SPOKANE, Wash.—The 200th Edition of the Farmers’ Almanac made some big claims for the 2017-2018 winter outlook.
A map of the United States issued by the Farmers’ Almanac shows less harsh conditions this winter for the Inland Northwest than there were in 2016. The map also predicts snow for the Northeast and temperature swings for the south.
The Storm Tracker 2 Team said there is a chance the region will see less snow than normal. Temperatures could even be warmer than normal. However, there’s an equally good chance that there will be an average amount of snowfall this winter. It all depends on what happens from mother nature in the next couple months.
USING TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE OF WEATHER PATTERNS
Every fall, Chief Meteorologist Tom Sherry puts together his official winter outlook after looking at global weather maps, regional weather maps, teleconnection patterns, long-range models, and historical trends.
KREM'S weather team worked together to be on the same page with any long-range winter outlook.
WHERE DOES WINTER WEATHER COME FROM?
Briana Bermensolo said winter weather in the Pacific Northwest develops in connection with weather patterns on a global scale, with conditions varying year to year.
The globe is always trying to be at a state of equilibrium, so activity on one side of the planet can affect our weather here at home months later in response. It's a big cycle around the globe divided into smaller cycles and patterns.
The atmosphere is constantly changing. The proof is seen on the ground.
Some winters there is hardly any snow. Some winters there are feet and feet of snow and or sub-zero temperatures!
During an average year, Spokane receives about 42 inches of snow. Last winter Spokane got more than 60 inches.
Bermensolo said the global weather patterns and phase are all connected through energy around the planet like big, moving jump ropes.
People will recognize the name of two of the global weather phenomenons that affect our winter weather patterns in the Inland NW: "El Niño" and "La Niña."
In the photos below, show the direction of the movement of energy...
and how everything changes between the three phases of ENSO:
WHAT IS EL NIÑO?
According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric research, El Niño is a warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs every two to seven years, on average. The term also commonly refers to the atmospheric rearrangements that occur with the oceanic warming. During an El Niño event, sea surface temperatures across a watery expanse often as large as the United States can warm by 1–3°F or more for a period of from a few months to a year or two.
WHAT IS LA NIÑA?
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research defined La Niña as the counterpart to El Niño. It is a cooling of the waters across the same region. As with El Niño, the term La Niña typically is used to refer to the associated atmospheric as well as oceanic patterns. It often lasts longer than El Niño, sometimes persisting or recurring for two or more years.
There is a chance for an El Niño weather pattern to set-up this winter.
El Niño typically brings drier than normal conditions to the Inland Northwest and warmer than normal temperatures in the winter time.
There is also a good chance the weather pattern will lean towards a more neutral weather pattern. Translation: no El Niño effect or no La Niña effect. It would just be average temperatures and average snowfall. If this is the case, Eastern WA and Idaho will likely see the same amount of snow as an average winter.
The Storm Tracker 2 Team will continue to monitor the long-rage models very closely!
Tom Sherry’s Winter Forecast will air in early November will have the most complete and updated long range winter forecast in the area.
To see more on what the Farmers' Almanac predicts for the winter ahead you can visit their website.