The National Weather Service expects Erie, Pennsylvania, to experience a mild and dry winter

The National Weather Service expects Erie, Pennsylvania, to experience a mild and dry winter

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What kind of winter can northwestern Pennsylvania residents expect to see? It depends on which long-range weather forecast you read.

The Great Lakes region, including Erie, is expected to see above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation in December, January and February, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

The forecast is almost the exact opposite of the forecast issued this summer by the Farmer’s Almanac, which predicted below-average temperatures this winter and lots of snowstorms, sleet, ice and rain in the Great Lakes region.

more: Are you ready for snow? The Farmers’ Almanac issues winter forecasts for the Great Lakes region

“It’s important to keep in mind that the long-term forecast should be viewed as a trend,” said David Marsalek, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Cleveland office. “Don’t expect it to be dry and warm every day. Winter will still be there.”

In fact, forecast maps from the Climate Prediction Center for December, January, and February show that northwestern Pennsylvania has a 40% to 50% chance of above-average seasonal temperatures, and a 33% to 40% chance of below-average precipitation in winter season. .

So, don’t sell your snow thrower and heavy vest yet.

What impact could El Niño have on northwestern Pennsylvania?

Many winter forecasts in the United States focus on El Niño, a climate pattern in which surface sea water temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific are warmer than average. The most recent El Niño phenomenon formed earlier this year.

Although El Niño occurs in the Pacific Ocean, it can affect weather throughout the United States. It typically leads to slightly milder and wetter winters in the Great Lakes region, Marszalek said.

“But El Niño doesn’t always take the same path,” Marcelik said. “We’ll see how it swings around the world.”

Erie’s winter of 2022-23 was mild and relatively snow-free

Erie’s winter of 2022-2023 was mild, both in terms of temperatures and amount of snowfall.

The average daily temperature at Erie International Airport from December through February was 34.3 degrees, 4 degrees higher than normal, according to the National Weather Service. The average daily high during that period was 40.9, 3.6 degrees above normal.

last winter: Erie’s winter is not over yet. See surprising snowfall totals for 2022-23

Not only did Lake Erie remain ice-free, but so did Presque Isle Bay throughout most of the winter, much to the dismay of local ice fishing enthusiasts.

Only 52 inches of snow fell at the airport, nearly half the average snowfall of 104.3 inches. The highest monthly total was 22.9 inches in November, before winter officially began.

Contact David Bruce at Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @ETNBruce.

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