The National Weather Service says the region has a 50-50 chance of lots of cold & snow.
The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. is making its predictions for the winter, and it's hedging its bets. Meteorologist Brian Lasorsa says the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, has an equal chance of above or below average snowfall or temperatures for this year.
But he says this year's weather will be affected by La Nina, a weather pattern which causes cooler temperatures along the Pacific Coast of Equatorial South America. Lasorsa says this phenomenon has a bigger impact when in the Pacific Northwest and the Deep South, but not too much in the Mid-Atlantic. "It has an impact in a sense there will be storm systems generally tracking across the northwestern portion of the country and then up through the Great Lakes," he says. "The question is how much cold air there is, and consequently, how of that precipitation can be snow."
The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a blizzard for the region in January. The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanac is forecasting a snowy December and January, with temperatures below normal. But February and March are expected to drier and milder, and not as stormy, according to the publication's weather prognosticator, Bill O'Toole.
Lasorsa says long range predictions are based on trends, and are not as exact as a daily forecast. "If you would do a forecast on days one through seven, you'd have exact numbers, snowfall amounts, temperatures and what not," he says.
With the Holidays getting closer, the question always comes up as to whether our area will have a white Christmas. "It's still a little too early to tell if we're going to get a white Christmas or not," he says.
The first day of winter is Wednesday, December 21st.