Forecasting Winter.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 09/25/12 •  2 min read

It’s official. The autumnal equinox has passed, and fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the weather cooler, and we’re just one season away from winter.

!!!!! SKI SEASON !!!!!

Yet if you’re like me, you want to know right now how it’s going to shape up. Will it arrive early? Last long? Will there be lots of powder days? Oh, please, let’s not have a re-run of ‘11/’12.

You could drive yourself crazy with all the long range predictions out there. From the Farmer’s Almanac to Accuweather, everyone has an opinion on what the weather’s going to be.

But how accurate are these things, anyway? Does it do any good to track them down? Would we be better off consulting an astrologer? Reading tea leaves? Flipping a coin? Should we even pay attention?

The short answer is, probably not.

According to the National Weather Service, “long range forecasting is based on mathematical models and past prevalent weather patterns. The further you go into the future, the lower the degree of accuracy. That is because forecast models are partly based on the recent weather patterns. These patterns surely will change. If we try to guess what the weather will be in a certain area two months from now, the data necessary to create a forecast simply does not exist.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) creates general temperature and precipitation outlooks up to one year in advance. Their forecasts only deal with the above or below normal expected temps or precipitation, not what the weather will be in one location. Long range weather forecasts are only accurate to an extent and should not be taken too seriously, there is always room for something in the atmosphere to change.”

So while I continue to look at the long range forecasts and cheer at the ones that say what I want them to say, these are the ones I like the best:


Here’s hoping for a snowy winter.


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