our weather in the long run. Based on what I’ve seen, I think that the temperature will not be far from normal this winter, and it will feel a lot colder than last year when it was so mild for most of the winter. I also think that we’ll be talking about frequent storms, with a track that leads to many mixed precipitation events. Before you get too excited about drought-busting rain and snow, if the storm track is to our west, then we may not always be on the wettest side of these storms.