ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, or the CPC, recently released its winter outlook for the United States. It calls for a near normal winter in regards to precipitation in Rochester, but above average temperatures. Realistically though, what should that look like in comparison to a “normal” winter here?
No two winters are alike. Some may have similarities, but each is unique to itself in its own way. This can make the “average” winter described below a bit misleading in some ways but it still serves as the best baseline we have to work from.
Overall, the driving force behind the look and feel of NOAA’s winter forecast is the fact that we have a moderate to strong El Nino forecasted for the winter months.
Getting the obvious out of the way, “above average” temperatures doesn’t mean it will inherently be warm across Western New York. It’s winter, it will still be cold. The implication here is that each month will probably run a few degrees warmer than it should though as a whole when you average it out. How we get there is anyone’s game, we won’t be forecasting day by day until we get there. Remember, this is a seasonal outlook and NOAA is painting with broad strokes here because they have to when predicting this far out.
Rochester has been running significantly below average the last five winters when it comes to snowfall, culminating in one of the lowest snowfall totals in years from 2022-2023.
If we are following trends, you could assume that we have another winter with lower numbers. Unfortunately, past results do not predict future outcomes. We can gain general forecast guidelines based on atmospheric conditions, but specific snowfall amounts are too difficult to predict because of unlimited variables.
The News 8 weather team will be airing the Winter weather special 2023-2024 coming in November.