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Reviewing The 2018-2019 Winter Forecast

Today is March 1st, meaning today is also the first day of Meteorological Spring (Astronomical Spring begins on March 20th). This means it’s also an opportunity to review and verify my winter forecast. You can see the whole forecast here, which I gave on November 20th.

While the forecast wasn’t perfect, overall I’m happy with how it turned out.

Below were my expectations and forecast for the winter season.

Looking back at our temperatures over the last 3 months, they matched up to my winter headlines pretty well. Here is a look at what we saw.

  • December: +5.4°
  • January: -2.4°
  • February: -2.6°

In December we saw a few days with below average temperatures, but overall it was a very warm month. The above average temps continued into early January, but we saw a transition toward colder weather during the middle of the month and eventually the extreme, record-breaking cold at the end of the month. This includes a low of -20° on January 30th.  There wasn’t as much extreme cold in February, but overall it was another below average month.

Over the course of Meteorological Winter (December 1 to February 28) we saw temperatures 0.2° above average. This missed the numerical forecast of -1.75° to -2.75° and it did not meet the expectation of below average temperatures. Averaged out over the last 3 months, our temperatures were neither warm nor cold relative to what we can expect during the winter.

We got an early start to our snowfall this winter in November when we saw snowfall totals well above normal for the month. Here’s what snow looked like this winter.

  • November: 9.8″
  • December: 0.4″
  • January: 17.9″
  • February: 2.5″

Remember, snowfall for a winter season is measured from first flake to last.

So far this winter season, we’ve seen 30.6″ of snow. This matches the expectation of above-average snowfall, and for the moment is in-line with my forecast of 26″ to 32″.

We do have light snow in the forecast this weekend and we could still see more later in the month of March, so in the end our totals may exceed my range. Time will tell on that one.

Another outstanding forecast is the March temperature forecast. In my outlook, I expected March to be a cold month relative to average. It looks like at least the first week will be cold, and it wouldn’t surprise me if temperatures end up below average as a whole this month as well.

Being able to review this forecast means Spring is getting closer, but we may have to wait a little bit longer before it arrives for good.

-Chief Meteorologist Brian Walder


Brian Walder

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