Savor the sunshine: NWS predicts a ‘normal’ winter ahead

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

The NWS's Gaylord Doppler radar station, where meteorologists earlier this week said both Antrim and Kalkaska counties can look forward to a fairly "normal" winter, with plenty of snow and cold weather. 

 

REGION – Although the National Weather Service has not yet released its annual national forecast for the winter ahead, a meteorologist at the NWS's Gaylord Doppler radar station said earlier this week to plan on a "normal" winter, with lots of snow and cold weather, however, there may be some unusual weather beforehand.

"Right now, we're going into an unusual pattern, which may mean high winds, rain and maybe some snow, in this area this weekend," said Sabrina Jauernik, a meteorologist at the station, which is located on Mancelona Road in Otsego just east of the Antrim County line. "After that, the weather should settle down into a more normal late-fall pattern, until sometime in December."

West of northern Michigan, in states such as North Dakota and Minnesota, heavy snow has been predicted for this weekend, but Jauernik said we won't see anything like that, due to the warm waters of the Great Lakes.

"A few flakes in the air, and in colder areas, maybe some on the ground, but the ground and the water is really still too warm for much snow accumulation," she noted.

That won't be the case later in the year, when the meteorologist said it was likely both Antrim and Kalkaska counties, along with other higher altitude counties like Otsego County, would see snow on the ground before Christmas.

"We're fairly certain northern Michigan will have a white Christmas," she said. "It usually does."

Otherwise, Jauernik and her compatriots are predicting more normal winter weather patterns for the winter of 2019/2020, "with temperatures near normal."

The area is likely to see more snow than last year, when Antrim County had a total of 153 inches of the fluffy stuff, two inches more than the average, while Kalkaska County saw a bit less than that.

"That's if the weather patterns continue that we've seen all year," she said, noting that a weak El Nino system, which many had hoped would bring a milder winter to the Midwest, had failed to gather any steam.

"It's been a really wet year for this region this year, and we expect that to continue to some degree."

Meteorologists at AccuWeather, another national weather forecasting service, agreed with Jauernik, calling for a wet winter with plenty of precipitation.

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