Tribune Print Share Text

Here comes....the snow!

Forecasters predict major winter storms and above average snowfall along the East Coast

Created date

September 25th, 2012

Get those snow shovels and snow blowers out of storage weather experts say it s going to be a tough winter. After a mild winter and snow drought last year, forecasters are predicting record snowfall for southern New England and along the Mid-Atlantic coast due to the presence of El Ni o a pattern of warm ocean temperatures in the Pacific that impacts weather patterns everywhere, including the jet stream over the U.S.

Whiteout winter?

If El Ni o develops as the experts think it will, we could be in for major storms in January and February of 2013. While predictions of a snow dump are sure to delight avid skiers and school children looking for a day off, big winter storms have a history of disrupting travel and crippling major cities like New York and Washington, D.C. Last winter was an unusually mild one for the East Coast with some areas getting as little as one to two inches of snow over the whole season. The winter before that saw slightly below normal amounts of snowfall. But the winter of 2009-2010 was a monster. Baltimore got pillaged with 77 inches of snow while 71.6 inches of snow landed in Philadelphia. The 56 inches that hit Washington, D.C., was enough to cause widespread power outages and shut down the federal government. Of course, forecasters have been wrong before. Many failed to predict the periods of significant heat this past summer, so it s certainly possible that El Ni o will not develop as they think it will. But just to be on the safe side, better make sure you ve got your boots and shovel ready to go.