2008/2009 Winter Forecast

Philadelphia/South Jersey; Washington, DC and Surrounding Suburbs

Time Period: December 1st, 2008 to March 31st, 2009

Issued November 15th, 2008

The forecast entails monthly temperature and snowfall, as well as total snowfall for the season. This will not be as easy to forecast as last winter season. Confidence is much lower, mainly for the months of December and February. Past seasons to compare with this winter are 1985/86 and 1989/1990. These are not high confidence analog years for comparison. I have backed off a lot in the last 30 days with the total amount of snowfall for this winter as well as the thinking of a very cold, below average winter. The big change for less snowfall has to do with the current climate patterns and ocean temperatures across the globe and how they have evolved over the past three months.

Expect this winter to be cooler than last winter, but still slightly warmer than average with below average snowfall. In fact, the past seasons that are matched for this upcoming winter saw most of the cold and snow before Jan 15th. The tracks of storm systems will be much different this year. Last year saw most of them track west of Philadelphia and DC, through the mountains and even points west into Ohio and western New York. This brought mostly rain events or snow to rain events. There were very few coastal storms. Expect a mix bag this year, with some coastal storms, a few right along the coast and also west of the area. This will mean a chance of all snow events, mixed events, and all rain events.

Seasonal Snowfall Prediction

Washington, D.C and surrounding suburbs

Total: 12 - 14 inches; average winter total around 17 inches

Mainly Moderate Snowstorms in the 3-6 inch range; no events of 8"+

Philadelphia/South Jersey

Total: 14 - 17 inches; average winter total around 20 inches

Mainly Moderate Snowstorms in the 4-8 inch range; no events of 10"+

Month by Month Analysis