Winter 2018-19 Outlook for Philadelphia: Above average snowfall ahead

- There's no way out of it, 'Old Man Winter' is already knocking at our door. This year, we will likely be facing just as much snow as last year.

Our FOX 29 Weather Authority team has been looking at models and crunching the numbers for the last few weeks to get a better idea of what we can expect this winter.

They're breaking down everything from how cold we can expect it to be to how much snow we can expect each month. Kathy Orr, Sue Serio, and Scott Williams are even taking a closer look at our chances for a white Christmas!

LOOKING BACK

Last winter got off to a fast start with the first real flakes dropping 4.1 inches of snow on December 9. Then came Christmas Day. It was mild with a high of 40, but some parts of our area did see a few flakes in the air.

In total, last December saw 8 inches of snow before all was said and done and we kicked off the new year.

2018 started pretty quiet with just 4.6 inches of snow falling in January and a measly 1.4 inches falling in February.

March was a different story, with our biggest snowfall of the season coming on March 21, the first full day of spring, when we saw 6.7 inches of snow. March ended up being our snowiest month with 15.2 inches.

CLIMATE IMPACT

Every season is different, and when the FOX 29 Weather Authority team puts together our winter forecast, they look carefully at the forces that will influence our climate.

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Last year we had La Nina. This year we expect a weak El Nino to play into our winter forecast.

FOX 29's Scott Williams took a closer look at the snowpack in Siberia and Russia, which can typically determine the amount of cold air that will move into the mainland United States.

A few arctic outbreaks are expected with polar air potentially heading southward. 

Now, let's break it down month-by-month.

TEMPERATURES

Expect December temperatures to be more average with the colder air not quite arriving until January. Once that cold air reaches the Delaware Valley, January's temperatures will be below average.

February will be at least one degree above the average, and March will be back down below the monthly average.

SNOWFALL BY MONTH

As for snow, look for our first real snow to arrive in December, with a monthly average around 4 inches for our area. FOX 29's Kathy Orr thinks we may even see more than that by the time 2019 rolls around.

Yes, that means we're talking about a better chance of a white Christmas.

January will likely end with a more average snowfall of 6.6 inches. February won't bring much more, likely finishing below the average of 7.3 inches.

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In March, expect another year of above-average snowfall with 4 to 8 inches expected. The average for March is 3.8 inches.

SNOW TOTALS

Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for… The FOX 29 Weather Authority is forecasting the below snow totals for Winter 2018-19:

  • Philadelphia/Suburbs: 25-33 inches
  • Lehigh Valley: 33-41 inches
  • Poconos: 40+ inches
  • Shore: 17-25 inches
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