Storm Team4’s Kammerer predicts little snow this winter

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November has been quite warm in the DC area, and it looks like these exceptionally warm days could just set the stage for what this winter has in store.

November has been quite warm in the DC area, and it looks like these exceptionally warm days could just set the stage for what this winter has in store.

Storm Team4’s chief meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, has come out with his annual winter weather forecast, but that doesn’t hold out much hope for a White Christmas.



“It’s not looking like a good winter for us snow lovers,” Kammerer said.

His forecast calls for 2-6 inches of snowfall for the season near DC, but he wouldn’t be surprised if the snowfall total is 1-2 inches once all is said and done. Some areas well west of DC can see up to a foot of snow.

Some of the things that were factored into Kammerer’s predictions include the current phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which are climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean that can impact weather around the world. Right now, Kammerer said, we are seeing the third straight year of a La Niña phase, which is bringing cooler water to the surface of the ocean.

“That’s one of the reasons why five of the last six winters have been below average for snowfall,” Kammerer said.

Ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska in the North Pacific are currently colder. And in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, water temperatures are warmer than usual for this time of year. Kammerer said these water temperatures, which impact the jet stream, also indicate less snowfall this winter.

Kammerer said another thing he is looking at is snowfall in Siberia.

“The amount of snow in Siberia in October normally has a pretty good, pretty good correlation with how much cold and snow we can get in our winter months here,” Kammerer said.

Looking at past winters, Kammerer said, this could be among the warmest, similar to the winters of 1976-1977 and 2011-2012.

“I really think this could be one of the warmest winters on record for our region,” Kammerer said.

While hopes of building a snowman and having a snowball fight may seem somewhat dashed, Kammerer said the best chance of snow will be in January and February. In December, there will be precipitation falling from the sky, but you will probably need an umbrella to withstand it.

“Looks like it’s going to be a really wet Christmas, not a white Christmas,” Kammerer said.

Snow-loving Kammerer won’t say big snow won’t happen, because there was one in 1996 during a La Niña winter. But he said the chances of that happening this winter are very low.

“This is one of those predictions that I really hope is wrong,” Kammerer said.

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