AccuWeather Calling for Cold Winter in the East
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.
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