A third long-range winter forecast for Pennsylvania has come out this week, and if you like shoveling snow, you will be pleased. Similar to the predictions of the Farmers' Almanac, AccuWeather's forecast for winter 2017-18 calls for lots of snow and ice throughout the Northeast.
“I think this year is going to bring a good ski season in the Northeast,” said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok. “And around the holidays we should have some snow for the interior Northeast.”
The predictions of AccuWeather are consistent with those of the Farmers’ Almanac, which recently released its long-range forecast for the upcoming winter. That publication predicted Eastern Pennsylvania will experience "above-normal" precipitation and that the region will have a "cold and snowy" winter.
That publication offered a forecast for Eastern Pennsylvania that calls for a warmer than normal winter, with below-average snowfall. For most of the state, November — particularly later in the month — will be a little cold, while December will be a little warmer than usual, averaging 42 degrees, The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts.
Here’s a closer look at the AccuWeather forecast in different parts of the country:
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States
It will be colder than last year and snowfall is expected to be normal to above-normal, depending on where you live. In addition to Cleveland, Erie and Buffalo, snowfall in New York City and Boston could be about 6 inches above normal, “within a few inches,” Pastelok said.
“Areas away from the I-95 corridor have a better chance at a big snowfall,” he said.
Southeast and Tennessee Valley
Air temperatures will run above normal in most of the Southeast, especially Florida and Georgia, where the risk of a damaging freeze is lower than in past years. Florida, inundated with rain after Hurricane Irma, is expected to remain mostly dry.
In the western areas of the region, weather could be colder overall, and Pastelok said a few ice storms could hit the area stretching from the Tennessee Valley to northeast Texas.
Tornadoes aren’t out of the question, either. In January 2017, the area from Texas to Georgia was pummeled by 137 tornadoes. Pastelok expects the region to experience tornadoes in February.
Arctic cold blasts are expected to plunge Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and most of Missouri into the deep freeze on a regular basis, but the drier, colder air will carry less moisture, so huge, frequent snowfalls shouldn’t be a problem.
The coldest air — minus 30-degree Fahrenheit temperatures (and that doesn’t include the windchill) — will be in the Dakotas, Pastelok said.
The chilliest temperatures could come in mid-winter, and arctic air blowing in from Canada could lead to freezes in late January, Pastelok said. Overall, though, a cold winter isn’t predicted.
Despite roller-coaster temperatures overall, southwest Texas could experience above-normal temperatures.
And while some storms are predicted, the winter will be mostly dry in the Southern Plains.
“We do feel there are going to be some storms in northwest Texas at times,” Pastelok said. “Southwest Texas could see some but not as frequent as in past winters.”
Northwest and Rockies
A weak La Niña predicted to develop this winter is expected to provide ideal skiing conditions in the Northwest, including the Cascades, and the Rockies.
“I think the Bitterroot chain all the way down to the Wasatch region in the central and northern Rockies has a good shot to be above normal on snowfall this season,” Pastelok said.
Northern California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is expected to be less snowy, but the area should receive enough snowfall for good skiing conditions — but it’s not likely to be so significant that people won’t be able to reach resorts, Pastelok said.
Dry, warm weather is predicted. In fact, Pastelok said, temperatures could reach into the 90s by early 2018.