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Friday, September 19, 2008

Predicting lots of snow this winter

Or, we're gonna need a bigger snow shovel:

WINTERS FOLLOWING WET SEPTEMBERS SHOW MODEST BIAS TOWARD SNOW

Let us pause for a moment to reflect on the meaning of modest bias in weather. Okay, I'm back.

Snow enthusiasts may be encouraged to learn that 7 of 12 winters since 1895 which followed wet Septembers ended up with more than the long-term average amount of snow. (Tom Skilling after all the rain Ike dumped on Chicago: 2 tropical storms teamed up for a rare deluge.)

Yes, I realize we're not precisely in Chicago's weather coverage area. We're close, and we have had an above average wet September to date. So, pair that and the exceptionally frenzied pace the squirrels have been gathering and burying nuts in my neighborhood the last couple weeks, and it adds up to big snow for the winter of 2008-09.

Edit: According to Wunderground, Springfield's September average precipitation is 1.84 inches. September's actual rainfall through the 19th is 7.99 inches. Also, our year to date average precip is 26.54 inches. So far this year we've had 46.46 inches of rain. If I'm reading that right, amazing!

Posted by Marie at September 19, 2008 10:45 PM

Comments

By coincidence, I was just looking at the NOAA long-range forecasts for the winter. My concern is for California rainfall -- the last two rainy seasons have been drier than average. But I did note that the forecast for the winter -- which I suppose can be seen as the most wild of computer-aided guesses -- is for above normal temperatures for most of the country east of the Rockies; the southern Plains may be in for higher than normal precipitation, too. See (among others): http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/seasonal.php?lead=1

Posted by: Dan at September 20, 2008 1:34 PM

Dan, those maps are great. It took me a while to figure out what I was looking at, but they began to make sense. Thanks.

Posted by: Marie at September 20, 2008 9:35 PM

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