Most of the winter forecasts created rely solely on the Pacific Ocean and whether there is an El Nino or La Nina, but I use a lot more.
In fact, this year there is neither an El Nino nor La Nina as temperatures are close to average, a neutral condition sometimes called La Nada.
This leaves us open to the other influences, including what happens in other ocean locations and comparing them to similar setups from the past.
The analog years that I found this year include 1982, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2014 and last year. We have this blob of warm water lying off of the Gulf of Alaska, but is located farther to the west than last year. The warmth in this position often sends the jet stream into Alaska and opens up a pipeline of arctic air into the western and mid-section of the nation.
While most may be steered to our west, during the height of the winter season, this cold air will spill closer to our area.
Snow and ice in Siberia and Canada both play a big role in the growth of winter’s cold. Canadian snow cover grew even faster than last year. This has led to the recent snap of cold weather.
We’ll have some arctic blasts into the nation this winter, but we may not have the direct hits here.
Lastly, water temperatures off of the east coast factor in our big storm potential. The waters off of the East Coast are slightly warmer than average but the warmest seems to be offshore. Therefore, I think the chance for a monster, slow moving storm is smaller.
No matter what the winter will bring, you do need to be safe.