Last week, Accuweather released its 2014-2015 winter forecast, predicting another wet and snowy winter for much of the country.
“Cold air and high snow amounts will define the season,” the report reads.
The Pacific Northwest is the only region that will have a mild and dry winter, the forecasting company believes. The Midwest will also be drier than last year, but bitterly cold at times.
The entire southern band of the U.S., from Southern California all the way to South Carolina, will see wet weather. The Gulf region, always at risk for flooding, should be on guard in case storms come close together. “Overall, the region will have a very wet winter, but the timing of these storms will determine whether a flood risk exists,” the report says.
The Northeast will see a snowy winter comparable to last year’s, though the season shouldn’t be as prolonged. The Polar Vortex — “the culprit,” as the forecast notes, “responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year” — is also likely to make a return.
Cities and homeowners alike have already begun winter preparations.
The Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania, one of the areas expected to receive heavy snowfall, is taking stock of road salt and hiring seasonal employees.
“We have to be prepared,” said PennDOT spokesperson Mike Crochunis, “whatever happens.”
Of course, as Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight pointed out in an Oct. 21 article, forecasting this far in advance is tricky business, particularly when it comes to precipitation.
“Weather is complicated, and we’re not going to know how much snow we’ll get this winter until we get it,” he concludes in his analysis.
This may be one more reason for homeowners to look at winterizing solutions that will have long term benefits, regardless of how much rain and snowfall the 2014-2015 season brings.
“I would encourage homeowners to put wind blocks in. These can come in the form of shrubs and trees and other vegetation. Make sure you have a quality contractor — this will ensure that you will have a well-built landscape,” says Pete Cast, Owner of Greenside Up LLC.