If you’re a fan of frosty and flaky winter weather, Storm Team 4 chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer’s winter weather forecast will make you look forward to this season.
“All the signs that I’m looking at are pointing to a much colder and possibly a snowier winter,” Kammerer said.
He’s predicting extended periods of bitter cold, especially in February and March.
“I’m expecting not just days at a time, but potentially weeks at a time, to be well below average and really cold. Of course, we’ll have some milder days, too, but some really cold air coming in,” Kammerer said.
Typically, the D.C. region gets about 15 inches of snow, and about 22 inches near Dulles International Airport.
“This year, I’m going for about 50% more snowfall than average,” Kammerer said.
He expects winter totals of 18-26 inches in the D.C. metro area, and 28-37 inches around Dulles.
“I think we’re going to see a couple of pretty good storms, meaning 6- to 10-inch snowstorms, or 6- to 12-inch snowstorms,” he said.
Kammerer looks at numerous different factors before putting together his winter forecast, including the El Niño southern oscillation, the so-called “warm blob” in the north Pacific and the amount of Siberian snow cover in October.
Also interesting, he said, is that the sun has reached the solar minimum, the time during its 11-year cycle when its activity is at its lowest.
“As far as the solar output is concerned, it’s been extremely low,” Kammerer said. “That tends to help cool the Earth a little bit, so you talk about cooling the Earth at a time when we’re heading into winter anyway, and that as well, I think, is going to lend us to a colder and potentially snowier pattern.”