We are looking ahead to our winter outlook for the 2018 2019 season. There are a few things we can look at, but the first thing we start with is the ocean temperature, and the departure from average. We are currently looking at warmer than average water across the equatorial Pacific, and it’s looking like an El Niño will be developing. In addition to that, there is a pool of warm water up near Alaska. This will help to lift the jet stream in that area and drop it south across the central and eastern United States.
So what does an El Niño mean for us? Typically, areas in the western and northern United States are warmer than average, and the Ohio Valley relatively dry. Meanwhile, the southern United States tends to be cooler than average and wet during an El Nino season.
So where does that leave the Great Lakes? There are a few other factors we look at throughout the winter, but this is what we are thinking: Could this winter start off slow? We could have an active but mild start to November and possibly into December. That would mean plenty of precipitation, but could much of this be in the form of rain instead of snow? We do think winter may come roaring back into January and February with frequent bouts of cold and perhaps some coastal storms developing during heart of winter.
In regards to temperature, we are thinking we will be dealing with some bouts of milder air in November and December with winter really digging it heals in into late December, with the cold focused on January and February. That being said, could March actually be an easier month this year?
In regards to snow, we do think it’ll be a wet and mild start to the season which means less snow but more rainfall. With the colder air setting in for January and February, we are thinking those months will be the snowier months, with bigger January and February storms. The overall snowfall forecast for the News 8 Weather Team is a little bit above average with a snowfall forecast of 100-115″ for the entire season.