Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Region 8's Winter Weather Forecast for 2016-2017!

We have been very accurate in recent years with our winter weather forecasts, but I still want to remind people that it's a LONG range outlook with a high chance of error. I like to look at the past to predict the future and the 2016-2017 outlook is no exception. We initially thought that we would come out of the strong El Niño and go straight into a moderate La Niña, but that's not panning out. Therefore, we have made some last minute audibles to our winter weather forecast. Here we go...

December 2016 through February 2017 in Region 8

  • I expect  the first half of Winter to be VERY COLD. In fact, it could be the coldest December we have seen in a few years. 
  • I expect the second half of Winter to be milder. In fact, we may see a preview of Spring in February with highs in the 60s and 70s on a few days. Beware, warmer temperatures could lead to severe thunderstorms.
  • Overall, I expect above average precipitation this winter. (Rain, snow, and ice)
  • Overall, I expect 3-5 wintry weather events that could impact schools and travel. 1-2 of those events could be ice (sleet and/or freezing rain), but I do not foresee a repeat of the 2009 ice storm. 
  • I'll do one last update to this forecasts during the first week of November. 
As I mentioned above, I like to look at the past to forecast the future. We took a close look at the 1998-1999 winter season and the 1983-1984 winter season to look for similar patterns. Over the past few weeks, I've noticed similarities to the 1983-1984 winter and it strongly influenced the forecast for the 2016-2017 winter season. 

For those interested, here is December-February of 1983-1984. I highlighted the interesting parts:

We will watch and see how it pans out and I'll do one last update during the first week of November. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of fall!


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