Let me tell you how I look at the forecast.
First, patterns up until now.
We have seen a lot of systems along the Eastern US this year. We have been wet and fairly cool this fall. This would be a favorable sign for a more snowy forecast, but I do not expect an extremely snowy forecast like AccuWeather (http://www.accuweather.com/news-weather-features.asp?partner=&traveler;=0&date;=2009-10-14_1255&month;=10&year;=2009). Several others are on board with more snow possibilities! Raleigh weather (AKA Allan Huffman) http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-4053-Raleigh-Weather-Examiner~y2009m10d30-Winter-forecast-200910-Part-1, Larry Cosgrove from WeatherAmerica, and the Capital Weather Gang ( http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2009/11/capital_weather_gang_2009-10_w.html )
We have some other thoughts as well. I know 2 pro-forecasters calling for warmer than normal and a normal forecast preliminarily by Dave Tgoleris at WxRisk – http://1664596.sites.myregisteredsite.com/seasonalforcst/winter0910/PUBLIC.htm
So what am I really thinking –
El Nino – what will you do! The warm body of water in the Pacific is the wildest card of the season. I am more and more convinced that feature will stomp my hopes of a snowy winter for the region!
Things I like for Snow –
1. Pattern has been showing good storms from Southern origins
2. Colder air has been locked in place a few times from some blocking patterns – the blocks of North American Oscillations and the Pacific North American areas have been favorable.
3. Snow cover is steadily advancing and the best I have seen this early in several years – http://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow_usa.gif
4. Some Sea Surface Temps off the Atlantic Northeast.
Things I am thinking counter high snow
1. El Nino
2. A lot of soil moisture (WxRisk covers this in his forecast)
3. Despite southern storms, I have seen quite a few main lows head west of mountains, which means warmer aloft and ice or rain.
So For Now –
I call for a little above normal snow and normal to slightly above normal temperatures – I am banking on a few larger snow storms in cold spells for above normal snow
Would not be surprised to see a warmer than normal end of winter if El Nino continues to strengthen
Would also expect big swings in temps so snow will not be on the ground a long time this winter.
That is my thinking – I am not a Meteorologist so this is just based on what I see, have read, and El Nino being a factor!
All for now!