A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. -- Susan Orlean

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Godzilla El Nino and Berkshire County

With its typical flair for the hyperbolic, weather forecasters around the country have worked themselves into a tizzy because of the strong El Nino pattern that is currently affecting the continental US (among other places).

And a tizzy-inducing weather pattern needs a big, destructive name. In the recent past we've had the Storm of the Century, Superstorm Sandy, the Polar Vortex, countless Snowmaggeddons, and now...Godzilla El Nino. Weather-hypers couldn't just leave it be and call it a regular regular El Nino. It simply has to be a giant, radioactive, Japanese T-Rex of an El Nino (with a ready-made a theme song).

For the Northeast, he's not as scary as he looks.
The experts are comparing this winter's El Nino to the El Nino of 1997-98, which was also very strong. If we do a little historical sleuthing and look at the snow totals for Albany and Boston that year, we only have bad news to report. Albany hit 52.3 inches (slightly below average) for the season, while Boston had a meager 25.6 inches. These 97-98 outcomes would be consistent with the current prevailing thinking that we're in for a warmer-than-average winter with higher-than-normal precipitation. The forecast also upholds the idea that inland, which tends to stay cooler, would receive more snow than the coast, which would see higher temperatures and more rain-only events.

As for real snow (instead of just talk about the potential for snow), we're still in a negative pattern. The temps will feel more wintry this week, but we're only looking at the mid-40s for midday high temperatures. Evenings will get into the high 20s. As for precipitation, we could see rain Tuesday night into Wednesday but not very much. We're looking at the beginning of the week of December 7th as the potential first measurable snowfall for the month.

Keep your fingers crossed that the weather pattern will turn and we'll see colder weather for the Northeast.








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