As we walk our properties with our clients, or meet with property managers at this time of year, a question we hear frequently asked is “what kind of winter are we in for this year?” Well, of course, the only correct answer is no one knows for sure. This being New England though, the conversation rarely stops there.
For years, keen observers of Mother Nature have attempted to make direct and quantifiable correlations from woolly bear caterpillar’s stripes, to the number of acorns on the ground, to spiders spinning over size webs. It makes for fun conversation.
Those more statistically inclined, might interject with a few heavy seasons behind us, we are due for a lighter snow fall this year. Certainly over a range of years, snowfall totals will move towards the average. Those who have lived in New England long enough know in any given year a guess is just that—a roll of the dice.
Accurate and timely forecasts are instrumental to Eastern Land Management’s snow removal operations. We utilize the services of WeatherWorks, Inc. before, during and after storms. It’s a real key to planning for and revising our approach to every storm event. Each year at this time, their meteorologists perform research to provide a scientific answer to the above. They endeavor to match several atmospheric oscillation patterns to past years data to put forth a prediction. This includes the ENSO Neutral Condition, which we have come to know as El Nino/La Nina.
As of late September, WeatherWorks’ preliminary outlook is for an “above normal likelihood for a cold outbreak from late October through mid November…with the potential for a pre-winter event.” They also see a relatively cold winter with coldest runs early and late in the season. Precipitation looks to be active. As we move into early November, they will refine this again.
So, what does it all mean? Sounds like a chilly and active winter. Here in Fairfield and Westchester County, with our proximity to Long Island Sound, a degree or two can be the difference from rain to snow. What kind of winter are we in for…place your bets.