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Mark Johnson's EXCLUSIVE Winter Forecast 2017-18

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Posted at 10:35 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 23:52:44-04

Are you ready for Winter?

It may be hard to think about right now...especially since October has been so warm and Summery.

But, cold weather is just weeks away. So, its not too early to start getting ready.

As November moves in and winter approaches, our thoughts now turn to the cold and snow of the coming season. Predicting the weather weeks and months ahead is tricky! Meteorologists have enough trouble predicting the weather 5 days out let alone 3 months down the road. Weather is chaotic. And Mother Nature changes her mind all the time. Yet, still, I am obliged to give a long-range winter forecast my best shot.

But, Mother Nature does give us a few clues that may help us prepare for the Winter to come.

Cooler than normal water is now developing and pooling along the equator in the Pacific Ocean. LaNina, as it is know, affects our winter weather in certain ways. As does other ocean patterns in the Pacific and the Atlantic. We can look back at other years that have had similar ocean patterns and warm Octobers to help us plan ahead for this upcoming Winter. This is called Analog Forecasting.

So, there are a few past years that look close to what we are experiencing now. And those Winters turned out warmer than normal and wetter than normal.

I expect temperatures for December, January & February to average ABOVE NORMAL across Northern Ohio. Precipitation (Rain & Snow) will likely average ABOVE NORMAL as well for the Winter Months.

Now, that doesn't mean we wont see cold. It just means that cold will have trouble hanging around for more than a few days or a week at a time.

We will also likely see a lot of active weather...snow, rain and rain changing to snow! When you take the rain out of the equation, snowfall this year should end up CLOSE TO AVERAGE.

Its time to start thinking about WINTER WEATHER. This warm pattern won't last forever...in fact, next week looks much cooler. Now, where's my snow shovel?