It doesn’t look like your sled or skis are going to get much action over the next few months. Storm Team4 chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer’s annual winter weather forecast calls for another mild season, with few flakes a-flying.
“The funniest thing about it is we’re predicting a lot more snow than what we saw last year,” said Kammerer. “That being said, we saw six-tenths of an inch of snow last year. Simply amazing.”
Right now, a moderate to strong La Nina — which is a large-scale cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the part of the Pacific — is influencing the D.C. area’s weather. La Nina normally means warmer temperatures and less snow for the region.
“I really think this streak of warmer-than-average temperatures is going to last right on through all of winter. There are going to be a couple of cold shots, just like there are every winter, but they’re going to be very short-lived,” Kammerer said.
Average annual snowfall in the immediate D.C. region is about 15 inches, and this winter, Kammerer is predicting a total of 4-10 inches. “I think, however, it’s probably going to be on the lower end of that, and that disappoints a lot of snow lovers out there, like me,” he said.
Kammerer is forecasting 7-15 inches of snow north and west of D.C., and 15-30 inches farther west into the mountains. South and east of the District, he expects 0-5 inches of snow.
Kammerer doesn’t expect any big storms this time around. He said the D.C. area has never had a winter storm that dropped more than 6 inches of snow in a La Nina year, with one exception: “1996 was one of the biggest snowfalls of all time around our area. So, if you’re a snow lover, there is hope in this La Nina, but I just don’t see it happening this year.”
What Kammerer does expect is to set some records for heat. “That would be temperatures in the upper 60s to around 70 degrees, and that could even come during the months of January or February,” he said.