Let it Snow


A guide to the winter outlook for the 2019-2020 winter season.

There is unfortunate news for snow day enthusiasts: the outlook for snowy weather this winter is looking grim by most forecasts. 

The Northern Virginia region is expected to have warmer temperatures in the coming winter months than those of years past.

In fact, this trend seems to be evident for most of the United States. According to WTOP news, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting “…warmer-than-average temperatures across most of the U.S. from December to February.”

Winter storms are formed when a movement of warm air from the south interacts with a cold movement of air from the north creating what is known as a front. If the cold, northern air pushes the warmer air away, a cold front is formed, creating a winter storm. 

Warmer temperatures could eliminate cold fronts, thus limiting what wintry weather we might have. According to Jay’s Wintry Mix, a prominent Facebook blog centering on winter weather in the Loudoun region, a colder November on average “usually just means cold rain.”

However, there is a bit of contradiction. The Farmer’s Almanac, for instance, is predicting a whole bunch of frosty weather come winter, with lower than average temperatures and expecting lots of snow.  

In news channel WUSA9’s weather forecast for the 2019-2020 winter, lower than average snowfall is predicted for DC, but a bit higher than average amount of snowfall is predicted for Sterling, expecting 3” of snow more than the recorded average at Dulles last year, which was 23”.

While these predictions are definitely heartening, the NOAA and other sources like The Weather Channel still predict a warmer than average winter for our region of the United States. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that our region won’t receive at least a couple big snow storms this winter, but it does mean that we’ll probably see a significant amount less of them than we usually do. 

For now, hold out hope. The season for winter weather is just beginning, and there are still plenty of possible snow days on the horizon.