At the beginning of the show, I discussed how last winter really wasn’t that harsh compared to average. I believe this year is going to be colder than last year.
Many people assume this recent spell of weather means that this is going to be a very long and cold winter, but I believe winter is not here to stay quite yet. I’m expecting December to be milder than usual. This doesn’t rule out a White Christmas, but it lowers the odds.
As we head into the New Year, intrusions of cold air will start to arrive, especially in the second half of the month. Temperatures will end up below average for January. Winter’s harshest weather temperature-wise will likely stretch from later January into February. Like last year we probably will get a couple of subzero nights. February will end up being a few degrees below average and much colder than last year. By March we may be sick of the cold, but it’s probably going to hold on for part of the month before a change to above average pattern later in the month. I think this upcoming March will be slightly below average and the same as last year.
It’s impossible to forecast a single amount of snow as we normally have a wide variety of snowfall across Central Pennsylvania. This year I believe that we’re going to get most of our snow from fronts and weaker clipper systems. It will also be a year that the lake effect snow and upslope snow of the Laurel Highlands with less snowfall in locations to the east. Overall, I believe snowfall will be near to below average in the western part of our viewing area to slightly above average in the Laurel Highlands. Totals will range as low as 26” in the deeper valleys to the east with some of the Laurel Highlands over 100”.
Here is my forecast of the impacts to you. Utility bills will be a little above average and a little higher than last year. Salt demand will be about average but with a lot of small events may be a little more than last year. These frequent minor snows may have you thinking about roads on more days than last year. As for schools, I think the trend for more delays and not many closures will continue
Finally, I will leave you again with a couple of bold predictions for the upcoming winter. I think we will have zero to one storm of 8” or more. Also, late January through early February will be the harshest part of the winter.