Long Range Forecast

Long-Range Winter Forecast 2012-2013


The winter of 2011-12 was unusually tranquil from a snow and ice standpoint. Overall, mild temperatures were found from the mid-Atlantic to New England for the majority of the months. With that, will it be cold enough to snow this upcoming season? The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has major effects on the outcome of this winter and the forecast shows for a weak upcoming jet stream, which means colder weather. In the beginning of the months we will see milder weather with small chances of a winter storm, but later, in February and March will be the anticipation for greater precipitation and even colder air.

November 2012

Following a mild October, a major pattern shift will begin to take place through much of the first half of the month. Low pressure will establish itself in the east bringing in some cold air. If a storm should occur, it will most likely be as early in the month as possible, since it’s likely to warm by the middle of November and only bring a minimum amount of snow. Even closer to the coast, snow has a hard time driving significant accumulations of snow, so if moisture and cold air team up, it would most likely only bring a wet snow.

December 2012

December will be milder compared to the first half of November. Colder winds that do attempt to filter into the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic will be hampered by warm ocean temperatures. Although there are indications that an active storm track across the region could persist, snowfall should remain below average and only mixed precipitation should occur.

January 2013

The warm air from December will linger for a few days in January but the cold air won’t be too far behind. Low pressure is expected to return to parts of the Northeast and cool down the area substantially. There will certainly be enough cold air to support wintry-type systems.

February 2013

February is typically one of the coldest of the winter months and this year will be no different. Along with the cold air, an active storm track should continue, which will make most of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast susceptible to above average snowfall. Additionally, a “blocking” pattern during this time will increase the risk for nor’easters, with the greatest potential of a region-wide significant event during the latter half of the month.

March & April 2013

During these last months of the season, it is looking to be cooler than normal and stormy patterns are expected for much of the Northeast area. There is evidence that it could end up snowier than usual because of late-season nor’easters. Right now, the most favored time for a significant winter weather event is during the middle to late portion of March.

Our long-range winter forecast is compiled from a variety of weather forecasting sources. We have learned from our thirty years of closely tracking winter and weather that long-range forecasting is not an exact science but that trends can be spotted by using a number of different factors that likely will impact our weather. The month-to-month forecast is provided by Weather Works, our paid meteorological service. We are not meteorologists, weather forecasters, or even farmers. We are snow and ice managers that spend a great deal of time trying to decipher an abundance of short-term weather information to stay ahead of each storm in an effort to give our customers the best winter maintenance service available in the Washington, DC-Baltimore area.