AccuWeather released its winter outlook last week and, reversing course from the previous two years, it’s not predicting a big winter for snow in the Mid-Atlantic.
“I would lean just below normal [for snow] at this point [in D.C.],” says AccuWeather lead long range forecaster Paul Pastelok. “There will be plenty of moisture but most of the systems early in the season will be all rain, especially December and early January.”
Pastelok sees a back-loaded winter in terms of snowfall.
“Late January and February, a better storm track could give us changeover systems whether snow on the front side or back side,” Pastelok says.
AccuWeather is attempting to get the winter outlook right in the D.C. area for the first time since 2009-2010, when it correctly forecast a prolific snow producer prior to the record-setting Snowmageddon winter.
Since then, it’s been off-the-mark three straight years.
In 2010-2011, it predicted near normal snowfall, and D.C. had somewhat below normal snow (10.1″ compared to the 30-year average of 14.5″).
In 2011-2012, it predicted “slightly above average snow” and D.C. ended up with a paltry 2″, its third least snowy winter on record – more than a foot below its 30-year average.
In 2012-2013, AccuWeather highlighted the Mid-Atlantic’s prospects for above normal snow, but D.C.’s snow output was again much below normal, with just 3.1″.
“[For the upcoming winter], I see more snow than last year’s 3 inches officially,” Pastelok says.
As for temperatures, AccuWeather expects a slightly warmer than normal winter overall.
“December through February period will end up above normal,” Pastelok says. “There will be too much mild weather on the front side for colder weather in February to bring back below. If including November and March, then near normal to slightly below is possible. But meteorological winter is December, January and February. My average for DCA is 1.5 [degrees] above normal right now.”
The Capital Weather Gang will release its winter outlook in early November.