A Winter I Can Get Behind?

24 Oct

Sounds like Wisconsin could have a halfway-decent winter this year. That would be music to my no-snowblower-just-shovel-having ears!

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FRIDAY, Oct. 24, 2008, 8:31 a.m.
By Sharif Durhams

Don’t expect as much snow this year

The relentless snowstorms that buried the Milwaukee area last year shouldn’t be back for a repeat performance.

In fact, forecasters are using a word that should come as a relief to those who spent last winter shoveling, heading to work, returning home and shoveling again.

That word is “normal.”

“We’re definitely looking at the likelihood of less snow. We’re not expecting anything like last year,” said meteorologist Penny Zabel with the National Weather Service office in Sullivan.

During the winter of 2007-’08, La Nina, a cooling of ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, created conditions that dumped heavy snows on the Midwest. Milwaukee received 99 inches of snow, more than four feet above the average snowfall of 52.4 inches.

But this year’s projections show no bias toward a La Nina pattern. There also are no signs of abnormally warm ocean temperatures, called El Nino, so it won’t be drier than normal, Zabel said.

The forecasters’ winter outlook also calls for warmer-than-normal temperatures this winter. The winter outlook indicates there’s a 50% chance southern Wisconsin temperatures will be warmer than normal, a 16% chance temperatures will be below normal.

That leaves about a 34% chance temperatures will be normal.

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