National Weather Service Predicts Return of Winter Weather 75
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

The National  Weather Service is predicting a wetter winter for the Mid-Atlantic. Combined with colder temperatures, this may translate to a snowier  season for area resorts.
More moisture - more snow? The National Weather Service is predicting a wetter winter for the Mid-Atlantic. Combined with colder temperatures, this may translate to a snowier season for area resorts. Image provided by NOAA.
During the past three winters, a one-two punch from El Niño and La Niña caused many a sleepless nights for area ski resorts, bringing much milder temperatures and a dearth of snow.

That may be changing this winter.

On October 12, some of the nation’s top climate and weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presented their winter outlook for the United States, predicting that the recent string of record warm winters may be over.

“We’ve probably forgotten over the last three years what a normal winter is like,” said NOAA Administrator D. James Baker. “With La Niña and El Niño out of the way, normal winter weather has a chance to return to the U.S. this year,” he said.

For skiers, that translates to colder temperatures and more snow.

“As in most normal years, from New England to the Carolinas, cold weather will be part of your routine this winter,” said National Weather Service Director Jack Kelly.

“Americans must be careful this winter and prepare for a little bit of everything,” he cautioned. “We expect considerable swings in temperature and precipitation.”

In the Northeast, a polar jet stream and tropical jet stream will duel for supremacy, and the polar stream will win, predicts NOAA. This will bring a greater chance of snow along the spine of the Appalachians from New England to the Carolinas and points east, including Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

The Washington D.C. region could see average temperatures 4 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the last three winters. This will make a critical difference for ski resorts in snowmaking operations, where every degree counts. Over the past three years, snowmaking opportunities were limited by the warm weather.

In the Southeast, NOAA is predicting that temperatures will likely be warmer than normal but still cooler than the last three years. Precipitation is expected to be greater than normal. This “warmer” belt lies south of ski areas in the D.C. region.

Of course, weather is a finicky thing, and predictions don’t always pan out.

“As we enter a period without the strong influences of El Niño and La Niña, long-term seasonal outlooks become more challenging to produce,” said Baker. “We have made significant advances in our climate forecasting skills, but we have a lot of work to do,” he added.

Already, some local resorts have seen precipitation in the form of snow. Resorts such as Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Wisp, and Seven Springs received a dusting of snow earlier this week.

About M. Scott Smith

M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.

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Reader Comments

Mike Franco
August 16, 2001
Hi My name is mike Franco and I would like to know if the next winter like lasts will be the same or much worse?
Skip Elliott
September 4, 2001
What is your winter forecst for the west coast this winter ( mainly California )
gary l
September 9, 2001
i would like to know if their is more snow or ice storms in store for eastern pa for this year 2001 02
Anna Loreto
September 24, 2001
Last year was my first winter in Ga.( Florida reloc.) Everyone said it was an odd winter. Can you please give me an idea as to what will be "normal" this coming winter. What temps. should I expect

john dell
November 18, 2001
For several winters now georgia has
had no cold or snow is that true for 2001??
December 8, 2001
I would like to know what the winter in wisconsin will be like in 2001, and early 2002? Any predictions for an early spring?
dave from ohio
December 10, 2001
i live in ohio and have two kids with a new sled for christmas. will they be able to use it this year?
December 16, 2001
What is the predictions for the weather this winter?
December 20, 2001
what type of winter is predicted for
the midwest/illinois?
May 11, 2002
i would like to know when our last frost for this month will be? and also when our winter will start this year will it be normal?
September 22, 2002
What is your prediction for Connecticut and surrounding regions this coming winter?
October 1, 2002
What is your prediction for eastern Nebraska and surrounding regions this coming winter?
October 14, 2002
is more than average snow being predicted for South Central Pa.?
November 3, 2002
Monica Clemens
November 4, 2002
Do you know if we will have a cold and snowing winter this year?
Bill Boddie
November 4, 2002
I live in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, ( South East). I was wondering if there will be a good chanc of getting a major snowfall this winter. I was also wondering if you can predict how cold it will be around Christmas! Thank you
john klee
November 4, 2002
Will Central Pennsylvania have a mild winter or have a harsh winter.
john klee
November 4, 2002
Will Central Pennsylvania have a white Christmas this year.
November 5, 2002
Hi folks,

Note that this article was written on October 13, 2000 -- the information in it was referring to the 2000-2001 winter season, not the 2002-2003 winter season.
November 5, 2002
What kind of wheather can we expect in North Georgia this coming winter??
November 11, 2002
What is the forecast for Arkansas, Texas, and Lousianna borders region? We had a crippling ice storm a few years ago and a mild winter last year.
November 12, 2002
I have been looking everywhere for info on snow in the Piedmont this winter but can't find anything. Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks Laura
November 18, 2002
just moved to the state and have heard everything from a mild winter to a harsh winter in the Colorado Springs area, wondering what is your take on all of the different answers?
November 22, 2002
Do you think there will be any snow for the east coast of NC this year. I am like a little kid when it snows. That is the only time I like the cold
Mandy Yates
November 23, 2002
What do you expect for the northern region of Virginia in winter 2002-2003?
November 25, 2002
I would like to know if the midatlantic around the delmarva peninsula will have more snow then usual this winter?
November 29, 2002
Can you tell me what the weather in Connecticut will be like around Christmas time this year?
Gerrit Irish
December 1, 2002
The past few yars we havent had any snow in Hampton Roads. Are we to have any snow this year? If we are I would sure be devined of it Im a snow fan.
December 15, 2002
I would like to know if the area near the New York City region will be getting more snow. Will we have more snow than normal? Will we have a white Christmas?
Cortney Davis
December 19, 2002
I just want to know if we are going to get any snow in the months of Janaury and February of 2003.
December 20, 2002
when do you think that the next big snow fall for the northwestern or the foothills area of north carolina will happen. thank you.
January 29, 2003
snow snow
September 12, 2003
What kind of snow are we going to have in 2003 in Colorado?
colleen scurto
September 23, 2003
will have much snow this winter
September 24, 2003
What kind of winter will we have this year for north east Wisconsin?
October 4, 2003
How much snow are we supposed to get in NC in 2003?
Bobby Russo
October 5, 2003
Will extreme North West New Jersey recieve a mild or very harsh winter?
Bobby Russo
October 5, 2003
will it be a white Christmas for North West New Jersey?
October 8, 2003
it's too cold right now.
DCSki Reader
November 6, 2003
DCSki Reader
November 6, 2003
November 15, 2003
I was wondering what the prediction for snowfall in GA would be for the 03-04 winter. I have heard that we might actually have a snowy one and i was wondering if that was true. Thanks
November 15, 2003
I just moved to Washington D.C. Should I buy a big warm parka or just a lighter winter jacket of some sort? I don't know if the winters in D.C. are as bad as they are in the northeast. Thanks.
patrick higginbotham
November 17, 2003
we have not had hardly any snow since the blizzard of 93 what is your predictions of snow across the northern half of ala./ga. for 2003/2004 thank you,
November 18, 2003
I would like to know how much snow are we getting in the DC,MD and VA area mainly the months of December, January, February and especially March.
Thank you
November 25, 2003
I live in NW Morris County in New Jersey. I would like to know any snow predictions for this winter. As a teacher in Jefferson which is NW of rt 80 and 287 we tend to receive more snow then south and east of those high ways because of the higher elevation. What will we receive this year?
November 26, 2003
I live in Montgomery County,MD,to be more specific about 10 minutes from the D.C. border.Well anyways I would like to know the snow fall predictions for this winter.Will it be anything like the 01'-02' winter(mild and wet) or will it be another snowy winter like last year?
November 30, 2003
I live around the area of New York City. Are we going to get a lot of snow this winter? Will it be cold enough for most of it to accumulate?
December 1, 2003
I live in Oxford pennsylvania and i was just wandering if we are going to have a lot of snow this year around this area. Everyone i know around here loves snow, so were hoping to get a lot, or atleast a snowstorm.
December 1, 2003
how about northwestern Illinois? are we going to see the winter of 1978/79 again?
December 1, 2003
i like blizzards we use to have in northwestern Illinois!
ryan B P
December 1, 2003
i want snow so i can make snowballs again and throw them at my brother kevin!!!
December 1, 2003
In Northern Illinois are we gonna be able to snowmobile longer than a day at a time this year?What do you predict?
December 1, 2003
If it snows instead of rains how will I be able to shower with my brother Scott?
bridget n jerry
December 1, 2003
we want lots of snow in florida too!!
missy n melvin
December 1, 2003
ice so i can slide around the block, and snow to catch me if i falllll!!!!!!
Scott n Kevin
December 1, 2003
There is only one white powder that I want and it isn't snow!!!Can you predict if I will have any luck?
December 1, 2003
I live in NorthWest New Jersey in Warren about 5 mintues away from Pennsylvania. I was wondering if this winter 03-04 is going to bring us more or less snow than last year. What is the predicted about of snow throughout this winter, and will there be a white Christmas like last year??
December 3, 2003
i move to florida to get away from snow but don't recomend it thes too many people here already just come to visit
DeAngelio ONeal
December 4, 2003
I love snow but I never got any last winter will there be any this year? Please respond quickly
December 7, 2003
For the past couple of years you have been saying snow for the SEsouth east wheres it at I dont see any whats wrong.what will North Carolna see in the piedmont.
December 12, 2003
I live in SC but I'm going up to Pennsylvania for Christmas, and I was wondering if there is gonna be snow on Christmas in PA and SC?
December 26, 2003
What are the predictions for snow & ice in the Carolina areas for 2003-04 ?
December 30, 2003
what is your winter snowfall prediction for winter 03-04 for northeast, connecticut?
Victor Recondo
December 31, 2003
Can you please tell me what is the forescast for the southeastern coast of the US in the winter of 2004. Your attention will be greaetly appreciated.
August 7, 2004
Can you tell me your predictions for western Kentucky this year? It seems that we haven't had any snow for the last 4 years or so here in the Lakes area.
August 8, 2004
August 17, 2004
I live in northwestern Il. is there going to be snow this year 2004
September 8, 2004
Living in Nebraska I tend to go with my gutt feeling. So far it hasn't led me wrong. This summer was cold as far as summers are concerned. The mountains of Colorado already had enough snow to close Eisenhower. The sandhills cranes have already been spotted by locals in our region (1- 1 1/2 month ahead of time.) Last year we had one of the worst winters in decades (snowpack wise) and the summer was wetter than normal across the state. I'm a commuter and this is my 3rd winter. The first year I said was going to be mild- I would see 3 days where I fought weather. The second year (last winter) I said was going to be worse- 6 days. Both years I was right on the money. I have my number for this year already.... 10!!!! You have no idea how much I hope I'm wrong!!!!!!!
September 9, 2004
Are there any predictions as to the upcoming winter? Hopefully, we're expected lots of snow in the No. Virginia area.
October 6, 2004
hi i am doing a spanish project on new york. i need to know what the weather is like each season, places to vist and so much more
carlos garcia
October 16, 2004
i would like to know how the weather is going to be in kentucky if will be worse them the last year or will be better......... thanks bye
October 18, 2004
Will there be snow on the ground during the upcoming firearm deer season in northeast Nebraska?
September 28, 2005
What is your prediction for snow and wintry weather for Western Kentucky for the upcoming winter months? Is it going to be a bad winter?
November 19, 2005
What is the winter weather pediction for NC in 2005?Will it be snow or ice?(if anything)

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