Winter Weather Forecast 2023/2024
The forecasts for this winter reference the El Nino weather pattern, an infrequent event that warms the weather picture.
Forecasts are mixed, primarily because variations are expected across North America.
This year’s hot July, August and September, in most regions, is not considered to be caused by El Nino. Experts believe El Nino is only now making an impact on North American weather. Experts say this is one of the strongest El Nino conditions in recorded history.
Yet, many other weather-producing effects exist which means uncertainty and that it won’t be a typical El Nino year. The El Nino is expected to intensify as winter approaches and continue right into 2024. It will peak in December and January and then begin to fade.
Accuweather predicts this will be a colder snowier winter, but it depends on where you live.
Of all the months ahead, February is shaping up to be a bitterly cold month, likely driving up the price of natural gas for heating. There is significant interest in the Polar Vortex which intensifies and spills out frigid air at a hard to predict schedule.
El Niño is a regular, large-scale climate phenomenon that occurs when the water temperatures near the equator of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean are above the historical average for months at a time. The change in water temperatures reshapes the jet stream and, ultimately, weather patterns in various parts of the world — including North America. — From Accuweather forecast report.
Northeast US Forecast
Accuweather believes this winter will be different than last year’s. Snowfalls in some regions such as upstate New York were dramatic last especially just before Xmas. This year, the snow threat comes from frigid air crossing the Great Lakes happening in October, November and December. They predict the I95 corridor should see more snow this year.
However, for major cities on the east coast including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, snowfall will be lower than average. It will be far more snow than 2022/2023.
Southeast US Forecast
Accuweather says El Nino events create turbulent weather conditions for the Southeast stats. Cold winds from the north combined with warm humid waters in the Gulf of Mexico should create severe storm systems that may include tornados. The last El Nino year set up tornado outbreaks in January and severe storms in February.
Cold bouts in February will send heating bills soaring in Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, and Houston.
Central US Forecast
The midwest had a snowy season in 2022/2023, with Minnesota recording 90 inches of snow. Accuweather expects Q4 of 2023 to be mild overall, but will turn cold towards February.
Some cities such as Denver should see a lot more snow this winter and Kansas City will likely see double the amount they had last winter.
Western US Forecast
Americans still recall the massive atmospheric rivers that flowed in from the Ocean on jetstreams to help replenish California’s drought striken landscape. The event more than resupplied water to the region, leaving it flooded and residents fearful of natural disasters.
Accuweather feels we might see a repeat of the precipitation with the Jetstream again for California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. Most of that will happen in California and Southern Oregon, while missing Washington and Idaho.
These events will create another boom season for the ski resorts in California, Utah and Colorado.
Last year was a warm winter which saved Americans and Canadians significant money in heating costs. This year won’t be the coldest, but it will raise demand for electricity and natural gas. See more on forecast from NOAA Accuweather and the Farmers Almanac.
Farmers Almanac Forecast
The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts more snow and seasonable winter temperatures. They report that the El Niño weather pattern should gradually strengthen through the winter.
- snowfall above average in snow-prone states (except the Pacific Northwest)
- normal to colder-than-normal temperatures in areas that typically receive snow
- wetter-than-usual weather is coming to the southern portions of the Deep South, Texas, and California, with potentially drought-quenching rain
- New England down to Florida across the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Southwest, will experience mild to cool temperatures.
Like Accuweather, Farmer’s Almanac’s forecast mentions the instability of the Polar Vortex which could spill out cold air from its massive tornadic system.
Canadian Winter Forecast
For Canada, Farmer’s Almanac’s forecast is for lots of snow from coast to coast. The west coast will see bone chilling cold while the east cost will be wetter and snowier. Canadians should see the chilling effect in earnest beginning in December for a more traditional winter season.
They report similar conditions for later January, with a return to seasonal in mid-February.
Like the northern central states, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will see frighteningly cold winter conditions.
We have to remember that forecasts for the frigid conditions are general in nature and can’t be timed according to weeks of the month. Once in January, Americans and Canadians have to be ready for some frigid and perhaps dangerous winter conditions.
NOAA Winter Forecast 2023/2024
NOAA also cites the El Nino weather pattern as the most significant driver of weather this winter. They predict a 70% chance of a strong El Nino Winter.
They report that warmer-than-normal temperatures are likely in the Pacific Northwest, New England States, and the Upper Great Lake states. Temperatures in the southern half of the country could vacillate between below and above normal as major storm fronts move through, including a visit of the Polar Vortex winds.
Widespread extreme drought may persist across much of the West, the Great Basin, and the central-to-southern Great Plains. and drought is expected to impact the middle and lower Mississippi Valley this winter.
They forecast a wetter than normal winter in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, and the upper east coast states.
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