This is just pure speculation, but you cant help but notice a pattern over the past 12 years. From 2000-2012. Well What I mean is the Jumps from a snow-less winter, to, you guessed it a snowy one. Taking a look at the last several winters, I came to find that there was not a point in time that two consecutive “snow-less” or much bellow average snowfall winters (Bellow 10″ of TOTAL snow) followed back to back. So lets look deeper into this shall we. Here is a chart that I made, which includes the LA Nina and El Nino labels. Now see if you can see the pattern.
Now that you have seen the chart, did you notice anything. That’s right In La Nina years (Yellow) where the Mid-Atlantic has seen bellow average snowfall, we have noticed that the following winters, (El Nino) there have been record breaking snowfalls. Most recently the 2009-2010 once in a lifetime snowfall season, where the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast saw 4 blizzards in one season, and the Highest Snowfall amounts ever recorded for the seasons. Now in 2001-2002 we dealt with a weakening La Nina and as we headed into 2002 we dealt with Neutral conditions. But Nonetheless La Nina was present that year and it led to less snowfall than average in these 4 Mid-Atlantic Cities. The Following year, was very snowy (winter 2002-2003) With all three cities having a well above average season in terms of snowfall, caped off by the Great 2003 Presidents Day Snowstorm. The 2008-2009 winter season left a lot to be desired by many (please excuse some of the 2008-2009 data, it was hard finding an accurate source) with bellow average snowfall for most in the Mid-Atlantic. What followed an El Nino Winter, and it came with a vengeance. All 4 Cities broke Snowfall Records and in February saw a One-Two punch of Blizzard activity. Two seasons later, what happens? La Nina Strikes and Washington D.C sees its Warmest Winter Ever Recorded. All the other cities were warm as well, and saw much bellow average snowfall.
Now here’s the interesting part. The La Nina has faded for the 2011-2012 season, as seen in my previous post from the National Weather Service. Which kind of puts this year in a La Nina To Neutral transition zone. But I’m just calling it a La Nina year. Anyway all indications are pointing to this year being a Neutral to Weak El Nino year this winter. Now with that in mind, will that mean that the cycle of snowy winters over the past 12 years, means it will be snowy this upcoming winter season 2012-2013? Well its too early to tell, but history is leaning in snow lovers favor. There is definitely something there to keep an eye on! Too many things just seem similar to ignore this right now. Take care folks and keep this factor in mind as we head closer to next winters season