2010-2011 Winter Forecast

AccuWeather.com Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi is predicting that the worst of winter’s cold and snow will be from the Pacific Northwest into the northern Plains and western Great Lakes. That will put cities like Portland and Seattle that escaped with a very nice winter last year, colder and snowier this year. Fargo and Minneapolis to Green Bay will also receive above-normal winter snowfall. Bastardi predicts severe cold will hit Alaska and western and central Canada. “The Canadian winter will be as harsh as last year’s was gentle,” Bastardi said.

In general, the East Coast will be granted a reprieve from the tremendous snowfall that caused 2009-2010’s winter to be dubbed “snowmageddon.” This does not mean a free pass for the Northeast. Bastardi predicts late November and December could get winter off to a fast start in the East, with a major thaw coming for much of the country in January. Bastardi makes the early cold connection between this year’s active hurricane season and his winter forecast. He said that years that see significant landfall, such as 1995, 2008 and 2005, usually also have cold for much of the eastern and central portions of the nation in December. He said this year from the central Rockies to the Northeast a higher variance of temperatures will be present – “greater-than-normal swings between winter’s coldest and warmest days.” The conflicting warm and cold air masses contributing to these temperature fluctuations have placed this area into what Bastardi calls the “Wintry Battle Zone.” Despite the wild swings in temperatures, cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will still have near-normal snowfall. To put this in perspective, New York City receives an average of 28.4 inches of snowfall during winter.


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