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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/14/2008

AccuWeather Calling for Cold Winter in the East

By Jason Samenow

A wintry scene on the Mall. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Last week, AccuWeather's Chief Long-Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi issued his 2008-2009 winter outlook. The outlook calls for an "overall colder and snowier" winter compared to the last "several" winters for the East Coast. About the winter Bastardi says:

"It may be a shock to some when compared with the above-average temperatures of last year in the East. It will put some 'brrrrrr' in the saddle of folks who have not had to deal with such things for a while."

Keep reading for more on Bastardi's outlook. For the weather through the week, see our full forecast.

Bastardi expects winter to assert itself in two blasts -- at the beginning and at the end -- with a pronounced January thaw in the middle. Overall, he indicates the cold coupled with rising energy prices will stress consumers.

"The winter as a whole in the population-dense eastern third of the nation will be a one-two punch of higher heating prices and lower temperatures," Bastardi said.

The publicly available (and free) outlook is generally light on specifics. It speaks of cold conditions relative to recent winters (which have been all been above average locally since the winter of 2003-2004), but not compared to long-term averages. It also provides very little information about precipitation (the last snowier than average winter locally was in the winter of 2002-2003), except to say it will be snowier than last year (when a mere 4.9" fell at Reagan National). And it only refers to the East Coast broadly without giving any detail about the mid-Atlantic relative to the Northeast and Southeast.

AccuWeather's forecast for a cold and snowy winter compared to the past few is consistent with local forecaster Keith Allen's outlook (which we posted about previously) that suggests temperatures will slightly colder than average (making it necessarily colder than the last few), with the coldest air in December and February. Allen also expects above average snow, with a prediction for 25" at Reagan National.

The Capital Weather Gang will issue its detailed winter outlook in mid-November.

By Jason Samenow  | October 14, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Seasonal Sampler
Next: PM Update: Autumn Warmth Persists


Was that a prediction or a fact? Whichever, not whatever because I am now shaking in my boots -- I have always thought that being extremely cold is the closest thing to poverty that I know,and with the economy being doomed -- I hope that I don't know it for sure.

Posted by: Julie | October 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It's about time. It's been a few years since we had a good blizzard.

Posted by: csdiego | October 14, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

By the second week in December the working herding dogs will forcast how cold the winter will be in the DC area. My collie's rough predicts how cold the winter will be. Last couple of years it ahsnt been very thick and full so the winters have been mild. My collie girl has a bigger coat overall so its a little harder to look at her coat and preict the winter.

My herding instructor and his 12 BCs also do a great job of validating my collies prediction.

Mother nature is better predictor of winter temps than some computer model.

You just have to look for and know the signs. How hard have the squirels been working?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Someone's goin skiing lost this winter (me)!


Posted by: Wakka Wakka | October 14, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Please! I am from Nova Scotia 25" is nothing!!!!!! Bring it on!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The season for winter weather outlooks is upon us. If only the wishful thinking of us snow enthusiasts were a good predictor, we'd be out of our gourds in excited anticipation of day after day of S++ (heavy snow) with blowing, drifting and white out conditions in all directions.

BUT - wishful thinking unfortunately is no more a foreteller of what this winter will bring than any of these outlooks, including guru crystal ball reader I consulted last week. )

Another great picture, Kevin

Posted by: Steve Tracton | October 14, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

How can this be possible??? After reading another politically charged article of doom & gloom by Mr. Freedman, he finally had me convinced that it was scientifically impossible for it to be "an 'overall colder and snowier' winter" anywhere on this earth. With "Global Warming" being caused by humans, surly the trend has to continue upwards until the seas boil and life as we know it ceases to exist! Maybe Al Gore, the greatest weather scientist of all time, could come up with an idea that will save us! So, as for Winter... it is not possible to have a colder snowier one around here or Mr. Freedman and Al Gore are sensationalist phonies and we have all been duped! Which is it?! What do we do now?? Ted Kennedy... please help us now!

Posted by: Steve | October 14, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Steve", to avoid any possibility of confusion (though not likely given our differing views) please distinguish yourself from me with an alternative name (e.g., SteveXYZ)

Posted by: Steve Tracton | October 15, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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