2017-2018 Winter Weather Outlook Recap

  • Dec 19, 2017

With the Winter Solstice just around the corner, organizations are starting to scramble to see what this winter is going to be like. Don’t get left out in the cold. Watch our 2017-18 Winter Weather Outlook Webinar today, or read through this handy recap.

Our Meteorologists

Each year, a team of our meteorologists get together and study weather patterns to put together a winter weather outlook. Lead by Senior Meteorologist, James Aman, the team searches for long-term and short-term trends, analog years, and many models to put together the most accurate picture of what to expect. This is all on top of our meteorologists’ responsibilities to our clients. Our meteorologists support our clients 24/7, so that they’re organizations can make the best weather-related decisions no matter the date or time.

Why do we need a winter weather outlook? Well, besides just curiosity, there are plenty of reasons why a winter weather outlook is necessary. For example, organizations that are weather-dependent like ski and snowboard resorts need to plan snowmaking operations. On the other hand, companies that are responsible for clearing snow, like county transportation departments, need to ensure they have enough equipment for the season. Any organization that makes decisions based on the weather should have a good idea what to expect this winter so they can plan appropriately.

The Major Players

What is going to affect this year’s winter? The most important player for winter 2017-18 is ENSO. Not sure what that means? No worries – we’ve got you covered. ENSO is the El Nino Southern Oscillation. Basically, it’s a 2 to 7-year cycle of warming or cooling ocean water temperatures along the equator in the Pacific.

You’ve probably heard meteorologists on the news mention the two different cycles: El Nino and La Nina, right? El Nino is when the waters are warmer than normal while La Nina is when the waters are cooler than normal. But how does this affect the winter season? Well, it looks like we’re going to be in the cool phase of ENSO (La Nina) this winter. When we experience a La Nina year, our typical U.S. weather patterns change greatly and vary throughout the country.

There is another oscillation that affects are winters as well. The Pacific Decadal oscillation, which occurs in the waters between Japan and the western coast of the U.S. This year, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is showing us weak signals. There are areas that are slightly below (warm) and slightly below (cool), but it looks like it won’t be a big factor in this upcoming winter.

Another major player is Eurasia snow. If there is unusually heavy snow to start the season there, that is a precursor for a cold winter in parts of the U.S.

There are plenty of other major players involved. Watch our webinar and you’ll be surprised to learn all of the different things that affect winter weather conditions in the U.S.

What to Expect- Temperature & Precipitation

The best chances for below-average temperatures are in the Northwest. The chance for above-average temperatures are in the Southwest and the Northeast. This differs by month, however. It’s a good idea to watch the webinar and see how things are going to change by month. That’s true for precipitation as well.

We will see an above normal chance for lake effect snow near the Great Lakes. The wet signal is strongest in the northern tier. The dry signal is strongest across the Deep South. The drought outlook for the winter favors a large area of drought developing across the southern U.S. This is also true for the northwest Plains.

Get More Information

Want to get more details about what to expect for this winter? Access our entire 2017-18 Winter Outlook Webinar, hosted by Earth Networks Senior Meteorologist, James Aman. Easily scan through the half an hour webinar and get the expert opinions on what to expect this season. If you have any questions about your area, please leave them in the comments section below and our meteorologists will be more than happy to give you answers!


Watch the Webinar