Winter Weather Handbook: Winter Outlook

Winter Weather Handbook

(WBRE/WYOU) — While there are many influences on our winter season, La Nina is the main driver this year.

La Nina is when the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean are cooler and below average. This typically leads to colder air across the Pacific Northwest in the United States and an active jet stream.

At times, parts of the southern United States can be warm and dry but there’s an active storm track along the eastern seaboard. The position of the coastal storm is always crucial to our weather.

If the storm is closer to the coast, it can take on warmer air and that leads to a wintry mix of snow, ice, and rain. If the track is a bit farther southeast and off the coast, the cold air is locked across Pennsylvania and that makes for an all-snow event.

Overall, this winter is expected to be mild with above-average temperatures. There will be occasional arctic air invasions, but they should be short-lived. You can expect big temperature swings, too. One day could be in the 50s, but the next day will be in the 20s.

The weather pattern will remain stormy and active with the potential for a couple of big storms. It looks like we’ll see numerous mixed storms that will feature changes from snow to ice to rain. This winter will likely feature near to below-average snowfall across central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Parts of central Pennsylvania could have 20-30″ of snow this year. Locations around Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Interstate 81 could have 30-40″ of snow. The Poconos, too, will likely see below-average snowfall with 50-60″ possible. 

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