Less lake effect snow this winter? Let’s hope so! Accuweather has just released its updated seasonal forecast and it includes a prediction of less lake effect snow for the upcoming winter.
According to Accuweather meteorologist Paul Pastelok, our area should “have about 40 to 50 inches less than last year.” Pastelok said that the reason for this is the developing El Niño forming this winter. Even though the Great Lakes are 3 to 5 degrees warmer this year, the trajectory of the cold air necessary to generate lake effect will go through the Midwest and the Plains, not over the lakes.
In past years, similar patterns have led to less snowfall in Upstate New York. In 1986-87, when a similar pattern was observed, Syracuse got only 93.5 inches of snow (average is 124 inches). Last year, Syracuse got 153 inches of snow. We will still get lake effect, Pastelok said, but the lake effect storms will be spread out and won’t last as long. So, this could be good news for Central New York if Accuweather’s prediction holds true!