Winter 2016-17 Outlook for Philadelphia: Above average snowfall ahead

- When it comes to winter, our memories can play tricks on us. Do you remember when our first measurable snow was last winter? It wasn't until January 17th, and that snowfall only measured about a half an inch.

Surely you remember the Blizzard of 2016, which came on January 22nd and 23rd. That one storm gave us 81% of the season's total.

According to our FOX 29 Weather Authority team, this season may be similar, at least to start things off.

First here are the top three things you need to know for Winter 2017.

  1. Temperatures throughout the season are expected to be COLDER than last year.
  2. We are forecasting a snowfall total ABOVE our current average of 22.4 inches.
  3. We expect a weak LA NINA, which should bring us more clipper systems than big storms.

For a closer look at these three factors check out the rest of our 2015 Winter Outlook below:


When making the winter forecast we look carefully at forces that will influence our climate.

One of those forces is El Nino, the temperature of the water in the Eastern Pacific.

This winter we expect a weak La Nina, or colder water in the eastern Pacific that will influence the storm track over the United States.

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That means the jet stream will be most active over the Great Lakes and the Northeast, with more clipper systems.

Skiers will love it, with more snow expected in the mountains but less in the big cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.


First let's look at temperatures.

December temperatures will be around average, with colder air arriving in January and February.

January will be up to 1 degree below average, and February up to 1 degrees below average

March should be up to 1 degree above the monthly average temperature.


As far as snow, don't expect much, if any in December, as we will ease into the winter season with mainly rain.

Once again, that means only a slight change of a white Christmas.

January, on the other hand, will bring more clipper systems that will limit moisture to start.

However, the month will end with greater than the average 6.5" of snow.

This is due to a pattern change in late January through mid-February, when there will be a better chance of coastal storms with snowfalls of 6" or greater.

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There will still be a chance of snow in March.  With 1-3" expected.

So the FOX 29 Weather Authority is forecasting:

23-30" of snow for the area in Winter 2016-2017.

That puts us slightly above the annual average of: 22.4"

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