Its early fall and already Iâ€™ve been asked by half a dozen people about what kind of winter we should expect. As a disbeliever in anyoneâ€™s ability to accurately forecast seasonal long range temperature and precipitation, I will give you my best educated guess.
According to the National Weather Service we are slowly moving into an El Nino pattern (warmer than normal Pacific Ocean temperatures). Also, we are in Solar Cycle 24, which is expected to be the least active cycle since the 1920â€™s, peaking in about two years.Â With those two features factored in and my gut feeling added in, my prediction is that we will see above average precipitation and slight warmer than normal temperatures, with relatively short-lived periods of bitter cold air for the winter of 2012/2013.
Most of us remember the Halloween weekend snowstorm last October that crippled our area, where we thought that could have been the start of a snowy, cold winter season. As it turned out, that was the first and last significant snowfall we had the winter of 2011/2012, and temperatures averaged well above normal.Â In recent memory, when we have early snowfalls, the rest of the winter has been relatively inactive.
Â Mike Shustak is a professional meteorologist working for Universal Weather and Aviation for the past 33 years.
Long, cold Winter
It was October and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was a chief in a modern society he had never been taught the old secrets.
When he looked at the sky he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared. But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”
“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people-and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again. “Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?”
“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”Â The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later the chief called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”Â “Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”Â “How can you be so sure?” the chief asked.Â The weatherman replied, “We’re sure it’s going to be cold because the Indians are collecting firewood like crazy!”