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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/29/2008

Local TV Winter Outlooks, Part II

By Jason Samenow

Capital Weather Gang's Winter Outlook | Short-term forecast | SkinsCast

A week ago, I summarized NBC4's and FOX5's winter outlooks which generally called for near-average winter snowfall. Since then, ABC7's and WUSA9's outlooks have been released as well as Justin Berk's from ABC2 in Baltimore. They're more-or-less in consensus, all predicting at least average snowfall this season.

Keep reading for details about these outlooks...

Chief meteorologist Doug Hill at ABC7 says: "This winter, we're predicting four times as much snow as last year, about 20 inches for the metropolitan area." That's about 5 inches above the thirty-year average. The outlook story and video offer a few more details.

All four of the meteorologists at WUSA9 issued outlooks. Here's what they're predicting...

Topper Shutt: 5-6 storms will produce average snowfall. Temperatures will also be near average.

Kim Martucci: 18" of snow (which is average or a bit above), coming in big storms

Howard Bernstein: 18", coming in little storms.

Tony Pann: 20-30" (above average) with some big storms and average to below average temperatures.

Watch the video below...

Lastly, Justin Berk at ABC2 in Baltimore is calling for a blockbuster winter for our neighbor to the north. He expects about 30" which is more than 50% above average for Baltimore (18"). Historically, Washington, DC gets about 80-85% of the snow Baltimore does -- so that would translate to about 25-26" for us. In a blog post at, Justin also summarizes respected meteorologist's Dave Tolleris' outlook -- which supports his idea for a pretty snowy winter.

In the last couple months, we've recapped 18 winter outlooks (see our "local climate" archives to review them). The overwhelming majority predict near average snowfall this season, and pretty much all call for more snow than in the last several winters (even those that are going with below average snow, like our own).

This wraps up our pre-season coverage of winter outlooks. On Monday, meteorological winter officially starts, so we can sit back and watch as opportunities for snow emerge or fade. A few months from now, we'll take a look back and see how these outlooks performed.

By Jason Samenow  | November 29, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
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Next: SkinsCast: Damp and Dismal


Berk doesn/t think much of CWG/s argument about declining annual snowfalls.

The original CWG post...which postulated annual snowfall was declining at such a rate that 'single digits' was all but certain in the foreseeable future. The analysis was based on an arbitrary period of 15 years. Further support for the alleged trend of declining annual snowfall @ DCA was offered by applying a 30-year moving average. Both arguments were used to reached the same conclusion.

Applying Berk/s 10-year methodology to DCA/s annual snowfall contradicts CWG/s conclusion.

DCA snowfall for 10-year period ending...
1898: 216"
1908: 255"
1918: 242"
1928: 148"
1938: 176"
1948: 164"
1958: 138"
1968: 244"
1978: 117"
1988: 203"
1998: 124"
2008: 131"


Posted by: toweringqs | November 29, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse


#1: You're misquoting me. I did not say single digits were all but certain. I said IF the current trends continue, single digits would happen in many of our lifetimes (which I later clarified was referring to the younger generation). Admittedly, that's a big if -- since recent performance is not usually an indicator of what the future will bring -- but it's a true statement if the current rate of decline continues.

#2: You and Berk are wrong about Baltimore. It has a declining trend if you look at the entire dataset back to 1880, or if you look only at BWI's record (since the observing station moved there in 1950). Plot the data and compute the trend. Use moving averages to smooth the data or just use the raw data. It doesn't matter: the trend is unequivocally negative. The data don't lie.

Berk's 10-year methodology applied to DCA shows a huge declining trend. Plot those 10 points you list above in Excel (I just did) and add a trend line. See for yourself!

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | November 29, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

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