Winter Weather Handbook: What Goes Into Forecasting Winter

Winter Weather Handbook

(WBRE/WYOU-TV) As Chief Meteorologist Josh Hodell prepares to present the Weather Team’s Winter Weather Outlook, Meteorologist Stefano DiPietro takes a look at what they looked at to forecast this year’s winter.

As we prepare to enter an winter there’s a couple of things we like to at while we prepare our winter forecast. One of the big things we took a look at this year is something called the jet stream. The polar jet stream separates that cold arctic air from that warmer, subtropical air that we often see down south.
And that is going to be a big player as to how our winter ends up panning out.  So this is what the jet stream would look like if it was lifting a little bit further north this year. Areas of low pressure, that being storm systems, would track right across the midwest going up through the Great Lakes and then start to head our way.  That would mean more frequent clipper systems as we go through this winter.  And that polar arctic air is a little further to our north.
Now if that jet stream dips a little further to our south, it does a couple of different things.  It brings that colder air further to the south into our area, and now we start to see more frequent coastal storms and nor’easters.  So depending upon where that jet stream sets up, that’s one of the big players for this winter.
That really has an effect on what we see with different types of snowstorms.  If an area of low pressure develops off the coast and that colder air has an opportunity to drop further to the south.  And with these storm systems, we end up seeing more snow.  But if that cold airlock up a little bit more to the north and that low moves closer to the coast, now instead of seeing plain snow, we start to see a little bit more of a mix.  
So as we go through the winter of 2019 into 2020 one of the big players will be where that cold airlock up, and how long it sticks around.

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