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2017 -18 Snowfall Predictions


2017 -18 Snow Amount:
Likely Range: 180 - 210"
My prediction: 200"

Average: 176.7"
Last season: 159.8"


2017 -18 Snow Amount:
Likely Range: 130 - 160"
My prediction: 150"

Average: 117.6"
Last season: 134.9"

  Below are my thoughts for the 2017-18 winter season for here in
Central New York. By using data from previous winter seasons, I
try to make my best forecast of how this season pans out.

There are many different elements that I look into for making a
winter season forecast. One of the first things I look at is the water
temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Warm water in
the eastern Pacific leads to an El Nino, while cooler water
leads to La Nina. We can also have water temperatures
that are close to normal, which is considered a neutral
condition. Right now in mid October we are seeing neutral
conditions. The forecast from the Climate Prediction
Center is for a weak La Nina to develop. But there is a
55-65% of this happening. So I looked at years that had near
neutral to weak La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean.
For most of these years we do see slightly above normal
snowfall for both Fulton and Syracuse. Some of the years
had significantly higher than normal snowfall, while
a few years had less than normal snowfall.

Another factor I look at for our upcoming winter, is the
snow cover advancement in Siberia and Asia during the
month of October. This relationship was studied by
Dr. Judah Cohen, who is a climatologist for
Atmospheric and Environmental Research.
Snow cover has increased faster than average in that
part of the world this October. But not as fast as the past
couple of years. Usually the greater snow cover there,
would translate to more cold and snow here in the Northeast
during the heart of the winter. But that hasn't been the case
for the past couple of seasons. So there may not be a direct
relationship for our winters or other factors like an
El Nino help to offset the Siberian snow cover affect
on our winter weather. I do think that the higher snow cover
will give us more chances of frigid air moving down over us
during this winter. Which could lead to higher risks
of lake effect snow.

Another element I looked at was the hurricane season. I am
not sure if there is any relationship on number of hurricanes
or strengths of hurricanes to our snowfall for the upcoming
winter. But since this hurricane season is one of the top 10
strongest seasons, it is something to look into. I only looked
at the 10 strongest hurricane years, and found that most
of the following winter seasons had less than
or close to average snowfall here in Central NY.

Last year I predicted near or just above normal snowfall
for Central NY. Syracuse did end up with about 20"
more snow than normal. But Fulton was about 18"
less snow than normal. I think the main reason for
this is that there was not as many lake effect
snow events that Fulton would usually see.
Most of the bands hung out east of Lake Ontario
over places like Redfield. So that will be the big
question for this season. How often and where
will the lake effect bands set up? And that is something
that can not be predicted for the season.

So overall I am seeing a fairly normal winter season
coming up for us here in Central NY. We will see
some cold bouts moving through. But I think that
we will have chances to thaw out as our temperatures
should average near normal for the season.
I am forecasting snowfall to be a tick above
average for the winter season. Average snowfall
in Syracuse is 117.6". It looks like 130 - 160"
at the Syracuse airport. And Fulton's average
snowfall since 1995 is 176.7". Fulton can
expect 180 - 210" of snow for this season.

Seasonal forecasts are still quite difficult to nail
down as there are so many variables across the
globe that affect our weather. By looking at the
past data and conditions that are setting up this
fall, I try to gve my best guess on what we can see
for this coming season. Snow can be a hassle
and an inconvience for many of us. But try to get
out and enjoy it. Spring is right around the corner.

Updated: Saturday October 21, 2017