Above-Average Snowfall this Winter? Maybe, Maybe Not.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news about this upcoming winter.  Some forecasters are already predicting above average snowfall for cities along the I-95 corridor, including Baltimore.  These forecasters are relying heavily on the expected development of El Niño this winter.  El Niño conditions tend to favor a more active storm track in the East, which can sometimes, but not always, lead to above-average snowfall.

Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

However, it appears as though El Niño conditions are not developing quite as expected.  According to a recent update by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the probability of an El Niño event developing this December through February has dropped from about 70% to around 50%. At this point, the CPC predicts that it is more likely that a weaker or even more neutral El Niño event will occur

This could be bad news for snow lovers, as a weaker El Niño has far less of an impact on our winter weather.  Simply put, a weaker El Niño means out winter forecast could go either way.  Many other variables, including temperatures, influence how much snow we actually receive.

The lesson here: When it come to long-range forecasting, proceed with caution.

– Meteorologist Ava Marie

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