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Will The Southern Tier See Snow This Winter?

Photo: Sean Holbert

It’s been almost 20 months since the Binghamton area has experienced a true accumulating snowfall.  The winter of 2011-2012 was very mild and the Southern Tier did not experience one major snowstorm.  While this pleased many to be sure, the snow-less winter was bad for businesses that rely on the white stuff.

Much of the northeast experienced the same type of winter.  New York City only received 7 inches of snow all winter and Washington D.C. only had to shovel about 2 inches for the entire season.

So the big question for this winter is: will we see any snow?  Well, meteorologists are split on the issue.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Northeast should expect a colder and snowier winter than average.  Many meteorologists agreed with that decree just a few short months ago.  The reasoning behind their argument was because there were signs that a strong La Nina pattern was forming.  It now appears that is not the case.

La Nina winters mean colder temperatures and above average snowfall for the Northeastern United States.  With the La Nina expected to now be weaker than normal, weather forecasters are saying we could expect the warmth and limited snowfall to continue into December.  We are on pace to record the warmest year in history in the U.S.

This doesn’t mean we are out of the woods and should expect a repeat of last winter.  There are other factors that contribute to a snowy winter.  The jet stream, which are strong winds aloft that control weather patterns, is different this winter and is bringing cooler air from Canada down to the Atlantic Ocean.  As the waters cool, meteorologists say that chances for powerful winter storm along the East Coast could grow exponentially.  They say to expect at least a few big snows for the east this January and February.

So the bottom line: no one really knows what kind of winter this will be.  However, there is one thing to be certain of: the weather changes by the second here in the Southern Tier and one should ever expect the same type of weather for too long.

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