According to AccuWeather.com long-range weather experts, the Midwest and Great Lakes regions will be “dealt the worst of winter this year.” 2011-2012 will be the fifth winter in a row with snowfall well above normal and temperatures well below average for Chicago, our neighbor to the south. Paul Pastelok, a long-range weather forecaster with AccuWeather.com said this winter will be similar to last year, in terms on both snow and cold. Last year there was one big storm that brought a lot of snowfall, but this year there will be several large storms.
The long-range weather forecasting team predicts our neighbors to the west in Minneapolis will have “especially awful” cold. Since we are a neighboring state, we are likely to get some of the cold as well.
La Niña is to blame for what is to come. La Niña’s occur when sea surface temperatures across the pacific are below normal. La Niña’s tend to bring winter storms early in the season, usually in December. There will be a long, frigid January and February. Even winter weather lovers have had enough of cold and snow by early spring, but the La Niña may keep the cold weather in the area well into spring.
The Farmers Almanac also predicts “average temps, very white, wet” winter for the Great Lakes. A very active storm track will bring heavier-than-normal precipitation (that means snow) to the area.
The Old Farmers Almanac reports that the Upper Midwest, including Traverse City, will have colder than normal temperatures with the heaviest snowfall in early and mid-December, early to mid-February and again in mid-March. They predict the first snowfall to occur the first week of November with rain and snow mix in mid-November and finally turning to snow in late November.
For those of you who can understand a ”prognostic discussion for long-lead seasonal outlooks,” it may be worth a read on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Predictions webpage. They update there predictions frequently.