When it comes to weather, 2019 has already been a year for record-breaking events.
Colorado, for example, experienced the most intense avalanche cycle in the state’s history. During the month of March alone, there were over 600 avalanches in the high country!
This summer, experts declared that–globally speaking–July was the hottest month in recorded history.
What does the atmosphere have in store for us for the 2019-2020 winter season?
Will we see another bomb cyclone form in the Midwest? Ice storms in the east? Plenty of snowfall for the western ski resorts?
Or are we going to move into a warming pattern with drier conditions, like the 2015-2016 winter season?
In this post, we’ll take a look at this year’s winter predictions from experts across the country. Read on to learn what’s in store for your state!
2018-2019 Winter Weather Recap
Before we jump into this year’s predictions, let’s briefly revisit the latest winter season.
For most of the lower 48 states, 2018-2019 was the wettest winter on record. Record levels of precipitation fell from the Northwest to the High Plains and across the Great Lakes region.
Minneapolis and St. Paul saw their snowiest winter since 1962. The town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, nearly doubled its old snowfall record from 1936 with a grand total of 53.7 inches of snowfall during February.
Total winter precipitation totals in these areas came in at 9.01 inches, a full 2.22 inches above average.
Meanwhile, the average February temperature across the US was 32 degrees. This was an impressive 1.8 degrees cooler than most of the 20th century!
Regional variations did take place, though. The desert Southwest, Rockies, and Plains states experienced colder than average temperatures. Meanwhile, the east coast and Ohio Valley were warmer than average.
What’s in store for us in just a few short months? Let’s find out!
Winter Predictions for 2019-2020
With a country as vast as the US, it’s impossible to make a blanket statement about the upcoming winter season.
However, that’s exactly what the Farmer’s Almanac Winter 2019 prediction has done. Their official name for the upcoming season is a “Polar Coaster” winter.
If you like roller coasters, this level of uncertainty might sound like fun. But what if you prefer to have a better idea of what’s coming your way?
Let’s break down the winter predictions so you’ll know exactly what to expect in your hometown.
The Broad Picture
What does the Farmer’s Almanac mean by a “Polar Coaster?”
As the name suggests, the winter outlook for 2019-2020 will be marked by extremes in precipitation and temperature. The Almanac promises thrills and chills with enough variation on the thermometer to mimic a roller coaster ride.
Does this mean every area of the country will experience such extreme variations? Not necessarily.
Here’s a quick glance at the US weather map for the 2019-2020 winter season.
- Pacific Northwest: Chilly with normal precipitation
- Desert Southwest: Cool with normal precipitation
- The Rockies and Northern Plains: Frigid and snowy
- Southern Plains: Chilled with average precipitation
- Great Lakes Region: Frozen and snowy
- The Southeast: Brisk and wet
- Mid-Atlantic States: Frosty, wet, and white
- The Northeast: Cold with wintry mixed conditions
Where will winter hit the hardest? Let’s find out.
The Coldest Temperatures
If you live anywhere in the middle third of the country, bundle up!
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that “bitterly cold winter conditions will affect areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians.”
The most brutal temperature drops will likely occur in the Northern Plains states and throughout the Great Lakes region. Experts also predict colder than average temperatures along the eastern seaboard from Washington DC to Boston.
When will the biggest cold snap occur? The Almanac is calling for the biggest “Polar Coaster” drop to happen from the last week of January into the beginning of February.
If you live in the western third of the country (and you don’t love the cold), you’re in luck. This is the only region predicted to have near-normal winter temperatures.
The Wettest (and Driest) Locations
Good news for ski bums: Expect lots of snow to fall in the High Rockies around Utah, Montana, and Colorado.
The coasts won’t be spared, either, as above-average snowfall is also predicted for both the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest. Expect plenty of flakes to fly throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, too.
Further south, most regions can expect normal precipitation patterns throughout the winter season.
When Will Spring Arrive?
Is all this talk of winter weather making you shiver? If so, you’re probably wondering when the snow will melt and the flowers will start to bloom.
According to the Almanac, spring will take its sweet time with its arrival in 2020. Expect the chill to last in the air well into April in most parts of the country–especially the Midwest and Northeast regions.
Wherever you live, one thing is for certain: You can never be too prepared when it comes to wintertime. This article has more information about readying your home for the upcoming winter season.
Final Thoughts on This Year’s Winter Forecast
Of course, no one can say for certain exactly how this year’s winter weather patterns will play out.
With better technology, however, comes better and more accurate winter predictions.
So don’t be caught unaware. Whatever the experts predict for your area, now is the time to prepare for the 2019-2020 winter season.
Get your snow shovels ready and hang those jackets by the door. According to this year’s winter predictions, you’re going to need them!
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