Winter’s wavering weather forecast

WASHINGTON – Weather teams up and down the East Coast have different predictions for the winter months ahead. Some meteorologists are calling for average amounts of snowfall, while others forecast more.

According to ABC7 Meteorologist Mike Stinneford, the differing predictions of what winter has in store are due to the lack of a strong indicator, such as an El Nino, which helps to shape future climate patterns.

“During an El Nino winter we can see some heavy snows and some cool temperatures here in the mid-Atlantic,” said Stinneford. “However, as we got further into fall, it became apparent that an El Nino was not going to develop.”

Without a good indicator, meteorologists say there is a 50/50 chance of having a normal winter. They are looking at a variety of other data to gain some insight on the upcoming months.

“To get big snows here in the mid-Atlantic, we need coastal systems to develop, like a nor’easter,” said Stinneford, who also reports that just one or two big storms could put the region above average for snowfall.

ABC7 Chief Meteorologist Doug Hill predicts that snowfall and temperatures will be near or slightly below the long-term average, with the majority of the region receiving around 10 to 14 inches of snow.

Capital Weather Gang predicts slightly below average snowfall and slightly above average temperatures.

NBC4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer expects the D.C. area to get 13-20 inches of snow, an above-average prediction.

WUSA9 issued three predictions ranging from normal to slightly below normal temperatures and slightly below normal to slightly above normal snowfall.

WTOP’s Jamie Forzato contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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