Winter Weather Outlook 2019: Andy and Aaron's predictions for the season ahead

Posted at 2:45 PM, Oct 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 06:58:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As the leaves rapidly change It's time once again to look down the road and see what mother nature has in store for us this winter. Here's Andy Parker's take:

The first snow storm of the season has already struck; making the Midwest look more like mid-winter than mid-October complete with whiteouts and plenty of spin outs.

But when will the battle zone of these temperature titans shift to the Great Lakes and unleash the lake effect here in Western New York?

Thermal clues to the upcoming winter can be found in very colorful but data rich Sea Surface Temperature maps. They reveal warm waters off the east coast and no El Nino in the Pacific creating a neutral phase. So what does this mean?

All said, these are good indicators for the path polar plunges will take through the winter season. Early on, the coldest air will remain over the Midwest, but later in the winter season, weather patterns will shift allowing arctic air to lock in for the long haul. This will hold average daytime highs below 32 degrees in January, barley above freezing in February and finally back above 40 in March.

So expect winter in Western New York to start mild, then turn colder than average and last longer normal as we head into 2020!

That covers the winter chill, but what about precipitation? My colleague Aaron Mentkowski has your Western New York snow pile prediction:

As we look into early 2020 we can get ready to hear the term “Polar Vortex” a lot. Once the frigid air over the Arctic is unlocked you can expect temperatures to tumble across the eastern Great Lakes.

As this push of polar air makes its way across Western New York our snow totals will begin to pile up. We expect a harsh second half to the winter season and by the time all is said and done our snow totals will be above normal for the 2019-2020 winter season.

Last year our snow totals were 24 inches above normal and we can expect to be in that range again this season.

The winter season may take its time to ramp up but by the end of the season we can expect below normal temperatures with above normal snow totals. Those who love to ski will be happy!