2020-2021 Snow Contractor Winter Forecast

Brian IveyNeoweatherLeave a Comment

One of the main things Neoweather is known for is our winter forecast presentations. Snow and ice management is the industry where we have the most clients. It’s a great reason for us to take our seasonal predictions and put them into a presentation geared towards snow contractors and municipalities. 

At A Glance

  • Generally Mild Conditions For A Majority Of The Country
  • La Nina Conditions
  • There Will Be Potent Cold Blasts & Big Snows
  • Winter Might Be “Front-Loaded”

The current stretch of October is pretty warm across a good section of the United States and into Ontario and Quebec. Cold blasts will become more common the middle of the month. As we continue to transition through autumn more well below average cold periods seem likely with notable troughs. This means we’ll start becoming more favorable for snow showers further and further south. There’s a good risk for more early season snow and cold than the last few years.

Pattern Drivers

A La Nina is currently present and should stay that way throughout winter. That means there’s below average sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The atmosphere has responded to the conditions already. The El Nino Southern Oscillation has a big impact on the weather patterns across the world, but there are many other important drivers. Some of these are short-term and cannot be forecast months ahead of time like the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

We looked at similar years in the past that had a super active tropical season, first year La Nina, – PDO, up and down EPO and more. There were several decent matches that we used as analog years. When you look at how those years in the winter averaged out it shows more cold than warmth.

We have seen recent years that don’t match up very decent with well-researched analogs. There might be enough change with Atlantic atmospheric pressure patterns and the tropical forcing to have a big influence on ridging and trough placement. We also factor in persistence of the last few years being really warm and the long range seasonal forecasting models.

What Do The Models Say?

They like widespread warmth. The Neoweather team looked at several climate models and they have plenty of well above average temperatures waves from the central US into the East. The Pacific Northwest into western Canada is one of the only cool (compared to average) areas shown.

When we put our analogs, models, pattern biases and gut feelings together we come out with the forecast below. An important note is November into December might end up pretty cold, but if January and February bring on the melting then OVERALL it’s still mild across a decent section.

Setup & Impacts

An active jet stream with plentiful moisture should eject out of the Pacific Northwest and dive into the middle of the nation and Northeast. This acts as a very general divider between warm and cold while. A strong ridge of high pressure off the Southeast coast is to blame. It should push moisture northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. Storms will come out of the Northwest, Rockies and Oklahoma Panhandle into the Midwest and Ohio Valley. There will likely be some cold blasts that do reach through this area and even into the Mid Atlantic at times.

Even though bitter cold might not last long that doesn’t mean major winter storms won’t happen. In fact, this winter might be a great setup to have warmer than average temperatures, but greater than average snow in parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes into the Northeast.

Snow contractors might be dealing with less overall wintry events, but more significant storms in areas around Chicago, Indianapolis, Buffalo and Albany. There should be many more above average temperature days compared to below average across the span of winter in the East. That means the snow probably will melt frequently without it piling up very high.

If your operation depends on an accurate weather forecast, so you can make big money decisions then you are on the right website. It’s our life providing you with peace of mind through detailed weather information. Our snow and ice management forecast service is where you should check out. There are many reasons why it’s Time To Purchase a Weather Service Your company deserves better than inconsistent free apps, amatuer weather sites and TV news then lets talk.


About Brian Ivey

Brian is the President of Neoweather and has be one of the leaders of the organization since joining in 2011. He loves helping Neoweather grow with excellent customer service and positive impacts to the operations of all clients. Brian graduated with degrees in broadcast journalism and meteorology. Brian worked as a meteorologist in Youngstown, Steubenville and beyond. He loves Cleveland sports and enjoys going to games. You can also find him trying new spots to eat, traveling and being active outside.

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