Aired 11/06/2019

Well, since another inch of snow is expected today which would make our third snow of the season already, it feels a bit behind schedule, but we’re actually two days ahead of last year’s air date for this forecast as we examine the clues Mother Nature has left us in an attempt to divine the winter weather ahead.

Last year’s forecast was generally accurate, but some intense cold snaps and above-expected snowfall didn’t align with my prediction.  The formula has been adjusted and we’re soldiering on with another, so with apologies to my mentor in long-range weather forecasting, the late, great Gordon Kilgore, I offer the following forecast for the winter of 2019-20.

We generally don’t have snows to analyze by this point in the year.  This year however, two have already fallen and melted and a third is expected today.  Generally, the date of November’s first snowfall is used to calculate our total number of snows expected – adjusted according to which side of the 15th it falls.  This year, though, our first snow deep enough to track a cat fell on October 28th.  As we do on occasions when our first cat-tracker doesn’t appear until December, we reset.  So 28 total measurable snows are expected this winter.

The wooly bear caterpillars have been plentiful this year, they were seen earlier than normal, and their mix of black to tan consistently indicates an overall long and snowy winter.  Spider activity has been especially high, with some larger than usual spiders seeming eager to invade our homes early.  Mice activity was about normal however.  Squirrel hunters report about average squirrel fat.  Muskrat homes and hornet’s nests are not especially notable, while the kingfisher nests are a little lower than last year.

Look for the current cold and snowy stretch to continue through December, then a warm-up in January.  We’ll see a few unusually warm days before Valentine’s Day, but hopes of an early spring will be dashed by stubborn, lingering snowy conditions.

Although overall temps will average above normal, a bitterly cold snap will remind us of just how nasty winter can be late in the season.  Prepare to pay some hefty heating bills when it arrives between late January and February.

Have the snowblower tuned and ready, we’ll have an overall long and snowy winter.