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Please note, not all links may be active. This site is a snapshot of an earlier time.'s 2005-06 Winter Outlook

Matt Ross @ 12:00 AM


Today will be quite a remarkable combination of cold, wind and rain as a Noreaster pummels the Northeast with rain and snow. We should see rain in the morning diminishing to showers in the afternoon. It will be downright chilly with highs only in the upper 40s and a very stiff northwesterly breeze developing in the afternoon. Parts of the very far north and west suburbs could see a snowflake mix in. The mountains of Western Maryland and West Virginia will see quite an elevation snow event with some of the higher peaks seeing close to a foot of heavy wet snow. While we are on the subject of snow.....

2005-06 Winter Outlook - Executive Summary

We believe this winter will, on average, feature normal temperatures with slightly above normal snowfall. Unlike last winter which featured frequent oscillations from warm to cold and back, this winter will feature more persistent and longer lasting periods of both cold and warmth. Although it is difficult to predict with accuracy so far in advance, we believe that the winter will play out as follows:

Colder than average air will arrive sometime in the period from late November to mid December and last several weeks. Then as early as mid/late December to as late as early/mid January, warmer air will take over for an extended period of time. This warm period could last well into February, but likely at least into the early part of the month. The cold will return sometime in February and last well into March before springtime asserts itself. Because the "warm" period will actually take place during the time when temperatures are typically coldest and as the cold periods will occur both early and late in the season, winter could feel quite cold and long compared to last year.

Temperatures at Reagan National Airport (DCA) by month:
December: Normal
January: +1.5 (degrees F above average)
February: Normal
March: -2

Overall temperatures for the December-March period: Normal, but leaning slightly toward below normal

We believe that snowfall will be slightly above average for the whole area. The cold periods described above will likely be the key times for meaningful snow events. However, the warm period isn't likely to be snowless as it occurs over the traditional heart of winter. Chances for a 6"+ widespread event are at or above 50-50, and best guess timeframe for such an event(s) would be early/mid December to early January and/or mid-February to early March.

Snowfall across the region:
DCA: 16"-19"
Dulles(IAD): 24"-27"
Loudoun Co./Northern Montgomery Co.: 25"-30"
Outside the Beltway(Fairfax, Rockville, Mclean, Silver Spring): 20"-25"
Inside the Beltway(DC/Arl/Alex), PG Co.: 15"-20"

Overall snowfall: Slightly Above Normal

The entire winter outlook, in detail (including the rationale for it), is available in our Features section.

**Hurricane Wilma Recap**

On the right: "I've fallen and I can't get up" -- NBC's Al Roker takes a tumble while covering Hurricane Wilma (courtesy

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