Winter Forecast: Will The Iceman Cometh (Again)?

Winter Is Coming... Photo by Dave Read

Winter Is Coming…

Old Man Winter is on his way and he’s bringing with him bad memories of last year’s record-breaking snowfalls and sub-freezing temperatures, not to mention the nasty rumor that this year will be the same as last year – or worse!

Relax, says Michael Carter, meteorologist with The Weather Network, although there will be plenty of the white stuff, last year’s snow-pocalpse won’t be making a return engagement.

It’s definitely not going to be a pattern as in the past two years,” Carter said. “It will be a bit of a relief.”

Not everyone hated last winter's snow-pocalypse

Not everyone hated last winter’s snow-pocalypse

The weather guru explained that this winter’s weather will be driven by a very strong El Niño system, the likes not seen in these parts since 1982-83 and 1997-98. The difference, he says, is that El Niño usually peaks in January, but but this one is peaking now.

That means December will be mild,” he says. “Then the return of the arctic influence will create the delayed arrival of cooler-than-usual temperatures and above normal snow in January and February. But not record-breaking.”

But Carter stressed that there is no way to tell yet how many snowstorms there could potentially be, or their intensity. So in the spirit of being prepared, here are some tips for making it through those long winter months:

1. Hibernate

Plan to hunker down with all your favorite foods that don’t need to be cooked or can be stored outside on the window ledge. Comfort food: chips and salsa, chocolate bars, gourmet jerky, tea with honey, whiskey with honey. Plenty of candles. Stack all your sweaters and blankets within reach. Here’s the chance you’ve been waiting for to read Moby Dick. Just plop yourself down in front of the fireplace for a long winter’s nap like a big ‘ol bear.

2. Celebrate

Feeling more social and outdoorsy? Go down to the basement and dust off the cross-country skis. Call a few friends, hit the rail trail. Invite them back to the fire pit, where you pass around a jug of your homemade dandelion wine and swap tales from winters past. Or try a new hobby, like ice sculpting. Take up curling. Learn how to knit a sweater. Join the Polar Bear Club and go winter bathing…

Commercial Street in Provincetown was barely passable last February

Commercial Street in Provincetown was barely passable last February

3. Evacuate

How about escaping the howling winter winds all together? Go online, find the cheapest ticket to Ft. Lauderdale, Aruba, Bora Bora. Go as far away as you can afford. Pack as little clothing as possible and head to Logan on the P&B. You’ll be soaking up the sun before you know it and feeling sorry for the folks back home shoveling and sniffling. But not for long. Go scuba diving.

Or go west, adventurous one. According to meteorologist Carter, the American northwest is going to be waaay warmer and drier this winter than it has been in years. Pack the kids into the Subaru and head to the Black Hills. Check out Mount Rushmore, Portland, the coffee scene in Seattle. You’ll just need sweaters. It’s a road trip you’ll all talk about for years to come.

Soon, the flannel sheets go on the bed. Storm windows, then ice scrapers. Your breath freezes. You contemplate moving to Florida… But through it all, try to remember how nice Cape Cod is in the summer.

— By Tim Sweeney

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