August 29, 2014

Winter Weather Outlook 2014

“They talk all about global warming, well where is the global warming? It’s like going the other direction,” said Mary, a Naperville resident.

Many people have been puzzled by the cooler temperatures we’ve seen this summer with only five days reaching 90 degrees from June through August, compared to about 12 last year.

But while some are enjoying the milder temperatures, folks at the Farmers Almanac are warning the trend could continue later into the year, leading to the “Refriger-Nation.

This chilling news has many residents worried about the winter to come.

“Last winter was too cold and brutal, and if it’s going to be like that again, I’m not looking forward to it,” said Naperville resident, Jarod Kallaus.

“I guess we’ll just have to get some warmer clothes, get some shovels and get ready for the long haul,” said Matt Muth, Naperville resident.

But, meteorologists at the National Weather Service say not to go shovel shopping just yet…

“They have an outlook that has that same idea of not really a strong signal of what we’re going to see. The main thing that we key in on is what’s called an El Nino episode in the Tropical Pacific, which refers to above normal water temperatures in the central and Eastern part of the Tropical Pacific and the question is will it develop and what sort of impact will it have on our weather?” said Ricky Castro, a Meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Changes in the waters aren’t the only signs meteorologists look for. What’s happening in the air can also influence the winter to come.

“Part of what impacts our winter temperatures is the presence of higher than normal atmospheric pressures over the arctic region, in near Greenland. When there are higher than normal atmospheric pressures in those areas, that tends to favor the jet stream buckling south and favoring more incursions of cold air into our area,” said Castro.

Though the threat is present for a cold winter, only time will tell how drastic it could be.

“We’ll be looking at things much closer as we get deeper into the Fall as far as how our winter will shape up, and if it’s going to be cold like last year, we have some thoughts that it could be, not that its going to be a historically cold and snowy winter,” said Castro.

The warm temperatures are here now, but the National Weather Service reminds us that they can change quickly, so get out there and enjoy them while you can. Reporting from the Riverwalk, Alyssa Bochenek, Naperville News 17.


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