Josh’s Winter Outlook

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV)   Even though it doesn’t seem like it — we’re still a month away from the start of winter.

   Hopefully, last week’s snow doesn’t mean winter is here early.
     Chief Meteorologist Josh Hodell presents his winter outlook.

Our winter is expected to be dominated by two larger factors. First, a Northern branch jet stream as well as an active sub-tropical jet stream. This is fueled, in part, by the second big fact: El  Nino. This winter, we’re forecasting “El Nino” to be weak as opposed to moderate or strong. 

Based upon this weak El Nino, the wet and stormy pattern that’s been in place should continue through the winter. Don’t look for things to all of a sudden quiet down over the next several months. We’re also expecting at least one Nor’easter. 

Winter should start off on the mild side, compared to the rest of winter. It should turn colder as we get into January and February. These weak El Nino patterns have a tendency to produce big temperature swings… One week mild, the next cold or one day mild, the next cold. Right now, it looks like out snowiest month will be February.

Generally, these patterns produce above-normal snowfalls in Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania. For example, the average snow is 46″ in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. For this winter, we’re forecasting 55″ to 60″. There will likely be a decent number of storms with a “wintry mix”. 
 
Of course, there are some catches. If El Nino is stronger, this will lead to a different outcome for our winter. Also, if the cold air doesn’t “catch up” with the storm, it could be wet but not snowy.

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