Windy, cold, lake-effect snow (1,2,3) turning fair but very cold (4,5,6,7,8,9). Light snow, mainly in the northern part of the region (10,11,12) again, turning fair, but very cold (13,14,5,16). Windy, cold, with some lake-effect snow (17,18,19) returning to fair and rather cold temperatures (20,21,22,23,24). Light snow in the north (25,26,27); fair, rather cold (28,29,30,31.




          "The next twelve months offers us a 
          world of promise; it all depends on 
          each one of us and how much we are  
          willing to give of ourselves to help 
           make it a better world”

                         John Gruber (1768--1857)




CONTACT:  Gerald W. Spessard, Business/Sales Manager  TELEPHONE: (301) 491-4002 (Cell)  (717) 294-6086

Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack Weather Outlook 2017-2018

Mercersburg, PA. October 30, 2017) – The Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack updates its forecast for the coming 2017-2018 winter. The Almanack’s weather prognosticator, Bill O’Toole, has compiled a concise summary of what to expect in the months ahead:

Temperatures have been mostly above average in the East the last two months. In the West there has been a great variability, especially in the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies, where snow has fallen several times already. The Southwest has seen record-breaking heat lately. Other regions have been close to normal. Here is an attempt to look forward at the next five months and predict likely weather trends.

There is greater uncertainty than usual this year at this particular time. The reason is a general lack of confidence in predictions of the status of certain important influential measures. One of the most important influences on weather worldwide is ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation), which has three possible states: 1. El Niño, an abnormal warming of Eastern Central Pacific waters off the coast of South America; 2. ENSO-Neutral, neither warmer nor cooler waters in that area; and 3. La Niña, an abnormal cooling of those waters. Another important influence, especially for winters in the northern hemisphere, is the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), relating to atmospheric pressure systems in the North Atlantic compared to the Central Atlantic Ocean.

We are just coming off a two-year-long La Niña. Measurements in the Pacific in the last couple of months have suggested that ENSO-Neutral conditions are setting up for the rest of 2017 and the first several months of 2018. This would indicate colder than normal weather from the Northern Plains to the Northeast, with frequent blasts of Arctic air across that area and resulting heavy snow along the East Coast from frequent Nor’easters. From the West to the Southern Plains would be warmer than normal. The Southeast would be wetter than normal, with an active storm track from the Southern Rockies to the southern Atlantic Coast. This is the scenario described in the Gruber Almanack for 2018, page 47. 

However, there have been very recent variations in the ENSO measurements that suggest a weak La Niña is trying to make a comeback. If this happens, the whole outlook reverses: The East will be milder and lacking snow, while the West will be colder, with heavy snows from the Four Corners region north and west. So here are the likely outcomes according to current readings as of late October: Greatest chance of ENSO-Neutral conditions; lesser chance of returning La Niña; and very little chance of El Niño. Thus we will stay with our forecast from page 47 of the 2018 Almanack: Frequent outbursts of Arctic air from the Northern Plains to the East Coast, coupled with an active storm track along the subtropical jet stream from Baja California to the western Gulf Coast and then to the Atlantic Coast near the Virginia-North Carolina border. This pattern brings frequent snowstorms from the central part of the country to the northeast. It is an ideal setup for Nor’easters. 

We expect most areas to be milder than average until at least the middle of November. The exception will be the Rockies to Minnesota. From late November until the end of the year, the cold outbreaks will move east and south, with snowstorms eventually tracking into the East. Winter will be slow to arrive for much of the Continental US; how long it stays will be determined by ENSO. One caveat must be mentioned: If the NAO goes into a negative phase, as some recent measurements seem to predict, the East Coast will get even colder, with heavier snows. The NAO has less influence with greater distance away from the Atlantic Ocean.

Bill O’Toole, Prognosticator

Gruber Almanack, LLC