Last winter was an active one in central Pennsylvania, but despite frequent snow, rain and ice, it was a fairly mild winter. It featured plenty of precipitation but very few storms that brought us all snow.
Will this winter be any different?
Last season also featured neutral El Nino conditions, along with similar water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Interestingly enough, October 2013 was also a wet one. In fact, it was the wettest October on record, while this past October was the fourth wettest. Many other global indices we use to forecast match up with this time in 2013.
November is off to a cold start, with even colder air looming over southern Canada. The early shot of bitter cold air over the northeastern U.S. could be a sign of things to come later this winter.
Even with cold air, that does not necessarily mean big snow. Most of our bigger snowstorms happened during El Nino years, including in 2016, 2010, and 1983.
What we expect
The winter chill will start off early this year, with well below average temperatures expected for much of this month.
There will be opportunities for snow from fast-moving systems, but significant snowfall does not appear likely.
Look for a warm-up into December before more shots of cold air arrive in time for January and February.
We expect less mixed precipitation events this winter, but heavy wet snow events appear unlikely. Snowfall will rank above average with temperatures near to slightly below average.