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Early Winter Outlook 2019-2020
Jeremy Kappell

Early Winter Outlook 2019-2020

Here it is, still August, almost a month away from the start of fall, and people are ALREADY starting to ask about what this winter might bring.  

A heavy-equipment operator with Fort McCoy snow removal, drives a plow truck to move snow. Winter can be a hazardous time of year. Frigid temperatures and slick roads can be dangerous. (U.S. Army photo by Scott T. Sturkol)

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready to ponder that question just yet.  With that being said, the now 200 year old Farmer's Almanac, first produced way back in 1818, has taken their "guess" as to what this winter, 2019-2020 will bring us.  Here's their prognostication...

Some Perspective

A couple of quick thoughts here.  We are still four months away from the beginning of winter and we don't always get the 7 day right.  I think you know that, but I just wanted to point out the obvious.  However, at least with the 7 day, you get some specifics, such as 77 with a 30% chance of rain on Friday.  It is specific, quantitative and based on science.  

The above map maybe not so much science, definitely not quantitive and certainly not specific.  With that being said, I have yet to experience a winter across the Plains, Ohio Valley or Northeast without bouts of "frigid, frozen, snowiness or without a cold wintry mix" at times.  lol!

Ok, I know this is all for fun, but what does the science say?  We'll, I'll let the best performing long range model that we have at our disposal speak to that.  Here's a look at what the ECMWF Seasonal climate model is suggesting for the start of our winter season...

December 2019

The Euro says we'll see "near normal" temps and "near normal" precipitation during the month of December.  If this rings true, then temps will range from the lower 40's to the mid 30's for highs and average snowfall runs at about 20 inches for the month.

January 2020

The Euro says we'll see "slightly above normal temps" with "slightly above normal precip".  This could signal above average snowfall in excess of 30 inches with temps generally in the 30's.

February 2020

The Euro says we'll see "slightly above normal temps" with "slightly above normal precip".  This could signal more healthy snowfall with temps again in the 30's for highs on avearge.  

So what do I think?  

I think it's too early to be making any real attempts at a long range winter forecast even with the help of the best model guidance. I'll have your winter outlook ready in time for Halloween. 

With that being said, I promise to be a little more specific and quantitative during your 7 Day Extended on tonight's edition of WxLIVEat945.  

See you there!


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