My goodness have people been talking up the possibilities of winter this year. Some are firmly convinced that we're getting mondo snow this year, on par with how things were years ago. Others don't think we'll get much of anything.
But the ultimate authority, the NOAA, the federally funded agency tied to all things weather has spoken. The 2023-2024 season is expected to be a classic El Niño. Ok, terrific! What does it all mean?
El Niño? What Are We In For?
Fun fact, according to the NOAA website: "El Niño means Little Boy in Spanish. South American fishermen first noticed periods of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean in the 1600s. The full name they used was El Niño de Navidad, because El Niño typically peaks around December."
An El Niño winter forecast usually means that above average temperatures are in the cards for much of the northern United States. Last winter in the Northeast saw one of the warmest winters ever recorded according to NOAA data.
But Wait, There's More!
While the temperatures may be higher that average, precipitation levels are literally - wait for it - up in the air. According to the NOAA, during this kind of El Niño winter, the Northeast is much more prone to big fat snowy nor'easters. Storms can find themselves enhanced with the atmospheric version of steroids due to the weather pattern, and find themselves juiced up by moisture. This is when we'll see the kinds of storms that will deliver snow that is measured in feet rather than inches. When all of the elements come together, these storms blow up all over the East Coast.
Usually, an El Niño pattern brings less snow to our region, but per the NOAA, what we'll get is anyone's guess!
Snowstorm Izzy Dumps First 'Real' Snow on Central New York
Gallery Credit: Leslie Ann, TSM Oneonta