For my 2015 – 2016 DC Winter forecast please click here
After a cooler than normal summer and a very inactive Atlantic hurricane season what can we expect for the upcoming winter across the Washington Region? The latest climate models continue to suggest there is a 60 to 70% probability of a weak El Nino developing late this fall and continuing through the upcoming winter.
After researching historical analog years (historical climate data with similar conditions, etc.) I found eight weak El Nino winters and further drilled down to six years that had similar summer conditions (temperatures, inactive Atlantic hurricane season, active Pacific hurricane season and a developing weak El Nino).
Keep in mind that before you go and buy a snow blower these snowfall predictions are based on an average of the seasonal snowfall that fell during those six analog years. Some analog years featured below average snowfall and others well above average snowfall. The reason for wide variations in the six analogs has to do with the unpredictable nature of the North Atlantic Oscillation. If the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) does indeed remain mostly negative (increased blocking over eastern Canada & Greenland) during the upcoming winter, I would be surprised if the Washington Region didn’t receive at least one Nor’easter with heavy snowfall.
Northeast Winter Forecast (Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York & Boston) 2014 – 2015:
Analog Years (The historical climate data used to produce this snowfall forecast):
Upper Level (500 mb) Height (High & Low Pressure) Anomalies during the six analog years I chose:
Average Snowfall across the Washington DC Region:
Average Snowfall in the Washington Metropolitan Area: