Does rare early snow mean Northeast is in for brutal winter?
This year the Great Lakes region, including Chicago and much of Indiana will see the heavy snows.
Wed, Nov 02, 2011 at 08:57 AM
Between a second snowstorm in Denver and last weekend's 'Snowtober' storm in the Northeast, there's been a lot of early show across the United States. With so much snow so soon, it may seem like we're in for a long, snowy winter. But don't panic yet, weather forecasters say.
"There's no correlation or patterns that we're aware of that correlate October snow storms and how brutal a winter will be," said Carl Erickson, meteorologist with AccuWeather.
Erickson said this winter's forecast shows the main storm track focusing more to the west than last season. The big cities along the I-95 corridor should see a fairly typical winter, with a few big snow events, but nothing like two years ago where the East Coast had big snowstorms every few weeks. This year the Great Lakes region, including Chicago and much of Indiana will see the heavy snows.
Unfortunately, the Southwest and Southern Plains aren't likely to see any relief from the extreme drought conditions they have experienced this year, with warmer and drier than normal conditions expected to continue through the winter.
As a result of the Snowtober storm, more than 2 million people lost power and the storm has been blamed for at least 13 deaths. New York City set an October snow record with 2.9 inches (7.4 centimeters) accumulating, and towns in western Massachusetts piled up more than 30 inches (76 cm) of snow.
The historic nor'easter was the remnants of a storm that brought an October snow oddity to Denver earlier last week. The city went from a record daily high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) to several inches of snow in 24 hours.
For the Frontal Range, the October snow, as wild of a weather swing as it was, isn't all that unusual, said Matthew Kelsch, a hydrometeorologist at the University Corp. of Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colo.
And that wild weather swing that was repeating yesterday.
"Now we're seeing much of the east quieting down and more activity firing up across the Rockies," Erickson told OurAmazingPlanet.
The latest storm was already moving through the region yestderday. Snow started to accumulate in Wyoming and a blizzard warning was issued for the south side of Denver last night. The temperature was 74 F (23 C) on Monday and now the region is expecting 10 inches (25 cm) of snow. [The Snowiest Places on Earth]
"That's the continental climate for you," Kelsch said.
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