The Climate Prediction Center at NOAA has unveiled its seasonal forecast, and it points to above-average winter temperatures for much of the northern tier of the United States, including Upstate New York and the Northeast.
However, don’t let the prospect of a milder winter fool you into thinking there will be less snowfall. The primary driver behind this winter’s forecast is a robust El Niño, which is poised to elevate temperatures above their typical levels across various regions of the country. In addition to warmer conditions, precipitation levels are expected to rise, particularly in the southern United States, notably the Southeast. Even with the likelihood of warmer temperatures in the Northeast, there is a looming possibility of more nor’easters striking major East Coast cities this winter.
The forecast leans towards a warmer-than-average winter, especially as you venture north into New England. While much of the Northeast is expected to have normal precipitation levels, forecasters predict that above-average precipitation is likely along the Interstate-95 corridor. This corridor encompasses major cities such as Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. This increased precipitation is expected to manifest in the form of substantial storms.
Contrary to last winter’s notable lake-effect snow events in Buffalo, this year’s outlook of warmer temperatures would typically corresponds to reduced snowfall.
It’s important to understand that when meteorologists generate these forecasts, they are essentially offering educated probabilities of whether temperatures and precipitation will deviate from their average values. This forecast certainly doesn’t eliminate the possibility of record-breaking cold spells. Similarly, a projection of a dry winter doesn’t rule out the potential for significant snowstorms. Weather patterns can be dynamic and unpredictable.
Get the latest local forecast for the Finger Lakes at our Local Weather Center.