David Mazza’s updated snowfall forecast for this Winter (2 months out)

Columbus (WCMH) – Now that we are officially 2 months from the start of Winter (Dec 21, 544am) its time to tweak the snowfall forecast I made in August.  Also, the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA has released their Winter forecast Thursday.

(**Spoiler Alert: if you do not care to know the background or how I came to my forecast, you just want the numbers, scroll down… and enjoy!!!)

If you remember my August forecast for this Winter…

I looked back at historical data for La Nina seasons as part of my forecast.   At that time, the La Nina forecast was about a 55-60% chance.   That chance is now upped to 70% heading through fall, and still has about a 55% chance of persisting through the Winter of 2016-17.

Again, this is going to be a “weak” La Nina… so here is a rundown of the 11 “weak” La Nina Winter seasons from 1950-2016:

la nina snowfall years

Normally, Columbus sees just under 27″ of snowfall for the season:

Our 30 year running average is at 26.7″, below is the monthly breakdown.

  • Oct.  0.2″
  • Nov.  0.9″
  • Dec.  5.0″
  • Jan.  9.2″
  • Feb.  6.1″
  • Mar.  4.2″
  • Apr.  1.1″

The average over the 11 “weak” La Nina seasons was almost 5″ higher than our normal (26.7″)

Few other notes:

  • NOAA predicts a cool and wetter Winter (Dec-Feb) for the north.
  • NOAA notes that La Nina Winters typically provide more snow in the Great Lakes region
  • November’s outlook does look to be warmer than normal for Ohio
  • December’s outlook should be near normal on temps and precipitation
  • January could end up being near normal temps, and a bit wetter than normal
  • February should be a bit wetter than normal

What this means for the forecast:

  • November, little to no measurable snowfall
  • December will see snowfall unlike the anomaly of last year, near normal snowfall
  • January will be slightly above normal for snow, which goes 1-2″ higher than normal
  • February will be above normal for snowfall
  • March will be near normal for snowfall in the first half of the month

Here is my month by month forecast for snowfall:


Adding those totals up, I have made a minor adjustment to the snowfall forecast I made in August:

Back in August, I forecast 34″ of snowfall for this Winter…. I have downgraded that number 🙂
Remember, our last 4 Winter snowfall totals have been

  • 2015-16:  17.1″
  • 2014-15:  33.4″
  • 2013-14:  56.4″
  • 2012-13:  41.2″


Tell me what you think of my forecast!   If you have any questions about this Winter weather, snowfall, cold weather, or any other type of weather, email me at dmazza@wcmh.com


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