WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- We look for something to hang our hat on so to speak when we make our winter predictions. Specifically El Nino versus La Nina events. They dictate how much precipitation we can get and the temperatures. This winter is an El Nino season.
If you're a snow lover then you want a weak to moderate El Nino. If you hate the white stuff, well then you're pulling for a strong El Nino.
What will it be this winter? We are looking at a strong El Nino - one of the strongest ever recorded.
There was a whopper of an El Nino in 1982-1983. Some of you may remember the Presidents Day storm of February 1983. D.C. got two feet of snow.
However it can be feast or famine if the supply of cold air isn't there. In 1997-1998, we did more Frisbee throwing than skiing, with only one-tenth of an inch of snow officially recorded at National Airport.
Here is the WUSA9 First Alert Weather Teams' prediction for this winter. We're calling for above average temperatures. So sorry, probably no white Christmas.
When it comes to snow fall, we are forecasting less than 10 inches in southern Maryland, 10 to 15 inches in the immediate metro area and 15 to 25 in our far northern and western suburbs - all below average. However, west of I-81 there will be 25 to 40 inches of snow, the only above average snowfall on the map.
Here is my specific city forecast along with that location's average snowfall in parenthesis:
National Airport: 12" (17")
Dulles Airport: 20" (23")
Rockville: 16" (31")
Silver Spring: 14" (22")
Fairfax: 15" (30")
Leesburg: 22" (32")
Hagerstown: 38" (33")
Winchester: 25" (18")
As for when we will get our first measurable snowfall of one inch or more at National? I'm going with January 17, 2016.
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