Our Winter Outlook 2013 - 2014 (December - February)
We try to hang our hats on something when predicting our winter. Sometimes we have an El Nino winter. The winter of 2009 - 2010 was an El Nino winter. El Nino refers to the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America. Fishing is bad so the fishermen go home and spend time with their families and mend their nets and repair their boats. If you like anchovies they will cost you more in a El Nino winter.
La Nina refers to the cooling of the equatorial waters off the coast of South America. If you are a snow lover, like I am, those are frustrating winter. Generally speaking La Nina winters are colder and drier than average and we usually end up with below average snowfall. Are there exceptions ? Yes, the winters of 1960 - 1961 and 1978 - 1979 we had 40.3" and 37.7" of snow respectively.
Well, this winter there will not be a El Nino or La Nina. It looks like a La Nada winter this year. These winters are very difficult to predict. I think temperatures from December through February, meteorological winter, will be at or a little below average and I think we will see average or a bit above average snowfall. Average snowfall Downtown is around 15" and nearly 22" at Dulles and for the northern and western suburbs. My prediction for the first snowfall will be December 7th for an inch of snow or more officially at National.
I think it's safe to say that we'll have less snow than the record setting winter of 2009 - 2010 when we set records for all time seasonal snowfall. National recorded 56.1" of snow. That's the snowiest winter in recorded history. Downtown records go back over one hundred twenty years. Dulles also set an all time record with 73.2" of snow. Baltimore received a record 77" of snow. Now that was a winter to remember.