The NOAA Climate Center has released their long range forecast for this winter. Because of a strong El Nino, generally warmer than normal temperatures and drier than normal conditions are forecast for the Great Lakes region (see attached maps).
The chances are greater than 40% for these conditions. Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean no snowstorms or no brief cold spells; however, it appears we should not be impacted to the extent of snow and cold as we have the past 2 winters. Also keep in mind, the forecast “warmer than normal” temperatures typically puts us into the freezing rain/sleet type conditions when we do get some precipitation, so don’t forget to practice safe winter driving skills just in case.
This year’s El Nino appears to be stronger than the one during the winter of 1997-1998. Going back in the Toledo records, it showed above normal temperatures that winter and much less snowfall.
Hopefully you can take the term “polar vortex” out of your vocabulary this winter!
from BRADLEY J. GILBERT, DIRECTOR
WOOD COUNTY E.M.A.