I know what most of you are saying: “What in the world?! It’s mid July for heavens sake! Enjoy the summer! Why start making predictions for the upcoming winter?!” I believe it is because one (or both) of two reasons
1) The Upper Midwest/East Coast has so far suffered through a less-than-desirable summer season with very wet and chilly conditions. To them, it isn’t summer and it feels like October, which is usually when they release their winter outlooks.
2) They’re bored and have nothing else better to do.
Now, I am no fan of AccuWeather’s short range weather, but they do pretty good with the long range (8-15 days out). Their REALLY long range forecasts have proven very general, vague and not worth really reading into, but this year they were more specific with what they expected the Pacific Northwest to go through this winter. Here’s what Chief Meteorologist (and Northeast Biased) Joe Bastardi (yes, that’s his last name) illustrated for December-February 2009-2010:
I won’t go a whole lot into the forecast discussion they provided because I still think providing winter forecasts in mid July is much too early—even for me. I will say, though, that the outlook for the 2010 Winter Olympics is dismal with snow and ice levels below normal. You can read the full article here.
What makes long range winter forecasts impossible to predict this time of year is the lack of information we have concerning El Nino or La Nina, but in this case El Nino. Bastardi says he believes the El Nino will fade during the winter and play a very minimal part in the winter weather this year. But there really is no way to say for certain until we get into September or October.
What this means for us in the NW....... Time to start praying to the POW Gods to show us AccuWeather is full of shit!!!!