Posted by: pyeager | October 17, 2009

AccuWeather Winter 2009-2010 Forecast

AccuWeather.com released its latest version of the 2009-2010 winter forecast for the United States, and it hasn’t changed much from its initial July forecast (Snowy, Cold Winter on the Way?). The highlights of the forecast include:

  • More snow than normal and colder than normal for the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England regions
  • Average snowfall from Maine to the central Plains
  • Several snow/ice storms from Oklahoma and northern Texas eastward to South Carolina
  • Heavy mountain snow in the Four Corners area
  • Above-normal precipitation in much of California
  • Less Precipitation than normal and higher temperatures that normal in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies
  • Less Snow and cold in the northern Plains and upper Midwest (which have had harsh winters recently)
AccuWeather winter 2009-2010 forecast

AccuWeather winter 2009-2010 forecast

Basis of Forecast

The release from AccuWeather (linked above and from the image) includes very little of the reasoning behind the forecast, other than the expectation that a weakening El Nino is key to the forecast. The El Nino, they believe, will result in a more active southern storm track but not be so strong that it overwhelms the pattern with too much warm air, resulting in snow-producing storms along the Eastern Seaboard.

Other factors were undoubtedly considered, but the release focused on El Nino since that’s one of the magic weather words that we’ve all heard about countless times. (Joe Bastardi, lead long-range forecaster for AccuWeather, considers many different factors when making a forecast, but his content is generally only available on premium sites; you must pay to get his information.)

I’d like to see more, but most people probably don’t care. They get to see a fairly detailed, non-probability- based forecast, for the winter–and we’ll all be following its accuracy.

By the way, for more from AccuWeather about their forecast, see Jesse Ferrell’s WeatherMatrix blog.

–Paul Yeager

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