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Welcome to the long awaited 2017 Winter Outlook! So what will this winter bring? That always is the million dollar question and often times only mother natures knows the answer. However, a forecaster has to try to make their best calculated estimated on what will occur based on observations, history and long range weather models. Those are the three components that go into developing my forecast. Starting the summer months I begin to observe what is going on in the atmosphere. I then take a look at how these observations might evolved based on history and model projections. As we enter the fall months, I can start to observe in real time how the atmosphere is behaving, find historical years where it has behaved similar, then compare with what the long range models show for the winter season.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
- Colder than normal temperatures with rounds of heavy mountain snows due to an active pacific jet stream
- A very cold and stormy winter. It will snow frequently this year, especially in the mountain areas. This should make for a banner ski season with well above normal snowfall.
- 3 major storms (12+ inches)
- I expect an active back and forth winter in this region. Temperatures will be chilly but I do not expect a brutally cold winter.
- There will be a lot of storm activity but it will not all be snow. Expect everything ranging from rain events to ice and snow.
- For the northern Mid-Atlantic (light blue area) expect frequent wintery precipitation which should average out to just above normal snowfall.
- For areas a little further south including Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington expect average snowfall amounts due to ice and rain cutting down on seasonal accumulations.
- 1-2 major storms (10+ inches) can be expected in the light blue zone.
- Not much in the way of snowfall. Chilly at times but your standard run of the mill winter with cold shots followed by spells of warmer than normal weather.
Ohio Valley/Great Lakes Regions:
- Very cold for the northern areas in this region (Great Lakes) and slightly colder than normal for the southern areas (Ohio Valley)
- Above average snowfall due to the frequency of storm systems passing by ( light to moderate snow events)
- 1 major storm
Western Ski Areas:
- Decent ski season overall for central and northern Rockies
- Some areas more on the southern end of the Rockies might see below normal snowfall due to persistent ridges of high pressure keeping the storm tracks more to the north.
So as you can see I am predicting an overall very decent coast to coast winter! Skiers should be looking forward to 2017 whether you are planing to head out west or head up into New England.