Cold Winter???

   I keep hearing in the media that gas prices are expected to be 50% higher this winter, making it hard for people to keep their homes comfortable in this upcoming hard winter.

   I have no quarrel with this story except for the last line… The story always ends with a comment from the reporter about how this is supposed to be a cold winter. My problem is here… Where does this information come from?

   First of all, we all know that all seasonal forecasting is rather poor. It’s not that forecasters are incompetent; it’s just really hard to get a seasonal forecast right because there are so many different factors that can have an effect on the weather over a season.  That being said, most reporters use the forecast from the National Climate Prediction Center when they quote a long range forecast.  The thing is, the Climate Prediction Center is NOT calling for a hard winter this year.  Check it out for yourself.  Climate Prediction Center 

   Sometimes I think these national media reporters hear a forecast on another network and then repeat it without checking it out in the first place.  If this is the case, then shame on them for being careless.  Of course, they could be using a different source such as the Old Farmer’s Almanac, but I’d rather not even go there…

79 Responses

  1. Joshua Swanson

    very interesting point. i watch and read quite a bit of cable news, newsources, etc. and have heard that story on a regular basis. never thought about the forecast for the winter though. nice post

  2. TULSAF5TORNADO

    ‘John,IM an Agricultural Met in Oklahoma,but we lived in Fargo during the cold snowy winters of 1995/96 and 96/97 i know you remember those winters, it was a real experience.I dont know where you stand on using analogs from the past to help predict the upcoming winter, but some of the ones im seeing put out are ..1933/34…1995/95….1969/70 and the one I would like to throw in is 1896/97…Im sure you know what that winter was like in the Northern Plains….

  3. ralphieund

    Lets see what November brings us…seems like if November is mild and dry, the rest of the winter is all right. But if we get a snowpack established, it could be a dog fight.
    Every winter, just like every summer has it quirks in terms of jet stream position and weather patterns, we shall see, but I would lean toward we are overdue for some snow.

  4. Daryl Ritchison

    I noticed that yesterday (10/12) the Climate Prediction Center did a press release showing their 90-day forecast for December through February. This is interesting timing because their next forecast is due out in a week (10/20). My assumption is that they were also tired of reporters talking about the anticipated “hard” winter.

    Of course, in the end, it may still be a “hard” winter. After all, these are merely forecasts.

    But the reason for my original posting was not to try to get at what sort of winter is coming, but why some reporters were saying it was expected to be a hard one.

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