A Pair of Predictions for Winter 2016

The ice, with some people thrown in for scale

The ice, with some people thrown in for scale., photo by Bill Dolak

It was nice to read NOAA’s forecast for Winter 2016 predicting that El Niño will give us a warmer than normal winter in Michigan:

One of the stronger effects of El Niño is warmer than normal winter temperatures from the Pacific Northwest through the northern Plains into the Great Lakes. NOAA places most of Lower Michigan in an area with a greater than 50 percent chance of warmer than normal temperatures. That also means there is a 33 percent chance of normal temperatures and a 17 percent chance of below normal temperatures.

So, it’s not a sure bet that it will be a warmer-than-normal winter, but indications are strongly leaning in the warmer direction.

The farther north you are in Michigan, the higher the chance of warmer-than-normal temperatures. The Upper Peninsula has at least a 60 percent chance of warmer-than-normal winter temperatures.

If you read on at mLive, meteorologist Mark Torregrossa has some caveats that temper this a bit. You can also just throw big buckets of frozen water on the whole idea of a warmer winter if you believe in the Farmers’ Almanac 2016 Winter Forecast where they predict that:

…the winter of 2015–2016 is looking like a repeat of last winter, at least in terms of temperatures with unseasonably cold conditions over the Atlantic Seaboard, eastern portions of the Great Lakes, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, most of the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley, as well as much of the Gulf Coast.

Gack. For the record, the Almanac has nailed the last two winters for Michigan…

Bill took this shot in March of 2015 on the heels of the most brutal winter that Michigan had seen since … well … 2014. View it background bigtacular and see more in his South Haven slideshow.

More winter and more weather on Michigan in Pictures.

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