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2013 WinterCast

By: Tony Martin

It's that time of year again already when everyone wants to know..... will we be shoveling and shivering or asking "Where's Winter" over the next few months.

The big drivers of winter weather, El Nino and La Nina won't be much of a factor this year, as we are in a neutral state, or La Nada. So we have to look elsewhere. A persistent ridge off the southeast coast since early Autumn will begin to break down in December and fade away. But before it does, it will put up enough of a fight that the cold air will not overwhelm the pattern and we will likely have to deal with some sleet or freezing rain during the month.

But as the month wears on and we get closer to Christmas, the other big driver in winter weather will start to awaken, and that's the North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO. When this feature is in a persistent negative state, frequent blasts of cold air arrive from the north. To add to the chill, northern parts of Europe and Asia are experiencing their snowiest start to the season since 1977, and that was a cold winter in the northeastern US.

So for the Winter, we're expecting below average temperatures with the possibility of a subzero day at some point. Snowfall will be close to normal with our flow predominately from the northwest, with some upside potential later in the season due to a slightly increased chance of a few coastal storms.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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