Are Snow & Ice On The Horizon? Travis Meyer's Winter Weather Forecast

Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer breaks down winters of years prior and this year's winter weather forecast in depth.

Thursday, November 16th 2023, 8:24 pm

By: News On 6


Travis explains what this year’s switch to a strong El Niño actually means for our winter.

Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer breaks down this year's winter and the snowfall of winters past.

El Niño is here, and it will have an impact on our winter.

For the last three years, La Niña has brought wild swings to our weather, from summer heat waves to a seemingly never-ending drought. Some hope El Niño will usher in a calm weather pattern just in time for winter.

The question is, are we gonna have heavy coats all winter long or will we get a few of these breaks?

Well, some people like to turn to the Farmers Almanac, some like the woolly worm, and some like persimmon seeds to help do their forecasts. But do they really work?

Stacia Knight, our meteorologist, took a look at the last five years and put this graphic together for us.

Folklore Grades Last 5 Winters

Farmers Almanac hasn't had a whole lot of luck the last 5 years. It does good over the course of time. The woolly worm did okay over the last five years. Persimmon seeds did really well. So, it might make you think that you need to listen to the persimmon seed.

Well, this year says wet, the woolly worm says mild, then the Farmers Almanac says totally opposite: cold and stormy. So it'll be interesting to see what happens.

But let's go into the world of science first and talk a little bit more about what we're expecting.

Of course, we've been talking El Niño and La Niña. La Niña has been with us for 3 years, and we're finally to El Niño, which is a warmer water on the Pacific.

During El Niño, you start to have a disruption in the weather pattern, and the wind flow and the storms start to change as well. And that also enhances and strengthens the southern part of the Jetstream. So even though Oklahoma is way up here, the equator is way down there, it continues to have a major it's a major player or factor in our weather. And it's not going to change anytime soon.

So it has continued to go away from La Niña. Temperatures are expected to continue in that zone through the winter. And maybe by summer, they'll start to taper off a little bit. But in the meantime, this could be one of the top 10 El Niños in strength. So that could have a big bearing on what we're expecting.

The Jetstream becomes more powerful when we do have an El Niño. When we have a La Niña it is more powerful to the north.

Now, the biggest thing about the El Niño is the fact that we have multiple storms that come with the southern branch because it's stronger. And then we just kind of keep an eye on what's going on up north. Usually the cold air is bottled up there, but as we watch that we got to watch make sure that that doesn't decide to head south because occasionally it'll try and if it intercepts a storm at the right time, we have a lot of snow.

Ice itself, not too far from normal to the north of us. But our forecast is for warmer weather across the northern United States. And then it is also drier there. While to the south, we're expecting near-normal temperatures and then precipitation above normal.

Here we should be above normal with maybe severe weather outbreaks across the deep south and southeast and hopefully not here. And then with more clouds and showers it will be a little bit cooler.

Just to give you an idea for the winter. January is considered the coldest; average highs are in the upper 40s, with December around 50 and then starting to move a little warmer in February. The coldest nights are in January and the 20s.

Average Lows/Highs

So our winter forecast looks like this: wetter winter weather is expected, which means more freezing drizzle chances and could affect your driving. Also, near normal snowfall totals, which are average around eight to nine inches, but one storm could certainly change that.

We're forecasting near-normal to slightly above-normal temperatures for the entire winter and fewer arctic blasts, but we do expect one or two that could have a big impact on us. The fire season should be average, even though it's wet. It's still a pretty good fire season, unfortunately, and a lower risk than normal of major ice storms. But there's still a slight chance of that. So our overall winter weather forecast shows that we're expecting it to go from what winter to Katy bar the door. Well, we think it'd be right in the middle, icy and snowy at times, but not that bad. And that's your forecast.

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