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Long Range Forecasts

Message from Tom in Philadelphia

I feel like giving up on commenting on your winter forecast posts. Too many disagreements and people being constantly stalked and questioned on everything they post to make them look bad.

The bottom line Sam is that you don't really know what the winter is going to do, and neither does Dennis. I graduated from PSU in 1982 and I have been following weather faithfully since I was in high school in the late 70's. I have a BS and MS in Civil Engineering. I have always loved earth science and weather.

I used to get the NOAA Miami Airport weather data monthly summary sent to my house as a teenager. It was like a 5 page booklet that listed every detail about the past months weather. It had graphs and charts, etc. etc. There was no internet then. I was fascinated by places that didn't have to experience winter, cause even as a kid I despised winter that we got in Philly. The dead leafless trees and bleak landscape bummed me out. Nothing really green, no flowers, and freezing cold walking to school for months. I still remember vividly being in grade school in the winter of 1973. My friends hated that winter, and I loved it. No snow at all in Philly. Not one inch even accumulating. But the rest of the winters were worse. We hardly ever got school snow days back then either, so I can remember trudging to school with snow on the ground and really, really cold.

But one thing I learned is that long range forecasts are just crap for the most part. You can't really predict accurately out more than a few weeks let alone months. As in Dec of 89 I have seen winters turn on a dime and flip to warmth for weeks on end after being brutally cold. And then we have Dec 84 with warmth wall to wall turning into Jan 1985 with some really bad cold.

It's cool to read your posts about what you think will happen, but for me the bottom line is that there are far too many variables that affect our weather. Any long range forecast from anybody has very low confidence in my book. At this point I just feel like giving up on predicting and just can't wait to get winter over with. I hate winter that much that I want it over with as soon as it starts. I wish I could snap my fingers and Dec, Jan and Feb would just disappear from the calendar lol. I am a warm lover thru and thru. At some point I have to get out of this climate. I just dread this coming winter, like I do every year.

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