SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV)
Thanksgiving has come and gone and there is no Storm Team Winter Outlook for Central New York from the News Channel 9 Storm Team. What gives?
Truth be told, the signals were mixed heading into the Winter of 2022-’23.
What we do know is that a condition know as La Nina is occurring again in the Pacific Ocean. As a refresher, this happens when the water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are cooler than normal.
Given that set up, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did release their generalized forecast for the winter months of December through February in the United States, and it mirrors what one would expect in most La Ninas
This type of forecast, however, doesn’t make a prediction whether there will be more or less snow than normal for Central New York.
Typically, we like to look at additional factors to give us clues to which way our winter snowfall may end up going. That factors into the Winter Outlook you see from us every year.
One of the things that caught my attention early on was this was going to be our third straight winter in La Nina conditions and that has only happened two other times since snowfall records have been kept at the Syracuse Airport.
On the first occasion, that third La Nina winter fell in 1975-’76 when only 95.8” of snow fell, below the normal snowfall of 127”
The second time came during the Winter of 2000-’01 and that winter was a doozy with 191.9”, less than an inch from breaking the record of the snowiest winter in Syracuse!
Not much help.
Also, we are coming off our 9th warmest fall and out of the previous Top Ten warmest falls, half of them were followed by La Nina winters. In three cases, the winters had well below snowfall, but one was near normal snow and one winter, 2017-’18, was well above normal.
So, in our eyes, there were too many question marks as to how the upcoming winter was going to unfold and as a result we are sitting this one out when it comes to a detailed outlook.
Don’t worry, though, we still plan to track all the lake effect storms and Nor’easters when they come into view.