Winter 2011-2012: The Winter That Wasn’t

Forecast Verification:

The last several winters contained many extremes that made long range forecasting especially difficult; the winter of 2009-2010 was expected to be snowy, but the record snows in the Mid Atlantic were unexpected. The winter of 2010-2011 was originally shown to be somewhat warmer than the previous winter, yet turned out to be even more extreme, becoming one of the snowiest winters for NYC on record. This winter was no exception; while it appeared it would not be as extreme as the two previous winters in terms of cold and snow, it ended up near the other extreme of warmth and almost no snow. Due to the unexpected development of this pattern, many winter forecasts ended up incorrect, some completely incorrect. Early on, there was still a possibility that the winter would end up colder than average with above average snow, which turned out to be the complete opposite of the actual result. Throughout the season, I made three winter outlooks; a preliminary outlook in late October, a final outlook in early December, and an updated outlook in early January.

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