The winter of 2015-2016 is right around the corner. The mornings are a little chillier and a little darker than they have been in the not-so-distant past. Believe it or not, winter officially starts on Dec. 21 and goes all the way to March 20. What kind of winter will it be for us here in Northeast Ohio? That depends on where you look for the forecast.
According to N.O.A.A. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) we are in for a drier and warmer winter here in Ohio. According to N.O.A.A., this is due in large part to a strong El Niño which should make southern states cooler and wetter this winter while Ohio and other Northern states will benefit with drier and warmer weather. This would be a welcome change of pace to many who have experienced the previous two winters here in Ohio. Just because the winter is predicted to be drier and warmer does not preclude the random snow storm here or there. The frequency and/or severity of these storms is pretty hard to predict, but it should still be nothing like the previous two winters.
With all that being said, The Farmer’s Almanac says that we can anticipate an average winter here in Ohio. We can look forward to periods of seasonable temperatures with the occasional blast of bitter cold. The result: an extremely average winter. For those people who are not particularly fans of Ohio winters is that an average winter is still better than the previous two winters.
Now, before we start celebrating a warmer and less snowy winter, other factors do come into play. For example, Arctic Oscillation is the flow of frigid arctic air. Arctic oscillation could influence how far south arctic air masses penetrate south. For us here in Ohio, this could mean a North-East Ohio favorite…lake effect snow.
The bottom line is that there is no such thing as too prepared. Prepare the house for winter. Prepare the car for winter. Most importantly, prepare yourself for winter. Make certain that you have the appropriate clothing for the weather handy at all times. As many know, the weather here in Ohio can change drastically with little to no notice. Use last year as a benchmark of what to prepare for. Don’t forget about the animals too! Remember: if it’s cold to you, it’s cold for them. Bring them inside. Leave some food out for the birds.