We're just about ready to lose our very mild weather that we have experienced over the past few weeks as a more seasonal (cooler) weather pattern takes shape going into the last few weeks October.
As we move into this upcoming winter season, it still looks as if a La Nina will continue to strengthen this year and early next, which for Wisconsin, typically means "equal chances" at above and below normal snowfall ... and also "equal chances" for above or below normal temperatures.
As I started to delve into 20 years worth of records, I went looking for the last time (in the past 20 years) we
a) had a wetter than normal summer and
b) were entering what is thought to become quite a strong La Nina type winter.
The best case I found that fits both criteria, was the winter of 2000-2001. During that winter, Wausau received approximately 63" of snowfall for the season, which is just about 5" above for a normal year. (Wausau's average snowfall per winter season is 58.6").
Temperatures, however, ended up being significantly cooler than normal that year, which the average temps in December (2000) and January (2001) were almost 10 degrees below normal each month!
Here's the snowfall map from (2000/2001): (Courtesy: National Weather Service Milwaukee-)
The last time we had a La Nina was the winter of 2007/2008... not that long ago and many I have a feeling many of you remember that winter. That was the winter of which, we had almost 50" of snow from December through February alone! You may also remember how cold it was in February and March (2008), as our average temps were 6 degrees below the average for both months. This was also the year that parts of south-central and southeastern Wisconsin had record snowfalls that season.
Here's the snowfall map from (2007/2008): (Courtesy: National Weather Service Milwaukee-)
I think that our winter will end up similar to the one we experienced in 2000-2001, with a cooler than normal period of weather (esp. late January through early March) with a slightly above normal snowfall for central Wisconsin. One other thing that I am expecting to happen is, we will have a tough time warming things up next March and April.. due to the cooler weather expected so late in the season (months of February and March). The active storm track may set up again in southwestern to southeastern Wisconsin, which possibly could challenge the record snow totals seen just a few years ago. We will see...
The Farmer's Almanac calls for: colder and snowier weather than last year.
The National Weather Service (Climate Prediction Center) calls for: equal chances for both snowfall and temperatues being either above or below normal.
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