What do we need to expect this winter in eastern Washington?
Is it too early to start thinking about winter weather in eastern Washington?
The national weather service talks about Probabilistic Snowfall Forecasts for Eastern Washington. What does this mean?
According to NOAA “The purpose of these experimental probabilistic snowfall products is to provide customers and partners a range of snowfall possibilities, in complement to existing NWS deterministic snowfall graphics, to better communicate forecast uncertainties during winter weather events.”
When winter hits you will be able to log on to www.weather.gov/otx/winter and find snow fall predictions for Eastern Washington.
For Spokane the Old Framers Almanac says “Winter will be warmer than normal, with the coldest periods in mid-November and early February. Precipitation will be above normal, with above-average snowfall in the far north and far south.”
So, what is the general weather outlook for Washington State this winter? Because of El Nino, the consensus is that we will see an “unusually snowy and wet winter in the Pacific Northwest”. This could make traveling the mountain passes very interesting this winter.
How accurate are the weather predictions each year? According to newportri.com “The Farmers' Almanac claims an accuracy rate of about 80% to 85%. Others are less sure. A 2010 University of Illinois study found the Farmers' Almanac to be correct only about 50% of the time when the researchers compared the forecasts with the real weather data.”
So, are you ready for a snowy wet winter? Ready.gov says “Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups. Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power.”
I would also add, ask yourself if your snow tires are up to the challenge of getting you to work in the morning. Are you willing to shovel show or is it time for a snow blower?
It’s not easy to think about what our winter will be like when summer is not over yet, but it won’t hurt to look ahead to what you might want to do to prepare.