Walking in a winter wonderland…maybe?

By Anna Starkey

Historically, the Northeast region of the United States has experienced brutally cold winters.  Having endured subzero temperatures and countless snowstorms previously, Northerners are wondering whether this winter, beginning on December 21, will parallel the last.  By observing the powerful, incoming  El Niño however, meteorologists are predicting otherwise.

An El Niño can be described as a an irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes affecting the Pacific region nearest to the equator and beyond every few years.  This winter, the strongest El Niño in 18 years is expected to peak.  The system is predicted to instigate heavy precipitation and low temperatures into the South while maintaining milder temperatures and a drier climate in the North.

While less snow and few subzero temperatures sound ideal for Northerners, the El Niño does not bring entirely pleasant predictions for the rest of the country.  The South is expected to be hit with frequent severe storms throughout the winter while popular ski spots in the Rockies are preparing for a difficult commercial season.  Californians, however, can rejoice.  Heavy rain and snow in the Californian region is expected to put a dent in the drought crisis by adding large amounts of water to reservoirs.

Sadly, we are not predicted to experience a “Winter Wonderland” or a “White Christmas” this season.  However, no one weather prediction can be completely accurate.  Meteorologists remain unsure about what the tail end of the winter will bring to the United States.


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